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Randall53

Who's still hitting the woods?

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I've had a bit of a setback...but I'm still in the game. I'm in the hunt for an 8 pointer or better. I've got to say. these mountain deer ain't easy to figure out. Ain't nothing like the farmland critters at all.....:bored:

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I havent been in a week, but I'll probably get after it again this weekend. I haven't seen ONE deer since muzzleloader started!!! They're all wearing camo or in their underground bunker I think. It got frustrating. Even the cameras went cold. I'm wondering if they packed up and headed for more water because of the drought, so maybe there'll be more activity this weekend since we finally got some rain.

 

good luck!

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I got lazy after I harvested a doe in early October. Time for me to get back out there and try to get a second doe or 8 point.


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I'm not done, but took a week break.  I process my own deer, and I like to age mine, so I wait until I'm done to try for another.  If doe, looking for a smallish one, buck...something with at least 6 points or so.

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Good luck to everyone that's still in the hunt. We've got about 4 more weeks to fill the tags!! I need another buck and a doe. 

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If I can ditch this head cold, I'd like to get a doe to make jerky. So far, I haven't been back since before Thanksgiving.

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9 hours ago, Omega said:

I'm not done, but took a week break.  I process my own deer, and I like to age mine, so I wait until I'm done to try for another.  If doe, looking for a smallish one, buck...something with at least 6 points or so.

How does the aging process work? I'm assuming there's a fine line between aging and just leaving meat out to spoil (?). I want to process mine this year if I happen to actually find a deer in the woods, lol. I've done the processing before but don't know how to properly age it.

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I will be in the woods Friday and Saturday afternoon. Wish I could go Saturday morning, but my daughter has band stuff I have to take her too. I would like to get a doe. If a huge 8 point or better came through I would be happy to get it as well :)

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How does the aging process work? I'm assuming there's a fine line between aging and just leaving meat out to spoil (?). I want to process mine this year if I happen to actually find a deer in the woods, lol. I've done the processing before but don't know how to properly age it.


I usually only age my meat up to about a week. In the early season it's harder to do since the temperatures are so high. If you have a walk in cooler it's a lot easier. However, my method is this: let the deer hang, with the hide on for 5-7 days. I prefer the head down, that way the blood is draining away from the best cuts. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is better for the meet to age with the hide on, it prevents it from drying out. That's really all there is to it.

An alternative method when it is warm is to quarter the deer and lay the meat in ice for the same amount of time, changing the ice out to make sure the meat never sits in water [emoji1417]

One last thing, the tenderloin are never aged. They should be removed immediately after field dressing.


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2 hours ago, Wingshooter said:

How does the aging process work? I'm assuming there's a fine line between aging and just leaving meat out to spoil (?). I want to process mine this year if I happen to actually find a deer in the woods, lol. I've done the processing before but don't know how to properly age it.

Aging venison is just like aging beef, enzymes break down the fibers and tenderize the meat a bit.  Of course you have to keep the meat clean from field dress to table, no ruptured guts or bladder, dirt hair etc.  I age mine for at the minimum 4 days at 36 deg, from 34-38 is where you want it, above 40 and you may start growing bacteria.  Its best if left hide-on in a walk-in cooler, but I gutted a fridge and quarter the carcass, no hide, and hang in there.   The I debone and process the cuts to what ever I want, mostly some steaks and grind the rest.  If using soon, you can mix your fat into the grind, pork or beef, then freeze.  If not using for a few months, I mix the fat upon use.  I vacuum seal mine, it lasts at least 5 years, my longest in a deep freezer, but I have used saran wrap then freezer paper and it last at least 2 years in a deep freezer.  In a normal freezer it may last less, but I only keep venison there for a few weeks at time.

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I've not got to hunt much because of work. We've worked almost every weekend for about 5 weeks. Probably will work this weekend too. Can't wait until Christmas break. Usually have got a decent buck by now..............

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I am going to try to get out Saturday Morning.  Looks like it will be a cold one.

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I'll be out from 6am Friday until 4pm Sunday.

Unfortunately I'll be out of unit L, so chances of filling the freezer are slight. Stupid 1 doe limit...

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5 hours ago, KahrMan said:

I am going to try to get out Saturday Morning.  Looks like it will be a cold one.

Yeah. Merino long johns, handwarmers and a hot thermos will be priority for me

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I am actually pretty setup in my condo/stand.  I insulated the inside with reflectix insulation on the bottom 4' ish, and a black closed cell foam on the upper portion.  With my little buddy heater it is warm and cozy in there.  Just wish the deer were more accommodating to my needs :angel: 

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I hunted until 1pm today. If I could eat fresh tracks I'd be in good shape. I'm having a time figuring out these deer.....there are fresh tracks every morning and lots of them. Deer are moving in this area I'm hunting and it's the only area I'm seeing fresh sign. There was only one other hunter in there today and rode in on a 4 wheeler before daylight. I walked down the road about 9am and there were tracks inside the 4 wheeler tracks. I heard them leave about 10:30. I'd guess 3 or 4 does moving around. I've got a plan for in the morning....EARLY. Maybe I'll score a doe for the freezer! 

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35 minutes ago, Randall53 said:

I hunted until 1pm today. If I could eat fresh tracks I'd be in good shape. I'm having a time figuring out these deer.....there are fresh tracks every morning and lots of them. Deer are moving in this area I'm hunting and it's the only area I'm seeing fresh sign. There was only one other hunter in there today and rode in on a 4 wheeler before daylight. I walked down the road about 9am and there were tracks inside the 4 wheeler tracks. I heard them leave about 10:30. I'd guess 3 or 4 does moving around. I've got a plan for in the morning....EARLY. Maybe I'll score a doe for the freezer! 

I feel your pain. The deer have gone nocturnal on my farm. Lots of hunters in the surrounding area so pressure is pretty extreme. I'm hoping this cold weather coming in will drive them out during the day to warm up. I've noticed in past years when there is a cold snap they'll hit the fields once the sun gets over the trees. Usually start seeing movement around 9 or 10. Hoping that pattern holds. I need another doe or two to finish filling the freezer. 

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

I feel your pain. The deer have gone nocturnal on my farm. Lots of hunters in the surrounding area so pressure is pretty extreme. I'm hoping this cold weather coming in will drive them out during the day to warm up. I've noticed in past years when there is a cold snap they'll hit the fields once the sun gets over the trees. Usually start seeing movement around 9 or 10. Hoping that pattern holds. I need another doe or two to finish filling the freezer. 

I haven't been out since the week of Thanksgiving after taking two out of state.  Busy the next two Saturdays so am hitting the woods all day Friday in Maury County.  Not sure it's still late rut / 2nd rut at this point or not.   Looks like it will be sunny on Friday 38/20.  Hopefully the sunny weather gets them on their feet.  I'll probably hunt the woods in the AM and then move out to the fields / tree lines late morning.  Good luck this weekend. 

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It is cold this morning.
dd14445f2521c8fd0352933b8fcb3d26.jpg

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On 12/10/2016 at 7:35 AM, KahrMan said:

It is cold this morning.
dd14445f2521c8fd0352933b8fcb3d26.jpg

Yes it was!  I was out there and the thermometer was reading 20 deg.  I had to leave about 10:30, so I headed back to the truck, poured some hot coffee out of my thermos and ate a baloney and cheese sammich on the way out of the lease!

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I went out Friday and they were still chasing pretty hard.  It's either a 2nd rut or late rut going on in middle Tennessee.  Saw one nice buck and several doe cruise by my stand around 6ish but I still didn't have enough light so I didn't have a clean shot.  Later on I was doing some walking to a blind and bumped another buck that was hanging out with a doe and they both disappeared fast.  Never got a shot at anything but at least they were on their feet and moving.  Probably won't be out again until the week between Christmas and New Years.

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I'm out until Wednesday so I can get some things caught up. But, from Wednesday on, I'm hit'n it hard from then until either I get my last buck and doe or the season ends. There's plenty of time to rest after Jan. 8th...:P

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I went out saturday... brrr! I didn't see any deer, but while walking in to a new stand location, I found an area of the woods that a good sized buck tried to tear down. Maybe he'll cruise by next time I'm out. I probably can't get out again until next week though.

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Well I am, sitting here in one o
f my hunting houses.
Heated I might add, 26°. Saw a couple doe this morning hope one comes by a little closer this afternoon.

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