There are a lot of reasons hunters process their own deer meat, and it’s not only about saving a buck. How a deer is processed very much affects the taste and quality of the meat. There are some great guys out there processing deer who do an amazing job, but sometimes even the best shops get busy and have to rush things. Processing your own deer could allow for some additional time with family and could improve your yield. Maybe not your first time around but over time, you can develop some skills. Some of these skills include deboning properly so nothing is wasted, and learning what cuts of meat are best suited for certain aspects such as jerky cuts, stew meat, and ground meat. Also you may find some techniques to be more efficient at removing the hide from your deer or removing silver skin efficiently.
The Majority of us process our own meat in order to continue enjoying the process from field to table and knowing where our meat comes from. Being involved in butchering your own animal, is just another part of the same hunt. If you’ve ever considered processing your own venison, there are a ton of resources out there to help. Knowing how your venison is processed and packaged, is a huge piece of mind this day and age. Making sausage jerky and ground venison are also essential parts to making your harvest taste as enjoyable as ever while still enjoying every aspect of the hunt. It also is a great opportunity to teach the next generation of hunters where their meals come from and how to process your own harvest from field to fork.
Per usual, Field & Stream has some great content on this subject. This article provides a nice overview: Making Meat: A Step-by-Step Guide to Butchering Your Own Deer
We’d encourage you to take some time, learn what you can, find a friend who has some experience, and go for it. One of our favorite books on this subject is 60 Minute Venison by our friends Mitch Kezar and Steve Stortz. This book has great photos and real, step-by-step, simple instructions. These two make it easy enough for even a newbie.
According to Amazon: “Veteran hunters Mitch Kezar and Steve Stortz combine their hunting talents and culinary skills to vividly describe the process of butchering a deer in about an hour. This richly illustrated tool for novice and seasoned hunters culminates with a dozen great and varied venison recipes. Whether you’re a hunter new to the game or a grizzled old woodsman with a way-dirty knife, you’re bound to learn a few good tricks and techniques from this rich little creation.”
Also, we reviewed a bunch of videos on this subject and find this to be a great one, covering steps from A to Z.
You also can check out the folks at GrowingDeer.TV, who do a great job of explaining the process and the cuts of meat. Check out the video.
By doing it yourself, you can ensure that you get your deer, that the cuts are exactly to your liking, and you’ll save about $50 on each deer.
Note: An important comment from one HUNTING follower on Facebook, Mark Kendall:
“Just watched your clip-on processing your own deer meat. very surprised you didn’t say anything about saving the ribs. Not a whole lot of meat but what is there makes a great BBQ.”