Tag Archives: self-sufficient

Wordless Wednesday: Women Hunters

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Deer Hunting: Cutting and Wrapping

WARNING! This might be considered by some to be gross, inappropriate, or tragic, but I think it is extremely important share the how’s, what’s and why’s of our food. If you have any questions about anything you see please ask – I love to share about the ranch.

When you hunt, I think the easy part is the actual hunt. After you kill your buck you then must skin it, hang it and cut and wrap it. I can safely say from experience, I could not do these things by myself, yet.

I’m very lucky that I have a wonderful group of people that are there to teach me and support me. This year I felt like I learned more than ever before. I’m ready to do it again!

The first step after you kill a buck is to skin it and remove the organs. My Dad and Uncle lectured us for days about this process, they feel like you can really screw up good buck meat if you do this process wrong.

You start skinning on the back leg.

You start skinning on the back leg being careful to avoid the scent glad at the knee.

The scent glad on a deer is on the back inside leg, the bucks will pee on themselves there, and it stinks. My Dad and Uncle explain to us every time we kill a buck to remove those, very carefully.

You work down from the legs until you can hang the deer on a gamble  and continue skinning.

You work down from the back legs until you can hang the deer on a gamble and continue skinning.

Deer on the gamble.

Deer on the gamble. Your goal here is to keep the deer as clean as you can as you dress him.

Once the deer is on the gamble you can start skinning. My Dad uses the "punch" method - where you kinda use your fist to remove the hide.

Once the deer is on the gamble you can start skinning. My Dad uses the “punch” method – where you kinda use your fist to remove the hide.

The exit wound from my shot. I basically shot his heart, so his death was very fast.

The exit wound from my shot. I basically shot his heart, so his death was very fast.

See how the hide came off nicely? No hunks of meat attached? That is some expert skinning work right there, I have a lot to learn.

See how the hide came off nicely? No hunks of meat attached? That is some expert skinning work right there, I have a lot to learn.

Once he is skinned, it's time to remove the organs.

Once he is skinned, it’s time to remove the organs.

Removing the bladder can be a scary job. If you puncture it, buck pee will get on your meat, and trust me, you don't want that.

Removing the bladder can be a scary job. If you puncture it, buck pee will get on your meat, and trust me, you don’t want that.

After you remove the bladder you can safely remove the rest of the organs. My Dad is holding the heart here.

After you remove the bladder you can safely remove the rest of the organs. My Dad is holding the heart here.

After the deer is skinned and gutted he is placed in a “buck bag” and transported to our neighbor Pete’s walk-in box to hang for a few days. Pete was kind enough to offer to cut my buck up for me. I was really excited because that meant I could watch, learn and help! Pete has a great space to cut and wrap meat and he is amazing at it. This whole process probably took less than 30 minutes.

Pete started with the backstrap. Arguably the best cut.

Pete started with the backstrap. Arguably the best cut.

Pretty.

Pretty.

He made steaks, roasts and stew meat for me.

He made steaks, roasts and stew meat for me.

I wrapped.

I wrapped.

Daniel labeled. I told him this was a special package for our harvest party, he labeled it as such.

Daniel labeled. I told him this was a special package for our harvest party, he labeled it as such.

Before and after.

Before and after.

I didn’t kill the biggest of bucks this year, but as they say ‘you can’t eat the horns’. I find that these little bucks taste much better than the old bucks anyway. I was thrilled with myself and had an amazing time learning and doing. Next year I plan on being almost able to do this all myself. This is a skill that is important to me and I feel like it is becoming more rare, not ok!

Dad, Uncle Steven and Pete thank you so much for included me and letting me have this incredible experience.  It means a lot to me that you made a big deal over this for me. I can’t wait to eat this guy and share him with my urban friends that don’t get to eat yummy venison ever.

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Adult 4-H; It’s Over

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Yep. Today was the day. I’m working on a post the will detail the whole custom exempt slaughtering process, but since it won’t be done until tomorrow, I wanted to update those of you that have been following this process. After six months of caring for these pigs, today they fulfilled their purpose.
I handled way better than I thought I would. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t upset. Dave is quick and efficient and the pigs really had no idea what happened. They knew no fear, one second they were just being normal, happy pigs and the next they were gone.

As you can see we all handled it well. We learned a ton today! Dave is an amazing teacher. I am one of those people that find comfort in knowing where my food comes from. I also enjoy being self-sufficient, being able to raise my own food (meat and vegetables) means a lot to me. Being able to share  my knowledge with other people is just the icing on the cake. Thank you for coming with me on this journey.

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Uncategorized