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Blood and dry hands?
Whenever I gut a deer I know it is immediately going to be followed by extremely dry hands? What is the mechanism or agent in blood that causes this? Just curious.
Yup. And combine that with cold, dry air and it's compounded.
Much nicer to just wear latex gloves.
Rubber gloves is the answer.
In the winter months the ends of my thumbs where the nail ends will split open from the dryness and can hurt like hell. I use Superglue Gel on the cracks and it works really well. By the time the glue starts to fall off a few days later the crack is healed.
I didn't know this when I started, but I did learn that Superglue was actually first invented for use by paramedics to help close open wounds as a first aid method.
My wife had knee replacement surgery in November, and they used glue to seal it shut. No stitches. Would be great stuff to have for cuts, but have not found any yet.
It should be at any hardware store. I like the gel better than the standard liquid as it isn't as runny and it sets up a bit quicker.
Super glue does work well on cuts. Dermabond (slightly more flexible, so lasts longer on skin since skin flexes) works better. So if you think you could get a big cut, consider finding that... Super glue in a first aid pack is great - so many uses.
I'll check that out. A hardware store item or a drugstore?
I'm apparently allergic to deer blood. If I let it dry on my hands or wrists I get extremely itchy. It seems its worse if the blood is a little old. Cold blood from a deer left overnight is the worst.
Bowfreak, yep...especially when we would go to AK and by the time the second moose was done my hands would be splitting open. I started using crisco on them and it helped immensely.
Avoid the cracks by keeping your hands moist with a lotion. I use "No-Crack" which is what I use at bedtime, and buy it at a local Duluth store. I've also learned that a soak in epsom salts will draw out the soreness and help dry the crack and speed healing. No-Crack is also good for feet, knees and elbows. I have used it for dryness inside my ears, but there I prefer Neutrogena.
My home heating system is hot air, and despite having a humidifier, winters can be dry.
My dog was bit by another dog bird hunting a few years back. It must of been a 3/4" tear just below her eye. I applied the glue after pinching the skin together & it heeled within a week. works well
Maybe letting down my guard here but after over 40 years I have found my wife's orange extra emollient night cream from Mary Kay to be the best stuff for healing those cracks in the skin, blisters, eczema, calluses, battle wounds etc. from time out in the woods. My neighbor hunts quite a bit and she buys it from my wife to use and share with her hunting husband. He also cuts a lot of wood.
Rubber gloves, with a "cut resistant" glove underneath on your left hand (for us righties) just in case. Never understood the "macho, I like blood and dirt under my fingernails" mentality...
OKeefe's "Working Hands" is very good crème for eliminating/healing cracked hands.
I'll second the OKeefe's. That stuff is awesome. 1 or 2 days and those cracks go away (sorry fellas but you gotta read the directions on the can or tube).
For me, the water at my camp is extremely hard. I keep some softener there and drop a couple in any water for my shower. Drinking water and hand washing water is brought form home in a 3 gallon container. I also ave some un-scented hand lotion that I apply if I happen to work in the dirt after washing my hands. This little regimen has helped me a ton!
Lastly, I don't use rubber gloves for gutting, but I do keep a ziplock with some clorox wipes in my pack. I immediately clean my hands off with those after gutting.
My wife makes a hand cream out of the bears we shoot, works awesome!
I also suffer from cracked hands and use gloves for field dressing and butchering. Have found that non slip dish gloves work really well but finding them large enough is tough. They are flexible enough to still work at minus zero F degrees. Wash them up and they will make another season just make sure you open up the fingers and get them dried out.
Whenever I handle a deer or elk I get a rash on the back of my right hip. Even wearing latex gloves I will have the rash appear the next day. It will not go away until I put a prescription cream on it for a few days. Doc took a tissue sample a few years ago and found nothing. Another interesting part of this is I never had this rash until I killed my first bull elk in 2018.
You didn't wear a mask huh? That'll do it every time!
That, or maybe the "game down" ritual you have of that symbolic "hip bump" with the animal is causing it.
Glad I could help! ;-)
Buck Watcher's Link
We used to quarter 3 or more animals each might fir our clients and it didn't take long to learn what dried blood does to my hands. Even latex gloves often would get blood down inside them, so I learned to do the following: As soon as you open the cavity up, grab some fat or tallow while it's still warm and use it to coat your hands (once it hardens, it's useless so you have to do it while it's still pliable). The fat not only moistens your skin, but acts as somewhat of a temporary barrier.
The BEST thing to keep your fingertips from cracking is Pro-Tech-Skin. Made by Atsko, the Sno Seal people. I put in on once a day, about 1 hour before bed. In 20 years I never had a cracked fingertip while using it. NEVER.
I also use in before I go ice fishing. It seems to waterproof my hands and they don't get as cold.
I shot a doe last night and literally had the guts out of her and my hands clean from snow in 10 minutes. It still dried my hands out tremendously. So much so that I can't get enough lotion on them. However, this time I started using lotion quick and they feel fairly normal today. Also....nitrile gloves seem to make mine worse.
Bear Grease on exposed skin to stay warm.... I recall reading about that as a kid... Probably prevents moisture from evaporating out of your skin, and evaporative cooling is extremely effective, so stands to reason that preventing that would keep you warmer..... And keep your skin from drying out.
Superglue is great stuff for bad cuts....Developed for “audible bleeding” situations....
But you don’t want to glue anything shut if the wound is not clean unless you’re looking at a truly dire situation.
At that rate, maybe it’s tourniquet time and you scrub it clean after the numbness sets in enough to make it tolerable.
I expect Ike will be along to offer an opinion on the advisability of that...
Have gutted way over 50 deer and other big game animals. For many years, I’ve worn shoulder length plastic (veterinarian artificial insemination) gloves and wrist length latex gloves. My hands and arms stay clean and I’m not scraping crud out from under fingernails for a week. I always have several sets of these gloves in my pack.
Aw c'mon. The finger nail crud makes the PB&J sandwich you eat afterwards taste SO much better! Gives it a touch of that "wild" flavor.
WAAAY back in the day when I was young and dumb (before I got old and dumb). one of the ways my deer camp buddies and I would let each other know that we got one was to walk into camp and then show our blood caked hands. Like none of you ever did that?
We usually just run some water over our hands when done field dressing to get most of the blood off.
I’ve always used grass or snow or nearby water if I hit the lottery to clean my hands. Never ever had dry hands. Has to be a ritual to share a bag of chips with bloody hands with buddies afterwards. Maybe the steering wheel cleans it off I dunno
Apauls: Sounds like I've hunted with you! ;-)
I use keefers, (I think that’s the name), on my hands this time of year. Or my finger tips will crack open around the nails. It hurts really bad. So bad it hinders everything. If you’ve had it happen, you know what I mean.
Anyways, I’m allergic to deer and elk dander. Bear doesn’t bother me. I always thought the drying out process described above was due to that. Now I know.
"Or my finger tips will crack open around the nails."
Fun, huh? That's how I know it's getting to be winter. O'Keefe's works well, and so does Udder Balm. But even with these I still wind up using the Super Glue. That ALWAYS works.
feedjake, I've had that itchy reaction before from deer blood. Its been a long time though. I do use rubber gloves, and wash it right off if it gets up on my forearms. Snow or creek water is usually nearby.
I'm gonna remember that one Trad man and...
Sounds like a great idea and Probly help with the cleaning hands afterwards .
Gonna have to try the super glue on my cracked finger tips, I’m dealing with it right now again and like you guys said , hurts like hell and makes it hard to work or touch anything , And this has been a pretty mild winter for Wisconsin standards
they make liquid band aid. most parmacy carry it about 10 diffrent brands out there sure wally wourld as it
It’s not too hard or heavy to carry a ziplock bag with 4-5 pairs of nitrile gloves in your pack. Solves all the above problems and you don’t have to rub your hands in pig fat. Makes eating that celebratory PB&J after a little more enjoyable.
Corn huskers lotion will keep your hands in good shape. It is in drugstores and even hardware stores around here in farming country. I normally have some light weight latex gloves and always carry "Wet ones" to clean my knife and any blood I got on my wrists. I have probably gutted over 200 deer. I also use a butt out for the last several years and it works great once you get the hang of it. I also carry some one gallon plastic bags for heart and sometimes I keep some liver.
I'm kinda like Apauls, except I just use my pants or leave the blood on for a while. My post gut ritual is to take a bloody-fingered dip of Skoal :) I especially like wearing blood on an elk hunt for a few days while waiting for the other guy to tag out :)
I've seen man-scaping threads, I started a man-purse thread, now we have lotions.
What do you all use for exfoliants? Recommend a loofah? How about beard oil?
Bunch of metros. . . . :) :) :)
Buddy and I went to SD to hunt pheasants this year. Got into them and killed a few the first day, and had to clean them of course. Gutted them, and we each got bloody hands. Then went to a nearby town, found a hotel and went to check in. Bless her, the little check-in girl didn't bat an eye at the blood. She just smiled and said "You guys must have killed some today?"
Ah yes...."flyover country"......my people!!!!