This past Saturday a friend of ours was deer hunting on our land, and finally shot a young buck (a male). He thought it was a doe, until he got closer and noticed the little nobs on his head where the antlers were beginning to grow in.
I was in the kitchen when I heard the men outside, so I went out to see what was going on. Our friend, Steve, was going to skin the deer right there! They were looking for a tree to hang it from. I think my husband asked him if he’d do it there so he could watch and learn.
I was curious, so I got in on the action as well. Jada wasn’t there, but I took Titus with me to watch. While the men were searching for a sturdy branch, I showed Ty the deer on the ground. It’s tongue was hanging out of it’s mouth. It was definitely a goner.
When the guys were satisfied with the tree they’d found, they drug the deer over to it, and prepared to hang it. Steve made a small slit in the back legs, just above the ankle (I think), then he inserted something that looked kinda like a clothes hanger with a hook on each side, and then used the rope to hoist it up into the air.
Before he began cutting, I asked, “So… are there gonna be like guts spilling out everywhere?” He assured me, no guts. Okay, I can handle that. Ty kept wondering what they were doing, so I explained as we watched. Using a sharp knife, Steve began cutting from the ankles of the legs that were hung up. He slowly cut the skin away from the muscle. He just worked his way down, pulling and cutting the hide away.
Jerry was completely grossed out. The other guys were teasing him. They thought it was funny that I could handle it better than he could. One of the guys said, “I bet she could do this!” Jerry said, “Oh, I know she could!” I admitted that it didn’t look that bad at all. It reminded me of removing the skin from a chicken breast. No big deal.
Titus wasn’t impressed though. He must take after his Daddy. Once he saw the skin removed, and the muscle underneath was exposed, he said, “Ewwww!” and asked me what that was. I told him that Mr. Steve was cleaning the deer up so that we could eat it. I said, “That’s our meat.” Ty quickly decided, “I don’t like meat.” I laughed and told the guys that I think they just turned my boy into a vegetarian!
When he’d skinned the deer all the way to the head, Steve asked for a saw. Jerry went to his work building and retrieved a little hack saw. It was used to sever the head from the body. I think he also used it to cut the legs at the joint. The whole time he watched Jerry kept saying, “Oh gross! Oh gross!!” He cracked me up.
I missed most of the meat cutting part, ’cause I went to find a cooler for the men to use, and Titus was done watching. When the guys were finished, they brought the meat inside to wash and pack it. They dug a hole in the woods to bury the remainder of the deer.
Steve generously split the meat between us, himself, and the guy who was with him. We put ours in Ziploc bags and threw them in the freezer.
I got a leg bone with some meat on it for our puppy. I baked it until it was cooked through, then tossed it outside for her to enjoy. Boy, did she love that!!
It was neat watching how it’s all done. I could do it. As long as I don’t have to deal with the insides, I’m good! We teased about keeping the hide to make moccasins. You never know, I just might try that one day!
For the rest of the night Titus asked me where the deer was, and I showed him the meat in the freezer. I wonder what he’ll think when he’s eating it!
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.