Saturday, November 24, 2012

watch out, gory pictures ahead!

I don't really see the butchering process as being that gory, but to someone that hasn't seen the butchering process before, the following images might be a little much.


We killed ourselves a motherfucking deer today!!

I say "we" even though I had no part in the harvesting. However, I did help with the skinning and butchering, and let me tell you, it's way more fun than getting piddly little squirrels ready for some good eats (although I plan to continue eating those, too). So I think it's alright for me to say "we" because this was a team effort, and we make the best fucking team in the universe.

This day wouldn't be complete without throwing a shout out to my Pops, who gifted us a rifle: a 1954 Winchester Model 94 30-30 that took this bad boy down. In one shot, I might add, because Jay is a super marksman and hit him right in the fucking head!

This was my first time butchering a deer, but I was told today that I should
have been a spinal surgeon due to my skill. Score!

Holding up two deer legs = happiness.

The almost fully butchered carcass hanging from the
wood shed beam was a little creepy looking from a distance.

Everything here but the neck on the left is gonna become jerky thanks to our super cool neighbor.
The tenderloins and backstraps are too special to be shown here
(naw, I just forgot to take a picture of them in all the excitement.)

MEAT! And more importantly, locally harvested, humanely killed, amateurly butchered (meaning, yes, you can do this, too) and soon-to-be lovingly prepared for good eats.


  1. How are head shots viewed in your neck of the woods?

    When I took the exams to become a certified hunter in Sweden, head shots were considered detrimental to meat quality, but first and foremost unethical. I've never given it much thought and don't really have an opinion on the matter, I'm just curious about the differences in legislation and culture when it comes to hunting.

    1. I'm not sure how killing an animal instantly and with as little pain as possible is considered unethical. Commercially raised cattle, while not exactly raised ethically, are killed with one shot to the head because it's the quickest (and most profitable) death. Granted, someone who's marksman skills are not up to snuff would do best to stick to a heart shot because the target is bigger, but a head shot is arguably the fastest way to end an animal's life -- this buck dropped to the ground and was dead instantly. We're also not eating any parts of the head, so the meat we are eating is as clean as can be. I don't know about in Sweden, but here in the States, if an animal is shot and only injured, the meat quality is going to suffer measurably after it runs down the mountain and takes three hours to die.

    2. It's considered unethical because all it takes is for the animal to twitch, which can happen no matter how good a marksman you are, and you've got a big problem on your hands. That's the answer for a full score on the exam.

      Obviously no one wants an animal to suffer a slow death. That's why it is also deemed unethical to hunt big game without a trained tracking dog. Not that that actually puts an end to prolonged pursuit of injured game.

      It's tricky business, anyhow. As I said, I'm not of one mind or another. I'm impressed with anyone who can make that kind of mark consistently, and I'm always curious about hunting and weapons laws. It's a huge part of country life everywhere, it seems, but it is very differently regulated. And even when it's similarly regulated (as appears to be the case with Sweden and my new home, France) the culture is quite different.

    3. In most U.S. states, hunting most large game with dogs is completely illegal. If you need an animal to hunt another animal, stay in your living room. And please, for the safety of our country, stay on your shitty continent and don't come hunting here. Head shots are not ideal for everyone so most people do aim for the heart/lung area. But we have some dead eyes here that can pick off a surly frenchie from 1000 yards (or should I say metres) out.

    4. I'm sorry that you're terribly offended that I wanted to know the differences in hunting practices on different continents, without telling anyone which is the better one (something I don't really have an opinion on since I don't hunt, in the country where I'm certified to or anywhere else, and don't eat meat).

      As for dogs, a tracking dog is not "hunting large game with dogs". It's less so than hunting ducks with a retriever is hunting birds with a dog. The dog is on a 30 foot long rope and trained to find injured game quickly, whether from a traffic or a hunting accident. Although, yes, Scandinavians hunt elk (moose), boar and bear with dogs (usually dog in singular) with terriers, small hounds and native spitze, with leashed dogs and people driving an animal towards shooters, or a loose dog marking a prey animal and keeps it there by barking until the hunter arrives. I'm surprised to find that this is illegal in the US and would love to know why. Unless of course you intend to shoot me for asking, like you imply you would.

    5. Emma, are head shots illegal in Sweden? Is it illegal to hunt big game without dogs? I've never heard of a legal or ethical requirement to use dogs for hunting. While I understand your point about head shots, I’ve never heard of a law about that in the US. Ethically, opinions will differ, but it’s generally assumed that it’s a hunter’s responsibility to judge his or her own ability to make a shot in any given situation.

      Our game laws vary widely by state, just as I'm sure they do between countries in Europe. Most states don't require that you take any sort of class. Of those that do, I'd be surprised if anything more than hunting safety and laws are covered. I'm not a hunter, but I have heard of dogs being legally used for hunting certain animals in the US. Again, this varies by state. If anything, hunting with dogs may be considered inhumane among those who don't hunt -- in some states, the sentiments of non-hunters is starting to impact the sport. Along those lines, didn’t the UK just make fox hunting illegal?

      The hunting and gun culture in the US is clearly different from that of Europe, so I don’t blame you for asking honest questions.

      And congrats to Misty and Jay on their first -- with a Winchester 94, no less :)

  2. Nice job Sarah. Soon you'll be butchering your own cattle.

  3. Congratulations!! As a data point, I'd definitely shoot for the head if I didn't think I'd miss. :-)