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Elk Processing

Old 12-03-2004, 11:47 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Motor City
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Default Elk Processing

I hope I'm not jinxing myself, but I'm heading on an elk hunt here in MI on Monday 12/6. I am looking for pointers on picking a processor that will do me right. The main thing I am worried about is them skimming off some of the meat but I also want a good job. Are there anyways I can protect myself?

Here's where I am at right now. I have determined that I want vacuum packing and have narrowed it down to 2 processors. One is a slaughter house that does elk constantly and wants $150.00 but their near the hunt, 4 hrs from home. The second is a county market that does 90% deer (but has done elk) and wants $80, and is < 2 hrs from home.

With the first one, I talked to the owner who said I could get a hanging weight after skinning, and request all bones & scraps back, and get a final weight with this + meat. Sounds real fair. The second said they could quarter up the elk then get a weight but didn't seem interested in the providing a bones + scrap + meat weight, but the seem honest none the less.

Any opinions on who sounds better?

Also, Can't I just cut the tenderloin out myself before taking it in? If yes, can someone please try to explain it to me so I can do it?

Finally, someone told me the pull the molars as their ivory. Is this true, and how would I do it?

-Fred
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:35 PM
  #2  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington
Posts: 343
Default RE: Elk Processing

I cant say which processor as I cut my own deer and elk up but tenderloins are easy, As your looking inside the elk, look a little forward of the hips and you will see two chunks of meat on each side of the spine. There long. Youll see the shape of them. Just cut down each side from top to bottom then just pull from the top and cutting the back as your pulling, they usually come out pretty easy.
If you dont mind cutting a little meat and dont want bones in your meat, i would take off the back straps to. I dont like bones in my wild game so everythin i cut up is boned out. Back straps are easy to cut out to. Just start back by the hips, cut down the spine to the fron shoulders then cut down towards the chest a few inches, then back up to point of beginning. then grab the top and pull and cut behind to separate from the bone as your pulling it out. Hope this helps. If you shoot a bull yes pull the molars out. i cut mine out.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:42 PM
  #3  
Typical Buck
 
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Location: Anchorage,Alaska
Posts: 512
Default RE: Elk Processing

First I would not worry about them skimming off some meat and I think your a little paraniod.
If their pro's you should have no problem. I would go to the country market as an elk is just a big deer to a butcher.
If you want to pull the straps yourself it's easist to skin the animal,run a sharp knife along both sides of the spine top to bottom,then follow up running your knife along the ribs. This will give you 2 long strips of some very tasty meat.
As far as the Ivory I use a big heavy duty knife and digem out.
Good Luck
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:39 PM
  #4  
Typical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: golden co
Posts: 852
Default RE: Elk Processing

Back straps run along the spine to down the ribs. It can be easily cut out in a long loaf. The tenderloins run from the hind legs to about the middle of the spine directly under the ribs. They are a long rope like muscle. Suggest slicing them about 3/4 to 1" thick for steaks. The Colorado DOW has a good tape "From the Field to the Table" that clearly shows how to identify those parts as well as processing the entire animal.
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Old 12-04-2004, 09:49 AM
  #5  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,072
Default RE: Elk Processing

In case you didn't know the ivories are the lone teeth located on the top and they sit foward off to the side. If the elk is a young one they will be hollow. I couldn't answer your question on the meat guy as I have never used one. Good luck on your hunt and fill that tag.

One more thing, If the elk is a bigger one, look inside the cavity up where the heart and lungs are you will find two strips of meat on each side of the spine. Pull those also, these are called the mock tenders. They will be about the size of a deers tenderloin sometimes( if the elk is big enough) these would look good right next to your mashed potatoes as well.
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
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Default RE: Elk Processing

I think the main question you need to ask is "Do I get my own meat back"? I would not worry about them "skimming" the meat, what I would worry about is them taking a whole bunch of scraps and grinding everything at once for burger. Then dividing the whole mess up among different people. Some guys do not take real good care of their meat. You certianly don't want their nasty stuff mixed in with your clean meat.
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:02 AM
  #7  
Typical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: golden co
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Default RE: Elk Processing

Alaska makes for a good case for doing your own. For the price of one process elk you can get set up with a hand grinder and FoodSaver.
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