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Deer, Moose, Elk, Caribou, Antelope:
Get the cleanest kill possible, head or neck is best, heart would be second choice. Bleed carcass immediately after the kill, place on a slope with head facing downhill for best drainage. Keep carcass as cool as possible before, during, and after dressing and skinning. While in the process of dressing be careful not to let the contents of the bladder or intestines come into contact with the meat. If you remove the musk gland from the hind 1/4 don't let the secretion get on your hands, knife, or meat. When skinning don't let the hairs from the musk gland come into contact with the meat. When dressed, wash the inside cavity out thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry. When dressed, clean, and dry, store in a well vented game bag or wrapped well in cheese cloth. When you skin the animal remove any hair from the carcass before it dries. Carcass should be hung in a cold locker at least 10 days to acquire the best taste. If you skin the carcass after it has aged the meat will be moister and will not turn dark. When preparing for the freezer, wrap first in saran wrap, then freezer paper, this will prevent some of the freezer burn after long storage.
Duck, Goose, Turkey, Pheasant:
Shoot your birds at a distance that will not tear up the meat but obtain a clean kill. Clean and dress your birds as soon as possible after the kill. Some people like to take the easy way out by skinning instead of plucking, the bird will be much more juicy and flavorful if you leave the skin on. For easier removal (not recommended by me) place the bird in scalding water for about 30 seconds, then remove feathers. Pull the feathers out in the direction they grow to prevent the skin from tearing. The smaller pinfeathers can be removed singeing them off with a torch or holding over the flame of your stove. When dressing be careful not to break the gall bag attached to the liver. Save the liver, heart, gizzard, and neck for broth or an extra treat. Soak birds overnight in a non metallic container with a mixture of 1 gallon water, 1/4 cup salt, and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Larger, older birds can be parboiled to tenderize. To parboil place in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt, cover and boil until tender, be careful not to overcook. If you are going to store in the freezer for any length of time it is best to piece the bird out and freeze in a plastic container filled with water with a tightly sealed lid.
Chuckar,Grouse, Quail, Dove, Partridge, Pigeon
Shoot your birds at a distance that will not tear up the meat but obtain a clean kill. Clean and dress your birds as soon as possible after the kill. Some people like to take the easy way out by skinning instead of plucking, the bird will be much more juicy and flavorful if you leave the skin on. If you are going to store in the freezer for any length of time it is best to freeze in a plastic container filled with water with a tightly sealed lid.
Shoot your birds at a distance that will not tear up the meat but obtain a clean kill. Clean and dress your birds as soon as possible after the kill. Clean, and cut out the breast, discard the rest of the bird. Soak breasts overnight in a non metallic container with a mixture of 1 gallon water, 1/4 cup salt, and 1 teaspoon garlic juice. If you are going to store in the freezer for any length of time it is best to freeze in a plastic container filled with water with a tightly sealed lid.
Keep your turtle alive until you are ready to dress him out. Pull the head out of the shell with a pair of pliers then cut off with a sharp knife. Hang the turtle by his tail or rear legs to bleed for 45 minutes. Prepare a pot of boiling water large enough to accommodate the turtle, dip turtle and boil for at least 5 minutes, remove and let cool. Remove shell and guts, be careful not to rupture the gall bag. Skin the neck, legs, and tail. Place meat in 1 gallon water with 2 tablespoons baking soda and 4 tablespoons salt, refrigerate overnight before preparing.
As always start with a clean kill to the head. Possum are best when taken in the winter months. Cut the jugular vein and hang by tail immediately after the kill. Keep cool until ready to dress. Scald in boiling water with 1/2 cup lime until the hair has loosened, "about 30 seconds." With a trowel or large dull knife, scrape the hair from the carcass. Remove musk glands from under front legs, gut, remove head, tail, and feet, rinse well. In a non metallic container mix 2 gallons water with 5 tablespoons baking soda and 1/2 cup salt. Completely submerge possum in brine, refrigerate overnight. If you are going to store in the freezer for any length of time it is best to freeze in a plastic container filled with water with a tightly sealed lid.
How to Field Dress a Bear
Bleed The Animal
A heart-lung shot usually provides adequate bleeding. However, to ensure bleeding, insert a sharp knife into the shallow cavity at the base of the throat and slice across the main blood vessels with a wide and deep, crosswise cut. This opens the jugular veins that run from the heart to the head. Since the animal is dead, blood flow is by gravity. Allow the blood to flow away from the animal, clearing the ground when necessary.
Preparatory Skin Cuts, Throat to Anus
Starting at the breastbone, just below the rib cage, use a sharp knife cutting the skin in a straight line to the neck and base of the jaw. Complete the process by cutting through the muscles to the bone of the ribcage and higher, exposing the windpipe and gullet.
Cut the skin from the base of the ribs downward over the middle of the belly, in a straight line, to the anus, taking care to cut around the genitals slightly. The genitals must be left on one hind quarter in Ontario, for sex identification. Once these cuts are done, prepare to eviscerate the animal.
Break the Breastbone
With the breastbone exposed, use two axes to cut through the breastbone. Use your sharpest axe as the cutting tool, the second as a hammer, driving the cutter from the base of the ribcage, up the middle of the breastbone, through the top ribs. As the cut enlarges, pull the front legs apart opening the chest cavity.
Sever the Wind Pipe and Gullet from the Head
With the chest cavity open, sever the windpipe and gullet as close to the head as possible, pulling it clear of the carcass, cutting where necessary. When free of the neck, lay in the chest cavity.
Open the Abdomen to the Anus
With the chest spread open, and the neck area clean, move to opening the abdomen. From the base of the ribcage, carefully cut through the abdominal muscles, exposing the stomach and intestines, without puncturing them. Have your partners spread the abdomen to open the area for easy work.
As you approach the pelvic area, take precautions to avoid cutting the bladder. Cut through the muscles to the pelvic bone, exposing it for the next procedure.
Split the Pelvic Bone
Starting at the top of the pelvis (closest to the abdomen), using the two axe method described above, split the pelvic bone, taking care to stay clear of the genitals. Avoid cutting the urinary tract, which could release urine, tainting the meat.
Cut the Diaphragm from the Cavity Wall
This procedure is one that requires patience and care. You must start at on side of the chest cavity near the base of the ribs cutting the diaphragm at the chest cavity wall. As you move deeper into the cavity, you may need help from a few hands to pull the organs to one side so that you have rooms to see and cut. Cut as far back along the cavity wall as is possible. Switch to the other side of the chest cavity, repeating the actions. Most likely, some of the diaphragm will remain attached. Leave the remainder for later.
Free the Anus and Bladder
The most important procedure is the separation of the anus from the carcass and the pelvic area. Extreme care must be taken not to cut the intestines and the urinary tract, which could taint the meat. At the opened pelvic bone, use a sharp knife to make cuts to free the large intestine and rectum from the pelvic area. Extra hands are helpful to pull the organs to one side or the other to clear the working area. Proceed until working in this area until the rectum meets the muscle tissue near the anus.
At the base of the tail, use a sharp knife to cut a circle the skin about one or two inches from the anus. Once completed, use the knife to cut through the muscle tissue to the inside of the pelvic bone, towards the top of the pelvic bone, to free the anus and rectum. At times, you may have to work both from the anus area and from the opening of the split pelvis to free the organs. Once free, pull and hold the anus, rectum and lower intestine free of the cavity
Roll Out The Abdominal Organs with Anus Attached
With the Anus and Rectum free and held clear, slightly roll the carcass to the lower ground, and allow the intestines and the stomach to fall to the prepared ground.
Remove the Neck and Chest Cavity Organs
Grasp the windpipe from the chest cavity, and pull the heart and lungs out toward the entrails on the ground. Cut the remaining tissue holding the diaphragm to the back of the chest wall freeing the organs from the carcass. Allow any blood to flow from the cavity. Roll the carcass to drain as much blood as possible.
Clean the Body Cavity
Now that the body cavity is clear of organs, use absorbent material to wipe it clean. This can be cloth rags you have prepared in your hunting pack, or clean grass, moss, or leaves at the site. Avoid using water in the process, which may contain soil or bacteria which could lead to spoiling you meat. A carcass cavity wiped of blood this way will seal the meat with a thin film of body fluids that dry quickly. Using water dilutes this fluid, and introduces unnecessary microbes and creates an environment for bacterial growth.
Prepare the Carcass for Cooling, Quartering, or Transport
Repeating the introductory note at the beginning, cooling the carcass is a first priority. Depending or the time available to you, and the weather conditions you may decide to move directly to transporting your animal whole, quartering, it for transport, or leaving it to cool some hours. Quartering and transport is covered later. Here, the focus is preparation for cooling, should you decide to leave the carcass for some hours.
The assumption is that the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Should the temperature be higher, seriously consider transporting your meat to your camp or butchering facility for hanging and cooling immediately.
Depending on the size of the animal, cooling can present you with several problems. A large animal cools more slowly than a small animal, because the mass involved and the surface area of the animal. A rabbit cools in minutes, a moose, in hours.
Efficient cooling is a matter of air circulation, a transfer of heat from the surfaces of the carcass to the air, and away. Leaving the animal in a heap risks meat spoilage, in violation of most provincial and state game regulation. Attempt to provide as much air flow around and through the carcass as is humanly possible. The most effective strategy is hanging a quartered carcass, thereby increasing surface area and air circulation to a maximum.
The next best approach is hanging the entire animal. This may not be possible, depending on the help, materials and tools available at the field dressing site. Failing these first two methods, the next alternative is to provide free air circulation between the ground and the carcass, laying on its back, the body cavity open but protected from possible rain or snow.
Provide air circulation by placing the carcass (with a moose, rolling the carcass) on logs or some similar supporting material. Ensure free air circulation by providing several supports along the backbone area, so that the animal is indeed off the ground. Ensure it will not roll by tying off the legs to surrounding trees or other anchors. If direct sun, rain or snow is a high, probability protect the moose by placing a framework of spruce, balsam or pine boughs above the carcass, leaving at least six inches of free space for air travel.
At lower temperatures, if the next hours are not expected to be warmer and when snow is on the ground, it may not be necessary to lift the animal. Only after you have made provisions for cooling can you take some time to rest and celebrate in what can be called recreational celebration.
Additional Notes and Generalizations
A small field saw, such as the Browning Folding Saw might be used for splitting the pelvic bone and the breastbone.
For animals that are smaller than the moose, for example deer and bear, the breastbone and the pelvic bone might be able to be split with the knife alone. Any sharp quality hunting knife with a five to seven inch blade is adequate for moose, as well as smaller game.
Effective hunting axes are those with a sharp two and one-half pound head, with handles 24 to 26 inches in length.
Four 15 foot lengths of 3/8 inch ropes allow stabilizing and tying off the legs while field dressing or carrying quarters.
DEER CORDON BLEU
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. deer loin or round (1/4 inch thick)
1/2 lb. ham (thin sliced)
1/2 lb. shredded cheese (Swiss, American or Cheddar)
1 c. flour
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Pound deer with meat mallet until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut tenderized meat into 5 or 6 inch squares. Cut ham slices to fit inside edges of deer meat. Put about 2 tablespoons cheese on ham. Roll deer (keeping ham and cheese inside). Fold in edges of deer while rolling to seal cheese.
Make a batter by mixing the flour, milk, egg, salt and pepper. Beat until smooth. Dip rolls in batter. Coat with cracker crumbs. Deep fry at 365 to 370 degrees until golden brown. Drain on a rack.
Deer and Sausage
1 lb. ground deer
1 lb. sausage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 c. water
2 c. cornmeal
2 c. milk
In a large skillet heat sausage over low heat breaking it apart with spoon or spatula. Add ground deer and seasonings. Stir. Break up ground deer and sausage until meat is in small pieces, do not fry meat! Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sausage and deer are done. Stir in milk.
Over medium heat, add cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly. Bring just to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until thick. Pour into greased loaf pan, chill until firm. Slice into 1/4 or 1/2 inch slices. Dredge in cornmeal. Fry over medium heat in bacon grease or cooking oil until lightly browned on both sides.
Originally posted by ANNED
Learn how to smoke meat.
In a survival situation smoking meat may be the only way to preserve the meat.
In some areas drying does not work and the meat will spoil before in dries. wet climates.
Smoking will work just about anyplace.