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I just read a thread regarding how antelope taste.
My father-in-law shot an antelope in Montana during rifle season, killed it cleanly, dressed it properly, and waited for a few days to butcher it at my former home in South Dakota (cold temps made this viable).
The meat was excellent!
I plan on hunting South Dakota this August with archery equipment and am curious about the gutless technique of preparing the animal.
Can anyone give me the particulars on it?
Google: Big game gutless method.
Lots of info to read and see.
Search youtube for gutless method, several videos on there. The videos I've seen are for elk, but it's the same thing just on a smaller animal.
Honestly, antelope are so small that I've never seen a need for gutless. They are light enough to drag easily or carry on your back. I'd rather take all the skin off later in a controlled environment where dirt won't get on it. Also, the places I've hunted them are hot, dry and dusty so I'd rather wait than expose the meat and dry it out.
I use the gutless method on most animals but for Antelope I skin them ASAP in the shade if I can find any. Any little breeze will cool them down substantially. Then I quarter them and place them in a cooler on Ice, preferably also cover them with Ice.
Gutless is a pretty slick process. Writer on BS showed me how to remove the fillets on a doe last winter. This was my only concern with gutless so now it is my first choice.
I have yet to gut an antelope. Where I hunt I can drive to them or its a short drag to the truck. Skin and quarter then meat goes right into a cooler with ice.
I've done gutless on multiple pronghorn, usually in the shade of my truck, then straight into the cooler with ice.
Haven't had a nice area to hang and skin them, and the weather is usually hotter than not.
Simple and quick- very easy on pronghorn. Back up truck. Open cooler. Take off the good leave the bad! You can pull the inside tenderloins easy once every thing else is done. In the cooler in less than 30 minutes. Done it several times by myself, but very easy with another person to help.
Thanks for the input.
I viewed some videos online and got the gist of it.
Really easy - really. Just skin cut the meat off. Not trying to be mean but if you ave butchered a few animals it will be easy - and faster. Getting the tenderloins out though is tough - but on a lope they are 2 bites.
Once you go gutless, you don't go back...
I always think about the video "how not to gut an Elk" with these threads. A must watch!
Gutless works great for antelope because it is usually super warm during the archery seasons. It only takes a matter of minutes to bone/skin an antelope and get it in a cooler with ice. It's also nice to go gutless with other critters that are shot several miles from a road and are larger in size that may take several loads to pack out. I often go one step further with elk sized game and bone them out so it makes less bulk and fewer trips.
I would also advise skinning the pieces so it cools down quicker and gets the smelly hide off. You may want to quickly skin the legs before cutting them off.
Mike Vines's Link
Like most say. It's super-easy and does help improve the taste of the meat.
The fillets on the inside are simple, and clean, if you make a cut just behind the last rib, as close to the spine as you can get.
Reach in, you'll find it up against the spine. A few slices per side and it's in your hand.
If the belly has swollen too much, a quick stick with a knife you won't be using again until you can clean it, to the bottom of the belly relieves the pressure.
Make sure that whole is facing downwind! :-)
Link doesn't work, but for a good laugh, you all should Google How not to gut an elk.
I can think of very few reasons to gut an animal. But I don't live where it is cool enough to hang them for a week in the garage. Also, it tend to hunt in places that I have to pack them out.
It takes but a few minutes to gut a deer, so what's the big deal. Even if you have to pack out why not just gut it and then quarter it, no worries about cutting the bag. Isn't the reason why you gut is to get the hot organs out to help cool the meat? seems like you have to be more careful while trying to do the gutless method.
LB. . . it's a whole lot easier to mess up and cut open guts while gutting, than it is while doing gutless. In my opinion. . .
Writer: I am impressed you even take the tenderloins:) I enjoy seeing the faces of folks that watch me do that for the first time! It is a great way to progress as we age so the up hill drags become easy back pack walks! C
Only reason I would gut is if I wanted the rib bones I guess, never do. Or a pig if I wanted to put the whole or half on the bbq pit.
Apparently we're in the minority, but I'm with LB on this one. I'd rather cut the meat up in a controlled environment if the pack out is easy with a whole animal. Gutless makes it easier to get dirt on it and ruin more meat in the field. If I can throw the animal straight in my truck or on a game cart for a 1 mile hike I'll gut it and leave the skin on until I'm back in my garage.
Of course, gutless is the only way to go if you're talking elk and mule deer in the mountains.
I do gutless when I kill a deer on our farm, and the tractor is five feet away and we have a helluva block and tackle in our barn.
I put it in a cooler with ice or frozen gallon jugs within a few minutes and I'm good for a week or so, if needed.
Another plus, for me, with gutless is that I can put the carcass where I want, stake it down and get some good photography, either with a trail cam or my Canons. Got four redtails taking on a juvie bald eagle on trail cam one time.
Also, if you live in town it's a lot easier to dispose of just four leg bones than an entire skeleton.
To each his own, really nothing wrong with either method.
I'm sure I've gotten some funny reactions from my garbage man when he sees the bag filled with animal parts in the trash can. :)
I'll also add that it depends on the situation. If it's at dark I'll gut and throw it in the truck, then deal with it further at home. If I have time to kill I might break it down further into quarters in the field.
Vids: Like you said to each his own. When I do my deer there is zero hair and dirt. A garbage bag and a pillow sack and good to go. Takes 7 minutes 32 seconds per deer:)
I've done several antelope with the gutless method. I always have a game bag or 2 in my day pack. Just throw the pieces in the bag as they come off and they stay clean. I shot a fawn antelope once though that I quartered and threw all 4 quarters in my day pack. Best eating ever!