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OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:22 pm
by toms
This week’s net is about wild game preparation from field dressing, butchering, processing and cooking. We can discuss Large game animals, game birds, and small games.

Topics we can discuss:

• How to field dress a large game animal – no one way , let us know how you do it.
• Do you use gloves for field dressing?
• Do you wash cavity or not?
• Do you skin in field or not?
• How to field dress game birds
• Tools & accoutrements for field dressing and butchering
• Getting it out of the field!
• Chilling -issues and technique
• Transporting home or to butcher -issues, tips
• How to picking a processor / using a processer
• Skinning techniques, issues, tips
• Cutting up a deer
• Cutting up a pig
• Cooking ideas for wild game – issues to be aware of

As mentioned above there is no one way and there are lots of tools on the market.
So post up your information, experiences, and pictures!

Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:42 pm
by toms
Warning on Safe Handling

It is important that fresh game be handled carefully to avoid contaminating the meat. There are two major issues.

Avoid introducing feces, hair and other contaminates like dirt and dust into the exposed meat of the animal.

Heat promotes the growth of bacteria. The internal body temperature of the animal needs to be reduced quickly after taking it and maintained at a low level until consumed or frozen.

As you post up your experiences, I encourage you to address these issues.

Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep - Gloves

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:42 am
Diseases Transmissable from Game
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Chronic Wasting Disease Fact Sheet (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
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Disease precautions for hunters
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Deer Carcass Handling (Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries)
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Wear Gloves!

Uncle Freddies Gloves
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Shoulder-Length Field Dressing Gloves
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Long Gloves
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Nitrile Gloves
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Cut Resistant Gloves
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Wild Game Prep Begins Soon After the Shot

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:59 am
by Jeff-OAUSA
You've made the shot, tracked down your game, and confirmed the kill. Adrenaline is no doubt racing through your bloodstream causing your heart to pound, your pulse rate to increase, your pupils to dilate, your respiration rate to increase, and you've become thirsty.
  • Now is NOT the time to mess with the game you've just taken.
  • Now IS the time to take a moment to secure your firearm, take note of your surroundings, give thanks to God and Mother Earth for the harvest, and rest for awhile until that three-finger pour of single-barrel adrenaline has run its course and your body is back to normal. Then and only then is it time to start taking care of your game. Don't rush...savor the moment in time and burn it into your memory...believe me, your game can usually safely wait for you to begin processing.
Get the Guts Out
Now the work starts. Remember, as others have pointed out, heat, flies, and bacteria can spoil your game. So how your proceed now, in the field, will make a big difference in the quality of your harvest.

Generally, you want to begin the game cooling process as soon as reasonably feasible, and that means gutting the game and starting the air circulation process. Removing the guts helps cool the body cavity and removes the gut and entrails that can harbor bacteria.

In treeless areas, you may need to gut your game on the ground. I prefer to pull my game onto a tarp to help keep it clean, but you can gut right on the ground if you need to.
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In areas with trees, its much easier to gut your game by hanging it from a tree. If you've planned ahead and have a gambrel, your job will be even easier.

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Gambrels Allow You to Hang Your Game and Split The Carcass Without the Carcass Falling to the Ground

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To Skin or Not to Skin in the field comes down to how soon you plan to start breaking down the carcass.
  • If you will start within a few hours, you can leave the skin on as it will help keep the game clean. Just make sure you are getting good airflow through the carcass.
  • If you will need to transport the carcass home or to a distant processor, skinning the game in the field will help with the cooling process. After skinning, consider using a game bag to keep the carcass clean and the flies off of it.
If you are fortunate and are hunting near home or on a ranch with a game processing area, you're in luck and the gutting and skinning process is much easier.

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Before Skinning and Gutting

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After Gutting, Before Skinning

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Some Outfitters and Guide Services Have Full Service Gutting, Skinning, and Butchering Facilities

Wild Game - Hanging, Cutting, Wrapping, Storage

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:00 am
by Jeff-OAUSA
Once the hunt is over and the game has been processed in the field, it's time to decide how to manage the rewards of the hunt.

For small game like rabbits, squirrels, and birds, the game can often be broken down and cooked right in the field...what a great way to end a trip!

For larger game like deer, elk, antelope, bear, hogs, etc., the volume of meat requires advanced planning on how you will break the game down, package it, and then store it until it can be used.
  • Cut it and pack it yourself.
  • Take it to a game processor who will take care of the cutting and packing process for you.
My personal preference is to utilize a professional for aging, cutting, processing, and packaging my game. This preference is driven by usually being limited on time, environmental conditions, and having a good place to process the bounty.

Dry Aging Game
You may have noticed the difference in eating a Porterhouse Steak at an $18/plate steakhouse and a Porterhouse Steak at a $100/plate steakhouse. One of the biggest difference between the two steaks, and what drives the price/taste/texture differences, is the $100/plate steak has been dry aged.
  • Dry aging removes moisture from the meat, allowing the flavor to become more concentrated and intense.
  • Dry aging begins to break down the collagen in the meat. The collagen is tough, and by breaking it down, what remains is protein which is very tender.
  • The processor I use most often will dry age for 14 days at no added cost. Often, due to a meat cutting backlog, he'll go 21 days at no added cost, and that's just fine with me. While I will lose a few pounds of moisture, I will gain really great meat.
Here is a Blacktail carcass on the hook and getting ready to go into the dry-aging room. In 24 days, this carcass lost about 20% by weight in moisture. The resulting venison steaks and other cuts had amazing flavor and were very tender.
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Wrapping and Packing
Once your game has been aged and cut to your specifications, the next step is to package the meet for storage. Two methods of packaging seem to be popular.
  • Butcher Paper Wrapping. When paper wrapped and frozen to -5 F, meat in butcher paper wrapped (shiny side against meat), the meat should store for about 6 - 12 months without significant loss of quality per the FDA (reference ... 109315.pdf )
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer - A Great Way to Prepare Meet for Freezing

Here is a basic FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer suitable for home use.

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FoodSaver makes endless bags that you can cut to length, I prefer the FoodSaver bags that just require sealing on one end. I highly recommend using only FoodSaver bags...there are other brands out there, but they often don't have the ridges inside and don't seem to allow the pump to pull out as much air. The FoodSaver bags are reasonably priced compared to the cost of a hunting trip!!
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A good freezer of adequate capacity is essential if you are going to trying to store your meat at home. Upright and chest type freezers are great options, and everyone no doubt has their own preference.

Upright Freezers make it easy to find what you're looking for. I prefer to have an external readout of the internal temperature so that I don't need to open the door to see if its cold inside. A power disruption warning alarm is nice too. The downside of the Upright is that the cold air spills out when the door is opened.
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Chest Freezers are great for long-term storage, and don't spill the cold air when the top is opened. The downside of the chest style freezer is that it can be hard to find what you are looking for, especially if it is on the bottom.
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With all freezers, A Full Freezer is a Cold Freezer. Fill empty spaces in your freezer with frozen milk jugs full of water. By filling the empty volumes in the freezer, the temperature swings will be moderated, leading to more even temperatures.

I highly recommend use of an alarm system to alert you to power outages or failure of your freezer. A full freezer probably has over $1000 US worth of food inside, and it would be a shame to lose it due to a power outage.

For short outages, just leave the door closed and the food should be fine for 4 to 8 hours, even longer if the freezer is packed tight and it's not too hot outside. Having backup power such as a generator is a great idea for longer outages.

Enjoying Wild Game with Family and Friends

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:01 am
by Jeff-OAUSA
The hunt, the processing, the all comes to together when the meal hits the table.

Some folks complain that wild meats taste gamey. does, and thank God for that. The taste of wild game, properly harvested and cared for, is a feast fit for anyone that enjoys the finer things in life. Here's a few examples of meals made from game that I have harvested. To ensure credit is given where credit is due, these meals were prepared by my wife.

We've enjoyed wild game meals for both formal "fancy" meals and for more "casual" meals, and both are wonderful.

Venison Wellington with Liver Pate, ala Brenda
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Venison Steaks - Reverse Seared (Smoked over Pecan wood at 180 F or 30 minutes, then Seared for 1 Minute on a screaming hot cast-iron skillet)
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Venison Pockets, Wellington Style with Duxelles (Mushroom Topping), ala Brenda
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Wild Boar Butts, Smoked on Traeger (The Butts were bacon wrapped to help keep the lean Board Butts moist.)
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Wild Hog Pockets
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Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:56 am
by toms
Field Dressing Deer
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I was taught this method from an old cowboy in the Kildeer Mountains of North Dakota when I was about 12 years old. BTW, there is more than one way to field dress a deer. This one is slick, clean and requires minimal tools. I have done it with just my locking pocking knife.
Later when my boys started hunting, we would discuss it step by step on the drive out to the deer camp.

• Mark the date and tag you deer and follow all the other hunting requirements. In some States, you need to preserve the sex or the head for later checks.
• If there is any slope turn the deer so its butt is downhill and it is on its back. A slight slope is handy but a steep hill will make it difficult.
• I like to get my knife, rope, zip lock bags, etc. out before I start so I am not digging them out with bloody hands. I also prefer to work without a big bulky jacket. That is why it is nice to have several layers of orange clothing. In fact, this would be a good time to tie your rope on the head or antlers if you will need to drag the deer out of the field.

• Start by cutting the skin all the way around the anus so it is free.
• Start by carefully making a small cut through the skin midline just above belly. Do not puncture the intestines or stomach below.
• Continue to slice the skin all the way to the pelvic bone. Slice from the inside with the blade up and riding on the v of two of your fingers to avoid puncturing the intestines.
• Break or split the pelvic bone. In a young animal this is easy with a knife. Just make sure that the handle of the knife points into the deer. An older deer or a larger animal like an Elk will require a small hatchet or saw. This allows the entrails to be pulled thru and out in the final steps.
• Take care of the lower half of the deer first as described above while the skin above holds the rest of the entails in place.
• Now slice the skin up the center to the breast bone. Again, cut from the inside and guide the point and blade with your two fingers. Split the breast as far as you can toward the head. On a deer this can usually be done with a good sheath knife. Once you are past the diaphragm, you can turn the knife straight up and push/ pull or saw it through.
• Find the diaphragm and cut down both sides along the rib cage to the back bone.

• Reach up as high as possible and cut the esophagus and then start pulling it out and down towards the back.
• The entire entrails will roll out as one ball leaving a very clean cavity.

• Find the heart and liver and put in the Ziplock bags if you save them
• At this point you need to decide if you will cut off the scent glans on a male. I usually do and wait until the last step so I don't get spread the secretion by mistake on my knife. Some say you don't need to do this.
• Find a small stick and brace the rib cage open to promote rapid cooling. If the weather is warm pack the cavity with ice.
• If you have the means, wash out the cavity and let it drain.

A variation on this method which I don’t use, involves tying the anus shut with a string, so it can be pulled through the pelvic bone without splitting he pelvic bone. Done right, there is little risk of spilling feces into the deer cavity and contaminating it.

Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:25 pm
by DaveK
OAUSA Shootin' Shack

There are two cases now pending of which you should be aware. Both are Federal Court cases with national ramifications.

1. Ban on Transportation of Firearms (New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. The City of New York)

The New York SR&PA case was just granted Certiorari by the Supreme Court, meaning that the court has decided to hear it. Interestingly, this is the first time the Supreme Court has accepted a 2A case since Heller and McDonald back in 2010. Among the many uncertainties of this case will be the availability of Justice RBG. The combined effect of her age and her recent surgery for lung cancer are, at the very least, problematic.

Predicting how the court will rule isn't nearly as accurate as predicting the weather. I'll place my bets, but privately.

The issue is simple but the consequences of the ultimate decision could be very far reaching, and an indicator of how the court will handle other matters concerning the Second Amendment. The following news release is from the NRA and sets forth the case, in general terms, as it will be presented to the US Supreme Court.
FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today praised the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a critical case involving the fundamental, constitutional right to travel with a firearm. The case, which is backed by the National Rifle Association, challenges New York City's strict limits on the right to travel with a firearm outside of the home. The right to travel is a precursor to the right of self-defense and defines gun ownership outside the home in general.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case sets the stage for affirming the individual right to self-defense outside of the home,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA.

The NRA-supported case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. The City of New York, challenges the constitutionality of a of New York City law that bans law-abiding handgun owners from traveling outside the city with their firearm. Currently, a licensed handgun owner in New York City is prohibited from taking their firearm outside of their home unless they are going to a shooting range inside the city. This draconian restriction means law-abiding gun owners are prohibited from taking their handguns to ranges outside of the city, or on hunting trips, or anywhere to which they wish to travel and have their gun available for self-defense at their destination.

More than a decade has passed since the court recognized the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense in District of Columbia v. Heller. In 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, the court recognized that individual right is fundamental and applies to the states. Since those decisions, the Supreme Court has declined to hear several Second Amendment cases.

“The importance of this case cannot be overstated. We look forward to the Supreme Court overturning New York’s draconian and blatantly unconstitutional law,” Cox concluded.
Also see: ... -ordinance

2. Banning Gun Shows

The relentless attacks on the Second Amendment are invariably falsely portrayed as necessary for safety reasons. The overwhelming lack of any evidence that gun shows pose safety issues, was a fact that was completely ignored by the Del Mar Fairgrounds when they refused to allow any further shows. The issues are interesting and much more will be happening as the months roll on. Stay tuned!!!

The California Rifle and Pistol Association and the NRA are spearheading the litigation. From the California Rifle and Pistol Association:
The California Rifle & Pistol Association has joined with several other plaintiffs to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision by the Del Mar Fair Board in San Diego County to ban gun shows at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.

The 41-page Complaint alleges that the Del Mar action has purposely violated the First Amendment free speech rights of the plaintiffs and constitutes prior restraint on speech, along with the equal protection of the plaintiffs.

Anti-gun activists have launched efforts across the state to stop gun shows at several state-owned fairgrounds. They have admitted that the “gun culture” is something they want to eliminate. NRA and CRPA members have fought back against the false accusations that guns shows promote violence and are not “family friendly.” NRA and CRPA volunteers, staff, and attorneys have written letters and showed up to board meetings. The opposition to the ban far outweighs those who want to ban the gun shows.

Gun shows have been held at the Del Mar venue for more than 30 years, with no safety issues raised by local law enforcement or the Fair Board. In fact the Fairground’s own head of security noted that the gun shows are operating in full compliance with the law and that there are no safety concerns with the show. Nonetheless, the Del Mar Fair Board bowed to the political pressure of anti-gun activists and gave in to those Board members with particularly strong bias against the tens of thousands of individuals who attend these shows.

CRPA is joined in the case by B&L Productions, Inc., dba Crossroads of the West, the Second Amendment Foundation, South Bay Rod & Gun Club, Maximum Wholesale, dba Ammo Bros. and five private citizens. NRA is assisting in supporting the effort. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys C. D. Michel, Anna M. Barvir and Tiffany D. Cheuvront with the law firm of Michel & Associates in Long Beach and attorney Donald Kilmer in San Jose.

Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:25 am
by toms
Having Deer Skin Tanned

For years WB Place in Wisconsin was where I had deer skin tanned with great success. They would tan a hide, per your instructions with or without the hair left on. They also made custom clothing if you wished out of your hide (or lots of hides if you wanted a deer skin jacket). They no longer tan hides but recommended two other companies.

I have not used these companies so can only pass on the contact info to you.

Moyle Mink & Tannery
374 South 600 West
Heyburn, ID 83336
Toll-Free Phone #: (866) TAN-FURS or (866) 826-3877
Fax #: (208) 678-3385

PHONE (414) 578-8615
E mail:

Re: OAUSA Net – January 24, 2109 – Wild Game Prep

Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:58 pm
by DaveK

Hunting upland game is a terrific way to introduce young people to hunting. The age at which this happens depends on the maturity of the "youts" as well as how soon they can pass the necessary hunter's safety courses. As with any shooting activity, practice MUST be a part of the pre-hunt training. Incidentally, along with all the fun of shooting and hunting must come the responsibility of cleaning the firearms after the shoot. Doing this "chore" is best performed as a joint effort involving child and parent (guardian, or responsible adult that hunted with them.) Spending quality time in the garage with your son or daughter, taking care of the tools of hunting, should be a part of the positive memories of growing up.

Of importance too, is the opportunity for them to participate in the field preparation of the meat and especially the BBQ that follows.

These hunters have all grown up and still enjoy a well prepared meal of our favorite upland game.

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Personally, quail is one of the tastiest game meats, when prepared correctly. The meat all by itself, is delicious, but great care must be taken to not overpower it with too many seasonings or spices and to not overcook it. I have found that a butter baste is just about all that is needed, with the possible exception of a dash of salt or pepper. Wild rice, a salad and an excellent bottle of wine (adults only) is a fabulous way to put an exclamation point on a great hunt.

Pheasants are another very tasty feast. My best recipes for Pheasants involve a crock pot and cold weather. On a cold day there is something special about entering your warm home and being greeted by the scent of a great meal as it slow cooks in a crock pot. Many of the recipes that we use for chicken are appropriate with pheasants. My favorite includes these ingredients: Cream cheese, cream of mushroom soup, dry Italian seasoning, white wine, sauteed mushrooms, and butter. All low cal, of course. Add your favorite bottle of wine (adults only) and this is a feast.

Dove, by far, are the most plentiful upland game bird, and we usually come home with 50-100. Dove meat is a unique flavor and unlike anything else I have tasted. Given their small size and the large number available, we usually plan on about 5 -10 birds for adults, and something less for the kids. Each bird yields two very small breasts which are all removed from the birds prior to cooking. The BBQ is our preferred method of cooking and recipes abound. At the moment our favorite one is called jalapeno poppers. It is a sandwich style affair where the breasts, a chunk of cream cheese and the pepper are wrapped in bacon and held together by a toothpick. This can either be an appetizer or the main dish. Same wine recommendation.