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To butcher or not to butcher? that is the question?

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To butcher or not to butcher? that is the question?

Old 10-24-2017, 04:23 AM
  #11  
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I enjoy butchering. I've done up to around fifteen deer a year sometimes when I'm cutting up for friends. I've cut back now that I have kids but still do about six between my family and my dad each year.

It's really not hard. Get a sharp knife, and learn as you go.

Over the years I've added grinders, slicers, stuffers, dehydrators, mixers, all that.

But all you really need is a good knife. My local butcher will grind and wrap your bulk meat for .30cents a pound if you don't have a grinder of your own.

-JaKe
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:54 AM
  #12  
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Default it is good

a great part of a hunt, and fun to get the kids involved in it. we are sure to get our own meat, and keep the quality high.

it is a lot of work though - it helps to have a clean sawz-all for big game, and i prefer fillet knives for boning big pieces.

so many videos and helpful tips online, it is a great 'learn as you go' effort.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:18 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by wildbillb View Post
a great part of a hunt, and fun to get the kids involved in it. we are sure to get our own meat, and keep the quality high.

it is a lot of work though - it helps to have a clean sawz-all for big game, and i prefer fillet knives for boning big pieces.

so many videos and helpful tips online, it is a great 'learn as you go' effort.
Why do you need a sawz-all? I haven't cut a bone in decades. Bone it out and leave the bones in the field if it is legal to do so.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:45 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by flags View Post
Why do you need a sawz-all? I haven't cut a bone in decades. Bone it out and leave the bones in the field if it is legal to do so.
I'll use a sawz-all to cut the skull cap with horns off of the skull, and if I'm lucky enough to get an elk back home either whole or just cut in half, I'll use my sawz-all to split the spine.


Like I posted earlier, I like to hang the carcass, with the hide on, for about a week. With elk, that's quarters, with deer and antelope its usually the whole critter.


At 71+ years old, I can't drag more than half an elk at a time out of the woods. I can put one or two antelope and usually a whole deer (field dressed) on one of my wheeled game carriers. I can also still carry half a deer or antelope or an elk hind quarter out on my pack frame.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:37 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by buffybr View Post
I'll use a sawz-all to cut the skull cap with horns off of the skul
I carry a light weight folding bone saw for this if I'm after bucks or bulls. But normally all I target is females for meat. I don't take any bones out of the field unless I have to.

In TX where I currently live I can't break them down any further than qtrs but I simply take the hinds and fronts off with a knife and bone all the rest. Spine stays with the gutpile on everything I shoot.
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Old 10-25-2017, 01:22 PM
  #16  
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Butcher your meat yourself. It is part of it. More specifically.


"Hunting provides an opportunity to demonstrate endurance, courage, and skill, the characteristics everywhere of the powerful person." (from Jose Ortega y Gassett's "Meditations on Hunting") I would say an extension of this insight is that a major part of the pleasure of hunting is in demonstrating . . . endurance, courage, and skill. Why that should be the case -- why human beings take pleasure in demonstrating these qualities -- is not something I'm clear in my own mind about, but I do think this gets at the heart of the pleasure I feel in hunting.


Thus, by butchering your own meat, you get to further demonstrate endurance, courage, and skill -- namely the endurance of butchering the animal and the skill of butchering the animal. I'm not sure courage is engaged in butchering the animal.


Speaking for myself, I prefer to leave my bones in my meat until I get it home. This includes my elk, and elk bones are big and heavy (thus this means "paying for" my preference by increased effort lugging the elk meat with embedded bones back to camp). I think this keeps the meat in better condition. Additionally, I make broth out of the bones by boiling them up along with left-over scraps of meat and sinew as well as an onion, carrots, bay leaves. But this is a matter of personal preference, I acknowledge.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:05 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by flags View Post
Why do you need a sawz-all? I haven't cut a bone in decades. Bone it out and leave the bones in the field if it is legal to do so.
don't need to, but it sure is nice. i've used the sawz-all to split the spine and sternum on steer to hang the halves for a week or so. also use it to cut ribs. it is lightning fast, easy, and portable.

any bone cutting you might prefer, it works great. i keep a single blade i clean and keep separate. easy peasy.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:50 AM
  #18  
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I always process my own deer that way it is done just the way I like it. I enjoy that whole aspect of the "after hunt". It normally takes me about 4 hours from the skinning to the butchering then vacuum bagging and clean up. I normally do all the grind and sausage making on another day. The elk I have killed some were done with a local processor but as time went on our hunting party decided that it was better in the long run to do our own.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:54 PM
  #19  
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If you do it yourself you are guaranteed to get what you want. Iíve been doing it for years and when my boys started hunting I insisted they participate, even if it was just front shoulders and neck meat. The importance of this came home when hunting with my son who was 10 or 11. We were in a 2 person stand and he made a great shot on a doe that was in a herd over 100 yards away. She dropped in her tracks, and the herd had no idea what happened. He looked at me and said ďcan I shoot another one Dad?Ē and I said ďsure, as long as you donít mind butchering two.Ē He thought better of it and didnít...now if all he had to do was pull the trigger and help me gut and load them on the truck Iím sure he would have. The point is this, I think, taking that life is a big deal and by my insisting he close the loop on it by helping butcher and packing the meat he had to ask himself if he really wanted to do that. To me itís all about respecting the kill and ensuring the meat is processed as I like so we use it and understanding that the work,begins when the arrow flys or the trigger is pulled.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:36 PM
  #20  
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We just took all our Elk round steaks, and turned it into a big pot roast. 8 steaks total. 7 hours in the slow cooker, and it was good. Now the meat is just right for eating.
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