What to do with largest Buck Mule Deer of my life

Discussion in 'Wild Game' started by johngalt, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. johngalt

    johngalt Newbie

    My three brothers and I have been putting-in for a limited entry hunt near our cabin for 14 years. We all drew rifle tags this year, and all ended up with 4-pointers. I had the whole deer into a refrigerated room within 24 hours (was only 60F outside), and I skinned and quartered it 3 days later. I wrapped the meat in a clean sheet and put it in my fridge and set the fridge to its coldest setting. It has now been 4 weeks. It's time to do something with the meat. In the past I have cut the tenderloins and backstraps into steaks, and cubed and bottled the rest. Venison meat has always been too dry, stringy, and gamey for my family but bottling it makes it more tender and mild.

    But now I have a smoker. Green Mountain Grills Daniel Boone with wifi. I've been having a lot of fun mostly with turkeys, hamburgers and bratwurst. I am hoping for suggestions on what to do with all this meat other than bottling it.

    I'm considering:
    • Curing it and smoking a hind-quarter as outlined here.
    • Roasting a hind-quarter as shown here. I like the picture by Flash
    • Smoked tenderloin: brined or no? temperature?
    • Smoke the backstrap steaks: Temperature? Cure? Brine?
    I have lots of questions, and am willing to try anything. But I have a limited window of time. Whatever isn't in some stage of preparation in the next week either goes into the freezer or a bottle. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK WOULD BE AWESOME.

    Thanks in advance!

     
  2. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is what I would do with it


    burgers, bulk sausage, jerky (you can make jerky with ground meat)  add 50% pork shoulder to cut the game flavor to almost nothing. Your family wont even know. A heads up. Msg will also cut down the game flavor if you dont mind using it...... A.C Legg has some very good seasonings.......

    Joe
     
  3. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could use some of the roasts to make corned venison or pastrami.  This is an elk roast that I just did and

    it came out great.





     
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  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nice animals. Were they brothers too?
     
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  6. Nice kill. The reason wild animals taste or smell gammy is because of the way they are handled after the kill. You said it was in the cooler within 24 hours and the outside temp was 60°. At that temp the blood is starting to spoil. A cow would have the same bad flavor if it was allowed to remain unrefriderated for that time. Even if it is put in the cooler right after it is killed it takes a long time for that big of a animal to cool down. 

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  7. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great points mule! 
     
  8. johngalt

    johngalt Newbie

    Yeah, I guess that's true. I've always just hung my kill in a tree at camp, but normally I hunt at higher elevations. This deer was killed right before dusk, temperature was 50 when I finished cleaning it, and it got down below 40 degrees that night. It most likely cooled to 40 degrees within a few hours. The following morning I drove it to town to put it in the fridge around 3pm. It would have been above 40 degrees for 4-5 hours, maximum 60 degrees right before it going in the fridge.

    On the plus side, the shot was perfect, not damaging any meat and the deer died quickly before getting all worked up. I hope I handled it quickly enough to be able to enjoy it.
     
  9. The way I handle it is gut as soon as possible (back to spoiling blood). Skin as soon as possible ( a fur coat will keep freezing temperature out for days) Get it in a below 40° as soon as possible. If it is going to be longer than a couple of hours I Quarter it and put in a ice chest filled with ice. Leave the drain open on the cooler because blood does not make a good marinade. If you have a place to hang their is nothing wrong with aging as long as it is cool enough. I never take it to get processed as most places will cut and grind a lot of deer before cleaning their equipment. If the deer before hasn't been handled correctly it gets on yours. Some places don't even give you back your deer. They weigh your deer and lets say it has a field dressed weight of 150 LB then the figure a meat yield of 113 LB so they give you 113 LB of meat and you never know the difference. 

    That is why a lot of people don't like venison or any wild meat. The gamy taste comes from mishandling not from the critter. Also most people over cook wild game.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
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  10. [​IMG]  [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---What David said is true.

    Also it matters how clean a kill it is. If you have to track a deer awhile after shooting, the adrenaline gets pumped, and that affects the flavor of the meat too.

    I once helped a farmer catch 4 Black Angus Steers that broke loose the day before they were supposed to be slaughtered. We chased them on foot for hours, and I roped the last one about 2 miles from where they broke loose. My legs were shredded right through my pants legs from running through the briars & thistles. Then they tied that last one to the back of a tractor to walk it back to the barn. The farmer told me they had to wait  a few days to slaughter them, since the adrenaline was pumped into the meat from the chase. I forget how many days he said, but it was at least 3 days.

    BTW: Obviously I was a lot younger when this happened. If that happened now, I'd just say "Good Luck!---Hope you catch them!"

    Bear
     
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  12. johngalt

    johngalt Newbie

    Did you do a write-up on here of how you made this? It looks INCREDIBLE! I'd be interested in making something like this.
     
  13. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I used the recipe found in Rytek Kutas' book but cut the brine amount in half.
     
  14. looks great bassman, yes for just one piece you would not need to make that much brine. I use his brine also.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  15. kenn1320

    kenn1320 Fire Starter

    Congrats, nice bucks. I've never tried mule deer. Will you use sage brush to smoke them to preserve their natural flavor? j/k of course. 

     I'm shocked by the info above about handling deer after the kill. Took me 1.5hrs to get it out of the woods, another 3hr drive home. That meat was likely going bad before I got home. Do you guys really get them into the cooler that fast? By the sound of it, Id have to quarter them at the car and into an ice cooler before leaving the property. Im not disagreeing with you, since Ive never cut one up or got one on ice as fast as you guys mentioned. To me it all tastes the same, but Id bet 95% of the deer Ive tried have all been handled the same way(not your way). 
     
  16. Yes I get them cooled that fast. Yes I hunt in a remote area, You can put a unskinned deer in a freezer and it will take days to cool to a safe temp. By then it is buzzard food. 

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---Agree----That's why we always like it good & cold during Deer season. We normally stayed at our cabin for a few days, and what was killed the first day got gutted & cleaned up & hung in a tree outside the cabin until we headed home. Never noticed any going bad, but I have to repeat that a quick kill is important. If you have to track a deer any distance, the meat just isn't the same, once the adrenalin gets flowing.

    Bear
     
  18. kenn1320

    kenn1320 Fire Starter

    Something you mentioned I overlooked the first time. I deboned a deer(due to transporting across state line rules) and didnt bag it or leave the drain open. I thought being in ice water would ensure it was all being cooled. The meat turned white and when I got it to the butcher he said it was bad. He said you cant leave meat soaking in water like that. Hope others can learn from my mistake.
     
  19. I hate it for you.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We always hung our Deer up at home & hosed the inside out to get rid of hair, leaves, & such. Our butchers used to tell us not to do that, but we still did, if we had the chance.

    Soaking gets blood out & turns it pale pink---Not good.

    Bear
     

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