Meat Salvage After Coyotes?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by AaronB, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. AaronB

    AaronB Weekend Warrior

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    Well, I had been on a pretty good streak with shot placements and quick recoveries, but the dreaded bad shot happened to me on a doe on Saturday, the second to last day of the season in WI.

    I had a doe come in on edge with a couple fawns and they had been running in and out of the woods for a minute or two before they came trotting toward me as I was sitting over a soybean plot on the edge of our woods. The doe stopped at 25 yards and then took a few steps forward. I got tunnel vision and thought I still had an unobstructed shot at about 27 yards, but my arrow clipped a twig on a branch at the edge of my shooting lane into the field and sent the arrow off course and straight through the dead center of her neck (broadside). The arrow passed through and she stumbled and snow plowed a couple times before running into the thick thornapple bedding area that hit deer always go to on our property. I waited 30 minutes and tracked the initial blood from the field to the edge of the bedding area where she went in. Had a lot of blood so thought there was a good chance I hit an artery, but wanted to give her time to bleed out so backed out and waited until the next day to go after her, knowing I had not hit any vitals.

    Took up the track the next day and the snow made the track relatively easy at first with plenty of blood for the first 200 yards or so. Then 200 became 400 which became 600. Blood started to thin out, but was able to still follow it onto the neighbors property with permission. Blood became more scarce with just a drip here and there and we lost blood completely several times. The volume of tracks and trails in the snow made it difficult to stay on the track of my hit deer without blood, but I persisted and found specs here and there on several occasions. Just when I was thinking the situation was bleak a couple hours in, I found blood again and was able to re-determine direction the deer was headed. My brother went ahead of me with our four wheeler as I stayed on the blood and he started grid searching a bit and found the doe about 100 yards ahead of me.

    I was happy to find the deer after tracking approximately 3/4 of a mile, but was disheartened as I saw that the coyotes had found her first. I hit her exactly where I thought and there was a gaping wound straight through the center of her neck. Just a testament to the toughness of these animals we hunt. Without snow, there was no way I would have found her in my opinion, but learned a lot as usual through the tracking process.

    I tagged her, transported her back to my brothers property and gutted her. The coyotes had chewed on her in a few spots and punctured her bowels so she had a bit of an odor even though it was below freezing and she had been dead for less than 24 hours. I was able to salvage a front quarter, hind quarter, and the back straps. After e-registering her, I quartered her right in the field, and transported the meat home. The meat smelled ok, with one section of the hind quarter having a little bit of an odor where the coyotes chewed her. I cut a couple inches away from this area and rinsed all the meat well and packaged it. My question is, has anybody else salvaged meat after coyotes? I was a bit worried about the bowels being punctured and spoiling the meat, but it seems to be ok. My plan is just to grind all of it up into burger with 75 venison/25 pork trimmings. I'm going to tell the butcher to give me his thoughts on the meat before grinding it, but wanted to get your thoughts as well. It was a bittersweet ending to my archery season where I harvested a doe on Sept. 19th, a buck on 10/17, and this doe on Jan. 2nd (by far my latest deer harvest). Thanks for the opinions! IMG_1900.jpg
     
  2. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Had the coyotes get several deer on us over the years and even though I eat stuff most won't.........

    once the coyotes chew on it, I won't touch it.


    Not to take away from your heroic effort to track down an injured deer and make use of such a wonderful natural resource.

    Just a thought, was she still alive when the coyotes got to her and did any of their saliva get into her bloodstream?
     
  3. AaronB

    AaronB Weekend Warrior

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    She was not alive from what I could reconstruct from the scene. Her tracks leading up to the kill sight were walking. The yotes may have dragged her a few feet from what I could tell. This could have happened while she was alive I suppose, but she was not chased more than a few feet. She seemed to never have stopped before the place where she died. Didn't find any beds and the deer never appeared to run from any indication of the tracks. She was very cold so she probably died a few hours after I shot her I would guess. Thanks for the input. Haven't done anything with the meat yet other than package and freeze it.
     
  4. CoveyMaster

    CoveyMaster Grizzled Veteran

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    Pure judgement call. I can't say what I would have done but probably the same as you as I hate to waste meat. I don't think you'll turn into a werewolf (werecoyote?). :lol:
     
  5. rick-florida

    rick-florida Weekend Warrior

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    it is a tough call...but I'd toss it. you are not only taking the risk for yourself but also anyone you serve venison to. Just not worth it as no telling what the coyotes or anything else that chewed on it might be carrying.
     
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