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#3067734 - 12/07/12 10:11 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: BluegrassDan]
8 Point

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 2407
Loc: Kingston, TN

The wife and I have talked about doing this too. Let me know what I should expect $ wise once you are done! Lol
Speaking on Michael Jackson: "America is the only place where a poor black boy from Gary, IN, can grow up to be a rich white women from Los Angeles, CA!"

#3067788 - 12/07/12 10:50 AM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: tikkashooter]
10 Point

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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

I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

#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: 18623
Loc: Lakeland, Tn.

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.

#3068051 - 12/07/12 01:29 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: Mike Belt]

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

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.
#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

 Originally Posted By: BluegrassDan
I love my stiff 6"


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

Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 394
Loc: Humphreys County, TN

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.
#3068170 - 12/07/12 02:59 PM Re: Ramping up to process my own deer [Re: treefarmer]
8 Point

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2334
Loc: Cleveland, TN

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.
Any time you can get out to hunt, is a good day to hunt.

#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

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:


Sausage stuffer


Jerky shooter
One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted - Jose Ortega y Gasset

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

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 10574
Loc: Warren Co

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.
If you can't trust people with freedom, how can you trust them with power ?

#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: 1409
Loc: Cookeville, TN

I think cherokee89 has some info about this. I seen him posting about processing a while back
Anything worth having don't come easy. Hunt hard and praise the Lord!
Hang on tight, life is a wild ride.
2010 Camaro 2SS/RS

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