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Whats the deal with gutting a deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Reyn, Dec 21, 2007.

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  1. Reyn

    Reyn Member

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    Ive only killed 3 but i didnt gut them until i got them out of the woods and strung up. Sometimes 2-3hrs elapsed. Temp was from mid 30s to mid 50s.

    Some people are determined to do it immediately. Ive never had a problem with the meat and dont know how guts will affect other deer in the area so i avoided doing it in the field.

    Are there other risks im not aware of by waiting?
     
  2. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    Basically it does three things:

    1. It enables the deer to cool much faster since there will be airflow directly on the meat which reduces risk of food poisoning and gamey taste. when I shoot a deer I immediately gut it, rinse it out, let it drain, and pack it with snow or ice, no matter how cold or warm it is. I've seen deer ruined by not being gutted and cooled down fast enough. If I have to drag it somewhere I'll gut it right away and do a quicky rinse with my canteen to get the worst of the gunk out, then do the ice/snow thing as soon as I get it to the truck.

    2. You make the big mess in the field instead of your garage

    3. If you gut shot the deer or a bullet fragment went weird and into the abdominal cavity and punctured the gut it is better to deal with that right away and salvage as much meat as possible rather than finding out at home a bunch of meat is contaminated with stomach acid, deer crap, and etc.

    I know of no risks to other deer or affects on them by leaving a gut pile, it will not last long. The scavengers will be all over it.
     
  3. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    Personally, I like to cool down the meat as quickly as possible, so I gut it as soon as I can. I think it makes the meat taste better, and there's less chance of spoilage.

    If it looks like I can get it hung quickly, like within 30 minutes, I'll hang it and skin/gut at the same time.
     
  4. highorder

    highorder Member

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    not to mention the hassle of dragging around 60 lbs of guts you dont want.
     
  5. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Hunt TX midday durring bow season or hunt hogs in the summer. We aint in the 30-50 range. But when I get the chance to hunt in the cold, no rush.
    ~z
     
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    No risks. Just easier to move the deer.
    The mountains I hunt in are true back-country wilderness, so you can't hunt from a road or trail. Miles upon miles of hiking in... up mountains, down valleys. I absolutely love it because I get far enough in that I'm the only one out there where the deer and elk play.
    I prefer to gut the deer where it falls because I don't like dragging that weight back out with me. I don't know how much the guts of a muley weighs, but I'd guess 50-80 pounds depending on the animal? I know an elk's guts can weigh upwards of 100 pounds or more, depending on the time of day (after/before feeding).
    You might be hunting close to roads or with horses, if so, it's simpler for ya to do it your way. However, if I did shoot a deer in an easily accessible area, I'd still gut on site because I don't want to have to dispose of the guts :barf: at home or wherever. Coyotes gotta eat too. :)
    Doing it later, as you do, isn't going to harm the meat at all unless you shot them through the guts. When that happens, their digestive juices get loose and begin to 'digest' their meat, and that will definitely spoil the venison. Also, deer in the field see other dead deer and their remains all the time, so it doesn't bother them.
    I even heard a hunter tell a story about shooting a deer and gutting it. The next day, they go back out there and find another deer eating the stomach contents out of the gut pile.:what: So that should tell plenty.
     
  7. Jimmy Newman

    Jimmy Newman Member

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    I have personally shot deer within 10 yards of the body of a deer I had shot less than thirty minutes before (several times). I have also witnessed this happen to other hunters several times.

    At least where I hunt, I don't think it's really going to bother them.
     
  8. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Back in 2006, my dad was cleaning an elk I shot while I was hiking out to get the game dolly (same back country area). He stood up to stretch his back and saw another elk standing in plain sight watching him dress the animal on the ground. He didn't get a shot since his rifle was a step away from him.
     
  9. GCW5

    GCW5 Member

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    If you gut in the field & skin as quick as you can when you get it home, you will get it cooled down faster and have better tasting meat.
     
  10. Reyn

    Reyn Member

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    Thanks. I have to hike in about a 1/4 miile i guess. It takes me 15-20minutes walking a straight line. Ive timed it.I cant use a 4wheeler so i have to take my stand and gun back to my vehicle then get a wheelbarrow. The last one i shot took me an hour to get to the deer and load it and push it back to my truck. This was with my neighbors son helping me.

    The one before that i tried to drag while holding my rifle and a treestand on my back. I was alone and made it about 200yds before i went and got the wheelbarrow. Thats a lot of work for one person carrying that load.
     
  11. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Amen buddy!!
    I tried that with the first deer I shot out there. Maybe got 100 yards with a field dressed deer before I left it there and hiked the gun and backpack out to the truck. Got a good strap and hiked back in to drag it out.
     
  12. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I don't know why anybody goes through the trouble of gutting a deer in the first place. I've killed an awful lot of deer and never gutted one. I can get the back straps, inner loins, hind quarters and shoulders with the guts in place. Why bother with gutting the deer? The only reason I would gut one would be a situation where I had to travel a long way with the deer before I could begin skinning and processing.
     
  13. unreal45

    unreal45 Member

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    I always gutted the deer first thing. Just the way I was taught to hunt and makes em easier to drag. It isn't hard to gut a deer anyway.
     
  14. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    2 years ago I shot a deer and field dressed it where it fell 20 yards from my tree stand. Next night I went out and arrowed another one standing right where the gutpile had been the night before. Critters clean it up, usually before 24 hours pass.
    Some people get all freaky about leaving a gutpile in the woods where they hunt but it doesn't matter to the deer.
     
  15. chipperi

    chipperi Member

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    I may be wrong and often I am but iirc my hunting safety course instructor said packing the body with ice was not a good idea, to try to get it butchered asap. Why...for the life of me I cant recall. Anyone else heard this one.
     
  16. unreal45

    unreal45 Member

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    If it is real hot you had better get some ice in it and get it butchered ASAP or the meat will spoil.
     
  17. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    For the best eating meat, my rules are pretty simple:
    1. Kill it cleanly.
    2. Field dress it, sleuce it out with fresh clean water, and cool it down quickly.
    3. Keep everything that comes in contact with the meat clean.
    4.a Get it to the pro butcher
    or
    4.b Cut, wrap and freeze it yourself.

    (Gee, I just realised that "clean" seems to be a significant component.)

    There was a similar thread awhile back and some folks are real fond of mishandling or "aging" thier game by different favorite methods. I hope we don't have to cover all that ground again...
     
  18. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    i field dress the deer where it falls. We always have jugs of water in the truck to wash the blood and crud out of the carcass. Here in western OK it can be 80 degrees or warmer especially early in bow season and in muzzleloader season. You really have to get your act together to keep the deer from spoiling under such conditions. At 80 degrees one has about three hours max to get the carcass iced down or in a cooler: Otherwise it will spoil. With hogs it is like two hours max.

    i know a guy who had elk spoil because he did not have his logistic support
    worked out.
     
  19. FLORIDA KEVIN

    FLORIDA KEVIN Member

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    Most of the hunter i know down here carry large 130-200 qt collers full of ice in the truck when they go hunting ! You guys who hunt in cold weather dont know how good you have it ! it would not be unusual to be hunting dear wtih the temp in the 70-85 degree range ! Most guys gut their deer and pack the body in ice in the cooler !
     
  20. Jimmy Newman

    Jimmy Newman Member

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    Marksman -

    We have several reasons for gutting our deer.

    1. We keep a record book including field dressed weight to track harvests.

    2. We gut in the field and do our butchering with the deer hanging at a lighted cleaning shed with walk in cold storage (I at least do a lot better job when I can see what I'm doing - we shoot a lot of deer just before dusk. It also makes it easier to have a hose, a table, a sink, and a cutting board, especially when you're trying to clean up meat around bloodshot areas).

    3. We often save livers, kidneys, and heart to eat.
     
  21. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    Jimmy, I don't believe my way is the only way. Sorry if that is how it came across. I hang my deer in a lighted shed with hose and tables the same way you do, but hunting on family property where the shed is only a few hundred yards away it is just as easy to drag the whole carcass up with a 4 wheeler. I don't eat any of the internals. Just a matter of preference.
     
  22. Jimmy Newman

    Jimmy Newman Member

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    I wasn't trying to get argumentative, just throwing a few of my personal reasons out there :).
     
  23. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I have shot a buck and had another buck walk right up to the gut pile and stand there. I believe it is a scent thing.

    I always field dress a deer in the field. If nothing else, it makes the deer a lot lighter to transport out and load on or into your vehicle. I use a deer cart (one from Cabelas). They are much more stable than your wheel barrow and you can easily tie the deer down on one. Barring extreme topgraphy, I would guess that you could haul out a deer from you spot in about 30 minutes by yourself without hardly raising a sweat or your heat rate using a deer cart.

    My routine... shoot deer, field dress, tag, check for other hunters, hike out to my truck to get my deer cart (about 15 minutes) and bring it back for the deer. Carts also work well for hauling deer stands around. Much easier than any wheel barrow I've ever used. You can move across fallen logs that you can step accross quite easily with a cart. But I often just go around them unless it is less than 8" or so.
     
  24. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Me and Daddy... one of us will shoot it, and this could be right before dark. So I'll be standing out there holding the flashlight so Daddy can see to gut it. Then we'll load it on the trailer and take it to the barn and get the deer on a gambrel and hoisted with block and tackle. Then I'm holding the flashlight a while longer while Daddy cuts it apart before washing the meat and getting it into the refrigerator to cool a day or two and be easier to cut up into steaks and all. Daddy did have a halogen light, but it burned out halfway through that last deer and there I was holding the flashlight again.:D

    Gut piles really don't last long and the deer is lighter to drag and load on the trailer.
     
  25. stovepipe699

    stovepipe699 Member

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    If you have the ability to hang the deer for 4 to 5 days at just above freezing it does a lot to tenderize the meat. Enzymes do their job, just like on beef etc. I used to think it was B.S. until I shot a spiker whitetail, dressed, butchered, wrapped and froze the meat immediatly to get it done. The meat was tough! It was a nice young animal, and ever since I try to age the meat to be on the safe side.
     
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