Deer found dead from Gut Shot... What do I do?


November 7, 2008, 09:37 AM
So I just got a phone call from one of my farming buddies. He just found a deer dead next to his compost pile from a gut shot from a hunter.

He said the deer died less that 24 hours ago and the deer has rigor mortis.

Would the meat still be good to eat if we field dressed it today and started butchering it up?

I told him to field dress it ASAP and rinse the inside out with a lot of water.

any other suggestions for saving the meat?
Since he said it was a gut shot there is likely some nasty stuff in there.

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November 7, 2008, 09:44 AM
What's the weather? IMO, if it's gut shot and long dead, I'd probably just take the skin and maybe the backstraps if they still look good. If it traveled any distance, the adrenalin probably did a number on the meat anyway.

Art Eatman
November 7, 2008, 09:53 AM
Drag it off somewhere for coyote bait. Unless the weather has been at or below freezing, it's good odds that the eating-meat is gonna be somewhat stinky.

Deer Hunter
November 7, 2008, 09:58 AM
I agree with Art. Drag it off and let the natives have at it. They're stomachs are a bit tougher than ours.

November 7, 2008, 10:48 AM
Its 62 degrees out with 82% humidity. It was really misty out yesterday but no rain.

It was not shot on the property so it definitely traveled some distance before laying down next to the compost pile.

How can I tell if the adrenalin ruined the meat?
Will it taste bloody?
Or will it just be tough?

November 7, 2008, 11:07 AM
Just don't do it. You can't know if the animal died within a half hour of being shot, or wandered around, gut-shot, for 2 days, with infections and fever coursing through the body.
...and 62 degrees?... hell, you're not supposed to eat a tuna sandwich that YOU made, after leaving it on the counter after a day.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 7, 2008, 11:12 AM
Would the meat still be good to eat if we field dressed it today and started butchering it up?

Depends on the temperature. Rigormortis sets in pretty quick, so if the temp has stayed below 40 F, they yes it is definitely good. If it's been up to 45 or 50, it's *probably* good, but meehhhhhhh. Over that, I wouldn't.

Edit: "Its 62 degrees out with 82% humidity. It was really misty out yesterday but no rain." Oops, no!

November 7, 2008, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I'll take the hide and leave the meat for the coyotes

November 7, 2008, 02:00 PM
The gut contents spilled inside so its already ruined . Count it as wasted.

November 7, 2008, 02:03 PM
Especially at 62 degrees. It could have been walking around wounded for a day before you found it. On the upside you can drag it off for the coyotes and then shoot them.

November 7, 2008, 02:08 PM
gut shot deer linger for quite a while before dying....even if found right after death the meat will have a strong flavor due to the fever and stress the animal endured till it died. Even so, the meat is still quite edible.

That said, a deer that has been dead for 24 hours in 62 degree temps has been rotting for a day. Gut shot deer tend to heat up after dying because of the chemical reaction from all the body fluids and blood being held captive in the carcass.......this will hasten that decay. Coyotes and vultures like rotten meat.....let therm enjoy it.

November 7, 2008, 02:23 PM
Don't forget to hunt the coyotes when they come to dinner.

November 9, 2008, 04:22 AM
Sounds like your farmer friend is old fasioned, and dosnt waste anything.

Gut it. It may be a mess, but your hands will wash clean.

Clean the cavity with Blood, or just wipe clean. Water will speed up spoiling.
If it dosent offend your nose, Its OK.
Skin it , butcher it and enjoy. I bet your meat will be really, really soft by now.

If it stinks, feed it to your dogs

November 9, 2008, 08:56 PM
don't eat it.. like some said, use it as a coyote bait.... have some fun!!

November 10, 2008, 02:22 PM
Caribou's right... your nose will tell you. However, I remember finding a doe early one morning that had been shot the day before (not by me) and spent the night in the snow, with more snow fallen on her. We rolled her on her back to consider gutting her out, and her belly skin already had a greenish tint to it and she stunk... at 62 degrees that'd be awful iffy... :barf:

November 10, 2008, 04:38 PM
Too iffy for me.

November 10, 2008, 06:14 PM
water speeds up spoiling? can someone explain this to me?

November 10, 2008, 07:04 PM
I have pal who is a heavy smoker and even smokes in the stand so he has to shoot at deer over 300 yds away because he's easy to detect with all the tobacco smell. Deer won't come near him. He regularly wounds deer(gut shot) he never finds. Whenever I hear of someone finding a gutshot deer I immediately think it was a long range shot and a smoker that did the deed.

November 10, 2008, 07:09 PM
Mach2 your pal sounds like a bad shot, and poor tracker.Makes you wanna scream, dont he?

In my experiance, and thats actually been quite awhile, I have found that wetting your meat promotes spoiling.
Done it, seen the results, and have been laughed at by others for doing such.
Getting it nice and dry keeps out the maggots, and there is no "Slime" build up on dry meat either.
Blood drys up quickly, and if you do get it wet or bloody, wiping it dry will keep it from spoiling .
Wet meat spoils quicker.

November 10, 2008, 07:28 PM
any shot is a possible gut shot. The longer the shot the greater the odds, 300 yards short of the bench increases dramatically.

November 10, 2008, 09:11 PM
Stay away from that deer.

You suppose it was gut shot, but you are not a pathologist, nor am I. Tie a rope around deers neck. Start 4 wheeler. Attach rope to 4 wheeler. Drag deer away. After is (as far as you can go on your property) or 100acres, un hook deer.

Go home wash hands and toss rubber gloves.

November 11, 2008, 09:12 PM
Depends on how hungry you are. If there are any grocery store in your part of the world I would not eat the meat

November 11, 2008, 09:31 PM
Well... This isn't Jericho, if it was, EAT, otherwise no would enjoy the meal.

November 11, 2008, 10:56 PM
Chalk it up to another loss due to bad shot placement. Hate to see it, but not much you can do.

Let the natives have it - make sure it's far away from your property, or be prepared for the nuisance...

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