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Here’s What To Do With All Of Those Extra Deer Parts

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When you hunt and use every part of a deer, you respect and honor not only just nature but age-old hunting traditions that we seem to have forgotten in our busy digital life.

Hunting as a means to feed and provide for your family is a natural act, but knowledge about it is beginning to fade from our society. So, below we will discuss how to hunt a deer and use every single part of the animal for a benefit to yourself and the land.

There are two general types of hunting — bow and rifle – and we will discuss both interchangeably.

How to Find the Best Spots

First, you’ll have to find public or private land to hunt on in your area. Public lands generally will require hiking in, because they will have vehicle restrictions. Private lands may allow vehicles, which will make getting to your spot easier and hauling out a whole lot easier, once you’ve bagged your game.

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Either way, make sure you park at least a mile out, because even if you’re going to overnight so the noise won’t be an issue, the smell of the vehicles could scare aware deer.

There are several types of terrain that you need to use to give you an edge. Get a TOPO (topography) map of your area. This will allow you to see the following terrain shapes so you can use them in your successful hunt.

Learn the Terrain

Cover Funnels. This is where the cover that they are using to hide necks down to a narrow spot. If you took two beer bottles and laid them in the ground with both of their opening perfectly facing each other and touching, you would have an hourglass shape.

This is the perfect shape of a cover funnel. There are open areas all around, but the cover area necks down and gets narrow at some point. This is going to be a prime spot to hunt or put up a tree stand. The deer will basically be funneled into that narrow area.

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Saddles. Here you have two hills with a valley in between. This is called a saddle. The deer will come through here because they don’t like to walk the ridge line. Plus, like most creatures, they, too, take the path of least resistance.

If two large habitats are on either side of your saddle or cover funnel above, then you have a great bottle neck they have to come through.

Points. If you have a great big long point that covers a large area, then the deer will follow the hill and make their turn at the base of that point. Just like you, they have no interest in going over the top of it. So, as they go around it, they turn at the base of it. So, that base point is a good spot to hunt.

Ridge Lines. Deer for the most part won’t travel ridge lines. They are not under cover if they do, and more dangerous. If you have a long ridge line they will generally be 3/4 of the way down it or more.

I’m not saying that this is a good place to hunt — just saying that ridge lines are typically not.

Food And Droppings

There is a great deer hunter saying that is so obvious that it’s painful. The saying is: Hunt where the deer live.

So, use the TOPO features but also start looking for their favorite foods. As an example: If you find an acorn pile under some oak trees, look for droppings and hoof prints as sign.

Deer love acorns, and they can put on weight with them faster than other foods.

If you see an area of natural browse where there is a lot of twigs, seeds, berries and leaves that make up the bulk of their diet, look for signs nearby. If it’s pre-rut season, then look for tree rubbings along with your other sign markings. They will be rubbing the velvet from their antlers. You may see dried velvet at the base of the tree with rub marks.

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These are all really good signs that you’re hunting at a good location.

How to Use Every Part of the Deer

To follow the tradition of the old hunting ways, learn how to use every part of the deer. We won’t cover the meat, because we will presume you’re going to eat it. So, we’ll just cover the rest.

Antlers. They make wonderful silverware and knife handles. Cut them into ¼-inch thick slices or less to make great buttons. Drill holes through the centers, run wiring and make lamps, sconces, and chandeliers when putting several together. They also make great handles for cupboards, doors, drawers and more.

Cut a good piece off and drill a hole through it. Run the pull cord of your lawn mower through it and you have a cool pull cord handle. Get creative and you will find hundreds of uses. You even can make handles for your fireplace poker, brush and shovel.

Bones. Cut them into lengths, freeze them and pull one a week out for your dog(s). You’ll save on food bills and Fido will be in heaven. Grind the bones and mix a teaspoon into your dog’s food each day for the natural bone calcium. Grind them up and till them into your garden area. By spring when you go to plant, the soil will be rich with nutrients and minerals, so you can grow nutritious foods.

Entrails And Scraps. Cut them into pieces and freeze. Many people enjoy eating organs. Or, you can thaw them all year long and feed your dog(s) and cat(s). Or, put the pieces beneath the seeds you’re planting in the spring for your garden. As they decompose it provides great nutrients for your vegetables and fruits.

Hide. Tan the hide as shown in our article: The Easiest Way To Preserve And Tan Hide. You can make anything — clothing, blankets, tools, shoes and even wall decorations.

We sincerely hope that this information helps you in your deer hunting and game usage. And we wish you a successful hunt.

What advice would you add? Share your own tips in the section below:

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  1. Interesting article … And what kind of a deer in all of those pictures am I looking at?

  2. This article is a great diversion from the kind I usually red, which tend to focus on all the different methods of finding / tracking / bagging deer. And that’s normally where it ends, so kudos of focusing on this important aspect of the hunt.

    Dave @

  3. Everything goes back to the Earth eventually, so if there are parts you cannot use don’t feel like they’re going to waste. In a world of limited resources of course it would be very wise to use all you can from an animal that you waited around for days to get a shot at.

  4. Using the entrails/scraps for cordage is also a smart way to use all of the deer. For example, the tendons would make good DIY strings for clothing (pants, shorts, etc.) as well as thong pieces for things like sandals. Also, in a pinch in a “when there is no doctor” situation, the entrails can be washed out and soaked in a brine solution and then be used for catgut (surgical thread material that had been historically used before high-quality polymer fiber).

  5. Love this. I’ve found some solutions but appreciate some new ones. Thank you, Patrick.

  6. Nice article. It’s good to know that other people like to use as much of the animal as possible.

    First off we process our deer ourselves as the amount of meat that is wasted at a commercial operation makes me sick, then we take all of the fat from our deer and use it to make candles, the process is very simple and the candles burn great. The bones we burn in a fire and spread the ashes in the garden.


    • I suppose there is info out there on how on the web, but an article on how to make candles out of fat would be great. I’d love to learn how you do it. Maybe the editor will see this post and consider such an article.

      Thanks for the info Matt.

  7. OffGrid FL prepper

    The dear brains mixed with campfire ash and water to soak the hides, also helps remove the hair off the hides and promoted tanning softness of the hide. Sinew for stringing your bows. Antlers for future rattling to attract Bucks during Bow rutting season. Use the deer testicle sack, turn it inside out, tan the inside leather then reverse it back and you have a nice fur tobacco pouch with some leather string to tighten at the narrow top. Also the hair from the Deer’s tail makes for good fly fishing lures. You can use about every part of the animal for some future use. Waste Not!!

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