View Full Version : Do you do your own Butchering?

Jamie Young
February 25, 2002, 02:17 AM
My Friend and I have long debating about saving our money and Butchering out own meat. Can anyone tell me where I can find out about "Do it yourself Butchering"?

I just shoot/kill/field dress and take it to the butcher. I've been hunting too long to not be doing that stuff Myself.

February 25, 2002, 01:08 PM
For whitetails I do, usually. In the past when I've had time to actively hunt I always butchered it myself. Now, however, with work and school taking almost all my time I would probably send it out. Time being no factor I'd save the dough and do it myself.

If I was hunting away from home such as Colorado Elk/Mule hunt then I would send it out.

February 25, 2002, 01:43 PM
Bass Pro shops has a good book on butchering. Check their on line site. Time is the critical factor. It takes some time. Time that might eat into the next days hunting. You learn a lot from doing it.

I butchered one myself this year and sent 5 to the butcher. If I killed a deer on Saturday evening, I would have to skip hunting on Sunday to butcher. If I sent it out, I could hunt both days.

Do it a couple of times, you'll be glad you did.

February 25, 2002, 01:44 PM
I hunt on some land I own in La. Was taught by my
father to butcher my own game and still follow that
tradition. It usually takes most of a day to cut deer
up and package it. I usually have a lot that I turn into
hamburger or sausage patties by mixing in about 1/2
beef and 1/2 venison. After i've killed one and butcher
it I'm usually done for the season as I probably wouldn't
want/use anymore. Plus it's a lot of work.
Do the same for fish, ducks, etc.
When butchering (deer for example) I usually cut up
backstrap and hams for steak, all the other meat I cut up
into strips for loading into a hand-crank grinder for turning
into burger/sausage which I then mix with beef (and seasonings
for sausage). I personally don't care that much for deer roasts
or ribs, or I'd package some of that. I double wrap meat with
wax paper and then plastic sealing baggies and label it as to contents and year. A hand saw, hatchet, and small and large
knives are the tools I normally use.
I am meticulous about hair and will wash meat if there is any
reason to think it may need it.

February 25, 2002, 08:27 PM
I'm too picky to let anyone else do mine. one exception is when I am on out-of-state hunts and I lack both the time and the facilities but I use the same small family owned locker each year and they treat me right.
It helps if you have a buddy that is as persnickity as you and can team up. We butchered 5 whitetail this past season. We hang em or keep em cool and butcher around the hunting schedule. I also bought one of those food vac sealers and it works great. 1 meat/bone saw, 1 or 2 sturdy tables with a couple cutting boards, sharp knives and some good lighting. lucky 4 me I have a heated garage with a big double sink. 2-3 hours from gambrel to freezer with a few back stretch breaks. longer if I have to cape for a taxiderm job.
not really hard, just time. but I get it just the way I want it.

Art Eatman
February 25, 2002, 08:33 PM
It sure gets easier with practice!

Back in my herd reduction daze outside of Austintatious, I was doing in a lot of does. I didn't ever worry about steaks and sausage and such; too many deer.

I'd shape up the hindquarters as hams for barbecuing. I cut the backstraps in half, to cook as roasts. I'd trim out the shoulders, and of course save the inner tenders (the "poison sacs", but that's another story).

This left some waste, but not all that much as a percentage of the total.

All this maybe takes an hour or so, after the first few "learning process" efforts.

Hmmm. I'm gettin' hungry!

:), Art

Al Thompson
February 25, 2002, 08:57 PM
The current issue of Backwoods Home has an article on butchering your own meat.


Great Pub BTW.

I usually take the loins and stew meat the rest. Personal preference..


February 25, 2002, 09:44 PM
My method on a hanging deer.(poison glands already out)
1.front legs off at the elbow
2.strip hide off tail-to-head, head off
3.filet backstraps out
4.front quarters off close to the ribs to be taken in to the table and trimmed out for stew, burger, and jerky.
5.saw cut at base of spine, so neck and ribcage go in for trim.
6.hind legs off and pelvis split so hind quarters can go to the cutting table for steaks, roasts, and trim.
Hardly enough to interest the crows after that.

February 26, 2002, 06:11 PM
This was my first year hunting deer. I read a book on butchering your own livestock and game. It said to be real picky about hairs, to trim as much fat and non meat fibers as possible, and to take it all off the bone.
I got a deer and followed the advice. It took about an hour to have the deer quartered and sitting on the kitchen table.
I've had a couple of braised roasts so far. By taste alone, I can't tell it's deer meat. Only clue is that it's so lean.

Hardest and grossest part was getting the bung hole out through the body cavity. Would love to hear some pointers on that!

February 26, 2002, 09:27 PM
Hey Mad, got one of those filet knives in your fishing tackle box??

February 27, 2002, 12:46 PM
I bring new meaning to "butcher". Honestly, I must be the messiest field dresser out there. MS can attest to this. :barf:

February 27, 2002, 04:32 PM
First time I ever hunted deer (or any other big game) I was hunting alone in a timber I had not even scouted and did not expect to be successful. at 7:00am shot the second largest deer of my hunting years which now number over 25.
I had never field dressed a deer or even observed the process. I did have some idea of the basics and some knowledge of anatomy. Over the next 1.5 hours I did a fine job of field dressing that buck and furthering my knowledge of deer anatomy. I still do a nice job but it goes MUCH faster.
I recommend doing the deed yourself with coaching if possible and be very deliberate. Think of it as an anatomy lesson like in dissection lab. The resulting knowledge will come in handy while in the process of killing on another hunt. When that next animal presents a difficult angle its almost like having Xray vision, or if badly hit you will know what tissue/structures are damaged and have a better idea what to expect.

Jamie Young
February 27, 2002, 07:39 PM
How do you skin a deer?

February 27, 2002, 11:57 PM
How do you skin a deer?
Easiest if the deer is hanging. I like mine head down. Slit hide up inside of back legs to the joint. start at the top, pull down, use knife to free whatever won't pull by hand. work out to elbow joint and saw off. work to head and saw off high on neck. easiest when still fresh and warm.
You can also start with a cut around the neck hide and free enough to insert a fist size rock under the hide and tie a rope around it. pull it off with a truck or tractor.

Art Eatman
February 28, 2002, 01:56 AM
Yeah, the tractor-method is great. Gotta do a bit of missionary work around the shoulders, but mostly it's like peeling off a rubber glove. Quick, too.

:), Art

February 28, 2002, 02:29 PM
Fun thread - one peice of advice from here is don't be afraid you use your SawsAll or quivalent power tool for the rough cuts. Good way to get the animal quartered.


Jamie Young
March 2, 2002, 01:11 PM
My Friend and I are kind of City Boys that turned Redneck about 15yrs ago. The first Time we got a Deer, we brought it home, and took a Hack Saw and some Butcher Knives to it. Its not Field Dressing when your on your porch doing it:rolleyes: Guess its more of a Porch Dressing:D WHAT A MESS!!!!

I've gone Bear hunting a few times but never got one. NOT YET!!!!!!!! If I ever got one, I'd almost wonder if I would be able to Identify what type of Animal it was after Field Dressing.

Art Eatman
March 2, 2002, 04:15 PM
Soda, m'lad, there's at least one pretty good thread in this forum on the specifics of field dressing.

"Search!" lad, "Search!"

:D, Art