Finally filled a tag..

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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3,537
Great story. Glad it worked out for you.

Sorry, I am no fan of the gutless method. Unless there's a foot of snow on the ground, it will get too dirty/hairy.

Two days ago I jumped a similar buck while bird hunting a BMA piece. Called a local friend whose son was back on leave from the Army but they were already hunting up north. I had Thanksgiving dinner with them last night. "Charlie, you should go get that buck. I can tell you exactly where he'll be." Hunted the same property this afternoon and my Lab found a buck's fresh gut pile a good mile from the road. No bones and hide left in the field. No one drove to it either. Hmm. I know who did this. Tonight I stopped by their house to pick up my cap I'd left yesterday. "Charlie, you shot that buck didn't you." Yeah, how did you know? "You dragged it out. That's what Montanan's do." His dad said "Yep!" I never boned out an animal in the field and I'm sure I never will. Just the way I was raised. It was a different time.

P.S. Charlie is a special forces E-7 so no wimp. I dragged my buck about the same distance a couple weeks ago but snow on the ground was of great assistance.
 

mountainlaurel3

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Feb 14, 2020
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87
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SWCO
Great story. Glad it worked out for you.

Sorry, I am no fan of the gutless method. Unless there's a foot of snow on the ground, it will get too dirty/hairy.

Yeah, gutting and taking it out whole would have been better for cleanliness, but what I really want is an elk, and I'm generally looking for those in places that a drag would be impossible, so was glad to get the experience.


Also, I wanted to hang it for a couple days so didn't start processing in earnest until Friday. Finished about 2AM Saturday morning, and had to leave town a few hours later. Just got home, and found that I left about a pound and a half of plastic-wrapped ground venison in the veggie drawer (had been plastic-wrapping, putting in the fridge until I got a bunch, then freezer paper and into the freezer), so it's been in the fridge for 9 days.

9 day refrigerated venison - toss? Cook well for the dog/cat? Cook and throw on tonight's pasta, and advise my wife to stick with the marinara? Smells fine, looks fine... but 9 days is an awful long time. Would feel terrible to have wasted any by my idiocy...
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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3,537
Yeah, gutting and taking it out whole would have been better for cleanliness, but what I really want is an elk, and I'm generally looking for those in places that a drag would be impossible, so was glad to get the experience.


Also, I wanted to hang it for a couple days so didn't start processing in earnest until Friday. Finished about 2AM Saturday morning, and had to leave town a few hours later. Just got home, and found that I left about a pound and a half of plastic-wrapped ground venison in the veggie drawer (had been plastic-wrapping, putting in the fridge until I got a bunch, then freezer paper and into the freezer), so it's been in the fridge for 9 days.

9 day refrigerated venison - toss? Cook well for the dog/cat? Cook and throw on tonight's pasta, and advise my wife to stick with the marinara? Smells fine, looks fine... but 9 days is an awful long time. Would feel terrible to have wasted any by my idiocy...
You'd know it if it was bad. Smell would tell the tale.

I suppose the gutless method could be practiced on a paved driveway at home. Guts would be gone of course but the rest is just skinning and boning on the ground. Glad you got to practice on something. Not as easy as it looks I'll bet.
 
Last edited:

BZNHNTR

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Apr 25, 2021
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62
Congratulations and great story! As a fellow adult onset hunter I know how much of a challenge it is to get into this lifestyle. My first was also a mule deer buck, in 2007. The prior warnings are true though, 14 years later I now apply in multiple states and go to AK ever other year. The adventures and food, like the wonderful mule deer rouladen I had for dinner, hold my interest far more than other activities. Glad to hear you butcher yourself, it’s part of the experience! Good hunting, enjoy it all!
 

Dsnow9

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Oct 29, 2019
Messages
1,666
Location
Colorado
I dragged deer out for the first 6-7 years I hunted. It sucked. Once I learned gutless and did it well my meat comes out of the woods spotless. Just takes practice. No reason to kill yourself dragging an animal. Most places I go taking an animal out whole is boarder line impossible with one person. And an elk there is no chance. Keep doing what you doing and get that practice. Doe tags are a great way to learn too.
 

Caseknife

Active member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
333
Location
NE Washington
I drug out a buck about 100yds once, sucked.

Great story and you are hooked now for sure, congrats. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to fill the freezer with very organic meat that you know where it came from and how it was taken care of in the field.

What I have done for many years, learned from my dad, we quarter the elk in the hide and then hang them in the trees, hide out, two quarters face to face, and then cover with fir bows. Come back the next day, skin the quarters and sack and then pack out. This only works in the later seasons when the nights get cold, not archery season. Never been a fan of boning out in the field, too much chance for contamination of the meat. Have done the gutless method the last few years, especially out of state when cns matter can't be transported due to CWD. Even when doing gutless, I tend to gut the animal just to make it easier for me to not to unintentionally open the stomach. I know, technically not "gutless", oh well.

Note on how to get proficient with a rifle, get a .22LR bolt rifle and practice, practice, practice from all kinds of positions, short and long.
 

dgc1963

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Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
838
congratz and great story enjoyed reading it with all the ups and downs !
 

OverlordBear

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Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
357
Location
Idaho
Yeah, gutting and taking it out whole would have been better for cleanliness, but what I really want is an elk, and I'm generally looking for those in places that a drag would be impossible, so was glad to get the experience.


Also, I wanted to hang it for a couple days so didn't start processing in earnest until Friday. Finished about 2AM Saturday morning, and had to leave town a few hours later. Just got home, and found that I left about a pound and a half of plastic-wrapped ground venison in the veggie drawer (had been plastic-wrapping, putting in the fridge until I got a bunch, then freezer paper and into the freezer), so it's been in the fridge for 9 days.

9 day refrigerated venison - toss? Cook well for the dog/cat? Cook and throw on tonight's pasta, and advise my wife to stick with the marinara? Smells fine, looks fine... but 9 days is an awful long time. Would feel terrible to have wasted any by my idiocy...
Don’t worry that meat is perfectly safe at that temp I have hung and left meat for 18 days in my fridge and garage and was not worse for wear. If anything 9 days is a perfect age in a temp controlled fridge.
 

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