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#3065040 - 12/05/12 04:44 PM Ramping up to process my own deer
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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I have been hunting for 25+ years and never have fooled with processing my own deer. But, my family is eating more and more deer meat and processing costs are killing me. So...I have purchased a Puma skinning knife, scale to weigh my deer, gambrel/pulley system for hanging deer, I'm plumbing a sink up in my garage, bought a 1.6hp meat grinder, vacuum sealer and even got a used refrigerator I am planning to pick up tomorrow for cooling/aging meat. Any suggestions from seasoned pros what else I might need?
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#3065047 - 12/05/12 04:48 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 7774
Loc: Grundy county

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Get A recipracating saw-lol at spelling. Nothing better for sawing thru bone!
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#3065049 - 12/05/12 04:50 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: timberjack86]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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 Originally Posted By: timberjack86
Get A recipracating saw-lol at spelling. Nothing better for sawing thru bone!


Check! Got one. Thanks.
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#3065054 - 12/05/12 04:53 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: timberjack86]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12532
Loc: Tennessee

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High end boning knife. 6 inch blade is plenty for whitetails. The 9" may look tempting, but you'll like the control of the shorter blade better. I use the Wustoff. Henkel and Global also make quality boning knives.
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Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3065055 - 12/05/12 04:53 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
redheadshooter
6 Point


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 649
Loc: Here

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I debone all my meats. Tastes better to be. IMO
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#3065061 - 12/05/12 04:56 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: redheadshooter]
cecil30-30
16 Point


Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 14103
Loc: Morgan Co

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A meat slicer....
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#3065062 - 12/05/12 04:56 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: redheadshooter]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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 Originally Posted By: redheadshooter
I debone all my meats. Tastes better to be. IMO
Yes, I agree. I plan to debone my meat. I have a sawzall in case I were to want to have it bone-in for some reason.
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1Ti 1:15: ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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#3065070 - 12/05/12 05:01 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 7774
Loc: Grundy county

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 Originally Posted By: pastorbmp
 Originally Posted By: redheadshooter
I debone all my meats. Tastes better to be. IMO
Yes, I agree. I plan to debone my meat. I have a sawzall in case I were to want to have it bone-in for some reason.
I debone my meat too.I use mine to quarter the deer and remove the head.


Edited by timberjack86 (12/05/12 05:01 PM)
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#3065071 - 12/05/12 05:01 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41741
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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#1- Fancy equipment is not required. A good skinning knife and a good boning knife are really all you need until you get ready to grind it.
#2- I believe if you leave the saw alone and bone all your cuts out, you will find it produces better tasting meat.
#3- One of you main investments should be a quality vac. packer.
#4-Before cutting the meat into serving size pieces, put it in the freezer for about 10-minutes. You will find it easier to cut. You just want it chilled and firm, not frozen.

#5*** The key to excellent meat is in the trimming. Trim everything that is blue, yellow or white off. package nothing but pure, clean meat.
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#3065075 - 12/05/12 05:05 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: bowriter]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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 Originally Posted By: bowriter
#1- Fancy equipment is not required. A good skinning knife and a good boning knife are really all you need until you get ready to grind it.
#2- I believe if you leave the saw alone and bone all your cuts out, you will find it produces better tasting meat.
#3- One of you main investments should be a quality vac. packer.
#4-Before cutting the meat into serving size pieces, put it in the freezer for about 10-minutes. You will find it easier to cut. You just want it chilled and firm, not frozen.
#5*** The key to excellent meat is in the trimming. Trim everything that is blue, yellow or white off. package nothing but pure, clean meat.


Thanks Bowriter--some great advice there!


Edited by pastorbmp (12/05/12 05:06 PM)
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#3065078 - 12/05/12 05:07 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: bowriter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12532
Loc: Tennessee

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I passionately disagree with the "boning out meat tastes better" philosophy. The bone marrow is good stuff, adds piles of flavor to the meat making bone-in roasts tastes better. While I certainly bone out some venison cuts, I always put away a good bit of bone-in meat for smoking and braising.

I use my saw a whole lot in the kitchen.


Edited by Poser (12/05/12 05:07 PM)
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3065080 - 12/05/12 05:07 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: timberjack86]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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 Originally Posted By: timberjack86
 Originally Posted By: pastorbmp
 Originally Posted By: redheadshooter
I debone all my meats. Tastes better to be. IMO
Yes, I agree. I plan to debone my meat. I have a sawzall in case I were to want to have it bone-in for some reason.
I debone my meat too.I use mine to quarter the deer and remove the head.


I got you.
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Fellowship Baptist Church Website

1Ti 1:15: ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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#3065082 - 12/05/12 05:09 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Poser]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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 Originally Posted By: Poser
I passionately disagree with the "boning out meat tastes better" philosophy. The bone marrow is good stuff, adds piles of flavor to the meat making bone-in roasts tastes better. While I certainly bone out some venison cuts, I always put away a good bit of bone-in meat for smoking and braising.

I use my saw a whole lot in the kitchen.


I see. We mostly eat steaks, tenderloin and Backstraps. The wife likes the rest ground.
_________________________
Fellowship Baptist Church Website

1Ti 1:15: ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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#3065084 - 12/05/12 05:09 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
pastorbmp
10 Point


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 4878
Loc: Wartburg,TN

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I am new at this, so all the advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
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1Ti 1:15: ...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

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#3065087 - 12/05/12 05:12 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 12532
Loc: Tennessee

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Oh, and don't toss the neck meat. Bone it out or keep it bone in.
Rib meat can be ground up, take the extra time to bone it out.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3065113 - 12/05/12 05:31 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: pastorbmp]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 15801
Loc: Franklin TN

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Sounds like you are more well equipped than me, I just got my folding knife sharpened enough to shave with, an old fridge to age the meat, and last 2 deer were hung on a step ladder cause so haven't even got a gambrel or a place to hang em yet. I put cut in big zip lock bags and press out as much air as possible before freezing. I need a good boning knife, gambrel and meat grinder and a scale to weigh the whole deer and then ill be in good shape. But for now, my trusty Kershaw knife does the trick.
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#3065120 - 12/05/12 05:37 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: catman529]
Savage
8 Point


Registered: 07/18/01
Posts: 1672
Loc: Crossville, TN

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4" rapala fillet knife and an electric filet knife works well.
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#3065159 - 12/05/12 06:07 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Savage]
mike243
16 Point


Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 11552
Loc: east tn

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well when I debone a ham I use a large very sharp knife to cut it into steaks,when it falls apart the smaller parts are stew meat or it can be ground up.no need to seperate each muscle group then cut steaks.It takes way less time & energy to let it fall apart after I cut it into steak portions.so a boning knife & a sharp large knife is a must have,a filet knife works great for deboning
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#3065586 - 12/06/12 04:35 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: mike243]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41741
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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In the last few years, I have skinned and boned most of my deer on the tailgate of the truck instead of hanging them. Seems faster and just as handy. Just do one side at a time. However, if I were going to mount the head, I would hang them.
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#3065672 - 12/06/12 06:57 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: bowriter]
BluegrassDan
4 Point


Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 495
Loc: Elizabethton, Carter County, T...

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I love my stiff 6" Giesser Messer boning knife. A sharpening steel is very handy to touch up the blade as you go. Also handy are a large cutting board and a pastry scraper to scrape the cutting board as it gets covered with fat and membrane material.
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#3067734 - 12/07/12 10:11 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: BluegrassDan]
tikkashooter
8 Point


Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 2390
Loc: Kingston, TN

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The wife and I have talked about doing this too. Let me know what I should expect $ wise once you are done! Lol
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#3067788 - 12/07/12 10:50 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: tikkashooter]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2651
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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 Originally Posted By: tikkashooter
Let me know what I should expect $ wise once you are done!


x2
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#3068013 - 12/07/12 12:57 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Crosshairy]
Mike Belt
TnDeer Old Timer
16 Point


Registered: 03/26/99
Posts: 17747
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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I haven't had a deer processed by anyone other than me in the last 25 years. A good knife and sharpener and a saw for cutting through bone is basically all you need. I only saw through bone to remove the deer quarters and taking the feet off the legs. Other than that I simply seperate muscle groups and clean all the meat down to pure red meat. I then vacuum pack it for the freezer. The only way to cut the meat up is to let it chill first. Warm meat doesn't cut worth a flip. If you're planning on grinding any make sure you have it clean as a pin before grinding or you'll spend alot of time cleaning your grinding blades out. Manicuring the meat is times consuming and tedious but you'll do a better job than any processor out there.
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#3068051 - 12/07/12 01:29 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Mike Belt]
Hit&Miss84
Spike


Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 52
Loc: Kingsport, Tn

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When cutting off legs, neck, etc, we just use loppers like you would use on branches and small trees. I agree with everyone else that a couple of sharp boning knives are really handy when skinning and working up the meat. I bought a couple of 6" swiss made boning knives for less than $15.00 dollars a piece. A lot of guys I know just get the white handled boning knives from Sam's club.
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#3068092 - 12/07/12 01:57 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: BluegrassDan]
Swole Neck
4 Point


Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 103
Loc: TN

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 Originally Posted By: BluegrassDan
I love my stiff 6"


TMI!!!

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#3068101 - 12/07/12 02:05 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Hit&Miss84]
treefarmer
4 Point


Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 292
Loc: Humphreys County, TN

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I agree with Bowater and a lot of what Mike said. I skin,quarter and remove the loins/backstrap and neck meat in the woods and put it in a standard size cooler with milk jug ice and discard the carcass in the woods for the coyotes to enjoy. At home I work on the kitchen table and have it done in about 2 nights of light work. I keep fresh ice in the cooler. I use a sturdy hunting knife and sharp filet knife (learn how to sharpen a knife). I bone out the meat and get three 2# roasts from each hind quarter and grind the rest except for the loins/backstraps which I butterfly into steaks. All the meat is stored in 1 pint or 1 quart zip-lok bags with the air squeezed out. I quart is 2# of ground. I mark the bags with the year and weight. I freeze roasts and don't cut any steaks or stew meat because I can cut those from roasts when needed. Once you have done it a few times and have learned how easy it can be you will wonder why you ever paid to have it done.
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#3068170 - 12/07/12 02:59 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: treefarmer]
DntBrnDPig
8 Point


Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2071
Loc: Cleveland, TN

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I only use a good boning knife and a vacuum sealer until I need to grind. Then I have the kitchen-aid grinder attachment and LEM 5# sausage stuffer.
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#3068197 - 12/07/12 03:13 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: treefarmer]
Pursuit Hunter
8 Point


Registered: 10/01/08
Posts: 2086
Loc: Way out there

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All you really need to completely process a deer is a sharp knife, a place to work, and something to keep air off the meat when it is cut up and in the freezer.

That said, here are the tools I use in descending order of importance.

Boning knife - I use a Browning Bird and Trout knife. I could do all my cutting tasks with this knife, but there are better knives for a couple tasks. I use it for quartering and removing backstrips and tenderloins in the field and for almost all final butchering in the kitchen. It holds a very sharp edge and feels great in the hand.

Large Coleman Cooler - for chilling and storing meat

Sharpening Steel - you gotta have sharp knives.

Skinning knife - for gutting and skinning in the field

Fillet Knife - for removing silverskin at home

Plastic cutting boards - go on top of the kitchen island for final butchering

Gambrel and come-along - make skinning and quartering much easier and cleaner than doing it on the ground

Small handsaw - for lopping off lower legs - I don't cut bone other than that. The one I use cost a couple bucks at Lowes.

Vacuum sealer - ziplocks or butcher paper work too and are cheaper.

Kitchen scale - for portioning packages

A couple large flat pans - for holding meat while it is being processed

That's all you need for basic processing. If you want to make sausage, jerky, ground meat, etc., you can add:

Grinder

Sausage stuffer

Dehydrator

Jerky shooter
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#3068349 - 12/07/12 05:37 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Pursuit Hunter]
fishboy1
16 Point


Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10522
Loc: Warren Co

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If you are killing multiple deer per season you will eventually start looking for short cuts.

Watch some of those youtube videos of guys who skin and or process deer in super fast times.

Look at how they deal with legs/joints. I picked up a tip on where I start my skinning process to avoid having to skin around the gambrel saving me a bunch of time.

Learning how to cut around a knee joint to avoid the saw altogether is a winner too.

When processing in the kitchen I use 2 Baker & Chef knives from Sams. ( I think they are really Dexters) BIG cutting board, several bowls and a sharpener.

Backstraps get cut into 6" portions and frozen 3 to a vacuum bag.

Hams get separated into 3 roasts, fat and glands trimmed out.
Shoulders get boned out and usually canned.
Neck gets filleted out for stew chunks.
Any other bits usually wind up in the grinder bowl.

With my wife helping it takes about 60-90 minutes to get 1 deer finished and into the freezer and the kitchen cleaned back up.
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#3068422 - 12/07/12 06:30 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: fishboy1]
Appalachian American
8 Point


Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 1381
Loc: Cookeville, TN

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I think cherokee89 has some info about this. I seen him posting about processing a while back
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#3068466 - 12/07/12 06:58 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Appalachian American]
Robtattoo
4 Point


Registered: 08/14/12
Posts: 209
Loc: Tullahoma, TN.

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Take a look at the link I posted here.......

http://www.tndeer.com/tndeertalk/ubbthre...rue#Post3064030

It'll save you a lot of guesswork & time.


Edited by Robtattoo (12/07/12 06:59 PM)
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#3073688 - 12/11/12 04:04 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Robtattoo]
TNGunhunter
6 Point


Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 955
Loc: Wilson County, TN

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I bought a similar video from KYAfield a couple of years ago..best $20 I've ever spent on hunting. Titled "From the field to the freezer". I've never taken a deer to the processor and we only get better / faster with each deer. First year, good sharp knives...2nd year, got a grinder...this year got a slicer for jerky. (Got LEM grinder and slicer on black friday for $50 each). Have fun and good luck...just remember, you won't get fined if you make a bad cut, just learn from it and do better next time.
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