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Old December 5, 2012, 07:09 PM   #26
Rembrandt
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When the kids were young we'd hunt 4-to-5 states and nearly broke me paying to have 10 or more head processed. After that I bought all the equipment to do our own....paid for itself the first year. That was nearly 20 years ago, since then probably saved close to $20,000 in processing charges @ roughly $1000 per year.





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Old December 5, 2012, 08:00 PM   #27
stu925
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I haven't had a deer professionally butchered in well over 10 years. Had a friend that took a job skinning for a local butcher after his skinner flaked out and disappeared on him one season (Guy was prone to just take off for Alaska, usually crab fishing on the Bering Sea). That butcher lost a bunch of deer after the guy took off, they just rotted in his cooler. After that he put a big box in his walk in freezer labeled Build-A-Deer and every deer he butchered had some cut of meat placed in that box just in case he lost another deer in his cooler. After I found out about that box I decided to learn to cut my own and never looked back, I also make my own fresh and smoked sausage using seasoning from LEM. My group of friends all pool some meat together for sausage, got 50 lbs waiting in the freezer right now and still 2 weeks of deer season to go. I have a PDF of a brochure put out by the New Mexico State University on how to process your own venison if anyone's interested I could probably e-mail it.

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Old December 5, 2012, 08:18 PM   #28
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Haven't brought a deer into a butcher shop in many years. A sharp knife and my battery powdered De Walt reciprocating saw makes short work out of a rather arduous task for one person. No roasts or hamburger. Just steaks, stew meat for canning, and enough sliced jerky to appease the entire families appetite throughout the rest of the year. No sausage either. I found myself growing tired of eating it long before I came to the last package of it in my freezer. (no matter what the type I made or had professionally made) I never give meat away but to only my family members. If my work associates want a little taste. "They can go hunt one as I did." That way they will know and appreciate what all goes into harvesting a deer. (preparation before & after and one's patience during.) I'm a firm believer of the old proverb "Charity begins at home.>>First!!"
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Old December 5, 2012, 08:40 PM   #29
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Rembrandt,

Fantastic setup! And the products look great!
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:14 AM   #30
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Too many folks avoiding the dirty work I guess.
I can't imagine dragging a deer in from the field that hasn't been field dressed. I don't understand that at all.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:23 AM   #31
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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stu925 said: I also make my own fresh and smoked sausage using seasoning from LEM.
stu925: Since you like to use store bought seasonings for sausage making. I know of a great place to purchase all types reasonably. Most if not all the privately owner butcher shops in the MPLS area buy their seasoning in case lots from this store. But they will sell to individuals wanting smaller quantities as well. "Just a thought you might want to expand your sausage making horizons is all." If you want I can PM you the info?
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:24 AM   #32
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I can't imagine dragging a deer in from the field that hasn't been field dressed. I don't understand that at all.
I'm totally the opposite. Leaving them whole cuts down on dirt contamination. I get the animal back to the truck as soon as possible then straight to the skinning rack. Even then, the gut sack never gets opened unless it is a really big animal and the tenderloins are worth getting (deer down here are really small and the little tenderloins while good, are too small to get really excited about).
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:55 AM   #33
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I can't imagine dragging a deer in from the field that hasn't been field dressed. I don't understand that at all.
Where we hunt you don't normally have to drag them anywhere unless it's out of a swamp or bay to the 4 wheeler or truck. Load them up and take-off.

We live in a rental house that is about 1/2 the size of what we need. The garage is packed with stuff and there really isn't any place to make it happen the way I would like. We are in the process of planning our house and the build. A complete area dedicated to processing and hanging game and fish is going to be part of it complete with butchering station, cooler, meat processing and washdown. Yeah, I'd rather process my own but right now its easier to take the entire animal and let the processor I know do it for me and we know that the deer we take to him are the deer we get back from him.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:13 AM   #34
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we know that the deer we take to him are the deer we get back from him.
Mehbee ....mehbee not ..... but your meat IS going on the same table and through the same equipment as Cletus' buttshot buck.....
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:25 AM   #35
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Hauling a "sometimes" nearly 300 lb. (live weight) Wisconsin buck around is going to give you a hernia! Gut it, get it home and wash it out with the hose. The doe I got this year weighed 140 lbs. after gutting. I've seen many bucks on the scale (field dressed) weighing over 200 lbs.!
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:42 AM   #36
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I think the "field dress or not" question is as geographicly based as caliber norms ..... the further south you go, the more likely it is that hunters bring the whole animal back, guts and all......

I think warmer temps and generally smaller animals support the "get it home immediately" theory.......

Opening day of Firearm deer season here is generally the first Sat. in November .... temps run in the teens and twenties overnight, 40-60 for afternoon highs..... animals washed and cooled immediately and hung overnight will stay under 40 degrees if not hung in the sun..... that would not be an option in Georgia or Texas.....
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:44 AM   #37
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Guess I went through a cycle of processing my own or not processing.

Many years ago, I had my deer processed. Then did them myself for several years. For the last 12-13 yrs. my neighbor(retired butcher and 35yr friend) has done them for me. He's getting to the point he can't do it anymore so I'm gearing up to start my own again.

It's kinda a touchy situation with the neighbor as he enjoys doing the butchering. He's 78 and according to his wife, his hands ache very badly(arthritis/gout), especially after a butchering session. Naturally, he's never said a word to me...hard headed German.
If I want to find out how he's REALLY doing I have to talk to her.

I've been thinking the last couple season's of how to go about having him not do them anymore without hurting his feelings, making him feel useless or making him mad.

I'm thinking of getting set up and telling him I'm wanting to learn to do my own but I need his expertise butchering knowledge and maybe getting him to come here in an instructional/teaching capacity only.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:29 AM   #38
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Mehbee ....mehbee not ..... but your meat IS going on the same table and through the same equipment as Cletus' buttshot buck.....
With some processors, that is a very true statement. The processor we use is more expensive than others around for a reason. They take the time to ensure that you are getting your deer processed the way you want it. Witnessing the care and diligence they put in firsthand gives me some sense of assurance not normally found as I gather from the posts I read. Some businesses are still run with values and care.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:38 PM   #39
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I think warmer temps and generally smaller animals support the "get it home immediately" theory.......
Jimbob, you are exactly right. The faster we can get it to a real skinning rack and get it cut up and on ice, the better off we are. I got a nice sow last Saturday. At noon, the air temp was hovering right around 80 degrees.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:07 PM   #40
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Over the years I've run into quite a few hunters that couldn't field dress a deer. Or in few cases went about it wrongly. In one situation a guy did such a bad job of it. We honestly had to tea bag that deer off a bridge to the river below. We just couldn't take a chance on a unusually warm day driving it back to camp to clean it up. I wonder if that would be considered polluting?_
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:55 PM   #41
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Rembrandt all I can say is WOW that makes me jealous.

I live in the south and deer don't leave the woods without being field dressed. As far as cooling the meat I just make quick work and let mine soak in salt water for two or three days in the fridge changing the water everyday.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:55 PM   #42
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All part of the hunt !!!

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I can't imagine dragging a deer in from the field that hasn't been field dressed. I don't understand that at all.
By my measure, field dressing is just another part of the hunt as well as eating what you kill. I once saw about fifty deer on a concrete pad, waiting to be processed. Really hard to accept the various stages of gutten and ungutted deer. Some were alreddy starting to bloat. It really doesn't take long. ..

I hang, and skin my deer head down. After skinning, I take a propane torch and sing off all the loose hairs. We let it hang for about three days, if weather permits. Then, while the deer still hanging, I cut off the major pieces. First the back-straps, Then front quarters, rib cage on up to the hind quarters. The last piece hanging, is one hind quarter which I save the ham to jerk out, in the summer. ....

We process each of the major pieces, into what we want which is mostly deer burger. We don't mix it with pork and prefer beef internal talo.

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:10 PM   #43
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As far as not field dressing, ironically the only deer I didn't field dress was also the largest I ever shot! Don't have an exact weight but the processor estimated the 8 point to be between 190-200 lbs. Unfortuately the area I was in had a bad coyote infestation problem early in the season, and I didn't want to draw them back to the area by leaving a gut pile. So I cinched up it's hind legs, made a big loop on the other end, and dragged that sucker about 250 yards to the truck. The processor was closing in about 45 minutes by then and it was a 30 mile drive. Barely got there in time!
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:23 PM   #44
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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So I cinched up it's hind legs, made a big loop on the other end, and dragged that sucker about 250 yards to the truck.
Punishment there.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:36 PM   #45
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I'm sure I would be the laughing stock of the county if I ever hunted deer in the South.

I know for a fact that anyone who ever loaded a deer into their truck without field dressing it in Wyoming would get laughed strait out of town! There isn't one game processor I know of in the State that would accept a deer with its entrails still attached!

Different regions, different ideas...I guess!
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:13 PM   #46
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Wyoredman: Folks down here usually do a good job field dressing for the most part... but we also have a harder time keeping dirt and bugs (especially ants and flies) out of freshly dressed deer due to it being warmer during winter. In fact it was about 55 degrees outside (middle of January) when I took the buck. In my case I'm glad I held off giving the coyotes a snack because I shot a big doe in the exact same spot soon after!
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:01 PM   #47
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I'm pretty sure my wife would flip her lid if I dragged a deer in the house and heaved it on the table.
Quote:
If a deer is skinned and quartered, it is very manageable on a kitchen counter or table. Bring one quarter at a time into the house, your wife will hardly notice.
My wife noticed. This was 25+ years ago. Ever since, after field dressing they have either been butchered in the garage or gone to the processor.




Quote:
So I cinched up it's hind legs, made a big loop on the other end, and dragged that sucker about 250 yards to the truck.
Did that once, but quite a bit further. Even though field dressed, I only got about half-way and couldn't move another step. I said to myself, 'risk the mount', put the loop around the front torso, looped it around the antlers, and dragged it the rest of the way with much less effort. I never imagined that dragging against the grain of the pelt would cause so much resistance in snow, but it sure did. It almost glided to the truck once I turned it around.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:36 PM   #48
brmfan
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I wanted the mount (which is now hanging in my office) but the thought of turning it around did cross my mind! One problem was I was in a stand of oaks and dragging from the front the neck and horns kept catching every sapling within sight. The silver lining was it helped me convince the Mrs. that I needed a 4 wheeler!
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:11 AM   #49
SerenityNetworks
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horns kept catching every sapling within sight
Enough said. I had maybe 200 feet of woods and then it was a fall plowed cornfield.

But back to the OP's question. Where I'm at in North Texas, it looks to be like $75 for processing to various cuts and 20 lbs of burger. I didn't ask, but I assumed it needed to be field dressed.

I guess I'm nieve, but until reading this post, I thought animals for eating were always field dressed. Now that I've moved from Iowa to Texas, I would think with the warmer weather that field dressing would be doubly important. Also, just for the taste of the meat, I want to get the vitals out and blood draining as soon as I possibly can. If I have the option, I'll gut and hang them in the field (before the blood can coagulate) while I go get the vehicle as close as I can. (I don't see a four-wheeler ever happening, but one of these years I really will get around to making a game cart. ) Maybe it's in my head, but the meat I get hanging quickly (even if it doesn't hang as long) seems to taste better.
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Old December 7, 2012, 12:47 PM   #50
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My hunting partner is a former taxidermist and even though I have gutted, skinned and cut up my own deer for many years, when I started hunting with Wayne I learned how much I didn't know about the whole process. That guy can peel a deer quicker and cleaner than anybody I've ever seen. He showed me the RIGHT way to 'get the guts outa that critter' with the least amount of mess and fuss.
We dress the deer where they fall, get them home ASAP, hang and skin them. We let them hang for a week or so (the temps here in N. Idaho during deer season are cold enough, generally, to allow this) before cutting them up. We trim all bloodshot meat immediately, get all the goo and other stuff that doesn't look like meat from the insides, hose them out and use a small propane torch to burn all the hair off of the meat. When butchering we trim ALL of the fat and sinews and that thin membrane that sticks to some of the meat. Wayne is meticulous about cleanliness and the overall handling of game animals.
Get the guts out immediately, skin as soon as possible, get that meat trimmed, clean and hairless NOW, hang for a week (weather permitting) and you will have the best venison you ever tasted.
I'm curious as to how many of us like deer liver and heart. I love liver but don't care for heart. Back in the old days lots of guys I knew ate the brains as well, but if I don't want to step in it I don't want to eat it.
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