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Butchering Deer

Discussion in 'Ohio Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by Knighthunter, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. I am what you'd call an "economy hunter". As much as I would like to have my deer processed, $50, $60, or even $70 seems just a little high for me. Now I like the fact that when it's all said done that I get my deer(?) back in nice little white paper pkgs., but if I can do it myself, and save the money, why not? Besides, that money can go to something more usefull, like more hunting gear:D .
    So can anyone point me in the direction of a usefull chart that shows how to "professionally" process the deer myself? I sure would appreciate it.

    Good luck and Good huntin'
  2. I have some hunting links and you might be able to find something in there.
    A lot of the links are dead though.
    Hope it can help.

    Hunting Links
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2002

  3. Butcherin' Bambi

    Hey Rob, a buddy of mine processes deer and I've helped him for the past 5 years take care of approx. 2,000/yr. I have always butchered my own deer but since I help him I get mine cut and and wrapped as compensation for my help. First and foremost you MUST have proper equipment and tools or you'll just hack the meat up. Just as important is the condition of the carcass. Heat and body fluids don't make good meat so this is where we start. Field dress then immediately (as soon as possible) remove the rectum and wash the now empty cavity free of all blood, guts, etc. Next, skin the animal immediately, remove head and trachea, wipe off all the hair you can, trim off any bloodshot meat and make a cut between the hams to the H-bone (donot saw or split the H-bone or's not necassary and alot of folks get hurt being idiots with a saw). If you have the ability to maintain a temp below 45 F but above 32 F you can let the carcass hang until the meat is firm. The most important patr of your processing is now done (quickly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooling) Actuall butchering is actually fairly simple. You'll need a bone saw, boning knives, large steaking knife ziplocks or even better, a vacuum seal bagger. Optional stuff: cuber, grinder, and patty press. Hang carcass from the hocks, ass-end up. carefully remove the inside straps (fillets. these can be removed entirely by hand or just a toiuch ot 2 with knife) and outside tenderloins make incisions along both sides of the spine ridge from the point where the loin meets the ham down to the front shoulders. Next, carefully work the knife along the blades of the spine on each side until you can get your fingers in to pull the flesh away. A membrane covers the the entire loin which if left intace will help you remove the whole loin in one piece. After removing both, trim the fat and remove the membrane. The loin can be packaged hole, in halfs, quarters, or cut into chops or fillet steaks, your choice. Leave the inside straps whole, trim well and hide them from everyone (these are for you for your hard work mmm mmm). Next remove the front quarters by making a cut on each side of the spine as you did with the loins. Next, remove the quarter by cutting it free beginning in the "armpit area" being careful not to cut into the big blade muscle. I find that it's best to simply bone out the shoulders and make chunks for stew, strips for jerkey, and trim for burger, the shoulder meat is kinda tough. Now, bone out the neck for trim and stew meat. The flanks, brisket, and between the ribs can be used for burger too. Keep in mind, deer fat is not very tasty, remove as much as you can. Use a bone saw to make a cut parallel with the ground, through the base of the hams there the spine attaches. finishe trimming from the carcass if you need to then saw the H-bone separating the Left and Right Hams. Now you have a choice, bone out each ham then portion or use a bandsaw to forst take a roast then steaks fron the ham. Most folks don't have a bandsaw so it's likely you'll want to bone the whole rear quarter then cut steaks and roasts. Remember, always cut across the grain for everything but jerky. Also donot let the carcass hang more than a day or 2 and under 50 F. Deer meat does NOT "age" it rots quickly due the the high levels of bacteria and enzymes all wild animals possess. If you want specific instruction on portioning and some shortcuts and tips e-mail me.

  4. Thanks for the info Stacker, I have never butchered my own deer, may give it a shot now!
  5. We did our own too with the help of a friend. It didn't turn out too bad and it was cold enough that we cut it up the next morning.
  6. I think I forgot to mention, a core temp of about 40 F is about perfect to cutting. A bit colder and it hard to cut (you'll cut yourself most likely) and a bit warmer and the meat gets "snotty" and too pliable. Also the meat on below the knee joints is stringy and tough, alot of folks feed it to the dogs or just toss it with the bones. Remember, de-fat everything, wipe off all hair, and avoid getting bone marrow on the meat. Fresh venison is tough to beat but it breaks down the longer it's frozen. This problem is magnified when steaks are thin. Solution? Eat the steaks and chops within a few months. I know, life's tough huh? Sucks but somebody's gotta do it!
  7. Stacker, you have posted some very useful infomation! I have a processing setup in the garage and we have "done up" 8 deer this season to date for friends. Just a couple of suggestions on getting the hair off of the quarters. First, you can use a blow torch to burn it off, however, you obviously need to be careful of keeping the flame in one area too long. It really works! Secondly, if you have a buddy that is a neat freak, have him over to rinse it off in the sink and tell him that he can't give it back to you until all of the hair is off of it. That worked for us this year too.

    As far as packing the meat, we have a pretty cool system for those of you that have grinders like us. First, we grind the meat that you want to grind and then we pack it using a sausage stuffer using wild game bags purchased online from LEM products. To seal the bag, we use the LEM meat packing kit that is also available online at their website. They offer a great line of products for meat processing, and are very timely with the delivery as well as reasonable. If you need more info, let me know. Good luck and have fun with it!