1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Which parts of deer are the best to keep?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Sep 9, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,941
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I agree that the only good eating parts that you should eat plain are the tenderloins which are inside the gut cavity up against the spine just on the butt side of the rib cage and the back straps, aka new york steak or loins, which are on the top of the deer under the fur on either side of the spine. The tenderloins and the backstraps are the two lobes of the traditional T-bone steak, aka porterhouse.

    The toughest part of the whole gutting operation is making that first cut into the belly. Before that first cut, the animal might as well be a dog or pet, after the first cut then you put on your surgeon hat and it becomes very clean and methodical with no mistaking the goal.

    After removing the good steak meat, the rest of the meat should be stripped and thrown into a cooler. This is a traditional beer drinking activity and done in the barn while the animal is hanging by its feet. The full cooler is then weighed and the weight is used to buy the proper amount of pork fat from the local butcher shop. Then grind it in with the meat and freeze. We are still eating the ground meat from last year's deer.

    Daughters have been known to make snowmen out of other deer parts.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Messages:
    411
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Cute kids. And see there is another use for the feet. Great idea
  3. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    914
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    lol - make sure before you make that "first cut" in the belly, to first "poke" (just take you knife blade and 'stab') the belly. Then wait........................ That will release the gases inside. If you don't, I doubt you will get much further when you realize you didn't :sick:
  4. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    556
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Just be sure to not paunch the stomach lining or intestines. Other wise you could end up spoiling some of the meat.

    I'll echo the backstraps/tender loins as the "best cut". But definatley use it all. I have my steaks packaged for two, roasts out of the neck and the remaining 75% gets made into sausage (the frickin' best!) and the other 25% goes to regular old burger.

    I make my own jerkey out of the sausage and burger. Man now I'm hungry.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,941
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Okay, now I hope someone will speak up if this is too much detail but I have never found the area below the diaphragm to be containing any gas. I know that I do not want to cut an intestine with by first belly opener. So..... what I do is grab onto a particular little piece of skin that sort of protrudes from the buck's belly and pull it away from the belly. This pulled out piece of skin is where I enter the belly with the knife. Once I am into the belly, I can keep the intestines off of the knife while I remove all the skin between the rib cage and the pelvis. Then of course pop through the diaphragm and get to the other organs.

    Don't forget to be careful around that bladder. It'll make a mess too.
  6. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    556
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Same way I do it Highbeam.
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,409
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    yup highbeam- entry hole, then keep the sharpened side up.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,941
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    The first time I did it, the "instructor" told me to "grab his willy and pull on it" I thought for sure that he was messing with me but it worked very well. Now we can also talk about methods of removing the dookey hole when you can't cut the pelvis with your knife. You don't want to spill dookey either. Then there's that esophagus you need to reach up and cut.

    All of this sounds gross and nasty and like some sort of texas chainsaw massacre but I have found that it is very clean and pretty blood free. A mechanical task with plenty of room to move around and see all the parts. The TV shows that show people being operated on make it look very complicated, dense, and messy inside a body but really it is the opposite.
  9. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Southern WI
    I need to add some comments:

    1. Never would I stab the stomach or cavity with my knife to release gases. That is not good advice unless you want digested food spoiling your meat.

    2. If you want roasts or steaks, you are better off taking them from the rounds of the hind quarters. The hinds can be easily separated into the separate muscles. Each musle than can be cut into steaks, roasts, stew meat, etc. Use the front shoulders for 'trim' - which is ground to burger or sausage.

    3. I do not condone anyone, not matter how experienced of a marksman they are, to take head or neck shots on deer. It is true, if you connect, you are likely to drop a deer in its tracks. However, I harvested a deer with a slug hole in its neck that I didn't put there. I have also seen deer come through the woods with there bottom jaw blown off from botched head shots. The most ethical shot is to aim for the largest kill zone on the deer, commenly called the boiler room. Located just behind the front shoulder is a large area in which you will hit either lungs or heart.

    4. To the above point, I disagree that field dressing a deer is not very bloody. If you hit where you aim (which should be the heart/lungs), the cavity above the diaphram is quite bloody. It still is not gross, but there is certainly a lot of blood if the lungs are hit.

    5. Finally, the "dookey hole." I find the best way is to first cut away the hide all the way around the hole. If it is a doe, make sure you go all the way around both openings. I then start through the tissue with a knife. I will then reach one hand from inside the deer, and work the other from the outside. I work my fingers all the way around the colon, as this area tears and frees easily without the use of a knife. It sounds gross and time consuming, but it really takes no time at all. When the colon is completely free, I pull it out the cavity with the rest of the intestines. Again, sounds gross, but I can field dress a deer from soup to nuts (no pun intended) in about 5 minutes.
  10. Sparky58

    Sparky58 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    ct
    My all time favorite is the chops then a shoulder roast. Using the back strap, which i take when I hang, I find it helps to partially freeze it then slice paper thin and pan fry w/ sweet onions.
    Don't forget the heart that makes a great pasta ragu. That may be frowned upon organ meat and all.

    We always added pork to venison sausage and suet to a roast.
    As I'm getting older I'm becoming lazier. I let the young bucks in our hunting parties have most of the meat. I'll take my 2 during bow season that about it.. I'll go out a lot, if I see a spiker I'll take him. I'm too old to be dragging out a 160 lbs!
    My kids are all grown up and moved out, so there's no reason to escape anymore :) j/k

    I have to say the "serial deer harvester" comment was classic.

    BTW, this is my first post so Hi everybody!
    S
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,941
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Hi Sparky,

    You'll notice that I too don't mind taking a spike. The meat is tender and not as gamey on these younger animals. Same deal with cattle, you want a young steer and not some old tough guy.
  12. rhetoric

    rhetoric Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    Western NY
    If you take your venison, marinade it in a bit of lemon juice and italian dressing, and then don't really grill it but just kind of walk it by a hot grill, you'll never cut any of the venison into anything other than steaks. Back straps, and hindquarters are all cut into steaks around here. We grill the tenderloins as if they were steaks too, but in any case, it's got to be nice and rare. Of course, most of the deer here in western NY is corn fed but it tastes like prime rib. The biggest problem w/ venison is cooking it too long. Well, maybe after caring for it poorly (tainted w/ gut shots, not getting enough fat cut away, etc.). And the pieces that are too small? Buck and Bourbon Stew from the LLBean cook book. Mind numbingly good.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page