Hunters & Anglers — September 30, 2010

September 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

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, […]