deer parts part 1

Because of a death in the family and my impending graduation this story was not completed though I have drafted an outline, I was not able to complete this in time for the reading tonight.  I will keep working on it here and you can see revisions as they come up as well as the conclusion.



“The white-tailed deer is today Pennsylvania’s most striking game animal. At the same time, it is also the Commonwealth’s most complicated game problem.” — Pennsylvania Game News, Editorial, October 1947

Deer Parts

I know you all care about deer. So very much.  When you’re driving late at night and the air is still and they wander to the side of the road and you see their sweet faces, docile, and grazing. You want to hand feed them. The spots on a tiny fawn. The way their legs flail and their quick excitement after you bump them in the night with their car?  You want to own them and hand feed them and pet them and put pretty saddles on them so your six year old can ride them into the fairy kingdom.  You remember when those awful hunters killed bambi’s mother, and the forest burned. You cried, oh you cried and you watched it again with your kids and they cried and you all made winter treats of apples covered with peanut butter and birdseeds to make up for the fictional injustice.

You people make me sick. Your great disdain for hunting and your neat Styrofoam packages of ground beef. You prefer to imagine your meat as a thing that comes as it is, and forget that you’re eating the meat and sucking the bones of the sluggish animals born into meat slavery. A deer in the wild has a fighting chance, a sportsman with the right spirit has a great respect for that animal. Perhaps in the city and your civilized suburban societies you don’t have to associate with the wilderness from which we all came. You’re like a kid putting grass in the box with a turtle to eat.  You don’t really understand the full force of nature, or what it takes to maintain it.

Here’s the thing about deer. They kill more people than any other animal in North America. Through attacks and through car accidents and through lyme disease.  And people have to hunt these deer so that their population isn’t overrun and so that they don’t starve and run into the streets and well you get it…

There is a culture to killing deer, a culture of respect and a fashion of learning to clean the meat and the animal that is not wasteful but the work is serious and difficult. If you’re going to eat meat, it stands to reason that you should have to clean the meat so that you know you really know what you have done.  You want meat, then you should have to disassemble the animal and contemplate what it is and what it will become.  We respect them, we admire them and we wish to posses them, and to consume their wilderness.

Imagine how people used to be imagine how they are. Does your body miss the graceful art of animal competition. Are you satisfied with the elegance of thought? There are spiritual relations in these motions- to catch capture and kill. Lord knows I’d love to be chasing them down, throwing spears, fighting with my bare hands, but realistically-  I can’t compete with today’s high powered hunting rifles. Stop the arms race, figure out how to do that and I will go back to spear hunting.

I get suited up. Stores sell things to go hunting.  You wear orange camo. You can’t wear regular camo. No one in their right mind would wear regular camo to hunt even on their own land.  You get things to cover your face skin, everything, you cover your scent. You bring deer urine.  You think you’re going to hop into this and be the victor but the truth is the animals have been being animals all along and you’ve gone, well you’ve gone soft. You can order or arrange, look up and manage and play mental games for discounts and coupons, but there’s nothing truer than the game of game hunting.

I participate in the cycle of nature. I am a person noble enough to kill what I eat, it’s an honest action. I hunt deer….

With my friends in their trucks and their beers and their flannel shirts. Our homes have had wood paneling for as long as I can remember.





“How to Field Dress a Deer”

Youtube video from user merlinagamel on youtube

What you need:

Sharp knife

Some time

Strong Stomach



Cleaning a deer starts with an incision close to the pelvis, cutting up towards the rib cage, being careful not to puncture the intestines.

Mousilini in the courtcard. The deer is hung by its neck so that as you skin it the flesh pulls itself off of the skeleton.


You can eat anything and should eat anything and all things because otherwise it is a waste of things to not eat the things. A disrespect to the deer’s life. When you kill a deer you must use all the parts.  I’ve grilled a deer’s heart, and it is tender and one of the most delicious parts of his body, so though you may think it is gross to eat the heart, I think it is blasphemy to throw it away.

The hunting ritual goes like this. Mornings, dressing, drinking, and the clouds of our breath in the cold. Rusty, Buck and Ruggy. The bag limit is usually around three or one a day but it’s good to have other guys around even if they don’t bag anything because you need the help to tie them up.

We usually take them back to my house and field dress them.  My wife is more tolerant and my house is more rural and I have the strongest stomach of any. I know how to cut a deer. I’m paid by other hunters to light of stomach to do the dirty work.  How to make use of his bones and parts and otherly insides. I don’t enjoy the work for it’s more morbid aspects but I am certainly skilled at field dressing a deer. I’m paid to do it by those who desire a man with a quick and merciful  knife who would prefer to keep the unpleasantness of the process a mystery. So I am paid. Quite a bit. I am paid take the parts unsightly and wrap everything up in pretty brown paper with string. I am paid to smell the stench of a sectioned bowel and the cave of  the rib cage once everything has been neatly disassembeled into neat piles of keep and throw away.  The prettiest parts are devoured or repurposed, and then ingested. Ingested so that you may carry the strength of the deer. The worst or the indeterminite are just sloughed off. And no you can not eat it all.


Noseflesh.  and all the like.  I slough it all off into a pile and bury it in a grave, deeper than not deep because of the collective stench.  And in the sun it decomposes and reforms.  I take the bucket and add the red shade to the browning pile.  But plants don’t grow there. It is not a fertile area and  decaying flesh is not fertile. It is something else. Something protozoic. Something prehistoric. Something we try and prevent from happening in this modern age.

It’s pretty far behind the house and fenced in.  With a lock. So strange animals don’t investigate. It’s hole with a chicken wire fence and an improvised lid. I don’t lock it because no one in their right mind would want to steal anything, but animals. Sometimes when it rains the sides overflow and it perculates with blood mud and the whole mess stinks and bubbles and then in the morning the birds, any kind of sick little bird will come and pick away at the entrail trail.

I mean it’s gross but it’s never frightening, or I am not frightened like that. Or it least it wasn’t until recently and I would describe the driest scenario with the hope of explaining the steps inbetween just to recount what had happened. Or what I had seen. it would start at the day before and how the hole had been deeper, seemed deeper and in the night the guts had risen like dough, and I felt so sure because the top of the metal shovel stuck out. and the next day there was only wood.  though it seemed in the same place in the dirt the shovel blade no longer appeared at all and around it a soft cushion of guts lie.  They looked pink and red and swollen and infected but regular but kind of hairy, as the discards are the discards and loose hair stuck to all the bloody sides of intenstines and odds and ends.  I pushed into it, and it seemed, or just appeared to push back a little. Or maybe I imagined it but it seemed to push back. Or grab. I think it grabbed on to me. I think i felt it grab.  it’s sticky and bloody and messy and the sun can do strange things. So this particular night, I decided to cover it with dirt, which was a lot of work and not something I was in the mood for at all. It was a hot day and the sun had made me sweat and there was scant enough dirt to cover the swollen pile.

When I got home I stunk and my wife would not even kiss me until I had washed, in the yard, with a hose.





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