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Record Quest: The Montana Freakshow Mule Deer

Record Quest: The Montana Freakshow Mule Deer

Outdoor Life Editor and Record Quest host Andrew McKean finally hung his tag on a dandy Montana mule deer.
mtmuley_01

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from BiggBucks wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

great story Andrew, and thank you so much for exercising excellent hunting ethics in putting this buck out of its misery. I hope someday to hunt all of the northwest states, and given the opportunity, take some very nice muleys, blacktails, and whitetail deer.

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from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I cut the hams out of him. They seemed pretty clean. We ground them with some other venison and they were fine. I am pretty particular about the meat I feed my family, so I was careful, but your concerns were exactly the ones I had. Most of the carcass, including both front shoulders, fed the coyotes.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would second what elkslayer said, if the meat looked or smelled at all "off", I would not eat it. I hate "wasting" an animal as much as anyone, but I would not want to take the chance of making myself or my family sick. Just drag it out into the woods, and let the scavengers make use of it.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would be very hesitant to eat any of it. I know that I would have taken the time to take it home and examine the meat. If I found it to be as you described "stringy and rank" I don't think I would eat it. Even though much of the meat is away from the wound, the same blood flows throughout. I would take the carcass out in the woods and leave it for the scavengers rather than risk my family's health. If you hadn't shot him he was going to the scavengers anyways. Most of my pleasure from hunting comes from taking a meat package out of the freezer and reliving the hunt before dinner so it would be a big blow to loose the meat but in this case it is not worth the risks.

If there was more time left in the season I would notify my fish and game dept. of the circumstances and request another tag to shoot some meat. (I would do this before leaving it in the woods so that the fish and game could examine it and verify my story.)

I also like to tan my deer and elk hides for various uses, so I would use the hide to make some buckskin so that I could still use part of the buck.

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from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hey elkslayer - I was actually in a real quandary about what to do with the meat. On the one hand, I hunt for food, and the thought of not eating an animal I have killed is really, uh, distasteful to me. But that old buck was both fevered and emaciated, and his meat was totally stringy and rank. His backstraps were about as skinny as hot dogs. I didn't want to sicken my family. But I didn't want to waste him, either. So before I answer, I ask you: what would you have done?
mckean

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Are you concerned about eating the meat of this deer considering the gangrene in the tongue and the potential infectious bacteria that could be present due the other wounds?

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from MazPower wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Gorgeous buck Andrew. But why no pictures of the weepy eye?

This is a good reminder of how difficult the life of a mature buck (or bull) can be.

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from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

huntfishtrap - the final shot WAS the luckiest of my life. The first shot, when he was bedded, was the best. As it turned out, I probably didn't need to take that final shot - he was going down anyway - but I wanted to end in an instant the suffering that he had been experiencing for weeks.
mckean

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Andrew, I am curious why you say your final shot was the best of your life, when it was nowhere near the chest, which is what I assume you were trying to hit? Sounds more like it was the luckiest shot of your life.
I don't fault you for taking a 400 yard shot under the circumstances, but I would just add the observation that there's a good chance he was injured in the first place because somebody took too long of a shot/shots at him.
Interestingly, I shot 180-inch 14 point whitetail last year with my muzzleloader that had been shot by a poacher through both jawbones with either a .22 Magnum or a small .22 centerfire, but it was all healed and calcified around the bullet, so it must've been years before. I don't know how he survived that.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

That's a nice buck, Andrew. You and your partner did a favor for both of these deer. They would have died miserable deaths.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Andrew, I am curious why you say your final shot was the best of your life, when it was nowhere near the chest, which is what I assume you were trying to hit? Sounds more like it was the luckiest shot of your life.
I don't fault you for taking a 400 yard shot under the circumstances, but I would just add the observation that there's a good chance he was injured in the first place because somebody took too long of a shot/shots at him.
Interestingly, I shot 180-inch 14 point whitetail last year with my muzzleloader that had been shot by a poacher through both jawbones with either a .22 Magnum or a small .22 centerfire, but it was all healed and calcified around the bullet, so it must've been years before. I don't know how he survived that.

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from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

huntfishtrap - the final shot WAS the luckiest of my life. The first shot, when he was bedded, was the best. As it turned out, I probably didn't need to take that final shot - he was going down anyway - but I wanted to end in an instant the suffering that he had been experiencing for weeks.
mckean

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Gorgeous buck Andrew. But why no pictures of the weepy eye?

This is a good reminder of how difficult the life of a mature buck (or bull) can be.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would be very hesitant to eat any of it. I know that I would have taken the time to take it home and examine the meat. If I found it to be as you described "stringy and rank" I don't think I would eat it. Even though much of the meat is away from the wound, the same blood flows throughout. I would take the carcass out in the woods and leave it for the scavengers rather than risk my family's health. If you hadn't shot him he was going to the scavengers anyways. Most of my pleasure from hunting comes from taking a meat package out of the freezer and reliving the hunt before dinner so it would be a big blow to loose the meat but in this case it is not worth the risks.

If there was more time left in the season I would notify my fish and game dept. of the circumstances and request another tag to shoot some meat. (I would do this before leaving it in the woods so that the fish and game could examine it and verify my story.)

I also like to tan my deer and elk hides for various uses, so I would use the hide to make some buckskin so that I could still use part of the buck.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I would second what elkslayer said, if the meat looked or smelled at all "off", I would not eat it. I hate "wasting" an animal as much as anyone, but I would not want to take the chance of making myself or my family sick. Just drag it out into the woods, and let the scavengers make use of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

That's a nice buck, Andrew. You and your partner did a favor for both of these deer. They would have died miserable deaths.

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from elkslayer wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Are you concerned about eating the meat of this deer considering the gangrene in the tongue and the potential infectious bacteria that could be present due the other wounds?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

Hey elkslayer - I was actually in a real quandary about what to do with the meat. On the one hand, I hunt for food, and the thought of not eating an animal I have killed is really, uh, distasteful to me. But that old buck was both fevered and emaciated, and his meat was totally stringy and rank. His backstraps were about as skinny as hot dogs. I didn't want to sicken my family. But I didn't want to waste him, either. So before I answer, I ask you: what would you have done?
mckean

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I cut the hams out of him. They seemed pretty clean. We ground them with some other venison and they were fine. I am pretty particular about the meat I feed my family, so I was careful, but your concerns were exactly the ones I had. Most of the carcass, including both front shoulders, fed the coyotes.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BiggBucks wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

great story Andrew, and thank you so much for exercising excellent hunting ethics in putting this buck out of its misery. I hope someday to hunt all of the northwest states, and given the opportunity, take some very nice muleys, blacktails, and whitetail deer.

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