Something I learned a couple years back. Watch the weather as far as getting real cold. If you're there after mid November it can get below zero at night. Being from California, I was a bit naive as to how quick a deer could freeze solid. I shot a good sized mulie right at the end of shoot time. I gutted it in the dark and got it back to camp late enough, so that all i wanted to do wasvnothing but eat and sleep. Temp dropped to -10 early next morning and that deer froze up like a giant deer cicle. Like I said I gutted it but the skin and cape was still on it. I took it to a processor and they told me I they would have to wait a few days for it to thaw before they could skin it and butcher it. I was also told that if I tried to cape it frozen, there was a good chance I would wreck the mount trying to separate the skin from the frozen meat.
Needless to say I drove around for four days with the deer in my truck on an elk hunt, until the temps went back above freezing and I could cape and process. If I did it again, I would at least cape the buck while it was warm if not skin the whole animal. Then I would place the deer somewhere it was sheltered enough to keep from freezing solid. Good luck.
I think you'll find deer taste different more based on their location and what they're eating. I've been gnawing on a high country mule deer from this September and it's possibly the best deer I've ever had. I live in MN and grew up eating hardwoods whitetails. The last few years I've taken deer from a different part of the state, where there's ample farm land. I've also gotten some of my family's deer from the hardwoods. The deer that feed on corn and soybeans taste significantly different than the hardwoods deer.
There's also a lot to be said for doing a thorough job at removing silver skin. Preparing/cooking the meat also can really improve/ruin the taste of the meat.
Hope you bring the meat home with you- eating the animal not only brings you back to the hunt in a unique way, but I think it also shows a certain amount of respect for the animal. Good luck hunting! Hope you smoke a giant!!
Not sure I can offer any advice other than what has already been given. We travel a long distance to hunt couse deer as often as possible but not as often as we would like to. When we travel home after a sucessful hunt the meat is on ice and stays as cool as possible and the cape is salted. Good luck on your hunt and enjoy your time with your son!
My son and I will be hunting deer in Montana in a few weeks. We will be 1,500 miles from home. Two questions. 1) I have been told that Mule deer meat is not as tasty as whitetail. Is it and is it worth boning out and hauling home versus donating it locally? 2) if we are lucky enough to score on a good deer, how do I haul the caped out head and rack home without it ruining? I know a lot of you have encountered this and wondering how you handled it. Will be traveling in a Toyota Four Runner. There is not a lot of room. BTW we may take a whitetail instead of a Muley.
Thanks in advance for any advice or replies.
Mule Deer is some of the best meat you'll ever have! I was born and raised on it!