Jump to content

First Deer and I Need Some Handling Help


Recommended Posts

Good morning!


This is my first post and it's a bittersweet one at that! I started bowhunting last year but wasn't able to connect. This year was looking more promising after seeing a lot of smaller does. Well this past Saturday I finally connected with my very first deer, a tall spike with a kicker. I'm proud of it, and I couldn't be happier! I've finally been able to officially join the brotherhood that is hunting, and bow hunting to be more specific. I'll always remember this entire hunt and I plan on keeping the skull in tact to memorialize it.


My question though pertains to the handling of my deer...


Saturday night was really cold, about 30 degrees. It was a quick and pretty clean gutting, with thorough instructions from my hunting mentor Butch. We were able to drag him out, hang him (hide still on and stake inside the cavity to crate airflow) and even hosed down his insides within about 30 min. We hung him in the pavilion on Butch's land and he is completely in the shade all day. This is where the issues start, the butcher that we were going to take him to was already closed for the night; and because of schedules neither I or Butch could get him to the butcher at 1 on Sunday. We thought that the weather was going to stay cold enough from Saturday until today but I'm worried that the warm day yesterday, it reached almost 60, was enough to ruin the meat. When Butch checked on him yesterday at around 6 pm the hide and the inside was still very cold to the touch.


What is everyone's opinion on the matter? Is the meat still okay to take to the butcher today?


I feel like a huge a$$hole to have this happen to this animal. I think that it's horrible to waste any meat that I've been lucky enough to harvest and just have a horrible knot in my stomach. I know that when I killed the animal, I also inherited the responsibility to respect the animal all the way through the entire process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, congrats on your first deer!!! That's awesome! :up:


I know it doesn't help now, but something that could have helped would be to throw some bags of ice inside the deer to keep it cool/cold. Something to remember next time.


Meat wise, I would take it to a butcher ASAP and they'll be able to tell you if it's still OK. My thoughts are it should be fine, 30s at night on Saturday probably really cooled it down and being in the shade all Sunday was a big help despite the temps.


Also there are probably some 24/7 butchers with walk-in cooler dropoffs somewhere in your area. That's another option when your schedule is tight, always best to get that deer in a cooler as quickly as possible.


Let us know how you make out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah that's a good point Rusty. I saw that and forget to mention it. Growing up I know hosing them out was very common, but over the last few years I've read more and more about water creating more bacteria. Some guys advocate just wiping out the insides with some paper towels. Good tip! :up:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the great advice! He will be going to the butcher very shortly and I think that I might even pick up a bag of ice to transport him with.


I will absolutely, ALWAYS, grab some ice to stuff them with from now on; and I like the idea of patting down the inside cavity with some paper towels. Adding them both to my mental checklist now!


And here's a photo of my buck. Like I said, nothing to write home about, but this is my first deer, let alone my first buck! And I couldn't be happier!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's awesome! Congrats man! You'll always remember your first bow kill.


:up:  :up:

“I have always tempered my killing with respect for the game pursued. I see the animal not only as a target, but as a living creature with more freedom than I will ever have. I take that life if I can, with regret as well as joy, and with the sure knowledge that nature’s way of fang and claw and starvation are a far crueler fate than I bestow.” – Fred Bear

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats on your deer!! Get your butchers phone # and call when you get one late in the day. Most of the ones I dealt with would stay there a little late if you were on the way. I luckily found one close to me in PA with a 24 hour drop off in a cooler.

Edited by lefteye

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...