Proper Meat Care for Antelope

WyoDoug

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If push comes to shove a warden or other LEO can simply ask you to take him/her to the gut pile.
True but not worth the hassle. It's easier to avoid any question or doubt by leaving evidence of sex/species especially with deer where you have mulies and whitetail both open to hunting or in the area. A lot of that is if you come off as less than honest, you get hassled more. Most of Wyoming's wardens are really courteous and great people. But as with any outfit, there are always the jerks. Antelope in my case does not matter that much. I drew a Type 1 any antelope, and two type 8 doe/fawn tags. There I will leave evidence of sex attached to the two type 8, just because the military security forces and range officers on base are stickier than the state game wardens are and ask for that when you do your little class you have to do to hunt on base.
 

antelopedundee

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True but not worth the hassle. It's easier to avoid any question or doubt by leaving evidence of sex/species especially with deer where you have mulies and whitetail both open to hunting or in the area. A lot of that is if you come off as less than honest, you get hassled more. Most of Wyoming's wardens are really courteous and great people. But as with any outfit, there are always the jerks. Antelope in my case does not matter that much. I drew a Type 1 any antelope, and two type 8 doe/fawn tags. There I will leave evidence of sex attached to the two type 8, just because the military security forces and range officers on base are stickier than the state game wardens are and ask for that when you do your little class you have to do to hunt on base.
How hard is it to get permission to hunt on WAFB?
 

Toban204

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I usually hold off until the middle of October before hunting my lopes. I pick my processors close to my areas, kill them in the morning, gut them and straight to the butcher.
In your experience what’s the typical turn-around time on having an antelope processed by a butcher? I’m going to be hunting close to Casper WY, then driving out of state.
 

CORN

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I pick my processors close to my areas, kill them in the morning, gut them and straight to the butcher.
Risk you're taking there is that your processor may not return your meat to you. I've heard plenty of stories of processors who take the animals in back, stack em up and go through them one at a time, and you just end up with someone else's antelope or deer.
 

thusby

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In your experience what’s the typical turn-around time on having an antelope processed by a butcher? I’m going to be hunting close to Casper WY, then driving out of state.
Most processors can turn your animal around in a day for an extra fee. Normally, if you can wait 2 days they will get your critter back without a fee. If you wait until October before the deer season starts they are usually not so busy.
 

thusby

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Risk you're taking there is that your processor may not return your meat to you. I've heard plenty of stories of processors who take the animals in back, stack em up and go through them one at a time, and you just end up with someone else's antelope or deer.
It pays to do your homework before you bring in your animal. I will typically visit the butcher and have a beer with the guy while going over his process. I have been to some places that were terrible and some that were top notch.
 

TheDudeAbides

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I seen Randy stress this in his videos yet I see hunters carrying a freshly harvested antelope around in the backs of their pickups. Antelope that has been resting has a high internal body temperature of 101.84 degrees Farenheight. That temperature rises when they are running. Antelope have the ability to raise and lower temperature by raising and lowering the hairs on their bodies. So those temperatures are very damaging to the meat on a carcass being carried in a pickup bed.

Antelope really should be quartered and/or deboned and the meat put in coolers full of ice. You really want to cool antelope immediately. Get the hide off as fast as possible, quarter it out and get it cooled. I use large cookers full of soda bottles that I filled full of water and froze. Place the ice on top of the meat with the drain plug open. Those of you who wondered why your antelope tastes so strong, this is usually why.

The other reason antelope tastes strong is when they are running, a hormone called epinephrine, commonly known as Adrenalin is secreted into antelope blood and helps to increase blood flow and oxygen retention. This is why antelope can run for such long distances. I prefer to shoot a rested antelope. I will never shoot an antelope that has been run hard. Just my preference. I like to ambush antelope in their bed. Some call that not sporty. I call that smart hunting because the meat is relatively cooler and not so much Adrenalin is secreted into the blood.

But most critical thing beginning and novice antelope hunters overlook is cooling the meat as quickly as possible by removing the skin and getting the meat into coolers with ice as quickly as possible. Do that and you have little to no gamey taste as long as you also remove the glands and fat when you do the butchering.
If an antelope is in the back of a pick up gutted out, then it isn't as big of deal as if the guts are in.

It also depends on your distance of travel. If you are 5 minutes from town, then it is not a huge deal. If you are 2 hours from town, then it is huge deal.

I do think that more people need to try hunting antelope on foot. They are a ton of fun trying to stalk in the open ground via bipedal locomotion.

I would caution anyone "getting the hide off as fast as possible" from doing so, because the hairs from antelope are easy to pull out and get literally everywhere.

It would be better to get the guts out and take your time taking the hide out to mitigate the amount of hairs that get onto the meat.

If you take the guts out first, then the meat starts to cool. While you work.

Last year, my antelope was shot 3 miles from the truck and was not cooled with ice for a few hours and turned out fine.

I gutted it and took my time quartering it to pack it out.

Like I said, the hair is my biggest issue and I would take my time to avoid getting the hair as much as possible on the meat.
 

wytex

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Online advice can get you in trouble but the above is more or less correct. Nothing in the regs says antlers or proof of sex or species has to be attached to the meat. Always read your game and fish brochure and regs for this kind of information. I leave proof of sex and species attached to the meat, just because I know by experience, some game wardens can be fussy and give you a hassle or two. Easier to just make it plainly obvious and leave it attached where you can. Below is a cut and paste directly out of the 2019 Elk, Deer, and Antelope Brochure:

Retention of Evidence to Identify Sex, Species and Horn or Antler Development of Big Game Animal Harvested.

Any person who takes any big game animal in a hunt area where the taking of either sex, species, or antler or horn development is controlled or prohibited by regulation shall comply with this section while said animal is in transportation from the site of the kill to the residence of the person taking the animal, or delivered to a processor for processing.

(a) In hunt areas where the taking of any big game animal is restricted to antler point or horn size by regulation, the antlers or horns shall accompany the carcass, or edible portions thereof.

(b) In hunt areas where the ached to an edibke portion of meatof any big game animal is restricted to a specific sex of animal by regulation, either the visible external sex organs, head or antlers shall accompany the carcass, or edible portions thereof.

(c) In hunt areas where the taking of a species of deer is controlled or prohibited by regulation, either the head or the tail of the deer shall accompany the carcass or edible portion thereof as evidence of the species taken.
GW in Wyoming are well aware of the law change that doe not require evidence of sex to be naturally attached to an edible portion of meat. Make sure you have the sex evidence in a baggie with a quarter in the cooler . Keep the head with the meat coolers.
 

WyoDoug

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If an antelope is in the back of a pick up gutted out, then it isn't as big of deal as if the guts are in.

It also depends on your distance of travel. If you are 5 minutes from town, then it is not a huge deal. If you are 2 hours from town, then it is huge deal.

I do think that more people need to try hunting antelope on foot. They are a ton of fun trying to stalk in the open ground via bipedal locomotion.

I would caution anyone "getting the hide off as fast as possible" from doing so, because the hairs from antelope are easy to pull out and get literally everywhere.

It would be better to get the guts out and take your time taking the hide out to mitigate the amount of hairs that get onto the meat.

If you take the guts out first, then the meat starts to cool. While you work.

Last year, my antelope was shot 3 miles from the truck and was not cooled with ice for a few hours and turned out fine.

I gutted it and took my time quartering it to pack it out.

Like I said, the hair is my biggest issue and I would take my time to avoid getting the hair as much as possible on the meat.
It's a bigger deal than you think. Skin on there are ensymes that begin breaking the meat down and oils that leach from the skin into the meat. The meat I got sick on was someone's antelope that was gutted but carried in the back of the pickup for a couple hours in 80 degree weather. The hotter the meat is the faster the bacteria will contaminate. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital due to meat that was contaminated this way.

What I think I got sick from is the guy I was hunting with had flies on the carcass and no game backs over it to keep the flies off. Flies are the source of many meat borne illnesses.
 
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wytex

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Hey WyoDoug wonder how much the antelope will enjoy the airshow coming up ? Being over the base it may move them around a bit .

Temps are the key I believe in whether you need to get an antelope skinned out asap or not. If it's warm, get it skinned and quartered in the cooler. On a nice cool day a gutted animal is fine in the back of a truck if it gets some air moving around it. Prop open the chest cavity and don't put warm animals right next to each other. Even on a cool enough day we put an ice jug in the chest cavity and make sure of air circulation around the carcass.
After enduring an illness like you did WyoDoug I don't blame you at all for imploring proper meat handling.
 

WyoDoug

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@wytex: There is an air base and an airport nearby. They are used to planes in the sky and don't seem to react. I-25 runs along the east side and I-80 runs close to the south side of the base, so traffic don't bother them. They don't seem to react to people walking on the roads but if you try to approach them close enough for archery, they tend to run off. Thinkin that is why they don't allow rifle hunting on base. I do not take longer than 50 yard shots for archery. That's just my range for kill shots. But last year I went with someone and we were able to basically low crawl within 20 yards of a nice buck and my friend got him.
 

wytex

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Yep, I know well where the base is but the Thunderbirds will be a different kind of overhead flight for the animals.

Used to see some really nice bucks on the golf course, when I played there. They seemed to not be bothered by golfers either, funny how they know the difference. Good luck with 'em this fall.
 

WyoDoug

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Yep, I know well where the base is but the Thunderbirds will be a different kind of overhead flight for the animals.

Used to see some really nice bucks on the golf course, when I played there. They seemed to not be bothered by golfers either, funny how they know the difference. Good luck with 'em this fall.
I used to watch antelope during Cheyenne Frontier Days. It don't seem to bother them. They just look in the direction the sound is coming from and go on with their business.
 

TheDudeAbides

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It's a bigger deal than you think. Skin on there are ensymes that begin breaking the meat down and oils that leach from the skin into the meat. The meat I got sick on was someone's antelope that was gutted but carried in the back of the pickup for a couple hours in 80 degree weather. The hotter the meat is the faster the bacteria will contaminate. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital due to meat that was contaminated this way.

What I think I got sick from is the guy I was hunting with had flies on the carcass and no game backs over it to keep the flies off. Flies are the source of many meat borne illnesses.
Anecdote - I have killed 9 antelope in the last 3 years and the biggest issue is the hair. The buck last year was 3 miles from the truck and the ice. The meat turned out just fine. I have transported gutted doe antelope in the truck to an area to hang them to finish the job and have had no issue.

Yeah, the flies on the meat were the bigger issue than leaving the skin on.

Most of the bacteria in animals (and humans) is in the colon area.

Taking care not to slice the guts and the colon should be a priority over getting the skin off in processing any animal.
 

jtm307

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I like to just hang my antelope from their heads in a tree until the body snaps off at the neck. When the neck breaks from the weight you know the meat is aged just right. Haven't had a bad one yet. Like eating sushi.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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...This post comes from a video I saw where a Texas hunter...
And to think this whole thing could've been avoided by not watching videos of hunters from Texas...I mean you can probably find a guy on youtube eating a car.

Honestly no offense to our handful of reputable HT Texans.
 

3855WIN

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In your experience what’s the typical turn-around time on having an antelope processed by a butcher? I’m going to be hunting close to Casper WY, then driving out of state.
We dropped our antelope off in Casper, went fishing and picked them up two days later.
 
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