Home Forums Campfire Forum Whole deer vs. boning

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Something Killdeer said on the Campfire thread “Don Thomas deer carry method” (and where you been for so long, young lady?) prompts me to ask if anyone knows a logical reason why so many eastern states still today maintain the seemingly antique requirement to bring a deer out whole to a checkpoint? To test for CWD you need only the head. To catch illegal kills you do better to set up surprise check points, since poachers and other cheaters don’t check their deer anyhow. It seems to me, having lived and hunted under both systems — bring the whole deer out and run it through a checkpoint (largely eastern), vs. you are allowed to bone the meat to pack it out easily and you’re only checked if a warden contacts you or you hit a road checkpoint — that the eastern tradition works hard against the hunter who wants to go far afield and make the most of the meat by getting it boned and cool asap. The whole-deer also prompts folks to hunt in groups, rather than alone; another limiting factor. Back in the mid-1900s when most states were involved in massive and largely miraculous deer transplant programs, perhaps there was a useful purpose. I just can’t see any net gain in it today. Am I missing the point? dave

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I can’t answer your question for everybody here back east. But I can tell you why I take the deer out of the woods whole. These reasons are in no particular order…

      Because I can. South Eastern deer don’t often range over 200lb. So once they are field dressed, it is no big deal to drag one out.

      Because it is easier. I take the deer home, skin it using my super duper deer gambrel/hoist system. Then I take the entire carcass to the local butcher who does a great job of retrieving all the meat from the bones, making great cuts and sausage, and vacuum bagging it for me. Cheap. I used to do all my own processing (and for others). So I know wherefrom I speak on this point.

      Because I get a lot more meat. Reference previous point.

      Because I get the bones. Great for soup stock. Then toss them in the wood stove. Then spread ashes on garden. This is an ancient trick for making great fertilizer. Learned from the Amazon Native Peoples.

      Because I would look silly deboning the meat. there are few places in the south east where you can’t find a logging road or something within a half mile at most.

      Because I don’t carry a backpack. Reference previous point.

      Because I use every part of the deer but the gutpile. I take the liver and heart (haven’t worked up to the lungs yet..) I tan the hide (still haven’t found a use for the hair) and I started making soap from the tallow 2 years ago. Still improving recipe on that one.

      FYI – NC and VA and SC and FL are states back east that don’t require checkin. I am sure there are others. I kind of wish they would require checkin. We have a lot of poaching here. People brag openly about how many deer they have killed…way over the limit. And there is really no enforcement of game laws. Deer have become vermin.

    • Killdeer
      Post count: 43

      I would clarify here that in Virginia, you do have to check in your deer. You can do that over the phone, however, and you will be issued a number which you then write on your notched tag. I try not to blab this, but it is a fifteen or twenty minute drive to a “sweet spot” where I can use the cell phone to accomplish this.

      So, just in case the warden is waiting in camp when I get back with my deer, I drag it out after field dressing, make my drive and then butcher. Oh, and in the mountains, dragging IS a big deal! They always run to the far side of the ridge, and anywhere you need to take that deer is always uphill, lol. Besides that, they are bigger than I am.

      Killdeer

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I think by check-in Dave means that you take the deer to a designated place where they inspect the deer for age, health, sex, etc. Phoning in for a number doesn’t do much.

      Although in NC, the Wildlife officers have been inspecting all the local butchers and confiscating any deer not identified with a WRC number. Which is good.

      I should have added in my last post that the main reason I go to all this trouble, besides liking to, is that using as much of the whole deer is a way for me to honor the deer and participate in a sustainable life cycle. And to teach my kids that to only use what you have to, and waste nothing, can be fun and a source of pride.

      I am a proud member of the oak tree – deer – man -oak tree cycle that Mr. Leopold praised.

      Killdeer – forgot to mention…. Nice deer!

    • rnorris
      Post count: 88

      I bring the deer out whole because here in Michigan, the truck is never far away. To be very honest and a little vain….I also like the pictures on the buckpole. ๐Ÿ™„

      I thought the title of this thread made refernce to butchering methods, and I do enjoy the venison more if it is boned out rather than done using a saw.

      Bones on the fire to fertize sounds like a good idea though. I’m going to try it on my tomatoes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • wildschwein
      Post count: 581

      Nice Deer Killdeer. A story to share perhaps?

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      So Dave…. you’ve been uncharacteristically silent on this thread…

      I hope I didn’t come off harsh or defensive. I may have gotten a little jerked up about the topic ’cause around here people shoot deer in the road, cut off the back straps, and call it “boned out”.

      There are some “traditions” in the south east that don’t need reinforcement. And in my humble opinion, this is one of them.

      Sorry for the tone…

    • Killdeer
      Post count: 43

      Steve, I didn’t catch any of that “tone”, maybe because you sweet-talked me. I understand your anger at the “boned” deer, I felt a little indignation when somebody told me that they only “breasted” their geese and turkeys.

      Whatever system is in place, there will be those who will abuse it, and the game. It is rare that I ever admit to being a human being.

      Killdeer~ Larks’ tongues, anybody?:twisted:

    • kingwouldbee
      Post count: 44

      If you tried to get a deer out of here whole, ( which you can’t ) there would be nothing left but mangled meat.

      Some Bowhunters don’t hunt corn fields, probable because theirs none around, lol

      We are around 12 miles back in the high country, I’m a boner-outer.8)

      attached file
    • Homer
      Post count: 110

      Killdeer — larkstongue? Might that be the same recipe as I’ve long enjoyed for hummingbird tongue in aspic? ๐Ÿ˜›

      Kingwouldbee — (curious name, but kool), being mostly new here myself I’m glad finally to “meet” you via a fresh post. If you’ll allow me to hijerk this thread to something said about you on another thread, please explain your system for “external footing” of shafts with sections from larger shafts. How and why you do it? Is your basic shaft of wood, or carbon, aluminium or what? You seem to have this foc thing figured ou real good for giant hogzillas, tough as they come. Please share and thanks, Homer

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Steve G — Yes, your “tone” really rips my nickers! ๐Ÿ˜› Seriously: not. Re-reading my original post that started this thread, I’d say I definitely have an edgy “tone” there myself, but all I meant to ask and project was pure curiosity, to wit” “This seems logically illogical, so why is it still required in many states?” That is, if you are not legally require to drag a deer out whole, but choose to, you still can. But … etc. The responses so far seem to make it plainly an East vs. West situation, as several eastern brothers and sisters (that OK, KD? I’m reminded of the Twain line, spoken by a souther evangelist, “Beloved brethern and sistern …” :P) have said, in effect, “Well it’s so close to the road that it’s easiest for me to drag it out and do a proper butchering job at home.” Vs. Kingwouldbee, who graphically illustrates my point, that in the West it just ain’t hardly mostly possible and tough enough just to bone and pack out. So we’re seeing a “regional preference” based largely on “what’s possible.” ??? But what I think I meant to ask was not our personal preferences and traditions as hunters, but why some states still require this when others don’t? I guess the answer to that is “Who knows?” Shifting to a related point, there seems a tradition in the East to hang your deer for “aging” and that you can do a cleaner job of taking the meat off the bone with a hung deer … while in the West either inexperienced hunters get the meat out as best they can and turn it over to a pro butcher, or we have figured out that we can do a first-rate boning job right where the animal fell, and don’t put so much credence on aging as we do “get it off the bone and cooled down asap.”

      Again, no real preference here, as I’ve lived both east and west and was raised in between, and used both methods with good results, yum! My downfall is endless curiosity.

      And back to Steve G — indeed, “uncharacteristic” for me to be even semi-silent here … it’s a battle I fight constantly and generally lose, esp. like now at happy hour. As a bowhunter, I want to take an active part in the coversations just like other frequent posters here. As a moderator, I fear constantly being perceived as overbearing or “my way or the hiway” as some have said. A good moderator should be mostly invisible. I trust you see my fix. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever forgive you, Steve, for your horrible “tone.” :P:twisted::lol: xo, ol dave

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      8)

    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      I usually bone the animals out.

      This past season was the first time in almost 15 years that I took a deer out whole. Why? It was killed relatively close to the truck. I dragged it down the hill in the snow on a dirt road. Taking it out whole as opposed to dismembering it on the spot also permitted me to retain more meat, decide if I wanted to age the deer (I didn’t) and also it made the entire butchering process cleaner and easier to carry out in my friend’s driveway and garage as opposed to on the ground with tarps and bags.

    • Backcountry Joe
      Post count: 39

      I have no idea why back east they are required to bring deer out whole. I wouldn’t do well if that was the requirement here. I hate dragging animals out, the conditions would have to be perfect,slight down hill slope, wide trail, not to muddy or dry, and short. If these are not met I’m going to cut it on the ground.

    • bhaukom
      Post count: 11

      Wisconsin just allowed for the first time last year to allow a deer to be taken out of the woods in no more than 5 parts.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      There is no such requirement in Georgia. With a liberal 12 deer limit and a 4 month season, we don’t even have to call in a kill. Simply scribble in the kill date on your license…..

      I wish there was a little more accountability, but any system will be abused by the abusers, I suppose.

      Alot of the places I hunt I access via canoe, so I paddle em out whole. I typically field dress and drag deer when on foot. Hogs on the other hand, are a pain in the arse to drag and are best quartered, deboned, and shoved in a pack if any great distance from the road. I agree with those who suggest it has a great deal to do with access…..

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      It’s interesting… Some anthropologists argue that geography determines culture, and this is a good example. If I always hunted within a mile of a road, I probably wouldn’t know how to bone out an animal. In the backcountry West and especially Alaska, that just isn’t possible. East of the Mississippi, it usually is. Voila… simple as that. Don

    • Homer
      Post count: 110

      Hey Don, I really enjoyed your new book, “Have Bow…” I trust you’re not changing your name to Paladin or Boone. ๐Ÿ˜† Maybe that’a s joke only us more “mature” fellers will get, but seriously I don’t generally give a hoot for “globe trotting” hunting stories, but you are always a good read. Homer

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Thanks for the kind words, Homer (and I hope Robin doesn’t slap our wrists for straying off topic). I belatedly realized that the wordplay in the title will probably fly right over the heads of most readers under 60. Too bad–Paladin was a great character, and Richard Boone had him nailed. I’m surprised Hollywood has never taken that theme and run with it (although they’d certainly have to find a less politically incorrect name for Hey Boy nowadays). As for the book, I hope you’ll agree that it really isn’t all “globe trotting” hunting stories, since most of the material actually comes from North America. One of the things I wanted to emphasize is the variety of bowhunting experience available right here at home, or close to it. Cheers, Don

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