The Trenches

BlakeA

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i do feel bad. I think it was just kinda forgotten by both parties (my wife and I) that actually shooting an animal while hunting practically doubles the time commitment. we were okay with me going hunting for 4 total days and it was understood that my wife was the only one taking care of baby, but shooting an animal kinda turns it into 8 days when accounting for everything else when you get home.
Why not clean it up and then freeze it for processing at a later date? Same with the euro. Throw it in the freezer and then do it over a weekend this winter. You'll figure out a system that works with the family, hang in there!
 

TOGIE

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Why not clean it up and then freeze it for processing at a later date? Same with the euro. Throw it in the freezer and then do it over a weekend this winter. You'll figure out a system that works with the family, hang in there!

i'd need to buy another freezer. tho i maybe could have gotten one quarter in our current freezer. same with the head, wouldn't fit. figured i might as well just try and get everything done.

we almost went to buy another. but with great weather for meat hanging i guess there's no time like the present. like most things in life it seems, there's never a good time.
 

wllm

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but shooting an animal kinda turns it into 8 days when accounting for everything else when you get home.
Totally.

This + living in small apartments has shaped a lot of my meat and skull cleaning habits.

Typically I bone out everything completely in the field, I don't have the space/time to deal with bones and hide once I get home. I just want clean coolers of meat.
Once I get home, I typically get all my steaks and roasts separated from what I know will be grind. This is a fairly quick process as I'm not removing silver skin and/or wrapping anything. Sometimes this happens at the car.

Either on the way home or the next morning on the way to work, etc. all the grind goes to the processor.
I then cut and wrap steaks and roasts during the week. Usually steaks just get cling wrap and butcher paper. It's waaaaay faster then the vacuum seal IMHO and actually survives in the freezer better.
Roasts get vacuum sealed as those I often sous vide.

In the field I skin out the skull completely and remove the lower jaw, eyes, etc. saves and tone of weight and then is ready to go when you get home.

This all takes waaaay more time in the field but saves you time on the back end when you have other responsibilities. I think @GrantK said he get an elk ready to pack out in 1hr -90min... usually takes me like 2-3 hours.

Not sure how you're cleaning your skull but my sous vide method is great if your busy. You don't need to monitor it, and it's not going to screw it up if you cook it for an additional 24 hours as long as your turn down the temp.

When I get home from a typical elk/hunt, I usually drop all my gear in the garage, trim the meat and get the head going that night. Toss all the meat to cut in the fridge, depending on the the processor I cram all the grind in a bag and put it in the freezer. Over the course of the week I cut steaks in short goes when I have time, and then deal with the head when I have a moment to go to the car wash.

I'm pretty regimented about it and it drives my bachelor friends nuts because they don't see the point.
 

BlakeA

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i'd need to buy another freezer. tho i maybe could have gotten one quarter in our current freezer. same with the head, wouldn't fit. figured i might as well just try and get everything done.

we almost went to buy another. but with great weather for meat hanging i guess there's no time like the present. like most things in life it seems, there's never a good time.
Yeah having a good size freezer is a must. I like to clean everything and then plan on a weekend over the winter to process and a different weekend to do euros. I typically do my cleaning after everyone is in bed so I'm not taking time away from family and helping with bed time. Might have less sleep for a few nights but it's worth it. It's tough but you'll figure out what works for you guys going into next year!
 

TOGIE

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Totally.

This + living in small apartments has shaped a lot of my meat and skull cleaning habits.

Typically I bone out everything completely in the field, I don't have the space/time to deal with bones and hide once I get home. I just want clean coolers of meat.
Once I get home, I typically get all my steaks and roasts separated from what I know will be grind. This is a fairly quick process as I'm not removing silver skin and/or wrapping anything. Sometimes this happens at the car.

Either on the way home or the next morning on the way to work, etc. all the grind goes to the processor.
I then cut and wrap steaks and roasts during the week. Usually steaks just get cling wrap and butcher paper. It's waaaaay faster then the vacuum seal IMHO and actually survives in the freezer better.
Roasts get vacuum sealed as those I often sous vide.

In the field I skin out the skull completely and remove the lower jaw, eyes, etc. saves and tone of weight and then is ready to go when you get home.

This all takes waaaay more time in the field but saves you time on the back end when you have other responsibilities. I think @GrantK said he get an elk ready to pack out in 1hr -90min... usually takes me like 2-3 hours.

Not sure how you're cleaning your skull but my sous vide method is great if your busy. You don't need to monitor it, and it's not going to screw it up if you cook it for an additional 24 hours as long as your turn down the temp.

When I get home from a typical elk/hunt, I usually drop all my gear in the garage, trim the meat and get the head going that night. Toss all the meat to cut in the fridge, depending on the the processor I cram all the grind in a bag and put it in the freezer. Over the course of the week I cut steaks in short goes when I have time, and then deal with the head when I have a moment to go to the car wash.

I'm pretty regimented about it and it drives my bachelor friends nuts because they don't see the point.

i'm gonna need to force myself to change habits perhaps.

maybe first and foremost i might need to accept that i need to be okay with using processors. as i mentioned i was about to drop this deer off due to all these time issues and having a baby. they told me they were full. i didn't even really look for another, i just broke out the folding table and got to work. i was almost looking for any little excuse not to use a processor. i currently trust a full fledged zero processors and absolutely not a fan of using taxidermists for euros.

then, i want the bones, i want it all, i hate the idea of leaving behind the bones. then i didn't want to do the long sous vide because i'm in the office today and tomorrow, i didn't want to leave it up to my wife to be having to add water to that throughout the day. i guess i really just need to spend some time picking up some better buckets and materials for better seals, but of course i didnt' have time for that right now, use what i have.

put foot out and shoot with gun i guess.

last year and this year i've started playing with high heat sous vide, like 200 for 1.5 to 2 hours to just decimate the first round of gunk. there's a part of me that just wants all of it done more quickly and not having to think about anymore. even a long low temp low maintenance sous vide seems to really keep me thinking and concerned about it.
 

wllm

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then, i want the bones, i want it all, i hate the idea of leaving behind the bones.
You and my buddy in AK... no way I'm ever doing anything with bones.

"Too much messin"

As far as the sous vide goes... yeah getting a good lid/wrap job with clingy rap is important to deal with water loss, also remember the rate of evaporation increases as you raise the temperature. Low and slow requires you to add far less water. 135F v 200F
1669050442010.png
 

neffa3

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i'm gonna need to force myself to change habits perhaps.

maybe first and foremost i might need to accept that i need to be okay with using processors.
No, don't go over to the dark side, just struggle through it! wallow a while. I can remember taking over a week to process a deer in small little slivers of time in the evenings.
 

wllm

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No, don't go over to the dark side, just struggle through it! wallow a while. I can remember taking over a week to process a deer in small little slivers of time in the evenings.
Do you have a grinder and do that part yourself? How much time do you think that adds?
 

woods89

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I'd not go the processor route. There seems to be a high correlation between people who think venison is "gamey" ( whatever that means...) and those who use processors.

A huge part of the reward for me is doing my own processing.
 

neffa3

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I'd not go the processor route. There seems to be a high correlation between people who think venison is "gamey" ( whatever that means...) and those who use processors.

A huge part of the reward for me is doing my own processing.
1,000,000%

When that critter hits the tailgate you and 1/2 through the process. IMO if you want to honor the kill, you need to process and cook it, serve it to your friends, take the pride from start to finish.
 

TOGIE

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I'd not go the processor route. There seems to be a high correlation between people who think venison is "gamey" ( whatever that means...) and those who use processors.

A huge part of the reward for me is doing my own processing.

No, don't go over to the dark side, just struggle through it! wallow a while. I can remember taking over a week to process a deer in small little slivers of time in the evenings.

i mean yes i absolutely agree. there's a reason i used a processor like twice and promptly swore off of them. i've now processed 8 animals myself.

only animals i've ever personally shot that tasted pretty weird were done by processors. it's an expensive way to ruin hard won wild game. but man sometimes you just look at your schedule after a hunt and think "it'll be okay this one time"

i also find grinding to be one of the most enjoyable parts of processing. i cube it all while processing and freeze it up for when i have time later. really a pretty quick process over all if you're just making hamburger meat. and i even have a pretty cheapo grinder.
 

neffa3

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i mean yes i absolutely agree. there's a reason i used a processor like twice and promptly swore off of them. i've now processed 8 animals myself.

only animals i've ever personally shot that tasted pretty weird were done by processors. it's an expensive way to ruin hard won wild game. but man sometimes you just look at your schedule after a hunt and think "it'll be okay this one time"

i also find grinding to be one of the most enjoyable parts of processing. i cube it all while processing and freeze it up for when i have time later. really a pretty quick process over all if you're just making hamburger meat. and i even have a pretty cheapo grinder.
If you get another freezer, you can always freeze it whole until you have time. I've done that several times in the past.
 

TOGIE

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If you get another freezer, you can always freeze it whole until you have time. I've done that several times in the past.

we almost drove to home depot last thursday to do just that. but then i just figured i can do this before monday plus it's cold enough to hang and why spend 400 bucks if you don't absolutley have to.

given the breast milk situation, some wild game from last year, and my inability to not buy ribs and pork butts whenever on sale we kinda need to buy a second garage freezer anyway tho.

frick i forgot, i could easily be shooting an elk in december. might be buying another freezer after all.
 

neffa3

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we almost drove to home depot last thursday to do just that. but then i just figured i can do this before monday plus it's cold enough to hang and why spend 400 bucks if you don't absolutley have to.

given the breast milk situation, some wild game from last year, and my inability to not buy ribs and pork butts whenever on sale we kinda need to buy a second garage freezer anyway tho.

frick i forgot, i could easily be shooting an elk in december. might be buying another freezer after all.
craigslist used standup. Look for ancient, like as older than you. If it's still running it'll likely keep running, and you can get them for dirt cheap. Only issue is that they feel like they're made of lead, and do use quite a bit more energy than a new chest freezer will.
 

woods89

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craigslist used standup. Look for ancient, like as older than you. If it's still running it'll likely keep running, and you can get them for dirt cheap. Only issue is that they feel like they're made of lead, and do use quite a bit more energy than a new chest freezer will.
When my wife's grandparents moved into assisted living, their 2 freezers became available. One was recent vintage and one was over 50 years old. My wife's brother wanted the newer one, and we took the old one. Guess which one has been replaced already.

That thing makes some noise, and has to be defrosted occasionally, but it just keeps on running. How many stand up freezers sold currently are going to still be working in 50 years?

My biggest concern is finding parts if something goes out.
 

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