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I've been hunting for 25 years, and my dad 50+. My grandfather taught us that part of field dressing a deer is cutting the "scent glands" off the inside of the hind legs. I asked my dad why. His response was classic, "I have no idea why. That's how I was taught. Why change after all these years?"

Does anyone else do this and why? I've looked at a ton of dead deer pics on the Internet this fall and have not seen any that do.

Thanks!
 

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my father taught me to do that 30+years ago and i did it for a long time....i stopped when he was no longer able to hunt and im not sure why i did. funny you mentioned it because i havent thought about cutting them off in years but did think about it when i harvested my buck this season
 

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People thought they would taint the meat. The only way that will happen is if you cut them off and then rub them around in it. Leave them be.
 

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Not dumb at all Mike. I shot my 1st deer back in 1968, as I was admiring my 7pt. An old man in his 70`s came by and said I should cut the musk gland off of his back legs or my meat wouldn't taste good. Being young and dumb I did as he said.
As it turned out, this is just an old wives tale. The only reason to cut off the musk`s is if you want to freeze them for hunting the rut in archery the following season.
That`s the only answer I can give you, maybe some old-timers no the answer....
 

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My dad taught me the same thing and I still do it. I know it probably doesn't matter but I will keep doing it. My wife shot her first deer last week and asked me the same question.
 

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Mike, I was taught that too (67yro) & I do it when I'm skinning deer. That hock gland is pretty stinky and if you get the smell on your hands it can be transferred to the meat. I always wash both my hands and knife before I start butchering.
 

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Deer urinate on the glands on the inside of their legs. If you are going to cut them off you should do it after you have field dressed the deer. If you cut them off first then put your hands inside the deer you are simply transferring the deer’s urine to the meat. There is no real reason to remove the glands since it is impossible for the glands being left on the legs to effect the meat. I too was taught to remove them when I started hunting but over time learned that you are more likely to adversely affect the meat by removing the glands than by simply leaving them alone and being careful not to handle them and then touch the meat.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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i freeze them and cut the hair into tiny pieces and sprinkle it all around my stand if i am rut hunting.
 

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As others have said. They may taint meat if they come into contact.
I cut them off right before butcherin. Cut em off and freeze em for the next few years. Use and re freeze for a couple years. I do the sane with mature does. There is a big difference in the smell too as a does glands are a much sweeter smell. I dont bother labeling them as you can tell after a good whiff. And yes they work:)
 

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I hang them around my stand when fresh. I'll spray the Bucks urine on them as well, if I'm lucky enough to get it's bladder. Worked for me this season.
 

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I pick the deer leg up and hold it between my knees when I begin skinning and start above (actually below if the deer were standing) the tarsal gland and they come right off with the hide when I do it. I saw the rest of the legs off too so there is no water or mud dripping from them onto my freshly skinned carcass. I am the fussy skinner anywhere I go, I skin about every animal that hits the hooks around here and at camp, I am not bragging about speed but quality of the job I do and my belief is a bad gut job will ruin more meat than any messing with those glands. Just my humble opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
R. S. B. said:
Deer urinate on the glands on the inside of their legs. If you are going to cut them off you should do it after you have field dressed the deer. If you cut them off first then put your hands inside the deer you are simply transferring the deer’s urine to the meat. There is no real reason to remove the glands since it is impossible for the glands being left on the legs to effect the meat. I too was taught to remove them when I started hunting but over time learned that you are more likely to adversely affect the meat by removing the glands than by simply leaving them alone and being careful not to handle them and then touch the meat.

Dick Bodenhorn
Thanks Dick. Well...I cut the glands off before field dressing so I rethink that. One of the reasons I asked the question ( outside of just not knowing) is I removed the gland and drag out a deer. That area gets covered in dirt and leaves. I know there is now meet there, but it is very unsightly. I agree that this would be more of an issue than leaving the glands on...
 

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You have a much higher probability of tainting the meat by touching them to cut them off and then continue to field dress the deer.
 

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Like other here I have cut them off to use as a scent for a future hunt. One year my buddy and I put a few deer in his walk-in cooler after a successful day. Next day we opened the cooler to start butchering and waqs greeted with that strong smell. From then on if we plan on storing a buck in the cooler the glands come off. It took a few days to get rid of that smell. Believe it or not that smell came from the glands of a button buck.
 

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To field dress make as small a cut as you can and get the guts out that's it. Glands on hind legs take off after out (home) or when skinned.

After animal is out (home) then open up and cool it down. If your going to cut it up in the next 24 hours go ahead and skin it. If not leave skin on to protect meat from drying.

Every time I see a deer cut down to the anus I just think of all the junk that just went into the meat. Deer meat should be red meat not tan.

I also if above 45 deg. pack with ice. If gut shot, clean with salt and baking soda mix and rinse with clean water. If still smells coat with salt and baking soda paste.
 
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