antelope MEAT

GKPrice

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So, does anyone have any "secrets" re: taking care of antelope meat from field to locker ? I killed my first WY buck not too many seasons ago, some of the best table fare we've ever enjoyed - killed a couple of does 3 seasons ago, taken care of virtually the same as the original, dog won't even come into the room where it's thawing - last year I killed 2 does, had them to the locker as fast as humanly possible, one's meat smells as good as any game I've cooked up, the other is the same BAD story - I'm stumped ...... both were dropped straight away, gutted and hanged in shade quickly, taken to town locker that afternoon and chunked/packaged then brought home frozen, upon thawing out one bad and one great
 

wapitibob

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Been eating WY Antelope for quite a few years. All tastes the same.
I kill, quarter, pack, and drop in a cooler with ice. I leave it in the cooler till I cut it up at home a week or so later. I've never hung up an Antelope so I have no experience with that as a possible cause.
 

Randy Newberg

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Are you sure you got your meat back? Sounds like you did everything properly. I've run 40+ antelope through my freezer and every single one has been excellent.

Here is how I do it in the field. What little remains of this one is testament to the quality of the meat.

[video=youtube_share;Bvm7uyrgKeQ]https://youtu.be/Bvm7uyrgKeQ[/video]
 

Gr8bawana

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Me too, never had a bad antelope
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Same thing here, never had a bad one.
Antelope are so small that they are very easy to butcher yourself so you can be sure it was handled correctly every step of the way.
 
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GKPrice

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thank you all - it could be that I didn't get MY meat back - In WY during season it does seem to get busy - I don't know .... I just had the "cutter" do "chunks" with the intent of trimming myself at home - I thawed 3 good size packages Saturday, first turned out meat that's as good as anything I've eaten but #2 & 3 came out with a "stink" (not rotten or bad) that I distinctly smell - could it be that some parts of antelope just have a certain game smell that I'm not recognizing ? This really bothers me as I HATE to toss game I've killed

I'm going to be very careful and selective with the next ones, it's bugging me sooo bad
 

pods8

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both were dropped straight away, gutted and hanged in shade quickly, taken to town locker that afternoon and chunked/packaged then brought home frozen, upon thawing out one bad and one great

I've heard it before that getting the hide off asap makes a difference, I have no comparison as I do just that and haven't had a bad antelope yet. Thus my routine is skin/quarter them asap and then I put the meat on block ice in a cooler. Antelope are very fast to break down esp. gutless and a game bag full of antelope is an easy load to carry out versus dragging or a cart. I don't think its ever been more than 2hr before I have the skinless meat on ice and that just accounts for a longer walk back. I haven't had a bad one yet. The musk on the buck heads got some comments from the wife though but that doesn't carry over to the meat (assuming you didn't rub the skin and then handle the meat).


Also if you are just wanting meat chunks back antelope are a great introduction into butchering as their quarters are easier to handle. Just a thought.
 

Ridge Ghost

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I like to debone in the field, then pack it back to the truck where a cooler with ice is waiting. I have also gutted and brought out whole in a game cart, which also works fine when it's cold enough. Either way, the meat always turns out great.

Like others, I'm curious if you butchered it yourself or not. Commercial butchers are often in a huge hurry to crank through orders during hunting season, and won't take the time to pick out every hair, cut off all fat, silver skin, etc. This can make a difference when it comes to gamey taste. You also run the risk of them mixing your meat with others who may not have taken good care of theirs in the field.
 
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GKPrice

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Again, thank you - I am doing something wrong, I can see that - I think getting the hide off where they drop rather than dragging or tossing in the truck and hauling back may very be the step I'm erring on - I'll mend my ways and see how that works
 

JWP58

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Again, thank you - I am doing something wrong, I can see that - I think getting the hide off where they drop rather than dragging or tossing in the truck and hauling back may very be the step I'm erring on - I'll mend my ways and see how that works

I think that's the biggest thing. Gotta get the hide off asap and get the meat on ice. The guys I know that complain about the taste gut it, drag it, and toss it in the pickup. Only to drive for a couple of hours before dropping it off at the processor. I think that would be fine if the temps were low enough, but not in August or September.

Those same guys think im crazy when I say antelope is the best red meat out there....of course I like aoudad too.
 

wapitibob

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I pack mine out with just a Kifaru frame and Gen II meat bag. Any decent frame and a bag of some sort would do the job. That way it's cooling off immediately. They weigh next to nothing. Bone out the fronts and pop the hinds off at the knees, toss in the backstraps and tenderloins and be on your way.
 

Fishforfun

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So, does anyone have any "secrets" re: taking care of antelope meat from field to locker ? I killed my first WY buck not too many seasons ago, some of the best table fare we've ever enjoyed - killed a couple of does 3 seasons ago, taken care of virtually the same as the original, dog won't even come into the room where it's thawing - last year I killed 2 does, had them to the locker as fast as humanly possible, one's meat smells as good as any game I've cooked up, the other is the same BAD story - I'm stumped ...... both were dropped straight away, gutted and hanged in shade quickly, taken to town locker that afternoon and chunked/packaged then brought home frozen, upon thawing out one bad and one great

Depending on the time of year, hanging in the shade for any length of time is not good. Get it off the bone and in a cooler with ice ASAP.
 

woodmoose

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Depending on the time of year, hanging in the shade for any length of time is not good. Get it off the bone and in a cooler with ice ASAP.


exactly - get that hide off and the meat in a cooler,,,,,I didn't do that on my first one, hung it in a walk-in cooler overnight at the ranch I was hunting,,,,,meat wasn't the best,,,,

next two I skinned immediately and into cooler - excellent meat

lesson learned for me,,,,,
 

Muledeerfanatic

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I have shot a bunch of lopes and have only skinned or butchered maybe a handful in the field. Gut rinse throw in truck with a pile of them and hang for a week, best meat there is.
 

Gumbo

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I wish I had some great advice or ideas but I don't. I have killed as many antelope as Montana will allow me too every year for 20 years and I never skin in the field, have taken almost all of them to a processor (different ones too), and all have been superb. Sage, hay, or grassland, no difference in meat for me. All I do is get them out of the sun and cool them down as quickly as possible and rinse them out very well...and I try not to gut shoot them, and I don't chase them in the truck before killing them. I really wonder why so many folks dislike antelope or have had bad ones because in my experience they aren't any more difficult to care for than elk or deer. Maybe I've just been lucky so far?

Actually, I did have one bad goat, but I blew a Rage Hypodermic through him above the spine and it took me 11 days to finish him off with another arrow. He was pretty bad by the time I got him to the table and he ended up in the county dump (after contacting FWP enforcement). That whole experience was a bummer, but I bet he would have been great had he not gone septic.
 

danmayland

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I have to agree to disagree with most of the posts on here. It's all good advice for the most part. I've guided hundreds of antelope and harvested dozens myself. Antelope is my favorite game animal as well but I've had good and I've had bad. I'm of the opinion that the diet of the antelope along with the manner and timeliness of death are the biggest contributors to taste. Antelope have very long hollow hair. It's been my experience that hanging them in a shaded area with the hide on for up to 3 days produces the best meat. They actually cool very fast this way and it allows the meat to age some without the risk of flies laying larve on the meat. I've had antelope from the field to the freezer (iced coolers) in very short amounts of time and I've still had good and bad (gamey) meat. It's more of a rarity to have bad ones but it does happen. I've also noticed that they seem to be more gamey when they're harvested closer to the rut. Same for both does and bucks. I think the hormones have something to do with that as I've rarely ever had a bad archery antelope. The rare exceptions have been when one didn't die right away because of a marginal hit. Laying them in the truck or on any surface for any longer than a half hour is a BIG NO-NO. That's a sure way to spoil the meat. They must be hung or put on ice as soon as possible. Putting them on ice in a cooler as other suggested is the best way to assure you have good meat but I also believe that there are circumstances mentioned above that could lead to more gamey meat.

I always plan on boning the in the field and getting them on ice if I can't hang them. I take a hitch mounted hoist to hang them from the bumper of my camper if they're close to a place I can load them into the truck whole.


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