How many process their own deer?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by bnt55, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. bnt55

    bnt55 New Member

    Messages:
    640
    State:
    Northern KY
    After talking to a couple of guys and doing quite a bit of internet research I have come to the conclusion that processing my own deer may be an option for me. The local deer processor wants $75 to cut up a deer and after spending $50 on license and tags this little hobby of ours gets really expensive. Is there any tips or ideas I need to think about before I try and butcher my own deer? I have never done one before but it doesnt look too hard....:eek:oooh:

    I am going to build a scaffold of sorts in the backyard so I can hang the deer up by the neck or hind legs whichever is easiest and use a cooler with ice water to throw the meat in to allow for blood removal. I do have a vacuum packer and butcher wax paper along with a hand grinder to seal everything up nice and neat. Now all I have to do is get the deer(s)....


    Bill
     
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Bill,Home processing is easy,I been doing mine for 30 yrs. I used to cut them just like beef ,bone in,If you have a bone saw this to me is the quickest way. Nowdays ,I just bone it all,Seperate the muscle groups in the hams ,make roundsteaks,any thing that is too small to make a steak,get put in the grind pile,I pkg my ground meat in 5 lb vac seal bags ,But dont grind it till I need to,saves time while butchering.
     

  3. mr.whiskers83

    mr.whiskers83 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    Charles City,Va
    My family has processed our own deer for as long as I can remember and it's not that difficult but it can get time consuming. However it is worth it 100% IMO. You always know what has been done to your meat and you know how it's been handled and taken care of, not to mention the lower cost of doing it yourself.

    There are a few tips to know that we learned from trial and error that might help you out in the long run. If you are going to make a good amount of ground deer meat like hamburger, it is a good idea to invest in an electric grinder. You can get em for about $100 at cabelas and they will pay for themselves in no time. We usually grind 60-70 pounds every couple of years and vacuum seal it. We also mix ground beef with the deer when grinding to add to the taste and it also puts the fat you need in it to cook. We usually mix it 4 lbs of deer to 1 lb of beef. It works out pretty well. Wee usually do sausage the same way only we add 5 pounds of pork sausage to every 20 lbs of deer because most seasoning packages season 25 pounds of meat. Other than that you have your choice of the cuts of meat you want with steaks and roasts and all that.

    I hope this helps out some and if ya need any more info just let me know.
     
  4. Manny

    Manny New Member

    Messages:
    248
    State:
    Arnold, Mo
    Ive never taken my deer to get processed. Just always done it myself.
     
  5. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Sounds like you have what you need.
    It's a little awkward the first time out, but not difficult.

    Sharp knives!!, a good place to make a mess, and cold beer!

    And do not forget the meat either side of the backbone,on the inside!
    I am amazed at the number of folks who do not take that. It is the best part!!
     
  6. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have always done my own too. only thing I would add is a few sharp knifes on hand and if you know where your going to cut your steaks do it in one cut. (the presntation at the dinner table looks much better to the family if the cuts dont look as if they were already rough cut/chewed up). anyone can chop up a deer but if you take your time you can do just as good of a job as the local processer.
     
  7. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Just a thing or 2 I would like to add to the advise you have already recieved. Be sure and cut across the grain of the meat it makes it more tender. And if you have time put it in the freezer for 2-3 hrs before slicing makes it slice much easier and the same for the parts you grind. Cabela's also sells meat slicers that make the work much easier.
     
  8. bownero

    bownero New Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    State:
    Hastings, Ne.
    I believe you are refering to the Backstraps of the deer? Yes, that's the best cut and you have to be insane not to use them!!:tounge_out: Definently the best steak on the animal!!
     
  9. LureheadEd

    LureheadEd New Member

    Messages:
    197
    State:
    Geogia
    A couple of SHARP KNIVES ! makes the whole thing go easier...And don't use some jumbo Rambo knife because somebody says so, use the size knife that you are most comfortable with, I'll bet it'd be fairly small if you want to do a good job and get as much meat off the bone as cleanly as possible... I use old Imperial Folding Fish knives, 3 1/2" blade you know the kind with the scaler on the back of the blade made back in the 50's-60's...
     
  10. jason berry

    jason berry New Member

    Messages:
    819
    State:
    Evansville
    Ive always did mine theres good videos if nobody can show just watch the freezin part it gets alot of people with the freezer burn I learned a trick to keep it in a styrofoam cools. Works well when you load up on deer like we do.
     
  11. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Its a family event at our house and we have a good time doing it
     
  12. Jacksmooth

    Jacksmooth Member

    Messages:
    574
    State:
    West Virginia
    All I can add is for steak cuts use a butchering knife of about 8 inches or longer it will make cuts on bigger pieces of muscle easier and cleaner.
     
  13. azcataholic

    azcataholic New Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    State:
    arizona
    Being from Hawaii, hunting on Lanai, you don't have processors and the weather makes you concerned on getting the meat taken care of as quick as possible. I have hunted with a group of guys who have always taken care of their own animals and learned pretty well from them. I suggest putting the word out to your friends if any of them get their deer you would be happy to give them a hand on a spur of a moment. This will make you more comfortable in the event you are forced to do it on your own. Good Luck!
     
  14. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I been doing all my own processing for the last 30 years. I have an old VHS tape called Venison processing the E-Z way. A professional butcher walks you through the process, showing you all the proper cuts and how to get every ounce of meat off of the beast. Lots of butterfly chops, steaks, roasts, stew meats, and groundmeats. A good sharp knife or 2 and a small meat grinder have been working well for years.:wink:
     
  15. CNTRYBOY

    CNTRYBOY New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Benton, Ar
    There is not much i can ad that has not already been said! I usually do my own, but my first deer this year I took to have done. Costing me around $75.00. The rest I get will be done by myself at the house!
     
  16. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I used to do all of mine, and will be doing more since my processor just went up to $60 per deer. I worked in meat processing for years and learned how to do a good job with it. If you want real tender meat, get an old fridge to cool and age them in. I can get two deer in mine. If you set the temp just above freezing, the meat gets firm enough to cut good steaks with a band saw or a saber saw with a long blade. I have a couple butcher saws that I bought at a second hand shop. They do good but a power saw is faster. Always keep your knives razor sharp. It's easier and safer. When you grind the meat, add about 5% beef fat, (most any grocery that cuts meat will give it to you), so it cooks better. My butcher bill will be $360-$480 this year. Next year I'll use that money to get an electric grinder and a sausage stuffer. Good luck!
     
  17. Trevor1

    Trevor1 New Member

    Messages:
    546
    State:
    oklahoma
    I don't see why anyone would take a deer to the processor, seems like a waste of money to me. Deer aren't that hard to clean and you can process the meat however you want, a processor won't detail it nearly as well as what you can do yourself.
     
  18. ChannelCatBen

    ChannelCatBen New Member

    Messages:
    179
    State:
    Minnesota
    To me, processing my own deer has always been a part of the hunt. Dad taught me that. Even when I was too young to hunt, I "helped" him butcher deer in the garage. It's a lot more fun than it looks, especially if you have some help.

    I might not get it cut up as pretty as it would be from a professional, but that doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is knowing that I did it all, from the kill to the grill.

    I won't knock anyone for taking a deer to a butcher, but why pay someone else for the best part of the hunt?
     
  19. lance

    lance New Member

    Messages:
    2,658
    State:
    kentucky
    I have processed my own for 20 years now guess I am to cheap to pay someone else ! lol . All jokes aside I agree that if I started the hunt I should finish it . I do a very good job processing my deer ,its clean hasn't been on the floor and trimmed up , and I know I am getting it all back .:cool2:
     
  20. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    You haven't met my wife! One drop of deer blood an the kitchen floor or some deer hair on the counter, and I'll have to listen to it for weeks! Besides, I usually get two a day in gun season, 6-12 a year, and I don't have the time to do it all myself, or the refrigeration space space to age more than two small ones or one big one. I also like my tenderloin cut into chops instead of striping the whole thing out and cooking it all at once. LOL :wink::smile2: