Grant's Answers → Venison Processing

← Grant's Answers

Why do you take deer home to field dress them?

Question
Really enjoy your website. Very educational. In Wisconsin, we field dress our deer at the kill site. Why do you take the entire carcass out of the woods and field dress at home? You live in a warmer climate than we do, and I would think you have a greater chance of meat spoilage by delaying field dressing.

Dennis,

Meat spoilage is caused by bacteria.  I can keep the meat much cleaner by taking it to my house and dressing it versus rolling it around in the leaves and dirt.  I also like to weigh each deer and collect other data.

I live on the land where I do most of my hunting so transportation time isn't a problem.  However, it's important to remember that deer season opens in South Florida during late July (the rut there is during July and August).  Gun season opens August 15th in the coastal counties of South Carolina,  Often it's 100+ degrees on opening day of deer season in both these areas and deer spoilage is almost a non issue.  Keeping deer clean is a very important part of the process of enjoying quality venison!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 15, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How long do you wait to retrieve deer after the shot?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I have seen you shoot deer early in the hunt and wait several hours before you retrieve your deer. How long do you normally wait to retrieve your deer? Some of the hunts look like it's warm. Are you ever afraid of the meat spoiling?

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin,

There are several factors, including the air temperature, shot placement, etc.  I've asked several of my research buddies and none have a definitive answer.  I based my times on experiences from the coastal counties in South Carolina where deer season opens August 15th.  I've seen it 100+ degrees there opening day many years.  I was very concerned when I first hunted there.  However, after years of hunting in that environment and seeing lots of deer harvested and not processed for many hours and never hearing of deer spoiling if recovered in a reasonable time and process correctly.

I'm not aware of any research data on the subject.  If you find any, please share it with me!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 5, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Are there advantages to bringing a deer out of the field before processing it?

Question
Hello Grant, I have a two part question and I'll do my best to be concise from here on out. What is the advantage to moving deer and field dressing them elsewhere? I'm curious cause I always just gut where they lay. I can imagine there are predator issues and you can examine slightly better at the house. Also, could you please spend some more time on a future episode about cleaning turkey? I process my own deer so I'll catch on quick. I remember seeing my dad harvest a turkey and show me a little but that was almost 20 years ago. More than half of my life! Thank you sir.

 

Mark,

It depends on where I'm hunting as to whether I bring the deer out of the field or process it where it expired.  If it's a relatively short drag to the vehicle and there's a water hose, etc., at a close facility (like my house), I prefer bringing the deer out of the field before processing.  This allows me to keep the meat cleaner and I can collect the deer's body weight, etc.

It's also faster and and easier for me to keep the meat clean if I hang the deer before gutting and processing the meat.

Check out this link for some hints how to process a turkey:  http://www.growingdeer.tv/episode/231

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 14, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Do you find mature and young deer taste differently?

Question
Dr. Woods, good afternoon. I messaged you on Facebook about 3 years ago when I was doing mission work. You messaged back, and it meant a lot to me!! I have watched all of your videos, but have been re-watching some of them. I recently rewatched when you harvested split brow. What a great hunt, by the way!! My question is in regards to eating venison in relationship to the age of the deer. Do you ever take into consideration the age of the deer and the impact it will have on the level of “gaminess” when you eat the deer? Obviously, there are ways to prepare venison to mask some of this. My daughter harvested a 2 and a half or three and a half old back last year with a cross bow. I harvested a 18 month doe. It seems there was a distinct difference in taste, based on gaminess level. I imagine split brow tasted differently then say, a year and a half old doe. When you harvest a deer, do you think about what the deer will taste like based on its age? I have been curious about this for a while and have wanted to ask. Also, what are your thoughts on aging a harvested deer by hanging it and it's impact on taste? Thank you so much for your time!!

PS: I've attached the picture of my daughter for your enjoyment. It was her first year ever hunting (remember we were in Ethiopia for 3 years) and her second time ever going!! Madison, 10 years old. She harvested her second deer this year, a mature doe, during our youth hunt in September. Madison 11 years old. I am obviously a very proud father!!

Randen,

Congratulations to Madison and you!  I'm also thankful you have listened to the Creator and your ministry is focused on sharing the gospel!  

Tracy (my wife) and I can't taste any difference between a mature and immature deer.  We process the venison we tag by deboning and then filleting out each muscle.  There's no connective tissue, lymph glands, etc., left to consume.  This process will make even mature bucks like Splitbrow fine table fare!  

We label each package we vacuum seal with the date and deer but don't select packages based on this information. Tracy simply grabs the package with the size roast, etc., she wants and cooks without regard to which deer the venison was from.

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 12, 2016

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Is this deer safe to eat?

Question
Grant,

First, let me say I continue to pray for your dad. May God bless him.

Now my question. I recently harvested a doe that had a 10 inch arrow shaft and broadhead in it. It ran right along the left side of the spine. Tissue had grown around it and encased it. Gunky stuff oozed out of the arrow shaft when I removed it. Can the deer be eaten? Like would hindquarters be safe? Or just good buzzard food.

Thanks.

Jeff May

Jeff,

Wow – that's an interesting find!  If the tissue around the wound appeared and smelled normal, then I wouldn't be afraid to eat most of the deer. I'd trim the meat from around the wound and save the rest!  

Thanks for sharing that picture!

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Will you show folks how you field dress deer?

Question
If possible, could you please show how you folks field dress deer? A very merry Christmas to you and your family, John

John,

I will! The next time I tag a deer during the morning so we have enough light to film and I have time we'll create an episode of how I field dress deer.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 10, 2015 

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much meat should a deer yield?

Question
HOW MUCH MEAT SHOULD AN AVERAGE DOE YIELD KILLED BY A BOW, SAY SHE WAS FIELD DRESSED AND WEIGHED 100 POUNDS?

Richard,

Deer typically yield about a maximum of about 40% meat once skin, bones, and guts are removed.

So – 100 pound doe should yield 40 pounds of meat.  This will vary depending on amount of fat, stomach content, etc.

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 3, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

Does it help to store venison in a cooler after it’s been removed from the bones?

Question
Dr. Woods,

Thanks for all you do for us hunters. Im very appreciative for the information and videos you share with us. Youre video on processing deer has inspired me to start processing my deer, instead of using a processor. I'm slowly acquiring the equipment in anticipation of next year, doing everything myself. I have one issue that I need clarified. Do you immediately package and freeze your meat after separating it into the muscle groups? One of the articles on your website indicates you may place the meat in a cooler for a few days. Do you place all of your deer in a cooler for several days, prior to packaging and freezing? I want to try to do things as close to what I've seen and/or read that you do. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Happy Hunting!
William “Mark” Newsome

Mark,

Thank you for sharing the kind words!  

I normally debone the venison and store it in an ice chest.  I do this so I may process the venison when it's convenient.  I rarely have time after a hunt to completely process the venison by deboning, removing all the connective tissue from around each muscle, and vacuum seal.  

On the occasions when I have had time to complete the entire process Tracy or I haven't noticed any difference in taste or tenderness.  The critical steps to insuring the venison is tasty and tender are to remove the meat from the bones as soon as practical, keep the meat clean and cool, remove all the non muscle tissue (the shiny stuff around each muscle), and use a quality vacuum sealer to preserve the meat's quality.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 29, 2015
  

🔗 Link | ↑ Top

How much “shiny stuff” should we remove from venison?

Question
My husband is currently trying to cut up his first deer for processing. We need to know what parts we should keep for burger & How much of this shiny stuff needs to come off what he is cutting out ?HELP!!

Robin,

Please tell your husband congratulations!!

Tracy and I fillet all the connective tissue (shiney stuff) from each cut of meat.  I remove each major muscle (debone the meat) and then clean each piece of venison by filleting each piece.  This will results in pure meat that is extremely tender and taste great!

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 28, 2015

🔗 Link | ↑ Top