A pile of meat

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by gypsysue, May 13, 2011.

  1. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Ever put a buffalo into canning jars? I just found out that's what I'll be doing tomorrow.

    For 7 years we've been caretakers of a small herd of buffalo on a neighboring property for an out-of-state landowner. He started hinting this spring that he's about ready to be done with them, and now he's decided to butcher them all off. He asked us to be ready at 7 tomorrow morning when he and his brother get here, and asked if we could handle a huge pile of meat with such short notice.

    Gee, let me think about that....hmmm....well.... Golly, hundreds of pounds of organic buffalo meat? I didn't have to think about it, I said yes when he was barely done speaking.

    By the way, the buffalo have escaped their 6' high, 40-acre electric fence again. Our son and some of the other guys on his fire department are out there somewhere in the woods trying to haze them back this way. When the sheriff's department called a couple hours ago the buffalo were about 4 miles south of here harassing cars on a county road.

    We'll probably get another buffalo hide out of the deal, too. My husband has two and I have one, but mine is special. It belongs to a memorable bull we called "little satan"! :D
     
  2. joyfulheart

    joyfulheart Active Member

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    wow!

    What a wonderful blessing-- congrats!

    Hope ya have enough jars! LOL
     

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Congrats!!!

    And agree with joyfulheart ... Hope ya got lots of canning jars and such. :D
     
  4. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

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    Never know where the next blessing is coming from, congratulations.
     
  5. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    YUM!!!!! :2thumb: What a great happenchance!
     
  6. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Yeah really...that's great to hear. Buffalo is supposed to be really good meat-very lean. What do you do with the hides?
     
  7. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    It IS great meat. The meat we've gotten from butcherings over the years has been tender and tasty.

    I had my hide professionally tanned, and other than look at it I've rolled up in it and slept outside on the trampoline and kept nicely warm when the temperature was in the 30s!

    My husband tanned (still in process, actually) one of his himself, and the other is in the "rawhide" stage. It makes good moccasin soles, and he makes me a pair of moccasins every year for Christmas. I live in them most of the time. Nothing like the natural feel of the ground under your foot. Makes your feet strong, too.

    I'm not sure what we'll do with the hide/hides we get tomorrow. We'll have to figure that out.

    It's a mixed blessing, in a way, to get all this meat. But on the other hand, every year we've gotten truckloads of manure and smushed-under-foot hay from the feeding location where we threw bales of hay to them over the 6-month winter. We'll no longer get that for our garden after we clean up this year's 'mess'! Then we'll be back to driving out to other people's ranches to get horse manure for composting. Takes a lot of gas to drive our workhorse truck!

    There'll be a bunch of fat buffalo steaks on the grill tomorrow afternoon. If anyone's in the area, stop on by... :D
     
  8. Journey

    Journey Junior Member

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    That's awesome! :2thumb: Congrats!
     
  9. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

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    walk them back slow and let them rest before killing them, don't let the meat get tough
     
  10. efbjr

    efbjr Well-Known Member

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    How much A-1 steak sauce do you need when eating an average-sized buffalo? :confused: :D
     
  11. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    I'd guess we're talking gallons! :D

    lotsoflead, they radioed a while ago and said they're going to just shoot them there, up in the field where they found them this morning. They were going to try and round them up and load them into stock trailers and bring them back over here, and I don't know the details of why they changed their minds.

    I'll keep this updated!
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Getting them all riled up would just chance somebody getting hurt, plus get the meat all jacked up with adreniline, which I believes makes it tough or taste bad or something (with regular cows, anyway). With a dead buffalo you just have to find a way to move a ton of dead weight (literally). It can't fight back.

    That'd be my guess.
     
  13. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    You guys are going to be really excited and trying to hurry with really sharp knives today...be careful and stay safe.
     
  14. DJgang

    DJgang I put SAs on IGNORE!

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    Wow....

    How many are ya killing?

    I am trying to imagine how you are going to prep all that meat...can't wait to hear more about this...

    Good luck!
     
  15. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Panicking or running the buffalo and causing adrenaline makes the meat taste "funny". Hard to describe, but we do notice the difference. With venison, if we take a deer completely by surprise and drop it with one shot, the meat is sweet and rich. If it runs, the meat has a tang to it, maybe the "gamey" taste some people describe?

    There were only 3 buffalo left. He butchered one back in February because they were out of venison. That left a bull and 2 cows. None of the 3 cows (counting the one he butchered in Feb.) had calves the last couple years, which added to his decision to butcher them all off. Normally he kept around 6 or 7 buffalo and butchered one or two a year, based on how many calves were born and what sex the calves were.

    The calves look like cattle and don't take on the buffalo look and get the hump on the backs until they're about 4 to 6 months old. That's when they're really cool to see!

    My husband radioed a little while ago and said he's on the way home now, with half a buffalo and two hides. I still don't have details of the "kill", such as did they each pick a buffalo and shoot at once, so as not to spook the others?

    The hides won't be anything to write home about. This time of year they were shedding and looked pretty patchy. Here's a picture of them taken earlier this week:
    [​IMG]

    That's the bull in the middle. A cow on each side. We took the picture close-up to show the shedding hide.
     
  16. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    This is the hide I had professionally 'tanned', from the bull we called "Little Satan". He had almost a caricature face that looked like a little devil with horns. I'll have to dig up a picture of him. He was butchered about 4 years ago, so it'll take some work to locate a picture of him!

    Notice how thick the fur is compared to the spring buffalo in the picture above? This bull was butchered in the month of November.

    [​IMG]

    I'd say the hides he's bringing home today will probably be tanned without the hair to make leather.
     
  17. Davo45

    Davo45 New here

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    Buffalo in Shelby County, Alabama

    We have a couple in town who brought in 4 buffalo 3 years ago (3 cows and a bull) they didn't expect them to breed, but they did, so now their heard has grown to 8! The 1st year after they brought them in there would be people stopping in the road looking in shocked amazement, taking pics with their phones, etc. The Birmingham News even had a front page article about them. I'll try to take some pics and post them when I see them close to the road.

    I guess the plains Indians must have liked the "gamey" taste since they'd shoot buffalo down with their bows, or spear them while chasing them on horseback. Of course, I'm sure their hunting methods changed when they started getting large bore rifles.
     
  18. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    My brother went to college in NW PA and when my mom would take him back and forth she'd stop at a buffalo farm up there. They sold Native American trinkets and buffalo meat. I'm sure there are other small farms around us with them but that's the only one I know about. I guess they're a lot more difficult to deal with than regular cattle, as the many strand high tensile fencing in GS's pic would demonstrate.

    That's the reason I've tasted buffalo-mom would bring some back-burgers and steaks and stuff.
     
  19. efbjr

    efbjr Well-Known Member

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    Tread lightly...

    Our local dairy farmer had a a beefalo (buffalo-cow) hybrid that had calved. He heard a commotion in the corral where he kept mama and her baby. :confused: He came around the corner of his barn just in time to see a LARGE German Shepherd being launched on the horns of mama. :eek: he said the dog went about 20 feet in the air, with good hang time, and landed about 30 feet away, spinning end for end all the way. The dog never came back. :wave:

    He said that normally, the beefalo was pretty easy to handle, if she knew you, but if she got riled up, you better depart until she calmed down! :)
     
  20. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    The buffalo were never as "tame" as cattle, and we were careful not to be inside the fence when they were in that area. We had the bull charge our S-10 pick-up one time when we were inside the fence on our way to shovel up compost ingredients. We always had at least one person standing watch while we were in there, with a high-powered rifle.

    The 6-strand fence around the 40-acre pen (or whatever you want to call it) was electrified with a solar fence charger. I don't know if there were weak spots where the 'zap' wasn't as strong, or whether fallen limbs were shorting it out sometimes, or what, but the buffalo had seemed to become impervious to the fence.

    Small, privately owned herds of buffalo are quite common in Montana as well as other places. In my opinion, a small herd of cattle is better all around!

    The owner of these buffal brought them from Nevada a little over 7 years ago, and the first few years they did good at having calves. Then he butchered off the big bull and let one of the young 'uns take over the herd. There's been one calf since then, and that was in 2008. He said he's not selling his land here, so I don't know if he's going to get more buffalo, run cattle on it, or horses, or just leave it sit for now.

    Right now I've got lord-know-how-many hundreds of lbs of buffalo meat in the fridge and freezer and very little else! Some will be kept frozen but I'll be canning the rest in the next couple days. The steaks we cooked on the grill last night were real tasty!

    One of the hides we got has a lot of nicks and holes in it, but the smaller pieces will still be useful. The other one is in pretty good shape, but we'll have to scrape the hair off, since as the picture above shows, they're were pretty far into shedding. It makes a nice, tough leather, but still pliable.