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Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by skullcrusher, Jul 3, 2009.
How do you handle the processing of your harvested large game, usually?
I put on some Sam Cooke, light some candles, pour a bubble bath, and, well.....
I think he means deer, not sheep....
I process my own; probably because that is how my Dad raised me to do it. My daughter is an avid deer hunter and I have always been proud of the way she does not mind "getting her hands dirty" in the dressing of game. I think it taught her that there is a lot more to the hunt than just squeezing the trigger.
Also, I am a bit peculiar and I like to know how the meat was handled, processed, and packaged before I eat it. I went with a friend to pick up some deer meat that he had processed once and it was stored in a large cooler with a LOT of other packs. I wondered if he really got the deer he killed or if it could have been all mixed in with others that perhaps had not been taken quickly and gotten to the processor in a timely manner.
I was raised on a active farm so I learned to butcher hogs at a VERY early age. That translated into butchering my own deer from the start, and since then see no reason to change. I'm extremely particular in meat processing. By the time I get done, nothing is left saved except for 100% pure lean. Naturally when grinding meat to make deerburger I'll go to local grocery and get free beef fat to mix it in at a ratio of 3/4 lean to 1/4 beef fat.
my partner and i do our own. antilope goes to jerky and sausage,, deer goes into burger, sausage , jerky and elk goes to roasts, steaks and burger.
We do our own also. Make 2000+ strips of deer jerky an year. Butcher and grind our wild hogs, then let the local butcher make us braughts from there. Years ago I designed and built a overhead hoist to go into a pick up receiver hitch for cleaning deer/hogs. Let a local gun shop owner and build a few to sell in his store. Now you can order them thru Cabelas. I missed the boat on that one!! I don't know if someone saw one and went from there or came up with there own, we were about five years ahead of them.
My uncle and cousin help me do it. I'm no pro at processing big game. Small game is no problem.
I just realized that I did not offer my own process. I butcher my own deer. Most gets ground up and mixed with pork fat for making brats and summer sausage. The summer sausage is a family recipe and I smoke it myself in one of my smokers. I would not do it any other way.
A couple of seasons ago, I got 2 big does on the same day. That was dang near too much work for one guy.
Of course, the sirloin and tenderloin do not get put in the grinder.
First deer for me was when I was 11. I had helped my dad's hunt club put up stand markers, so I was got to go with Dad and the guys on opening day. Got a small doe, (legal in those days for youthful hunters) We were staying over that night at the clubhouse (old farmhouse). We dressed out the deer, cut the entire deer into steaks, breaded them, fried them up for dinner. Yes, the entire deer. That night I was invited to sit in on the card game and have a beer for having provided dinner.
Of course, today if you give an 11 yr old a shotgun, a beer, and let him play poker everyone in the clubhouse would be going to jail!
I used to process my own meat but the last few hunting trips I went on, and they have been several years ago, I paid to have the meat processed. It is difficult with my business and the time it demands to even go hunt let alone process the meat. The last two trips I went on I got Elk and had it cut into steaks and burger and the butcher did a good job.
My hogs and deer get field dressed and cleaned up really well with water. Then it is off to the butcher shop.
Does the water make the fat tissue bubble?
If i may, i,ve been processing my own deer after the first one did not seem to be mine. It,ll hang 2 days to 4 in cool weather. I cut no bone i strip the meat off in mucle groups, loins and of corse tenderloin. When i,am done theres nothing but the bare skelton hanging. All meat even the ribs are good for burger. When the bone is sawed i think it changes the taste of it. Don,t take a lot of time and turns out to be much neater than sawing it up. I enjoy doing it after the hunt. To me its just part of it. If you choose a processer nothing wrong with that either.
I have been processing my own deer for years,I dont use a saw either,just cut around the bones.
i've heard from some of the hunters around here...they dress it as soon as it falls?..but i've heard of some people hagging it up in a cool place for a day or so and let it bleed out?..i have had dear meat when i was growing up as a kid...it was guuuuud...i have never killed a deer or cleaned one as im a wussy and just dont play in guts to easy...but this year if i get a chance to bag one...i got some help in cleaning it.i myself would kinda wonder about taking my deer to a place where i dont know them and they dont know me to have processed.heck i might just use my slingshot to kill a dear this year,after seeing 5 come out of the woods at work yesterday.all 5 where less then 30 yards away from us.i even jumped up n down clapping my hands,yelling and making fart noises with my armpits & they still just pretended that nobody was around...of course its in the city limits,so the deers must know the laws
The deer gets field dressed (gutted) right away. The hanging of the deer has nothing to do with bleeding out, it is about aging the meat. Depending upon temperature, some will let it hang up to 5 days. Of course, the tenderloin does not need to be aged.
Depends on where I'm hunting and what. If it's back in Pa then I'll take it to my old neighbor that runs a processing place during buck season. He has the big boy tools to do it quick and easy and it makes sense. I've worked for him growing up in skinning and prepping the deer and will tell you that the meat you bring in is the meat you take home. Not all butchers are like that but then again most hunters come in with a 100 lb field dressed deer and expect 99 pounds of meat back.
If I ever decide to hunt bear again it will definitely go to a butcher right off. Still have vivid memories of cutting the one up in camp. Flys covering me and the bear, hands covered in grease from the bear fat and trying to cut it at the same time barely holding the knife.
It is funny (to me) that some people think that 'hanging weight' is close to the actual meat weight. Good post, Dcomf.
Hanging deer to age meat??
I was under the impression that you don't have to hang deer to age the meat like beef. A deer has different muscle structure and hanging is not needed.