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Tips to Keep the Deer Meat Longer In the Forest

Aug 17, 2007
Sometimes hunters will have to spend more than one day in a wood or forest, which means that they have to leave the deer overnight. There are some methods that the hunters can use to keep the deer overnight.

After the digestive organs have been removed, cut the diaphragm and remove the lungs. This cavity will usually be filled with blood, and this should be removed so that the interior of the animal will be as clean as possible.

If, for any reason, it should be necessary to leave the deer in the woods for any length of time, over night or longer, it should be hung up and not left on the ground. It is almost impossible for one man to hang a sizable deer without the aid of some mechanical device and the simplest of these, which may be found in the woods, is the tripod. Three poles, not less than twelve feet long, should be cut. Tie two of these poles together at the ends, then tie these to the deer. Spread the opposite ends of these poles so that they are six or eight feet apart and use the third pole to raise the deer as far as possible. Bring each foot of the tripod nearer to the center until the deer is off the ground.

Sometimes it is possible to use two saplings as two feet of the tripod. Grey birch trees are good for this purpose and the natural spring of the trees is help in lifting the weight of the deer. Pull the tops of the trees down and tie them to the deer and then work the third foot of the tripod into position. It may be possible to improvise a windlass. Cut a pole with a right-angled branch. Place this across two limbs which are high enough that the deer will be off the ground. Tie one end of a rope to the pole and the other end to the deer. Use the branch as a lever to wind the rope around the pole until the deer is off the ground. Not too difficult a task if there is a place to stand while operating the windlass.

There is a difference of opinion about the method of hanging a deer. Some hunters hang them by the head while others hang them head down. Use your own method. Domestic animals are hung with the head down so that if there is any objectionable settling of body fluids during drainage, this will occur in the less valuable cuts of meat. A good rule for the hunter to follow is to hang trophy animals by the head and meat animals by the feet. Deer should never be left on the ground as this interferes with the rapid cooling that all meat should receive. The portion of the animal which is in contact with the ground is very liable to retain the body heat long enough to start the decaying process.

When the hunter arrives at his home or camp with his deer, it should be rehung and the body cavity cleaned with a wet cloth. Water in the tissues of the meat will cause the meat to "sour," so wash only the body cavity and be sure to wipe it dry. The anus may be removed at this time. The breastbone should be split and the remainder of the gullet and the windpipe should be removed. Always hang a deer in a cool place out of the
sun and protect it from flies and other insects.

Hang the deer above the ground if it has to be left overnight or for longer time, use the tripods to keep the weight of the deer so it will be lifted up above the ground. Deer can be hanging with the head up or with the head down. By hanging the deer will last longer and far from the reach of insect or animals.
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