Hunters & Anglers
Do you want to have better-tasting venison? Tips for hunters from Kelly’s Deer Processing Colon Kelly believes it is wrong to waste venison with improper hunting techniques and hopes a little knowledge will improve the taste of venison, the amount of venison from each deer and avoid the unfortunate handling practices that can spoil an entire deer for consumption. “Every year when there are warm hunting seasons, we end up throwing entire deer into the dumpster,” Kelly stated. With temperatures moderate as deer season begins, Kelly dreads having to throw out deer that were shot and mishandled. He pointed out that mismanagement of the animal can begin with the first shot. “The hunter needs to take a little extra time and pick the shot carefully,” Kelly advised. He said hunters who shoot into the loin, tenderloin or hind legs are going to waste meat. According to Kelly, those parts of the deer are the most prime meat on the animal and also have extra blood vessels there. Shooting into the prime meat and destroying blood vessels is shooting away the best source of prime cuts. Kelly also warns against non-lethal shots. “Don’t shoot in the wrist, ankle or face,” he said. “That won’t kill the deer but will cause it unnecessary stress an send it running for its life.” The stress of a non-lethal shot is not only cruel, but is another way to ruin the meat. “A stressed-out deer running with an injury also breaks blood vessels and the muscles go into rigor mortis, like a Charlie horse,” Kelly described. “That won’t be good meat.” Once a deer has been killed with a clean, lethal shot, the next step is field dressing. Kelly said field-dressing nose to tail is crucial. “Anything that isn’t meat and bone will sour the venison,” he admonished. Completely and carefully removing skin, entrails, fat and making sure nothing is stuck to the body is vital. Then wash the deer with water if possible, or at least wipe with wet paper towel. The next step is one he has seen hunters overlook often in his 35 years of processing game. “You have to fill the body cavity with ice,” he said. Even in cold seasons, even if snow is falling, […]
(DNR)—The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in the process of creating a management plan for Michigan white-tailed deer. White-tailed deer generate various levels of interest among Michigan’s citizens. This interest covers a large range of issues with many different perspectives. To prepare a strategic management plan for deer, issues and perspectives need to be identified, science-based information provided and stakeholder perspectives explored. The deer planning team developed the following planning process, which will be used to develop a citizen-approved strategic deer management plan. During the summer of 2009, public surveys were conducted by Michigan State University to gain a better understanding of Michigan citizens and their views on deer and deer management. DAT recommendations are to be presented to the Natural Resources Commission in October 2009. Drafting of the deer management plan is scheduled for winter 2010. The draft management plan is scheduled to be presented to the public in spring 2010, along with receiving input at open houses. The plan is to be presented to the director and Natural Resources Commission for approval next summer. Tribal Involvement—Under the 2007 Inland Consent Decree, the DNR will be consulting with tribal governments on deer management throughout the planning process. Information from these meetings will be incorporated into the deer management plan. Tribes will also have the opportunity to review draft plans as they are developed. Michigan Deer Advisory Team—The primary responsibilities of this team are to identify the important values to consider for deer management based on the information compiled at the regional meetings and formulate recommendations for the DNR. These will be facilitated discussions and all DAT recommendations will be reached by consensus. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr.