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#3107504 - 01/03/13 11:39 AM 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive
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Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13465
Loc: Tennessee

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We had a good bit of discussion this year about the merits of DIY processing, so who is going to pledge to starte handling their own deer in the 2013 season?

Reasons for DIY butchering:

1. Saves money. If you are killing more than 2 or 3 deer season, DIY butchering will save you in the long run. If you cannot afford a meat grinder, you can always take your trimmings in to a commercial processor and have them ground for a fraction of the cost of a processing job. Furthermore, knowledge of butchering will help ensure that you get quality work done by a commercial processor.

2. Satisfaction. I taught a friend how to butcher his own deer this season and he said that he now feels like that the hunt is not complete until he butchers the deer. There is much satisfaction and personal gratification to be found in a well executed butchering job.

3. Customization and yield. Butcher the deer exactly the way you want it. Maximize your yields by knowing for a fact that you are using all the meat and getting your deer back.

4. Tradition. Every hunter should have basic butchering skills.

What you need:

-A quality boning knife and sharpening apparatus.
-Cutting board (though any clean surface will work)
-freezer packaging (this could be ziplock bags and newspaper, butcher paper or a vacuum sealer)

Other items that you might consider:

-hanging apparatus such as a gambrel, though a rope and a branch will work fine. Also, you can easily butcher a deer laying on the ground, floor, or on a table.

-meat grinder. this is probably the most expensive piece of equipment. As stated, you can still take your trimmings to a commercial processor. Another thing you might consider is splitting a purchase with one of your hunting partners.

-work bench/table that is at a comfortable height. Bending over for hours sucks.

-bonesaw. A (clean) hacksaw will work just fine, though.

---

Suggested reading:
Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1599621142
This book has some of the best butchering pics that I have seen.

Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game
http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Butchering-L...estock+and+game
This book is written by a Vet and is a great introduction.

Flexible Boning knives. I prefer German steel. Henckle and Wushoff are two of my personal favorites. Get a shorter knife in the 6 inch range. Many guys use longer knives, but they are not necessary for Whitetails and the shorter knife will give you more precision and control. I suggest not skimping on quality when it comes to a boning knife. You need a surgically sharp blade to remove silverskin while not wasting meat. You also need to be able to work femur bones and spines in a tight and precise manner.

Henckle http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Butchering-L...estock+and+game

Wushoff: http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic-6-...of+boning+knife

Global: http://www.amazon.com/Global-G-21-Flexib...al+boning+knife
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Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

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#3107509 - 01/03/13 11:43 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Poser]
bowriter
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 42242
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

content Online
Been doing it for going on 55-years, see no reason to change now. Even when I lived in an apartment, I did my own.
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#3107517 - 01/03/13 11:45 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: bowriter]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13465
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: bowriter
Been doing it for going on 55-years, see no reason to change now. Even when I lived in an apartment, I did my own.


Yeah, I had friend in Memphis that would butcher deer in a tiny, upstairs apartment.
_________________________
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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#3107523 - 01/03/13 11:47 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Poser]
Treestand Troubadour
4 Point


Registered: 11/11/11
Posts: 382
Loc: Carter County

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Very good post, its a little intimidating to think you have to turn this critter thats layin in a pile of leafs with its tongue hangin out into a burger, but once you learn how to it is a satisfying end to the hunt.
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#3107529 - 01/03/13 11:51 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Treestand Troubadour]
cecil30-30
16 Point


Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 14323
Loc: Morgan Co

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At $60 a deer,I started doing my own deer 2 seasons ago.Its definatly a learning curve,but once you learn where all the different cuts of meat are and how to seperate them,it becomes easier..Notice I said easier and not easy..LOL Its still a job that I don't care much for,but its better than paying $60.
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#3107538 - 01/03/13 11:56 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: cecil30-30]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2698
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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I've decided to try one on my own if I can get one in cold enough weather that I'm not too rushed (I generally kill about 50-75% of my freezer meat before gun season opens).

I don't own a grinder, but I do have a KitchenAid mixer that I would consider getting the attachment for. I've also got a friend at work that has offered to grind burger for me.

Even if I decide that it's worth the trouble, I'll still take a deer per year to the processor to get some specialty stuff made. The kids will have to grow up a bit more before I have time to start making Andouille, chorizo, and summer sausage \:\)
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#3107549 - 01/03/13 11:59 AM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Crosshairy]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13465
Loc: Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
I've decided to try one on my own if I can get one in cold enough weather that I'm not too rushed (I generally kill about 50-75% of my freezer meat before gun season opens).



Quarter them up and put them in coolers. I have one sitting in a coller on my front porch right now \:\)
_________________________
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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#3107550 - 01/03/13 12:00 PM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Poser]
Redfred16
8 Point


Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 1411
Loc: Hartland, WI

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Once we purchase a house I plan to give it a go.
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#3107565 - 01/03/13 12:11 PM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: Redfred16]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1326
Loc: south TN

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I have gotten to where I do all of mine myself for enjoyment, pride and saving money. Got a grinder for Christmas and put it to work for the first time new years eve. Was not hard at all. I am really looking foward to this now.
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#3107572 - 01/03/13 12:15 PM Re: 2013 DIY Deer Processing Drive [Re: woodsman87]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2698
Loc: Bartlett, TN

Offline
I had talked to my parents months ago about starting this when we were over at their house for dinner. I guess they had remembered, because I got a vacuum sealer for Christmas.

I already plan to put it to use when spring time comes around and I start putting fish in the freezer. It will be nice to have for the venison as well.

Poser - do you skin them in the field and then quarter them for the cooler, or do you do that when you get home? I guess you could quarter them with the skin on, but that sounds like a lot of clean-up mess later with the hair. I just keep thinking about the 70 degree days with the long ride home from some of my trips...
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I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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