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#3108705 - 06/17/09 04:57 PM Regarding Boning Out a Critter...
HuntMeister Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 131
Loc: Indiana
All the talk of boning out a Elk in the "Elk Hunting on Public Land" thread got me to thinking about what a hunting buddy of mine once told me. He told me that the meat would be very tough if the meat was not allowed to get to the rigor stage prior to boning it out. Now understand I have slept a few winks since that conversation more than two years ago so I may have not quoted exactly as he said it. But basically he was of the opinion that for best results the meat should be left on the bone.

My questions for those of you with experience boning out Elk / Deer...

Will the quality, taste, tenderness, ect. of the meat be compromised by boning out the meat and does it matter when a critter is boned out?

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#3108764 - 06/17/09 05:18 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: HuntMeister]
Rock Chuck Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 25805
Loc: Filer, ID
Boning won't affect flavor but tenderness might be an issue. However, I'm not one to pack full quarters a couple miles to the road with all that heavy bone intact. I often leave the leg bones in, depending on conditions, but the ribs, spine, etc. stay where they are.
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#3108814 - 06/17/09 05:34 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: Rock Chuck]
exbiologist Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 4943
Loc: Colorado
That sounds kinda strange to me. Allowing the muscles to go through rigor is not the same chemical process as aging. Debone, then age if it matters to you.
Deboning is intimidating for those who have never done it and I understand the hesitancy, but it's totally worth it. If you don't want to do it at night, gut the elk and at least grab some choice cuts, debone one ham, then come back in the morning. It's certainly easier to do with daylight.
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#3108953 - 06/17/09 06:23 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: exbiologist]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 33362
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
The problem with boning before the whole rigor process is the way some hunters do it.

If individual muscles are take off the bone before going into rigor, or after going into rigor but before leaving it, they can contract or stay contracted. This makes them tougher, and aging won't help. A similar thing happens when meat freezes before or during rigor.

If you do bone out an animal, keep the chunks of meat as big as possible, instead of stripping off individual muscles as is sometimes suggested. For instance, cut the ham into two big chunks from either side of the femur.
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The ultimate concern of a rifle loony is rifle trivia. And why not? What else is as distracting from the really important concerns of everyday life?

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#3108957 - 06/17/09 06:24 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: Rock Chuck]
djs Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 17109
Loc: Virginia
 Originally Posted By: Rock Chuck
Boning won't affect flavor but tenderness might be an issue. However, I'm not one to pack full quarters a couple miles to the road with all that heavy bone intact. I often leave the leg bones in, depending on conditions, but the ribs, spine, etc. stay where they are.


AND, the ribs, spine, and remaining meat feed other critters - they got to eat too.

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#3108962 - 06/17/09 06:26 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: exbiologist]
99guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4144
Loc: SE, PA
In all my years hunting elk and moose I have never heard that.

All of the elk and moose I have ever killed or been with people who have killed, we got the hide off them and then deboned ASAP. It's critical to get the meat cooled quickly. My common sense tells me that deboning would only hasten the cooling process. I have never had any issues with meat immediately deboned being tough. I did see the front shoulder of a non deboned moose spoil once. I suspect if it had been deboned the meat would have cooled more quickly and possibly not spoiled.

Don't confuse deboneing with aging. You can debone it immediately and then still age it under controlled conditons and wind up with very palitable meat.

Randy
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"You cannot invade mainland America. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass"
~Admiral Yamamoto~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson~

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#3108985 - 06/17/09 06:33 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: Mule Deer]
HuntMeister Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 131
Loc: Indiana
 Originally Posted By: Mule Deer
If individual muscles are take off the bone before going into rigor, or after going into rigor but before leaving it, they can contract or stay contracted. This makes them tougher, and aging won't help. A similar thing happens when meat freezes before or during rigor.


Mule Deer, I believe that is exactly what my friend said, that is the part about the muscles contracting and staying that way would make the meat tough. His view was if you were going to bone one out to wait a day or so before doing so.

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#3109017 - 06/17/09 06:41 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: djs]
rayporter Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 401
Loc: arkansas
i took a meat cutting course and dont remember anything like that. personally i say cut em up - they are dead and dont know the differance. i have usually cut them up on the spot, while warm. but not always. sometimes they are left overnight and cut up the next morning. never any issues with meat, taste or tenderness. if you are new to cutting one up dont worry -he cant feel a thing!! just make it look like the picture hanging on the wall in the meat market of the cuts and you will be fine. it dont matter if one is a little bigger or smaller than the other. the single biggest bit of advise i would give is dont gut it- just start to take it apart till a pile of bones are left.

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#3109021 - 06/17/09 06:42 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: HuntMeister]
HuntMeister Offline
Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 131
Loc: Indiana
99guy, I do not believe I am confusing deboning with aging.

Aging as I understand it is typically the process of "hanging" the meat for a period of time to allow the natural breakdown of the muscles thus making the meat more tender while deboning is the process of separating the meat from the bone.

rayporter, not new to cutting up critters. I process all my game but have never deboned one prior to processing for the freezer. Living in Indiana the law currently doesn't allow one to quarter or debone in the field (hopefully this will soon change) and all of the Elk and Deer that I or my group have killed out west we quartered and had hauled out by horse. This year I hope to draw a Deer tag in WY and plan to hunt far from the roads but will not have the luxury of horses.


Edited by HuntMeister (06/17/09 07:03 PM)

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#3109030 - 06/17/09 06:45 PM Re: Regarding Boning Out a Critter... [Re: rayporter]
99guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4144
Loc: SE, PA
That is good advise rayporter. Don't even bother gutting the thing. Pull the hide off it, quarter it, then debone. No reason to make a bigger mess than you have to.
_________________________
"You cannot invade mainland America. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass"
~Admiral Yamamoto~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson~

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