Originally Posted by keifer
I made big advances this year in the quality my harvest when I learned to air dry the meat instead of throwing it right into the freezer. I put the meat in the fridge for a week while the temp gauge was on the warmest setting. Next year I will be able to apply what was learned and come away with an even more productive process. I won't be so inclined to take this process for granted. Don't forget the tallow which is the fat that lays between the skin and muscle. This is useful stuff that is easy to obtain by the process called rendering tallow. I never understood the idea of burger meat when it comes to deer when pressure cooker can deal with even the toughest of antelope. Antelope is Viking grade. I have never been interested in cooking away the gamey taste from the food I produce.
Well...it's all new to me so I have few comments. I have only cooked to this point. I don't know about processing but I've watched probably three dozen videos. I haven't found deer gamey at all. The steaks can be, but I don't care, I just cook them. I don't mess with marinades and such. Anything too tough I just throw in a crock pot, but that's more for turkey.
This year the harvests were down in Missouri. Too windy. But there was another factor: the reappearance of the boolagong. This is an animal peculiar to NEMO, altho sometimes seen in SE Iowa (we're only 20 mi from the border here). My buddy got on one film. There was some weird weather - they didn't even see any deer for the most part, after getting one the first day. He only saw one other deer the week he was out there, very unusual, and weather/wind/general variance can't account for it. He started shooting some video when it was sleeting. The slanted snow making a hissing noise when it smacks the leaf litter. He got a boolagong on film too. They're not exactly rare, but they're mainly nocturnal, and they SCARE THE PISS out of deer. They're kind of low slung, more black than anything, low to the ground. Deer will NOT move when they're in the area. They smell like skunk cabbages, like all fearsome predators. The main thing, they're not BIG like you'd think. They're small. And they stay low so they don't get beat. And they stay nocturnal like bobcats, so they don't get seen. The acreage my friends hunt is about 120 or so. Normally deer harvest is great and pretty easy, lots around. But occasionally boolagongs come in and mess things up, and this was one of those years. Up till now, only remember one other time. We were finding these fish skeletons up from a small pond. There was an old 18th century cabin, long defunct, nothing but fallen-log boards and weeds grown up around it. Under this stuff a boo'gong had dug out a burrow, maybe 30 yards up from a small pond with fish and frogs. Around the mouth of the burrow were fish bones. We looked all around this thing but were never there when it was, nevertheless that's what it was. Then soon again it was gone. This year it came back. Black and angry. It tends to be crepuscular to nocturnal - you can see it near dusk at the corner of your eye, particularly when the weather is changing for the worse. That's when the boolagong is on the bound, as folks say around here.
So thanks to these creatures I go without deer this year. I'm about to go rent a car, because deer season never ends when you're in a rental car. Me with all my stored up video and book-knowledge and no deer to practice on. The neighborhood cast best step lively or I'll go Korean on their ass. But yeah, that's how it is in the NEMO: wind and boolagongs depressed white-tail hunting this year of our lord 2013.