First Deer Skinning

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!

11 thoughts on “First Deer Skinning”

  1. This post cracked me up! I sometimes forget that hunting is new to some people. My sisters and I grew up hunting, and we all field dress our own. And yes, I touch the guts! haha! A pair of rubber gloves and you are good to go! It doesn’t really phase you after awhile! Good luck in your future hunting endeavors! I bet you will be a pro in no time! Can’t wait to see more posts!

  2. Deer hunting is a huge deal here in Central Texas where we live. Your post brought back memories of my Dad processing deer that he shot. He’d clean and quarter them and bring them to the house and he and my Mom would then package it in smaller sizes. It was good too!
    My husband is a city boy so he hasn’t ever done this but he would if need be. We have a few acres of land and our newest son-in-law hunts there a lot! He hasn’t killed one yet but I’m pretty sure he will soon. He loves to hunt. My daughter is on the squeamish side though so we’ll have to see how the processing goes!

  3. I really think that kids need to know where their food comes from. Not just the plants but the meat too. It helps them to be more thankfull for what they have. That’s great that you let Ty watch the process. Im sure it will help him later in life!

  4. we always use a processor that lets the meat hang in a cooler and bleed out for a few days before he actually processes it. we like it that way because then the meat has a better flavor. alot of smaller processors where we live hurry it through cause they dont have that much time or storage room . some people I know from maryland said when his mom or grandmom used to slaughter a chicken ( I guess thats the term, dont know about fresh chicken) they used to hang it from its feet on the clothes line to let ot bleed out for a while, but my folks who used to be from mississippi said they never heard of that.

  5. I am SO glad that you didn’t post pictures! I was so scared as I scrolled slowly and carefully down waiting for a picture to appear but thankfully you didn’t post one! I’m so squeamish! =0)

  6. Very interesting! I always thought you had to let the deer hang for a few hours to let it bleed out into a bucket. Guess not, huh? I have wanted to go hunting for several years now, but DH hasnt hunted in many years so I havent been able to go…maybe one of these days.

  7. We are just so far removed from our food as Americans!! It does get easier as you do it more. As a homeschool mom, we have turned it into a biology lesson. I also talk to the children about CHOOSING not to be squeamish.
    My 14 yr. old son and 12 year old son gutted and cut up the deer that the 14 year old shot this weekend. We did buy a DVD from the Ky Afield TV show called from field to freezer (I think.) Last year, my boy watched the video a few times and watched someone else cut it a different deer. Now he just brings all the meat in in pans and we take it from there. It is such a blessing to have hormone free, antibiotic free, organic meat for our family. We make all the cuts, hamburger, etc. ourselves. I want to learn how to can some of the meat as well. That is my next goal. It costs 70.00 to have one cut up and you are expected to have it gutted when you bring it in. We don’t have an extra 70.00 here–but also the children can learn how to do something so they are not dependent on someone else for that.
    Also my boys have tanned the hide from the deer they got last year. Quite the learning experience, but it did turn out!!


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