Posts tagged #butchering

Dealing With Meat Under Varied Conditions, Heat, Aging, Spoilage Prevention

I filled my second deer tag recently and had a carcass to deal with just on the very evening that we entered into a heat wave in late September, with warm nights on top of it.  Fortunatley, I have dealt with this sort of thing enough to know not to panic.  My deer is all in the freezer now and I've been chowing down on delectable venison for days and will be for months to come.  Last night I was chowing down on raw venison that had hung through a warm night with no chilling right after being killed and then through most of a day that reached 103 in the shade, delicious!

For anyone of a homesteady mentality that will be planning to raise and slaughter animals, or who hunts much could probably be helped by this information.  It takes time to build confidence doing this sort of thing and to begin understanding boundaries, but it's great knowledge to have. Everyone used to know this exact type of stuff, because that is what everyone needed to know.  people used to get fresh meat from the butcher and needed to keep it without refrigeration or know how long they had to use it all up before it went bad.  I was looking through a cookbook recently from way back and it had a section on judging meat at the butchers to suss out how fresh it was.  Important skill to have at the time and also now if you choose to put yourself in positions where you need to make due under varied conditions.  I have more to say about this whole subject and things I'd like to expand on or that got missed in the video, but I have to go get ready for rain this weekend.  This video will have to do for now.  It's not a how to kind of thing as much as an expansion of what are probably most people's perceived boundaries regarding this subject.  It is certainly micro-niche information, but very important when you need it.

I also tagged in some neat footage at the end of a couple of yearling bucks play fighting near my house.  Very lucky to have the chance to capture that!

Skinning Deer and Goats for Perfect Hides and Carcasses

I slaughtered a goat a couple of days ago for meat and used the opportunity to make this video on proper skinning.  I've skinned hundreds of animals to develop this simple strategy, which works well for me.  It could be streamlined by anyone with enough practice and experience, but I think the approach is pretty solid.  Yes, some of you aren't as big or strong as I am and may think this method is not possible for you.  It may take quite a bit longer and you may have to do a little more cutting, but don't give up too easy!  You may have to use the knife a little more, but use it only where you really actually have to and do your best to muscle and technique your way through the rest of it.  Get all up in that carcass and use your bodyweight, and you may be surprised at what you can do!  No need to be a purist.  If you have to use a knife, then so be it, but it seriously takes FOREVER to skin an animal carefully with a knife and you will still slip up and cut the skin sometimes. Countless hides are ruined every day due to poor skinning which is by far and away the norm, even when people are well intentioned.  Share this video with those hunters and animal raisers you know to help change that!  Hides are a valuable resource and tanning is an accessible skill for homesteaders and small farmers.  I'm still working on that tanning book, which is going to make it more accessible than it has every been, but this goat was a bit of a distraction among others.  It's almost processed and put away now, just have to render the fat and salt the skin (which may also be videos) and wrap some stuff for the freezer, then I won't have to worry about meat... at least until buck season opens in a couple of weeks.

This approach is somewhat applicable to lambs and sheep as well, and some parts to skinning almost any animal.