My first in-person experience with dead deer was when I was a kid and saw a few does hung up on a meat pole with their throats slit. I asked why their throats were cut, and I was told: “to bleed them.” I didn’t start hunting until much later in life, so I just tucked the whole experience away in my memory banks.
But recently, I’ve been working in a family-operated meat processing facility. Every animal that comes down the kill chute gets a major artery severed seconds after we put a hole in its brain. This is standard practice in all beef and hog operations for two reasons—a quick, efficient death, and to ensure the highest quality meat.
This practice got me thinking back to those does I saw as a kid. Do you actually need to bleed deer?
Why Bleed Animals
In a slaughterhouse setting, bleeding an animal after incapacitating it is standard procedure. Whether it is beef, hog, deer, or elk, if you’re trying to kill it, you want it completely dead as quickly as possible….