Hunting out of necessity

Iglow

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After leaving Aldi, having dropped $101.81 for practically nothing I called my buddy and told him I was going back in the deer killing business. I really haven't killed any the last few years, just didn't want to deal with them once they hit the ground but now I'm gonna get the processing stuff and grinder out this fall to put some burger in the freezer.
 

Wrangler95

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After leaving Aldi, having dropped $101.81 for practically nothing I called my buddy and told him I was going back in the deer killing business. I really haven't killed any the last few years, just didn't want to deal with them once they hit the ground but now I'm gonna get the processing stuff and grinder out this fall to put some burger in the freezer.
I have been like you not wanting to mess with the task of butchering the deer after killing but I have all the tools for processing ,so Im gonna grind up several deer this season to help out on meat in store prices!!
 

Lost Lake

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Although processing deer isn't something that I particularly enjoy, I don't hate it either. But, every time I reach into the freezer for a pound of ground I sure as heck enjoy that.

I've heard it said that wild game is expensive meat by the time you factor in all the costs. I don't look at that way in my case. Deer hunting is a hobby that I'm going to engage in regardless, so minus the cost of some minimal processing equipment, the meat is a bonus.

I hope that I can always keep a full freezer each season.
 
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DoubleRidge

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We have summer sausage done each year and Ill carry it to work several days a week. Summer sausage, cheddar cheese, olives, crackers, dried apricots, etc...so deer is part of my weekly lunch plan many weeks...much cheaper than going out for lunch or eating junk from the vending machines...we had grilled turkey ka-bobs last night for supper....but your right, grocery prices are crazy.
 

Antler Daddy

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Couple of deer in the freezer have been a blessing each year with growing kids. They will eat it all day long in hamburger helper and other methods using ground venison.

I just prefer beef and don't eat much more than the tenderloin or a good roast in crock pot.

But after license costs and other expenses....I don't save a nickel.
 

MidTennFisher

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One of many reasons I want to move back to middle TN is to take advantage of the liberal doe killing available specifically to fill the freezer and cut down on grocery costs. The food prices are getting so out of hand and I really don't think we're done seeing the hyperinflation.

Bidenomics is working, they say, but it sure isn't working for me.
 

BSK

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Although processing deer isn't something that I particularly enjoy, I don't hate it either. But, every time I reach into the freezer for a pound of ground I sure as heck enjoy that.
Lost Lake, I'm like you that I sure am glad I do all my own processing every time I take venison out of the freezer. But I absolutely despise the processing part, primarily because we end up doing several deer at once and it turns into a long job. Thankfully, we get everyone in the family involved and we have a pretty efficient assembly line process. I'm out in the cleaning shed skinning and removing the major muscle groups and then a crew inside does the disassembly, silver-skin and fat removal, grinding and packaging. When we do several deer at once it averages out to about an hour and a half per deer.

But those days we do three or four deer are long days.

My best advice to those getting into their own processing is get high-quality very sharp knives and pay the price to get a restaurant-grade grinder. I think we paid around $800 for our grinder, but it can grind faster than we can feed the meat in. Plus, if well-taken-care-of, it will last forever.
 

Biggun4214

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Couple of deer in the freezer have been a blessing each year with growing kids. They will eat it all day long in hamburger helper and other methods using ground venison.

I just prefer beef and don't eat much more than the tenderloin or a good roast in crock pot.

But after license costs and other expenses....I don't save a nickel.
When my boys were little, my wife fixed something from ground beef. One of the boys asked what the meat was because it tasted funny. 😄
 

BSK

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When my boys were little, my wife fixed something from ground beef. One of the boys asked what the meat was because it tasted funny. 😄
With all the venison we have available, and due to my needing to stay away from beef for 20 years (Alpha Gal), I lost my taste for beef. Now, other than a rare hamburger, I just have no interest in beef, even a high-quality steak. I much prefer venison.
 

Lost Lake

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Lost Lake, I'm like you that I sure am glad I do all my own processing every time I take venison out of the freezer. But I absolutely despise the processing part, primarily because we end up doing several deer at once and it turns into a long job. Thankfully, we get everyone in the family involved and we have a pretty efficient assembly line process. I'm out in the cleaning shed skinning and removing the major muscle groups and then a crew inside does the disassembly, silver-skin and fat removal, grinding and packaging. When we do several deer at once it averages out to about an hour and a half per deer.

But those days we do three or four deer are long days.

My best advice to those getting into their own processing is get high-quality very sharp knives and pay the price to get a restaurant-grade grinder. I think we paid around $800 for our grinder, but it can grind faster than we can feed the meat in. Plus, if well-taken-care-of, it will last forever.

Excellent advice.

I've had some nights in the shop that I've processed three deer at a time by myself. That was back breaking work, and I promised myself I'd stick to only one or maybe two at the most at one time unless a buddy helps out.

Deboning the meat in the field makes the work so much easier during processing time, and it's my preferred way of doing it now.

The education gained by processing your own is well worth it to me.
 

Iglow

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But those days we do three or four deer are long days.
I did 2 by myself once, they were shot on Friday and I hung them in the cedar tree to do them Saturday, deer were moving like crazy on that December Friday. A blue front came through Friday night and the wind was blowing 20 mph Saturday morning with it about 15 degrees. The deer weren't froze but they were very cold. WHEW! That was one tough job. My hands turned blue and bout fell off!
 

BSK

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I did 2 by myself once, they were shot on Friday and I hung them in the cedar tree to do them Saturday, deer were moving like crazy on that December Friday. A blue front came through Friday night and the wind was blowing 20 mph Saturday morning with it about 15 degrees. The deer weren't froze but they were very cold. WHEW! That was one tough job. My hands turned blue and bout fell off!
I'm lucky in that we have a 10' x 12" walk-in cooler. Deer hang for 2 weeks at 38 degrees and the meat is very soft. Plus, I have a space heater in the cleaning shed!
 

gtk

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I process 1 elk and 1 mule deer a year, occasionally an pronghorn thrown in. That feeds my fam of 3 for a year. Prob 80% of it is ground as that is what we eat most.

I do have extra costs, as I get it processed where I hunt. I may try bringing home the meat and processing myself one day, when I have the equip needed.
 

EastTNHunter

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My family eats 5-6 deer per year. I try to process at least one of those, but our butcher does a very good job for about $80/deer and we fill the freezer. We rarely buy ground beef (just for 50/50 meatloaf and hamburgers; I've never gotten the hang of venison burgers and they dry out for me), and occasionally some steaks. I can't imagine hunting and NOT eating deer. I hunt for the experience first, the meat second, and then the antlers fall way down the line after that
 

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