Deer Processing Saltwater Soak?

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Mobuck

Hawkeye
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Dec 25, 2007
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I knew an old guy(old as in pre-refrigeration)who claimed his family always wiped a carcass with salt. My thought was: this is an 'old timer' solution to help prevent flies from laying eggs during warm weather butchering.
 

nekvermont

Blackhawk
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Sep 10, 2010
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My Grandmother told me that when she was young, she worked at an Inn, that always had deer hanging in the cellar. They served these deer to their guest after scraping the mold off.
 

clintsfolly

Single-Sixer
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Aug 24, 2009
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I normally don’t soak deer but one year I shot one and it was about 80 degree out. So we gutted ,skinned and quartered it then wrapped in a blue trap. The whole bundle was sunk in Lake Huron. The water was about 60 degrees over night. That was the most mild meat I ever had. I alway if possible like to wash/rinse out the body.
 

NewRuger41

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
41
I soak in a salt ice bath after quartering, changing the water daily and replenishing ice as needed daily. Day 1 blood red water like Hawaiian Fruit Punch. Day 2 red water slightly lighter than Day 1. Day 3 water is much clearer with some red. And this is after self-processing on site allowing blood to drain while working.
 

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Sapo

Bearcat
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Dec 2, 2003
Messages
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In my 50+ years of hunting here in Texas I have found only 1 deer unpalatable, the only deer we've ever had processed.

As far as gamey(?).........goat tastes like goat, squirrel ....squirrel, sheep tastes like sheep,.... deer, elk, nilgai, moose all have their own flavor. Eat raccoon once and you'll know it when you eat it the second time. Can't imagine every deer being taste prohibitive that it needs dunking. No one has said they determine the need for soaking based on smell or taste, it is just "procedure".

Thanks for the replies
 

RugerForMe

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Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Messages
386
My Grandmother would pull Venson out of the freezer, thaw it and soak it in milk overnight. I remember it always tasted great.
With saying that she also soaked Squirrels and Rabbits in milk also.
 
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contender

Ruger Guru
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A milk soak just before cooking is like marinating. A salt water soak before freezing & such is to draw out blood,, AND often removes a fair amount of actual flavor.
 
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Brining fowl is a pretty standard practice before cooking or smoking but it's not red meat. Once I started brining turkey and chicken before smoking, deep frying or roasting I won't cook them any other way. I was also taught to get fresh killed wild red meat game hung and bled as soon as possible and get it processed as soon as it got cool (either by nature or artifically). Never heard about soaking it in anything. The only other thing I've done in the past was to dry age beef and you have to do that in a specific manner at a specific temperature and humidity and done correctly really enhances the flavor of the beef.
 

Dillon Justice

Bearcat
Joined
May 5, 2022
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In my 50+ years of hunting here in Texas I have found only 1 deer unpalatable, the only deer we've ever had processed.

As far as gamey(?).........goat tastes like goat, squirrel ....squirrel, sheep tastes like sheep,.... deer, elk, nilgai, moose all have their own flavor. Eat raccoon once and you'll know it when you eat it the second time. Can't imagine every deer being taste prohibitive that it needs dunking. No one has said they determine the need for soaking based on smell or taste, it is just "procedure".

Thanks for the replies
I did.
 

Sapo

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
61
"When he gives me fresh meat, I immediately soak the meat in a vinegar and salt water solution."

Nothing said about smell or taste of an individual deer, just immediately, likely based on previous meat, the reason for the word procedure.
 

BearBiologist

Single-Sixer
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Dec 4, 2021
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We would soak stronger tasting fish (mackerel, bonito, blue shard) to blood it before smoking=as part of the brining. I brine salmon and tuna before smoking to draw out moisture and red meat to make jerky.
 

wolfsong

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No need to brine red meat to draw out blood. That has already occurred when the meet was processed, whether by a commercial butcher or by the hunter himself. Meat is muscle and does not contain blood. It contains myoglobin, which gives red meat its red color.
Salting/brining draws out moisture. Doing so is fine for smoking or drying meat, which is an age-old method of preserving meat for later consumption. Moisture is what bacteria thrives on. Bacteria is what breaks down (spoils) meat. Moisture in meat = bad.
Moisture in roasts, steaks, burger etc. is good; in fact it is highly desired. Who wants to eat dry steak? Or a dry cheese burger? Most people don't. The same goes with fish. Bake or broil a salmon filet without brining and smoke a salmon filet after brining. Which one is moist? Which one is dry?
In my career as a professional Chef I've never brined any cut of meat that wasn't intended for drying or smoking. Doing so dramatically changes the texture and flavor of the meat. I prefer to use course ground black pepper and a variety of aromatic spices to season meats before cooking. I RARELY use salt, and even so it is a minimal amount. Aromatics enhances the natural flavor of the meat. Salt makes the meat, well, salty. I find, for my taste and preference, that a little butter on a medium rare ribeye or top sirloin steak is a perfect finishing touch. Garlic butter is heaven, to me.
Your mileage may vary - to each his own.

Peace and God bless, Wolfie.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
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Dec 25, 2007
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I guess we're 'spoiled' in reference to salvaging every scrap of meat from a game carcass--the dog's gotta eat, too. We have tags for 2x the amount of deer required to feed 6 of us and give away the excess so losing some nasty looking bloodshot meat isn't a hardship. I'm in charge of killing most of the deer for the freezer and select neck shots or 100% broadside-- very little loss this way.
 

krw

Blackhawk
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
567
I know very little about anything, but I do know abouy deer meat!! There’s trophy deer and eatn deer. In my younger days we all had 1/2 breeds. 1/2 Walker and 1/2 beagle cross deer dogs. You can run a good ruttn buck about 3-4 hrs, get him good and hot, then shoot Him. I hope he was sportn a good set of horns cause he aint fit to eat period. Now them lil Etters, thats a different story. When your feedn cows and those lil 1/2 grown are standing there watchn, they are what we eat. Stks, and roasts are tender and tastey!! Sometimes you can kill big milker does and they can be tough. If I never kill another Buck, I have killd my share. But I sure like those Etters!!
 

any ruger

Blackhawk
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Feb 18, 2007
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What is the purpose of running them before you shoot them and then can't eat them. What do you think do with them?
 

contender

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Running & jumping deer is an old southern tradition. Not practiced as much anymore. It was a way to get the deer out of the thick swampy hard to hunt areas.

Yet,, many do eat the deer,, but these folks also understand that to be decent to eat,, most is ground into burger etc. The running, combined with the age of the older deer,, caused a toughness & often poor tasting meat, as compared to deer killed that are younger and especially when they haven't been run.
Many people did not like eating run deer, and as such, it created an attitude by these people that deer meat wasn't worth much.
But of the folks I knew who run deer with dogs did still eat them. But I also know a lot of the poorer cuts went to feed dogs & hogs & such.

Luckily, nowadays,, much of that type of hunting has gone away. And the meat is much more palatable too after a kill.
 

any ruger

Blackhawk
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Feb 18, 2007
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709
OK I wasn't meant to be abusive just wondering. In Mn. I think the only way you can use a dog in hunting is to track a wounded animal.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Sep 18, 2002
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I understood your question. Many folks haven't heard of running deer. I'll go you one more.
One other tradition is for a small group of hunters to get together & "trot" through the woods,, jumping deer & shooting them with a shotgun. Basically, jump shooting deer. I've witnessed some guys doing that. Not fun on flat lands,, but add in hills, mountains,, or heavy brush,, & yikes,, the stamina they seem to have.
 

krw

Blackhawk
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
567
Back when clearcutting started, the broad use of herbicides wasnt a common part of forestry practice then. The plantations grew up inhoneysuckle, sawbriar and all sorts of green tender vegetation. We would space out and walk across them. We killd lots of deer doing that. Now with herbicide use they are not nowhere near the deer factory they used to be. And I aint 21yrs old again either!! 😂
 

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