Shed Antler Secrets! Plus: Tips for Cooking A Raccoon (#534)

Shed Antler Secrets! Plus: Tips for Cooking A Raccoon (#534)

GRANT: Boy, do we have a treat for you this
week. TRACY: Find it, Chris. Find it. Hunt it up. GRANT: Before we hit the skinning shed and
kitchen, I want to share some updates from our shed hunting. GRANT: Tracy and Crystal have been busy walking
known travel corridors, bedding areas and food plots looking for sheds. TRACY: First year of shed hunting, we were
out with one of the guys and I’m focusing, you know, like right here. Next I know, he’s like, “What’s that
up there?” And I looked, you know, 20, 30 yards up and
he was looking out… TYLER: Uh-huh. TRACY: …and where I was looking down. So I learned then you need to look out as
much as you do around to be able to catch all of ‘em – and go slow. GRANT: They’ve already had several good
finds bringing the total so far this year to 16. GRANT: Recently, while helping create a fire
line, intern Nigel Waring from Vermont found a cool shed. GRANT: We got the first Reconyx images of
this buck last November and have been getting pictures and videos since. GRANT: Unfortunately, on close examination
of the shed, it appeared to be bad news. There was a large piece of skull attached
to the shed and some discoloration on the edges. GRANT: Based on these characteristics, I doubt
this antler was shed but was actually broken off the deer during fighting, sparring, something
like that due to an intracranial abscission. GRANT: This type of infection can occur when
a stick or an antler punctures the hide, especially, on the skull. That puncture allows bacteria to enter below
the skin. Bucks are at high risk of puncturing the skin
on their head during rutting activities such as rubbing or sparring. GRANT: Just think of all the dirt and grime,
i.e., bacteria that’s on twigs and antlers. A cut caused by these items can be the same
as injecting bacteria under the skin of a deer. GRANT: An infection by some classes of bacteria
results in a buildup of strong acids. And these acids are so strong they can cause
pitting or even holes in the skull. GRANT: Deer can recover from such an infection
as long as it’s not growing inside the skull. However, infection right around the base of
the antlers often results in a non-typical antler growth. If the infection reaches a point to where
it’s growing inside the lining of the brain, it will be fatal. GRANT: Through the years, we’ve found some
skulls of bucks that we suspected had such an infection. Once the skulls were cleaned, you could clearly
see erosion that had been caused by acid produced by the bacteria. GRANT: Based on the amount of skull attached
to the shed that Nigel found, it’s likely that buck has already passed. GRANT: When looking at sheds you found this
spring, pay attention to the base of the antler. If the shed has jagged edges on the base,
portions of the skull attached, discoloration, or even the smell of infection, it’s likely
that that infection was present. GRANT: On the other hand, if the shed has
a clean base, it’s rounded and smooth, it’s a good indicator that buck was healthy. GRANT: You can keep up with Tracy and Crystal’s
shed hunting adventures by keeping up with our Facebook and Instagram pages. TRACY: Come on, Chris, stand up. Come on. GRANT: Missouri’s trapping season ended
a few weeks ago and we had our best trapping season to date. We removed 115 predators. GRANT: Recently, I shared data from the Missouri
Department of Conservation that showed a pretty significant increase in numbers of raccoons
and opossums at scent stations they maintain throughout the state to survey those animals. GRANT: At the same time, there’s been a
significant decrease in the number of turkeys harvested in Missouri. GRANT: Some of the most interesting data I’ve
seen on this subject was made by my friend, Dan Appelbaum, that showed a decline in both
turkey harvest numbers and fur sales in the state of Missouri. There’s an obvious trend – not necessarily
correlation, but trend – of this decline in turkey harvest numbers and decline of fur
sales. GRANT: Trapping is a great wildlife management
tool to balance the predator and prey ratio. The results of trapping can often mean thriving
prey species and great quality pelts used to make garments or great blankets like the
one I had made for my family a few years ago. GRANT: But there’s another great resource
involved with trapping predators and that can be high-quality meat. GRANT: Recently our friends, Shawn Taylor
and Bill and Laurel Driscoll, visited The Proving Grounds to share with us how they
make great tasting meals out of raccoon. GRANT: Bill Driscoll’s been living off the
land for several years and he shared with us some great techniques for removing the
skin and meat from a raccoon. ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Eagle Seed, Winchester, LaCrosse
Footwear, Morrell Targets, Hooyman, Hook’s Custom Calls, Summit Treestands, RTP Outdoors,
Yamaha, Fourth Arrow, onX Hunt, Scorpion Venom Archery, Bloodsport Arrows, Code Blue, D/Code,
G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds. DANIEL: Well, we’re here this afternoon
with our friend, Bill. He’s going to walk us through the steps
of taking the cape off a raccoon. This is one of the coons that we trapped earlier
this year during the trapping season. DANIEL: He’s going to show us how to take
the fur off and there’s a treat underneath. So Bill, you want to start walking us through
the… BILL: Sure will. DANIEL: …steps here? GRANT: Raccoons can be skinned while hanging
from their hind legs just like a deer. BILL: Okay. I’m going to start my caping by cutting
a circular cut around the first leg. And try to go just through the hide and not
cutting tendons. That’s the value of a sharp knife. The other hind leg. BILL: Okay. Next, we’re going to take – we’re going
to connect this cut with this cut just under the hide there. Just like that. GRANT: Once those cuts are complete, work
the hide away from both legs. BILL: Just as far as you can. Make sure it don’t break off or nothing. BILL: Okay. You’re tied to the vent here. Separate the vent. You want to go down to the tail. Don’t cut through the tail. You’ll see it. I made me a bar over the years or found a
bar. Shove that bar through there. BILL: Okay. What we’re gonna do is separate the skin
from the back while this is still tied together. But be careful – don’t tear this tail off
or it greatly, greatly will increase problems. BILL: And just start skinning the tail as
far as you can – pull down – just make you a circle and pull. We’re about as far as we can go using a
knife. BILL: This is old school right here. Just kind of make yourself a grip and grab
a hold of that there. Now make sure you grab a hold of this tail
firmly and you’re squeezing and pulling simultaneously. GRANT: Once the tail is off, the hide can
be easily pulled down to the front legs. BILL: Now you’ll have this pocket – I call
it a glove. You can put your hand up in this here where
your tail is and put – in here, just put… GRANT: At that point, pull the hide down each
leg all the way to the paw – cut the hide away from both of the front legs. BILL: Okay. Working this here and we’re going to separate
the hide from the head. That means ears, eyes, and finally, at the
nose. Just cut – now right here is where the ears
are. Just go all the way and you’ll see it, the
cartilage. Go to the other one. BILL: Okay. The next critical part right now is going
to be skinning out the eyes. And you’ll see an eye. And just go right against the skull. All right, we’re coming to the nose. There you go. BILL: Okay. When you’re finished with all that, put your
hand up in there, just like a mitten, turn it inside out, pull your tail out good and
tight, have a hold and clean up the blood and knock off any ticks and fleas and then
take it in there and you can clean it up. And when you’re finished with it, just lay
it on its belly, roll it up. DANIEL: Bill has removed the raccoon hide. It’s ready to be sold, get a couple bucks
out of it, but that’s not the end. Bill is going to show us how to remove the
meat and we’re going to be heading to the kitchen soon. GRANT: Bill starts by removing the front paws. He simply breaks them and then cuts through
the tendons. BILL: Go backwards, not forwards, backwards. Okay. We’re going to try to prep this here without
ever touching the entrails. So we’re gonna disconnect the shoulder. GRANT: Simply cut between the shoulder and
the body and the entire shoulder will come off. Once both shoulders are off, it’s time to
remove the hams. BILL: This is the prize part of it is the
whole ham. Just connected it right here. I keep it upside down, so I keep the guts
inside and we don’t have to deal with feces and urine – which is probably going to come
out. Keep it in the cavity. BILL: We’re just going to disconnect it
from the hip. GRANT: Cut around the pelvis and remove at
the ball joint. BILL: And you got to put that in the gut pile
for the buzzards. GRANT: The final step is to remove the back
feet just as you did the front. BILL: There you go. GRANT: Within just a few minutes, Bill had
removed the hide and the meat. DANIEL: Well, we’ve come inside to the kitchen. Bill helped us skin and now we’re in the
kitchen with our friend, Shawn. SHAWN: Bill was my mentor in terms of the
trapping and everything and he and his wife, Laurel, they helped me, especially, when we
found out that they are edible. And we’ve cooked it a couple of different
ways and so far they haven’t steered us wrong. They’re excellent. DANIEL: Yeah. So what are we going to be – how are we going
to be fixing it for today? SHAWN: So I’ve done it two different ways. Just slow grilled it. We put a – whatever your favorite rub is. My wife’s really good at coming up with
creative rubs and then cooking it up to like about 160 degrees just to make sure that there’s
no parasites or anything in there. SHAWN: And then the other way we’ve done
it, which probably would be the favorite now is pulled. We put it into an Instapot, cook it overnight
and pull it and either as tacos or barbecue. It’s an excellent way to eat it either way. GRANT: Shawn simply applies a rub of different
seasonings to each shoulder and ham. After applying the seasonings, the meat is
ready for either a grill or Instapot. GRANT: Everyone was excited to try a meal
of raccoon, so Shawn cooked one the previous day, brought it over and warmed it up at The
Proving Grounds. GRANT: This meat was perfect for tacos and
barbecue sandwiches. The raccoon meat was tender, full of great
flavor and a wonderful source of natural protein. GRANT: I appreciate Shawn and Christina sharing
their journey of trapping and learning how to use the meat from Bill and Laurel. GRANT: I can’t wait until the next trapping
season to help the turkeys here at The Proving Grounds and provide the GrowingDeer Team another
source of natural high-quality protein. GRANT: To learn about many more ways to prepare
wild game, check out the recipes tab at The GrowingDeer Team will be traveling to
western Kansas and eastern Iowa to assist landowners this week. GRANT: But you don’t have to work outside
as a profession to enjoy Creation. And I hope everyone takes time to enjoy Creation,
but most importantly, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator
is saying to you. GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.

14 Comments on “Shed Antler Secrets! Plus: Tips for Cooking A Raccoon (#534)”

  1. Absolutely love you all!!! I’m back on deployment, I’ll be returning home for good as this is my last tour. Growing Deer TV is not just growing deer but the knowledge of hunting and land management to me and other followers. There is not deep enough way to say “Thank you” for you love and leadership.

  2. As much as I want to puke in my mouth when I think about trying coon meat, I’m sure guests Mr. Bill and Sean are prob healthier than myself eating all that high protein coon meat. Thanks for the skinning tips Mr Bill.

  3. My family loves raccoon.
    They are "city folks", but I did a blind taste test with straight venison, rabbit mixed with wild hog and raccoon.
    All but one preferred raccoon. Burger is a great way.
    We also crock potted it. Yum
    Great video Grant as usual. Thx for opening our minds to new ways to effectively steward God's amazing creation!

  4. Hi MR. Grant Wood that was a nice video. Do you know wade the the raccoon has musk glands. If you leave one musk still in the meat . you will not like it. That musk will make you sick too. The musks are all over the raccoon too. Did you know that a raccoon can have rabibs too. The meat is good but you have to get all the musks out. You can bake to raccoon with sweet potatoes around the raccoon too. or BBQ the Raccoon too or Fried the Raccoon with brown gravy too over rice. God Bless you and your Family. Take Care and Stay Safe. My Mom of 83 died on July 14, 2019 and i did not get to hunt too. i may try to hunt this year if i can find a place to hunt. I would love to hunt with you too for deer with a bow or gun? thank you. Keep the videos coming and i take care of my nephew of 39 that can not see to drive.

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