On Field & Stream site they showed a "NoGut Deer Butchering Method". I wonder if it can be done in Illinois? How does the tagging work if it was done as the F&S way and then the Conservation person might not be able to tell which sex it was? I did like to know more to be on the safe side.
http://www.fieldandstream.com/fieldstre ... 41,00.html This is the site I found it on.
Don't try this on midwest whitetails, they will smack you with a serious list of fines, lose equipment and your meat.
This is a poaching technique and why we have check in stations for the carcass to be tagged and if the DNR's warden is around they may want to look at the deer, the method of kill, signs of disease, etc. I have had my bow killed animals inspected, especially when it was a head shot with a Muzzy broadhead. (they will rip right into a skull!)
Out west where I grew up its a lot different, the game wardens do not expect a man to drag a deer or elk many times your weight and they have ways to verify the location of the animal and what herd it came from. Thanks to poaching they have a national DNA lab and crime center in OR. Not to mention thay actually go deep into the woods and watch for yahoos and poachers. ESPECIALLY WA, ID, and MT
Gutting, removing the tenderloins and washing the gut cavity and cooling the meat ASAP remains the best way to preserve a good animal for the table.
FYI, Aging venison is a myth as the fat on deer is called "tallow" and largely concentrated outside the meat so allowing bacteria and the waste product it creates as a tenderizing enzyme only creates a rotten chunk of venison. You have three days at the most from kill to butchering to get that meat down to cold and then frozen before you end up with fertilizer.
digitalbluecat wrote: FYI, Aging venison is a myth as the fat on deer is called "tallow" and largely concentrated outside the meat so allowing bacteria and the waste product it creates as a tenderizing enzyme only creates a rotten chunk of venison. You have three days at the most from kill to butchering to get that meat down to cold and then frozen before you end up with fertilizer.
I was with you with everything you said digitalbluecat, until you added your "FYI" part.
Aging and tenderizing meat is definitely NOT a myth. I have a paper article I saved years ago from Outdoor Life that explains the process and it is definitely NOT "controlled rot". I don't remember all the specifics, but I'm sure there's tons of info on the internet on the subject. But, I do remember that it is NOT necessary on young deer, but IS necessary on older deer IF you wish to have tender meat. Temperature control and removing the meat from sitting in the juices is critical.
Aged beef is the best, most tender meat you will find. Quality restaurants age their meat for several weeks. Part of the reason restaurants charge so much for a great steak is due to the cost of refrigerating that steak for so long to age/tenderize it properly. Why do you think Jewel's steaks are lousy compared to a butcher/meat market? After all I can find a steak with just as much marbling at Jewel as I can at most butcher shops (If I search through a ton of them at Jewel!) The reason being is Jewel does not take the time or money to properly age their meats. Simple as that...
Aged beef is the best, well right behind Kobe anyway. I believe the high cost is due to the amount of waste not refrigerating/electric bills. Around 20-30% of the cut of beef turns into jerky that is cut away and discarded of. Not that this has anything to do with the post.
I'm with digitalbluecat on this one. I was a deer processor for 24 years. An older wise person once told me "venison aint beef". Venison lacks the enzimes that beef has to break down the meat. His advise and my experience demonstrated that the only thing you gain by aging deer is more waste.
I'll have to find the article. It was written by somebody far more qualified to answer this than any of us. (A processor knows how to cut meat btw, you're not a chemist - so your "qualifications" aren't any better than mine...)
The more I think about it, I'm going to have to spend a lot of time finding the article and typing it up and my money says it won't change anybody's mind anyway, so what's the point??? I'll just enjoy my nice, tender 2 1/2 Y.O. venison steaks and keep doing what I've been doing...
Just a point from the micro-biology end of things, the beef nor the venison contain these enzymes everyone speaks of. digitalbluecat was on the money (or real close anyway in a few different words) in saying the naturally occuring micro-organisms actually produce the enzymes which begin to break down the meat.
In my opinion, it can help a cut of meat, but at the cost of waste!
Everyone is right about this subject to some extent, and it's a matter of preference the way I see it.
A deer processor will get paid by the deer he processes, not how well he ages it, so it isn't in his interest to do so either, right?
Last edited by Captain Jim on Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jim, I knew there was a lot of techno mumbo jumbo that I could not repeat accurately so I did find the article I had clipped. Surprisingly it was right in front of my "Hunting" file folder. I was actually surprised at how much I remembered accurately! Luckily, F&S still has the article on the internet for everyone's viewing pleasure (link below)...
Another thing while we're (kinda) on the subject is IF you ever cape out a trophy deer (or have somebody do it for you) that you're planning on having mounted, the best thing to do if you CANNOT get it to the taxidermist immediately is to freeze the cape and head. BUT, if the temps are cold enough outside leave the cape and head "opened up" for a while to cool down before rolling the whole thing up and putting it in a plastic garbage bag to freeze. A deer's hide - especially a late winter northern deer has excellent insulative properties. IF you ball that thing all up and close up the bag the hide combined with the sealed bag will keep your freezer from cooling the head and innermost parts of the cape quick enough. Inevitably what happens is bacteria gets to these warmer parts and starts the break down process. The hide will inevitably slip due to the decay and you will have to find and purchase a new cape in many instances (And you'll probably blame the taxidermist!!!) Just an FYI...
I usually don't age my deer but not because it doesn't work. The real key is having the right temperatures for aging. During most of our bow season, and lately even the gun season, our temps are just too warm to hang deer in the garage. I think one of the reasons why many people believe you can't age a deer is becuase so many people have done it wrong. I think enough guys have tried "aging' the deer and wound up with rot that they feel it doesn't work. I know from experience that it's better to immediatly butcher the deer than to try to age it under the wrong conditions. Here is an article that gives some great guidelines about aging deer.
Trying to age deer that are not dressed out right is a whole seperate case here too. I have seen way too many hunters leave half the wind pipe in the neck, too much of a wheenie to reach in there all the way, or know enought to cut it through from the outside! Then they wonder why the whole neck and sometimes parts of the front shoulder roasts are yellow and green when they go to butcher!
Good luck Tom, looks like the forcast up here will certainly allow for aging, if you can keep it from freezing!
Hope you have a bit more tollerable temps down south for the hunt!
Boy Jim, you ain't kidding about the waste. Ironically I saw part of a show today on the History Channel on butchering meat. They went over dry aging beef. I guess the bacteria gets to the stuff on the outside that has to be trimmed away and they were throwing out a LOT! Add in shrinkage and up to 21 days of refrigeration and I can see how costly it could be. They stated that a quality steak could cost as much as $50 for 10 ounces - yikes!!!
Thats right Captain Jim! Cut around the anus and privates before yanking the gut pile, same for the diaphragm and windpipe. My buddies used to laugh at me for working a deer like a surgeon to clean it and then packing with snow or ice for the duration of the hunt.
I learned from Clyde Ormond how to correctly gut a deer.
As for "dry aging".........
There are many Ranches in the west that run "boutique butcher shops" or closely work with processors that take animals to extreme in care and quality control. Not only are these range fed animals free from BGH and graded "organic" but thay are kept happy all the way to the processor. Angus/Hereford cross breeds and other genetic lines raised from birth with the dry aging will produce meat that is more commonly found in restaraunts and stores like Whole Foods. Those animals are hung cold too, not racked and stacked like Jewel meat. The very best of the commercial beef goes to the military,(sub sailors) then the restaraunteers, and finally the grocer gets the select and choice. If you want better than you should get on the list with the ranchers in the spring and go Coop with others too split a good beef or buy in season from local meat packers who can give you what you want.
Easy to find on the internet.
Now once again, the cut of the meat, be it prime, choice or select is based on the content of marbling from fat and the quality of the herd animals sent to the stock yards. Inspectors grade the carcass onsite.
That interior fat is the food of bacteria that will produce enzymes that break down surrounding muscle fiber.....tenderizing!
I personally do not care for the more robust flavor of the fatted aged beef having grown up on range fed animals led straight to the butcher without being grained up all winter.
DEER AGING? Simple......... Tallow is on the outside, venison is higher in lean muscle without marbling and higher in HDL than lean beef. THAT BACTERIA WILL NOT PENETRATE THE ROASTS or the majority of hind quarter (rump and tip roasts) and legs known as the rounds and chops.
You get green and brown meat from that process and Field and Stream can go scratch. My experience is from 40 years of doing it not reading about it.
Most wild game is like that too, having been genetically adapted to storing fat for survival. Imagine a Deer fattened up in the stockyard like a good fat Angus, hell boys that deer would fall over not hardly being able to walk if the fat produced denisty within the muscles like herd beef. Same for a duck or squirrel.
Try Balsamic vinegar, Chianti wine, brining cuts for 8 hours in apple cider and cracked pepper. There are too many ways to tenderize wild game that does not risk the illness from rotten meat and the questionable look from first time diners of your "aged" wild game and more so when they puke after being told that "I let my deer hang from the tree or garage fer 7 days before I butchered it!"
I have always butchered my own deer and nothing is easier than a good clean new sheet of plywood, a helper to wrap, and frozen quarters to run off on the sawzall and good bow saw, yes thats right I saw my chops and use several Rapala knives to bone the front and spine. Rinse the cuts once to remove bits of tallow and hair and wrap tightly in lined freezer paper. My meat never gets warm before butchering and the kids used to eat it like breakfast cereal. I never told them if it was a fawn or little doe as they are the best eating. Can't go telling people thay are eating Bambi or his mother.
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