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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:04 AM
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Finally got my son in front of a deer this season. We've had poor luck and other excuses, but he got this doe sunday morning. He's a pretty calm and deliberate shot - wish I could say the same! It's always unnerving watching a bunch of them milling around and having to be patient for a good shot presentation. Perhaps in a sign that "great minds think alike," I was certain which of the 4 he had shot at just judging from the angles they all were standing at when the gun went off.

She kicked up at the shot, took off, and ended up going about 60 yards in a straight line before pitching over dead. Range was, oh, maybe 120 or 130 yards. Load is a 100gr. Speer Hot-Core in his .250 Savage that my dad built and my son painted (the camo job is a hoot). Through and through penetration but she didn't leave any blood trail, perhaps because the bullet went pretty high through the lungs? I don't know. Didn't bleed out the mouth either. You just never know. As soon as we grabbed a leg to move her, blood poured out everywhere... ?

I'm continually surprised at how many adult hunters can barely dress out or skin a deer so I'm trying to get him started off right! Besides, it's less work for Dad... This is his third deer but about twice the range of the other two.

We're entertaining the thought of bringing some kids out to the lease next year on a big brother/big sister type thing where they could shoot some of our excess deer. I'm pretty excited about that.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:06 AM
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Here's the rifle .... you can have a lot of fun with some templates cut out of paper and a couple of cans of spray paint. It was cheaper than having the gun blued, anyway!
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:40 AM
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Jake is growing up!

Tell him not to wear white the next time dressing out a deer - unless it's one of your old sweatshirts, Mike. Good work on the paint job and the lessons on dressing out the animal. Maybe he can do the old Man's next pig!
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:54 AM
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That's one of my old denim jackets and it's seen better days, anyway. So no harm done!
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2012, 08:31 AM
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Awesome! Good to make them get their hands dirty.

I do agree that it's so odd that many adult males simply take the deer to the processor. Either they don't trust themselves or their wives won't let them bring anthing dead into the garage! I'm guessing the latter.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:09 AM
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Through and through penetration but she didn't leave any blood trail, perhaps because the bullet went pretty high through the lungs? I don't know. Didn't bleed out the mouth either. You just never know. As soon as we grabbed a leg to move her, blood poured out everywhere... ?
Yup, high shots tend to do that I found. Same thing with my high shoulder shot over the holidays. No blood on the ground (she didn't move an inch when I shot her) but the instant I moved her, it came pouring out of her mouth/nose.

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I'm continually surprised at how many adult hunters can barely dress out or skin a deer so I'm trying to get him started off right!
I can't tell for sure, is the doe hanging by her legs in the pic? We always hang deer up by their head (buck or doe) unless we're caping one out. Skin seems to come off easier that way and the internal organs come out a whole lot easier.

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I do agree that it's so odd that many adult males simply take the deer to the processor. Either they don't trust themselves or their wives won't let them bring anthing dead into the garage! I'm guessing the latter.
When I'm in MS, we take all ours to the processor but it's after we've taken the skin, internals, head, feet, etc. off it. All they have to do is get the meat off the bone and make whatever we want made. Dad always processes his own completely, though. Our next door neighbor (he's known me since I was born) runs his own deer processing business so we take ours to him.

Here in AL I haven't gotten anything yet but I've thought about what it would take... I live in town and I think there might be trouble if I tried to skin/clean one in our backyard. Some of the neighbors might have a fit. I'd probably end up having to field dress it and taking it like that to a processor.

Last edited by shane256; 01-09-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:43 AM
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Get one of those advertised hangers that fit the ball hitch receiver of your vehicle and hang it up while in the field. Dress it out that way. I've also split the skin down the back if not wanting the hide, and cut up the game that way without the meat touching the ground. I've also quit gutting. Leaving the pouch alone and not worrying about the tenders on a deer sure makes it a lot easier.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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I've always hung them by the rear leg. Don't know why I never tried it the other way? Will do so, sometime. Thanks for the suggestion.

Even without gutting them, it's not much trouble to reach in at the end and get the tenderloins. Worth the effort in my opinion. That's what I did here and then we dragged the remaining carcass off a few hundred yards to let the scavengers finish it off. Coyotes gotta eat, too!!!!

We are allowed in Texas to quarter them up in the field. Some states require them to be brought to a check station whole but field dressed, I think. Missouri used to be that way but now I think they let you check them in by phone. Anyway, I'm not knocking taking one to a processor. Once in a while I do that too, either due to time constraints or for desire to make something I can't do at home (dried / cured sausage, for example).

But once it's quartered, there's hardly any more effort to finish the processing. It's easier to get it cooled down faster with it cut up. That's an important consideration in warm weather. You can also fit the quarters and backstraps from a small deer in a 48 quart cooler and that saves a bunch of space. On this trip, I drove my small car so space was important. If I was in my pickup, much less of an issue.

I can certainly understand those folks who lack the facilities to do it at home (apartment/condo dwellers), or don't have a good way to get rid of the hide and skeleton. I definitely don't bring them home whole unless it's trash pickup the next morning!
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:38 AM
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or don't have a good way to get rid of the hide and skeleton.
Ah, the joys of deciding which wonderful coworker gets a deer head in their mailbox..... just kidding of course!

This weekend I was considering the value of a spring loaded "bed launcher". Crank the launcher down, put deer on launcher, drive around to your favorite disposal spot and pull a rope that goes through the rear window to the linch pin. The spring then sends the contents of the launcher far into a ditch or ravine. That would be cool.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:46 AM
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We are allowed in Texas to quarter them up in the field. Some states require them to be brought to a check station whole but field dressed, I think.
One of the places I hunt does require them to be field dressed where the deer falls (how they know, I have no idea) and otherwise intact at the check-in station. You have to weigh what's left and cut out the jaw bone and leave it in a basket, too.

At my uncle's and my dad's, we have a little crane like thing, complete with hand-cranked winch to pick deer up. Just run out the line, put it around the neck, and start cranking. They're both pretty tall, too, so if it's cold and/or late at night, just crank the carcass up to where it's 10' off the ground so nothing can get at it. When ready to take them to the processor, just crank it up, drive the truck underneath, and lower it into the bed (on top of plastic bags or something) and take off with it. There's a water spigot by them, too, to wash everything off.

We used to hang them by their rear legs, too. When hanging by the neck, after you get the skin off, start at the throat and cut down through the rib cage along the breast bone. Stop at the end of the ribs. Skip an inch or so and cut to the butt (carefully). Have the gut bucket underneath. You can reach in a pull the throat down if you want but the main thing is that when you cut that little bit you skipped, you can reach up and grab the windpipe/throat with one hand and pull down and everything should just tumble out.

Last edited by shane256; 01-09-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:59 AM
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Fred you have some great ideas

Let me know when that's available for sale....
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:29 PM
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Congrats to your son Mike.
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