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2017 butchering completed

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This was my first full elk and it was like I thought, a lot of work. I was lucky enough to have access to a walk in with air circulation. So the whole story was dad drew his first ever elk tag and we took a nice mature cow December 12th late afternoon. We did the gutless method skinning and quartering and hanging as we went along.

We were 1/2 mile from the truck downhill.

Tools we had were cabelas Alaska 1/4 game bags X 4 and 1 Walmart pillow case. We used a buck rmef signature skinner and a javelon peranta.

After the cow was broke down I went back in for the liver and heart.

Next I hung all the meat back at camp, the 4 quarters we hung from the pop up in front of the tent and the loose meat bag we emptied out on a tarp in the bed of my truck. This was so everything could cool down and dry.

Late that night we packed all the meat into two coolers on top of ice and a tarp I cut so the meat was out of any liquid. Cooler plugs were opened and we left the lids open all night for extra cold air flow. The next day the 4 quarters were laid on racks in the walk in and all the trim loose meat went into my extra fridge. The loose meat was trimmed sealed and frozen after just a few days and the quarters hung until about day 10 or so. I cut trimmed and froze a rear quarter each day and just finished the last front today. Meat was stored in same coolers same way as in the woods for the 2 days I took to finish everything. Here's some leaning for next time.

Next time around I will cut my shanks off before aging and freeze those asap. You have to trim after aging and you lose too much on the shanks.

I will cut and freeze the loose meat asap as well for the same reason. I didn't lose much but did trim some good stuff off that dried in the fridge.

Next time I will be using paper wrap and not vacuum seal bags.

Last I plan to have a saw with me if at all possible so I can cut neck shanks and ribs. It's tuff to get decent neck meat on the ground and I hate leaving it there.

So as I was cutting at home I cut meat into meals such as chunks for stew, chilli, burger, and summer sausage. Each package is marked and ready to cook as is or grind. This should be easier than grinding before freezing and saved me some time. Sumer sausage going in the smoker this weekend.

Anyway meat looks real good and it feels good, filled an average chest freezer half way with one elk. Can't wait to post some meals up.

Just for the record 3 loads can get a big cow back to the truck but you better be ready. That's the first time I packed enough weight to make a finger go numb for a few hours.

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I'm leaning towards garlic Parmesan. I do have a package deal from cabelas for hunter blend that's always good.

Oh and I used a sawzall to cut the shanks and it sucked. Definitely doing the hand bone saw next time.

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Paper is safer for the long run. Vacuumed bags can bang together and poke holes in the plastic. With this much meat it's more of a possibility, more than I'm used to. Listening to Steven Rinella he does a lot more meat than me and he suggests this so long term I'm going that way. Really if your careful may not be a big deal.

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I use seperator sheets from Lem. Always paper wrap it also adds a insulation and seems to work great.


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