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Mr Drysdale
10-13-2013, 06:53 PM
My son and I will be hunting deer in Montana in a few weeks. We will be 1,500 miles from home. Two questions. 1) I have been told that Mule deer meat is not as tasty as whitetail. Is it and is it worth boning out and hauling home versus donating it locally? 2) if we are lucky enough to score on a good deer, how do I haul the caped out head and rack home without it ruining? I know a lot of you have encountered this and wondering how you handled it. Will be traveling in a Toyota Four Runner. There is not a lot of room. BTW we may take a whitetail instead of a Muley.
Thanks in advance for any advice or replies.

Ikeepitcold
10-13-2013, 06:57 PM
Welcome to the forum newbie.

You will have to put the meat in a ice chest to keep it cold on your way home. I personally really like mule deer meat and I've had plenty of white tail also. There is a differance but I would take the meat home with me.

Good luck in your hunt.

Musket Man
10-13-2013, 07:30 PM
Eastern MT has the best mule deer meat I have ever had! I have never had whitetail to compare too but I dont think you will be disappointed in the mule deer. I think it will be cold enough if you keep the head and cape on the outside of your vehicle in a game bag it would be just fine untill you get home. Good luck!

packer58
10-13-2013, 07:43 PM
Well taken care of mule deer is awesome, I would def take it home with you!! Just keep things cold and you'll be fine. Another option might be to have the deer processed and frozen after the hunt, put it in a cooler with dry ice and head for home. The cape will also be fine if you keep it cold for the trip home.

Bitterroot Bulls
10-14-2013, 09:09 AM
Agreed keep the meat cool. I wouldn't risk the cape though. You might get some hair slip. Salt the cape before you head home.

Colorado Cowboy
10-14-2013, 09:28 AM
If you think you might kill one that you might mount, get in touch with your Taxidermist before you go and have have him show you what he wants and how to cape and preserve the cape. The previour advice about meat care was spot on. the only downside to processing on the spot is there is a chance that the meat you get back won't be your own. Look at the processor carefully.

Good Luck

ivorytip
10-14-2013, 10:11 AM
mr drysdale, welcome to the forum. dont travel 1500 miles for a whiteteale when you can harvest your first western mulie. thats like going to a mexican restraunt and ordering a cheeseburger;) and the meat is sensational! the white tails here taste different then the ones on your side of the states too. diff foods. ur first bite into a juicy tenderloin from your hard earned buck will send your taste buds into a whole new wonderfull realm of life, hot and brown on the outside while the deep center is nice and pink, a touch of salt and maybey a splash of vinegar...... damn! im going to have me some deer steak when i get off work.... like others have said get some salt on that cape and keep that meat nice and cold.

MWScott72
10-14-2013, 06:14 PM
I've shot both whitetails and mulies and I really haven't noticed any difference in them. Granted, the mulies have been in the high country and weren't lowland sage dwellers, but I really don't think it will make a difference. Properly care for the meat, and you'll love it! It works for antelope - it will definitely work for mule deer.

I totally agree with Ivorytip, what in the world would you shoot a whitetail for if you're traveling 1,500 miles out west?? I mean, if it's huge OK, but otherwise I don't see it.

Mr Drysdale
10-14-2013, 07:39 PM
Thanks for all of the replies and input. We are truly excited about the hunt and the escape from our busy lives for a few days. I have hunted Elk in Utah and Bear in Canada. My son has not been out West nor have we been on an extended trip together.

tdcour
10-14-2013, 07:53 PM
Like everyone says, keep the meat clean and cold and it will be tasty. My dad shot a mule deer and I shot a white tail last year in South Dakota. A little different flavor between the two, but both very good. The biggest thing is, buy a big cooler, like as big as you can fit on a hitch-haul or as big as will fit in your toyota. Quarter or bone out the deer and pack it with ice. I don't let our deer sit in water if I can help it. Drain the cooler constantly or wrap the deer in plastic bags after they get cold. For the head and cape, I bought an ice chest that looks like a cube and put it in there. They also make ice chests specifically made for a head and cape, but I'm not sure how they work. Also, like ivorytip mentioned, don't shoot a white tail unless its huge. Get the western experience and put down your first muley. You will be hooked. Good luck and welcome to the forum. PS, great job taking your son out. Thats how my dad got me started and I love every minute of hunting with him. Don't forget to have fun!

larrylur
10-14-2013, 08:25 PM
Something I learned a couple years back. Watch the weather as far as getting real cold. If you're there after mid November it can get below zero at night. Being from California, I was a bit naive as to how quick a deer could freeze solid. I shot a good sized mulie right at the end of shoot time. I gutted it in the dark and got it back to camp late enough, so that all i wanted to do wasvnothing but eat and sleep. Temp dropped to -10 early next morning and that deer froze up like a giant deer cicle. Like I said I gutted it but the skin and cape was still on it. I took it to a processor and they told me I they would have to wait a few days for it to thaw before they could skin it and butcher it. I was also told that if I tried to cape it frozen, there was a good chance I would wreck the mount trying to separate the skin from the frozen meat.

Needless to say I drove around for four days with the deer in my truck on an elk hunt, until the temps went back above freezing and I could cape and process. If I did it again, I would at least cape the buck while it was warm if not skin the whole animal. Then I would place the deer somewhere it was sheltered enough to keep from freezing solid. Good luck.

d.kerri
10-18-2013, 03:21 PM
I think you'll find deer taste different more based on their location and what they're eating. I've been gnawing on a high country mule deer from this September and it's possibly the best deer I've ever had. I live in MN and grew up eating hardwoods whitetails. The last few years I've taken deer from a different part of the state, where there's ample farm land. I've also gotten some of my family's deer from the hardwoods. The deer that feed on corn and soybeans taste significantly different than the hardwoods deer.

There's also a lot to be said for doing a thorough job at removing silver skin. Preparing/cooking the meat also can really improve/ruin the taste of the meat.

Hope you bring the meat home with you- eating the animal not only brings you back to the hunt in a unique way, but I think it also shows a certain amount of respect for the animal. Good luck hunting! Hope you smoke a giant!!

Manualman
10-19-2013, 03:14 PM
Mule deer, antelope,elk,whitetail it all good if you take care of it. If you want to donate it, put me on top of the list LOL

Straightshot
10-26-2013, 12:48 PM
Not sure I can offer any advice other than what has already been given. We travel a long distance to hunt couse deer as often as possible but not as often as we would like to. When we travel home after a sucessful hunt the meat is on ice and stays as cool as possible and the cape is salted. Good luck on your hunt and enjoy your time with your son!
Straighshot

dhershberger
10-29-2013, 04:50 PM
My son and I will be hunting deer in Montana in a few weeks. We will be 1,500 miles from home. Two questions. 1) I have been told that Mule deer meat is not as tasty as whitetail. Is it and is it worth boning out and hauling home versus donating it locally? 2) if we are lucky enough to score on a good deer, how do I haul the caped out head and rack home without it ruining? I know a lot of you have encountered this and wondering how you handled it. Will be traveling in a Toyota Four Runner. There is not a lot of room. BTW we may take a whitetail instead of a Muley.
Thanks in advance for any advice or replies.
Mule Deer is some of the best meat you'll ever have! I was born and raised on it!

tttoadman
10-29-2013, 06:51 PM
I have nothing to add that hasn't been said. I just want to wish you good luck, and look forward to seeing some good pics.