Deer hair...why and how

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by bsparker, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. bsparker

    bsparker Member

    Dec 5, 2018
    Butchered my first deer by myself. Wife finally let me hang it in my shed after 13 years. When I was young, saw my dad do it a couple times—at least parts of it. Wish I had known to pay closer attention then.

    I made out pretty good separating meat without hacking the best pieces up. Question is...

    Why so many deer hairs, what do you do with all the little hairs that get on the meat? Or did I just do a bad job keeping the area clean?

    I got almost all off the steaks and larger pieces but I wasn’t up for the task of combing through all the pieces that will be ground. Should I? Will it make a difference? Open to any suggestions.
  2. curtste

    curtste Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    When you're making the initial cuts to gut and then skin the animal, it helps a lot to cut "inside out". Don't hack away at the hair, pushing it into the flesh. Instead, carefully insert the blade between the skin and flesh with the sharp side out. Doing this can minimize the hair. When pulling the hide away, take it slow and be aware of the hair, turning it inside out as you go.

    I find that if I let it hang for an hour after I skin it, the outside layer dries. Once this happens, picking off any hair is easier. Be meticulous. Take your time.

    Yes, grinding hair into your burger will negatively impact the taste.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    It's all in the preparation.
    I don't have any suggestions since I didn't watch you skin it so I'm not sure how you did it.
    You'll get better at it the more you do it. Most of us don't do a very good job on our first few. Don't sweat it.
    Here's a good video on skinning one.

    And yes, you should comb through the grind meat. You don't want hair in your burger.

  4. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Central MN
    Curtste's recommendation on skinning procedure is helpful. After that, use the sticky side of duct tape to pluck the majority of hairs from your quarters before breaking down. A quick pass with a propane torch will take care of any stragglers.

    The stuff really is amazing in it's ability to get EVERYWHERE no matter how careful you are.
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    Propane or mapp torch is what I use.
  6. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    I use a lot of water to wash the meat off as I go, at every step until I’m patting it dry just before I vacuum seal it. I do *not* want to pack hair in with the steaks and roasts, or (worse) grind hair into the burger.

    The one time I helped prep a pig, there was scalding water, scraping of the hair, and then a torch before we ever cut it open. But that was a domestic pig on a farm that got moved around with a front end loader.
    Bfh_auto, bsparker, hq and 1 other person like this.
  7. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    Good advice here. There are many youtube videos that will show techniques to minimize hair on the meat. Take your time.
    Bfh_auto and bsparker like this.
  8. bsparker

    bsparker Member

    Dec 5, 2018
    @curtste good tip on knife blade out.

    @Arkansas Paul i benefited from the bearded butchers video on the butchering piece. Should have looked for the skinning one, lol.

    @Random 8 tape may be in order for my next one.

    I helped skin most of the deer my dad and I got. But I’m realizing he wasn’t that meticulous in the process or he cleaned and portioned everything when I wasn’t around. A bit of hubris on my end not looking into the skinning part in advance assuming I knew and remembered. means more work for me on the back end.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    curtste, Bfh_auto and Arkansas Paul like this.
  9. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    May 5, 2006
    People's Republic of Maryland
    Because it was your first time DIY. WELCOME to the club! :D:thumbup:

    What the folks have already given you in replies are the way to go. Even with doing that, every now and then when I thaw out some venison, I will find a few hairs.

  10. shootbrownelk

    shootbrownelk Member

    Feb 27, 2020
    Always hang the deer with the head down and there won't be near as much hair on the meat . When the meat dries, any hair still clinging will brush off. Propane torch any stragglers. My venison is always hair free. If you ever shoot an antelope this goes double. Antelope hair will negatively affect the meat it touches.
  11. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    The advice you got will help tremendously.
    Your initial cuts on the skinning is the most important.
    I like to start from were the gutting cut was and slit up both legs. Cut around the leg making sure to leave the tendon intact.
    Then skin one leg keeping the hide rolled out as you go. Repeat in the second leg.
    When you get to the tail. Cut between the joint.
    Don't cut holes in the hide.
    .308 Norma likes this.
  12. armedwalleye

    armedwalleye Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Central MN
    I've cut a lot of deer since I started hunting. The guy that taught me to bone a deer showed me how to use a propane torch to burn off any residual hair that found it's way back onto the carcass, but it took him about 10 years to show me....the rat. He always had 'em skun and torched before I got there to cut em. He also taught me to skin them with a come along and a tennis ball. Hang from the garage rafter near a gusset plate and skin the neck far enough down to wrap the hide around a tennis ball and tie it off with a piece of rope. Hook the cable end hook of the come along around the knot and hook the other end to a short piece of chain secured with the pin into the hitch mount on the truck. Start ratcheting. Check once in a while to make any necessary cuts around legs and sticking points as the hide is peeled off.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    curtste likes this.
  13. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Also keeps you from deflating the parts you need not deflate while gutting. Lol.

    But yep. All great advice. Hang by feet. Take the jacket off downward. And roll it inside out as you go. Can be done in just a few minutes
    Bfh_auto and .308 Norma like this.
  14. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

    May 1, 2019
    It seams to me you left the deer hanging with the hide on and skined it afterwards.

    That is a BIG NO-NO.

    Get a set og gambles from harbor fteight with the pully set. Hang the deer as soon as you can and get the hide off as soon as you can while it is still warm.
    Hang it hind feet up, we cut the back legs onn just below the knee so you have the big tendon for hanging the deer, then cut the front legs off above the knees. Then cut the head off. Out meat pole is about 13 foot up so the deer is hoisted at a comfotable height for shinning and quartering up.
    When the deer is warm the hide comes off SOOO MUCH EASIER which results in less hair on the carcass. Try to avoid touching the hair side of the hide as much as posible and have a three or five gallon bucket of nice warm water to swish your hands in when you get deer hair of lots of blood on them. We only put in a couple of gallons of water at a time and change it out when it gets nasty.

    I get free plastic buskets from the lical grocery store bakery. They are great for butchering the deer up. We will let the deer hang atleast a few day if the weather permits.
    When we start to cut the deer uo we start with one front quarter. We have a bucket for the waste which gets taken out in the woods for coyotes, fox, racoons and crows to eat off of.

    We will use another bucket for cube meat and meat that will be ground up.
    Another bucket for the big pices of meat that will either be roast or steaks.
    Any hair that might be on the meat is delt with as we go about cutting it up.

    Last year my brother shot a big doe that had a lot of fat. When we cut her up there was almost three gallons of fat we cut off of her. I dumped that bucket of fat by where I stand at deer hunting. It was all cleaned up by the following morning.
    Gut piles are generally cleaned up after three days or so.
    At my sons place he has been putting a trail cam on the gut piles. I just bought a trail cam for the gut pile on the deer I shoot this year.
    This is interesting seeing all the wild life that benifits from our deers gut pile.
    I will start a thread about gut piles.
  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    If you split the hams in the field, this will contribute to hair on the hind-quarters significantly. I don't split hams till I butcher. Otherwise it's just a matter of being careful to keep the hair side away from the skin. It also wipes easily from the skin after hanging with a wet paper towel. This also works well well butchering to clean up quarters before cutting. What I do most of the time is to remove the outer layer of membrane/muscle of the quarters before I cut them up. I call it the rind and resembles a rind of the deer is allowed to hang. This only removes a tiny amount of meat, but assures you do not push hair/dirt/blood from the outside, thru the meat. It also removes that dried out layer that does nuttin' to add to the flavor.
    .308 Norma likes this.
  16. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    SE Idaho
    Yep. And we even take a wet rag (and the garden hose if we're home) and clean the carcass after we've skinned it. We've never had a problem with hair getting in the meat.
  17. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Tughill NY
    once I make my cuts in the hide, I grab the hair along the incision and pull away as much of the loose hair as I can. It takes a few minutes, but it catches alot of the loose hairs and I get alot less on the meat.
    curtste likes this.
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