Skip to comments.At Penn State, a meaty topic for students
Posted on 12/02/2007 5:26:42 PM PST by Kid Shelleen
The dead deer's innards are exposed by a perfect neck-to-belly incision. It's time for Dave Wolfgang's students to dig in. "Who would like to take the hearts and lungs out?" the Pennsylvania State University veterinary professor asks four volunteers wearing aprons and heavy-duty rubber gloves.
Venison 101 class isn't for the faint of heart.
For $99, a deer hunter, a cook, or the just plain curious can spend a day at Penn State's meat laboratory to learn the ins and outs of what to do with a prized carcass
(Excerpt) Read more at philly.com ...
Hmm. I would attend that class.
I’d take that class too.
(Some families have deer heart stew for supper the day a deer is killed. Once I went to donate blood and the tech told me I had too much iron in my blood. I told her that’s because I cook a lot of venison in my cast iron dutch oven, so I always get plenty of iron both from the venison and from the cast iron.)
Last time I went to a hunting camp, the teenagers took care of doing the butchering.
We adults set back and watched. It was our turn to watch after our years of doing the grunt work.
I love it myself.;)
Sign me up!
Good for PSU - doing something that you didn’t learn at Dad’s knee - so to speak.
Butchering a 300 lb hog, now man, that’s work.
The part everybody REALLY needs to know how to do is to field dress promptly, thoroughly, and in a sanitary way. The deer process man can't do a thing with venison that wasn't field dressed correctly and right away. Best venison I ever ate was shot, carried back into deer camp on the spare tire of my Land Cruiser, and dressed out within 15 minutes.
Two essential tools: a short-bladed folding knife, around 3 1/2 to 4", and a spool of dental floss. A hoist and a clean water source are nice too. (Our deer camp had a concrete pad with a block and tackle, and a hose with a nozzle nearby.)
And writing about it for the Philadelphia Inquirer isn't for some city boy who thinks meat comes from the cold counter at Safeway!
I learned on the job with bare hands!
Just wash your hands afterwards, for heaven's sake! (I mean, what is all the fuss about? It's just guts. We all have them.)
“and a spool of dental floss.” ?
What do you do with that? Clean their teeth or yours?
Gloves do get in the way, but if you are doing many at a time, it’s that or badly chapped hands. I boned out and packaged 7 deer in six days a couple weeks ago with gloves and a wrist brace. Lot of work but the meat can’t be beat!
***Butchering a 300 lb hog, now man, thats work.***
Been there. Done that. Hogs, cattle, way too many live chickens..ect.
Way back in the early 1970’s a local “back to the earth” group had to bring in “teacher” to show the hippies how to cut up a store bought chicken.
I never shot that many, we just hunt on a friend’s land. We’re lucky to get one or two, that’s plenty of meat for the freezer anyhow.
Best way to do this is to tie two loops of floss loosely around the esophagus, squeeze it firmly between the two loops, and pull them taut. If you can tie a package bow one-handed you can do this too - otherwise get somebody to pull it tight for you. Then you do the exact same thing at the OTHER end. If you haven't gut-shot your deer, this makes a nice neat package and once you clear away the mesentery membrane the digestive tract should wrap up nicely and you can just drop it into a plastic garbage bag.
We were working with a local Scout troop while stationed at Fairchild AFB. Took the young men out on a 3 day campout. Dinner the first nite was on us adults. No breakfast.
For lunch we gave everyone a chicken. A live chicken.
Once they got their heads (and tummy) around that - out came dinner.
Bunny rabbits. (purchased locally and known to be disease free) We actually cut down trees and BURNED them to cook over.
At the end of the camp, the youngsters were very pleased with themselves.
The phones calls started coming in Tuesday - from *horrified* Mommies. The dads were plenty happy and wanted to know when the next camout would be held.......they wanted to come and participate. The Troop gained in size overall.
Platic garbage bag?! NO. Throw the guts back in the woods for the coyotes to eat. Good grief.
Do you have a commercial wrapper or do you use freezer wrap?
I vaccuum seal the meat with a Foodsaver. Greatest boon to frozen food ever. Meat will keep darn near forever without freezer burn. I have messsed up my rotation and found packages of meat 3 years old in my freezer with were just as good as the current year’s. I can’t say enough good things about the pro Foodsaver! The extended family has three freezers full of Michigan bean fed venison. And none of it will have feezer burn.
Just carry a few electricians zip ties. Those little white plastic strips that are self locking. The cops use large zip ties on criminals...
All the guts get left where the deer falls on those I shoot.
I wash the cavity back at the barn before I hang them.
But I wasn't going to drag the guts all the way down through deer camp without a plastic bag. If you want blood and miscellaneous deer parts decorating the ground in front of YOUR cabin, be my guest, but nobody there felt that way.
They did that to my husband's unit in Army Basic.
Fortunately there were plenty of good ol' boys in his unit so the chickens and bunnies were quickly (and mercifully) dispatched.
Dude...you still talking about deer?
Beats tying a slip knot in dental floss with cold wet hands!
I just make sure they're dead and then haul 'em into camp. I guess I'm just an effete suburbanite, but I like dressing out where I have running water and a hoist.
It also heat seals, removes the air, and will last just as long without freezer burn.
I prefer the Michigan corn fed deer and pass up the bean fed ones...lol
Just kidding. I guess the thought of a plastic bag of guts ripening in the dumpster was a little too much for me.
As a side note, our porch dogs don’t go through a bag of Ol’ Roy nearly as fast during deer season. We do however, usually invest in worm medicine a couple of weeks later.
Yes. Its one of my favorite subjects.
Ah, the joys of having two Labs in suburbia . . . they would go NUTS if they encountered a gut pile. And afterwards they would be as sick as, well, dogs.
Have you ever encountered this amazing thread? Dogs in Elk?? I laughed until the dogs came and stared at me.
I use a commercial wrapper but the wrap costs about 1/10 that of the food-saver bags.
You have my attention with the cost savings. What do you mean by commercial wrapper - is that a method your butcher uses? The last time I had a commercial butcher process our meat, at least ten years ago, it didn’t last long before it started to freezer burn. Well, maybe corn fed is better. Just happens my brother mostly grew beans this year :)
Most every meat/deer processor uses them. If you had one poorly wrapped it was because they were rushing and being lazy.
The wrap comes on a huge roll, 18” wide x about 1500’long.
They cost about $30 and one roll will wrap 2 dozen deer.
They are made of stainless steel with a wrapping table, burn wire to cut the wrap, and a heat seal pad.
Fast easy and cheap! The wrappers cost about $150 minus the wrap and will last forever.
Lay the meat on the wrap, fold several times, tuck in the sides, hit the burn wire, put on the heat seal pad and its done with zero waste!
I use mine for everything I freeze.
“You use the dental floss to tie off the top and bottom of the entire digestive tract, t”
I was taught to split the pelvis and cut around the anus so that the whole entrail would pull free of the deer. I never taught of tying the esophogas as it is usually empty.
I also cut off the glands inside the rear knees on a buck as it reduces the gameiness of the meat - skinning quickly does also.
Thanks for the info on a commercial wrapper. My latest FoodSaver is about shot. I’ll google it and see what I can find.
Just ask them to let you see theirs. They likely would sell you the rolls of wrap too. They would just order you an extra roll from the butcher supply co.
The little market down the road from me orders mine for me.
I’ll find the name and website address of the company I ordered the wrapper from and Freepmail it to you when I get time.
they made a class of this? wow, i could give that class in my uncle’s garage every november...FOR FREE! and you can even go on the hunt with us and all the new guys must take a bite out of the heart, SPIRIT OF THE DEER!
Stay away from industrial magnets!
Hell, I could teach that class.
Cute cute cute.
One of my sisters was diagnosed to be anemic and I told her she should start cooking on cast iron.
They say if you cook tomato-based sauces in cast iron some of the iron really does get into the food.
Jerry Pournelle is a really interesting guy. He’s about the only person I can think of, who was against the Iraq war from the start, that I respect.
Bump...for cousin Dave.......
Thanks, I’d appreciate it.
I just emailed it to you but here it is again.
Same wrapper but a different supplier and you have to email them for a price quote.
Some time ago, 1800s, one common palliative for anemia was to boil vinegar in an iron pot and use the result in place of 'plain' vinegar. (Side note: vinegar -- acetic acid -- is a quite remarkable chemical.)
I would be happy to give someone a free cut/wrap lesson on the one hanging in my barn now.
Its all skinned but they would get expert advice and instructions while I watch with a cold brew in hand...lol
(Also: don't put aluminum foil over your lasagna or your barbeque. You get holes in the foil and nasty little lumps of blackish-grey aluminum oxide all over the food.)
So long as you cook an occasional meal in a Dutch Oven, you should have plenty of iron in your diet! Our Boy Scouts should all be just fine (I'm a bit of a Dutch Oven specialist -- real men don't eat quiche, but they never complain about Mountain Man Breakfast: sausage, hash browns, onions and green peppers sauteed in a dutch, covered with beaten eggs, shredded cheese and salsa, then pop the cover on, 9 coals under and 15 coals on top, about 20-25 minutes, until the eggs are set.)
It's not good to have too much iron in your blood. It could be caused by your diet or by a iron-retention disorder such as hemochromatosis. Excess iron can damage various systems in your body. You should have this checked out by a doctor.