Whhhew I've been busy. Between buying local chestnuts for flour, acorns falling like crazy (earlier then normal) and a spinal tap yesterday I've been busy.
My brother was able to get me a deer as tribal members get an early start to hunting season. Miigwetch to Corey for that!
That means for 3 days Justin and I worked at letting it hang for a day and breaking it down fully. I have the hide up to dry so I can "pickle" (it saves the hair) and tan it.
On the flip side I guess people should know about a lymph node in the hind quarters that can make your meat super gamey. If you accidentally cut into it without knowing the liquid infuses the meat with a bitter, gamey flavor. So that's what this post is going to teach you.
This is a back leg, outside end facing up. If you unzipper The leg/round area you'll find the lymph node. Most game guides say not to worry about it because you'd naturally cut it out. It seems thats not always so especially with beginners to deer processing.
The biggest part of the round you can release by following the tendons and fat. If you losen it with your fingers you can release it by making very few knife cuts. You'll be left with the above picture. In that large chunk of fat and tendon you'll find the lymph node.
There is a gray lymph node in there. This is what you want to avoid. Not only will it make your meat bitter and gamey if the deer had any sort of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) it can be harbored in lymph nodes. Follow the outside edge with your knife and toss. Grossness avoided! There is one in EACH back hindquarter so don't forget the 2nd one!
Now you can finish processing with no more huge worries. Also ALWAYS check the rib cavity for TB nodes. If a deer has TB there will be wart looking lumps in the ribs. Better yet, if theres a DNR near you and you have harvested the deer legally they do free deer checks. Always have food safety on the mind! CWD and TB are the two deer diseases you want to avoid. Deer is our main red meat during the year so we spend quite a bit of time processing.
But this is a beautiful sight! No that wasnt all of it just the very start of that one leg. We turn alot of the leg into ground venison burger when you get the roasts out and the rest is full of silver skin.