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how to butcher your own deer

Old 12-10-2005, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 369
Default how to butcher your own deer

I remember when I was a kid, I use to watch my grand father clean his deer. It would take him a few days because after cutting up the deer he would set it in a big tub of salt water, I am guessing to get most of the blood out. Is there any particular way to cut up one? I do know you have to bleed it out, then skin it, then from there I guess its just a matter of preference??
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:23 PM
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Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

I have been keeping my hind quarters whole the last few years. One for jerky meat the other I smoke whole. I grind the shoulders brisket, rib meat, and anything out of the hinds I can't cut into steaks. If I cut the hind into steaks, I first remove it from the bone by cutting along the bone. Andpretty well, cut against the grainanywhere I can.Backstraps, I butterfly. I wouldn't worry about soaking in salt water or anything.

I hang when the weather permits, which is rare, like the first bowkill this year it was 85 out. And then my kills now would freeze. So what I have been doing is quartering and putting in a large cooler with 2liters frozen with water. I let it sit there for 2 - 3 days.
Old 12-10-2005, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Posts: 93
Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

Are there any good books or video's on butchering deer? And where can you find them.

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Old 12-10-2005, 09:51 PM
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Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

I saw some books and videos at bass pro the other day. But really the only way is to do it. Expect to really chop it up the first time.
Old 12-11-2005, 04:38 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 265
Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

hang um from the back legs. skin it. then take the inner tenderloins out. cut the hinds off the bone following the lines of fat. then you can either make roasts or cut into steaks. or chunk if you prefer. follow the spine down on outside of back.[both sides] all the way to front shoulders. cut just below the hindes. out towards the ribs. the the back straps will kinda fall out with a llil knife help.clean the silver skin off and make your steaks. front shoulders come off easy enough. thake the meat off best ya can and chunk for grinding. alot of muscle and fatty tissue in them. [not good for good steaks or roasts] thats about it unless you fool with the ribs. after a couple you will find it verry easy to do.good luck
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:31 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 295
Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

I purchased a DVD at Walmart for $5.00 on field dressing and butcheringyoudeer.
Best $5.00 I ever spent.

The followingisa butchering video that is worth viewing.


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Old 12-11-2005, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Default RE: how to butcher your own deer


It's not that bad, go for it. Our local processors charge a flat fee to process a deer. So I'll do a 135 pounder myself, and take a 235 pounder in and let the pro's do it. Often, the first deer of the season goes to the process so I'll get some deer burger, and the second deer of the season gets processed into roasts, steaks, and stew meat out in the garage. Also there is a weather factor, if the weather is above 40 you can't let it hang,you have to either process right away yourself or take to a pro.

Here is a video that is supposed to be good. Might want to ask your local librarian if they have one, or if they can inter library loan one for you from another library. That way you don't have to buy it. Often a library won't have something special like this in stock, but they can borrow it from a library the next state over, all for free. If you go that route you can't be real picky on which video to watch, just whatever they have on deer processing.

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Old 12-11-2005, 09:11 AM
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Default RE: how to butcher your own deer


One more thing, processing your own deer really teaches you a lot about shot placement and field dressing. A shot in the wrong place can really waste a lot of meat, and you never know that when you have the deer commerially processed. When you do it yourself you are looking right at the ruined roast and realize a few inches over would have saved that roast. Alsofield dressing can easily screw up a lot of meat, and you learn that when you process yourself also. Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Saskatchewan Canada
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Default RE: how to butcher your own deer

Look at it in sections you have3 to consider;
Choice (steak or roasts)
These come from the following areas on a deer:
1) Tender loins (Can be left whole or butterflied for steaking) Remove these asap as they skin over very quickly and aging is simply not required of this portion.
2) Rear Hams (follow the contours of the muscle groups to seperate your sirloin, inside, outside and eye of the round muscle groups). These can be cut into steak, roasts or ground if you prefer less whole meat.
3) Backstrap or loin chops. These are the straps of meat that border the spinal column and run from neck to rear ham. This meat can be steaked or chucked. I also prefer to butterfly my backstraps on deer sized game but you can medallion them if you prefer.

Front shoulders, lower shank meat (front and rear), flank, intercostal rib meat (if you desire), missed meat form the other areas of the deer.

Stewing or simmering meat: (this is optional)
You can use pretty much anything for stewing on a deer. (The exceptions would be flank, intercostal rib meat and shanks)

As mentioned you want to release the meat from the bone first, then just follow the natural contours of each muscle group to get the specific cuts. For whole meat cuts always cut cross grain. If you have a small muscle such as the eye of the round, etc and want a larger grilling steak you can butterfly. To butterfly you simply cut the meat double the thickness you desire and split it in the middle(cross grain)until you can fold it out to create a larger steak(so not all the way through but close). I think for the best meat quality you should always remove any fat, hair,plusas much silver skin and grissle from your choice cuts.

I agree videos and books can be a great tool but the only way is doing it. Remember when ever you process meat you'll have a grind pile so missed portions are never wasted and in time you'll be able to get what you want out of each animal you butcher. Extremely rewarding process and you will enjoy your meat much more I gaurantee as you get out what you want out of the animal.

Best of luck.

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