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  1. #21
    Junior Member
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    Charleston, SC
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    Nice buck for sure, and your 1st buck ... wow. That is something to be proud of.

  2. #22
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Congrats and great buck!

  3. #23
    Member
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    Feb 2013
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    Denver, Colorado, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by ando_31 View Post
    You should elaborate on then end of your story a bit. I'm curious as to how the quartering/dragging/boning/gutting went for you since it was your first deer and no one was there to help. I bet that can be an overwhelming feeling, especially if you were miles from your vehicle.
    I'm glad you asked. Right up until I took the shot, I was debating about it because I knew how much work I had ahead of me. I really didn't relax and feel happy until the meat was at the processor. That is when I finally felt a sense of accomplishment. Up until then I was scared that I would waste the meat of the beautiful creature whose life I had taken.

    I got him about 5 miles from my jeep and I had never seen a dead deer before. Thank goodness for YouTube. I had watched quite a few videos about the "gutless method" and pretty well memorized what I needed to do. I started skinning him just behind his front shoulder. I got all the skin off of his rear quarter except evidence of sex. Finally got that quarter off, put it in a game bag, then in a white 3mm thick contractor bag, tied it up and put it in a shaded pool of the nearby creek. Then, I took off the backstrap, front quarter, and neck meat and got them in the creek. Then I rolled him over and did the same for the other side. Finally, I cut open his stomach cavity, shoved the guts out of the way, and reached up to get the tenderloins. The whole process took me about three hours. I know it takes some of you less than one. I felt very lucky that there were not more than a dozen or so black flies buzzing around me until the end when I was joined by yellow jackets, butterflies, and even clark's nutcrackers. The thing I was most concerned about was all the hair I got on the meat. Because I did the skinning and quartering more or less simultaneously, I did get a fair amount of hair on the meat. After I got home I cleaned each quarter in the sink before taking it to the processor.

    The real work was carrying him out. I took half of him (the first two bags were already pretty cool by then) plus most of my camp and rifle on the first trip. I was about 3/4 to a mile of steep nasty stuff from a trail. Then about 4 miles on the relatively flat trail back to my jeep. In my jeep was a 120 quart cooler with gallon jugs of frozen water covered with an old sleeping bag. The ice held up really well. By the time I got to my jeep, it was 7pm. So, I tossed him in the cooler and spent the night at a hotel in Leadville. I came back the next day for the second half which was much easier but still very hard work.

    I left his head and antlers on the mountain. My wife said she didn't want any trophies in the house. Up until I came back from this trip, she was actually downright against hunting. Luckily she understands that we are different people and that this was important to me. So, she sent me off with good wishes. Now, she is proud of me and can't wait to eat the lean healthy meat. I know where I left his head, so I'll go back for it in the spring. Even if I can't mount him, I can at least keep him in the garage as a memento (married guys here know you have to pick your battles). In the meantime, I keep looking at the pictures of him on my phone and growing increasingly proud of my hunt.

    Thanks to everyone here for your congratulations. They mean a lot to me.

  4. #24
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Montana
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    Awesome Eric!

    What a great hunt. Congrats!

    Now go get the head. Trust me, do it now.

  5. #25
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2012
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    ND
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    Well done! You deserve to grab those horns every now and then to remind you of the meat you personally provided for your family and for the dedication you had during your first hunt. That battle might be worth the fight.

  6. #26
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2012
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    OREGON
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    Great job on your fisrt buck! Still hunting is becoming a lost art, I love that style of hunting. I agree with the others, go get those horns, they are great reminders of the hunt. I have all but one or 2 sets of mine, I still look at my first set from 30 years ago.

  7. #27
    Member
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    Aug 2013
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    South Dakota
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    Wow, that's a heck of a first buck. Great job! I hope you get back up there for the rack.

  8. #28
    Banned
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    Dec 2011
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    Buena Vista, Co.
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    Great job Eric. Was I right about still hunting? Fun wasn't it?

    You need to study up some more on the gutless method. If you do it right the hair won't get near the meat, and there's no need to gut it to get the loins. It's done from the spine side.

  9. #29
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    Thanks, Pete. It was great fun. I look forward to doing it again next year.

    I definitely did some fumbling around which I won't have to repeat. I don't think I would have got any hair on the meat if I wasn't so tentative about skinning him. I had it in my head that the tenderloins were right underneath the backstraps. I didn't realize they'd be so far back. But I still can't imagine getting them out from the spine side. So, I'll watch another gutless video. I have plenty of time until next year.

    If I hunt the same unit next year I won't bother carrying binoculars. I thought you were crazy for saying that. I almost packed a scope and tripod too. But with a muzzleloader in the type of country I was hunting binoculars were just extra weight swinging around my neck.

  10. #30
    Banned
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    Dec 2011
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    Buena Vista, Co.
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    Hunt light and sneaky like an indian.

 

 

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