Tips on processing your own deer

Posted: August 11, 2014 by gamegetterII in food preservation, hunting, preparedness, survival

Once you have shot your deer-whether by bow,shotgun or rifle,the first thing you have to do is field dress it. One of the most important things is to cool the meat down as fast as possible. This means getting the deer back to camp,or home,get it hung up and skinned as soon as possible,if it’s hot outside,pack the chest cavity of the deer with ice,both on the trip home,and once the deer is hanging up.

Venison tastes better if it’s aged for about 5-7 days,if temps are 40 degrees or cooler,you can let the deer hang in your garage,shed,barn,wherever.

If temps are above 40 degrees,butcher the deer,and the meat can be aged in coolers with ice,or in a refrigerator for the same 5-7 days. Aging the meat allows the muscles-which is what meat is- to relax,which makes it more tender.

Butchering a deer is a fairly simple process,there’s a ton of You Tube videos that show the process step by step,and an equal number of books on butchering wild game.

One of the keys to good tasting venison is to remover every bit of fat from the meat-venison fat tastes nasty-cut all of it off.

To improve the flavor of your ground venison-do not grind pork or pork fat into the meat-grind some beef fat into it.

You want to get about an 80-20 ratio of meat to fat,it doesn’t have to be exact,make it 90-10 if you want low-fat ground meat,but remember,the low fat meat has less flavor,and does not make good meatloaf,meatballs,etc. Any more than 20% fat,and you have greasy meat that shrinks to half the size when you make a burger out of it.

I get beef fat from our local grocery store’s meat dept. they only charge me between 59-79 cents per pound.That’s a great price,for under 10 bucks,you get enough beef fat to grind into 50# of venison.

Always grind the meat twice,it breaks down any connective tissue and small bits of silverskin you missed when trimming the meat,plus it mixes the fat in better.

A vacuum sealer machine is the best way to package and freeze your venison,if you don’t have one,use plastic wrap,butcher’s paper,then place the packages in a Ziploc type freezer bag.

I cut a few nice roasts from my deer,and instead of removing the entire “backstrap”,which is the loin,I leave it on,because I cut some t-bones and strip steaks on my bandsaw,then cut out the remaining parts of the backstraps.

Most of the meat is cut up for stew meat,and ground venison. You should end up with about half of the weight of the deer,after it’s been field dressed.

A 150# deer,weighed after it’s been field dressed,will give you about 75# of meat.

I live in Ohio,our deer get really big because they eat a lot of corn and soybeans from the farm fields. I usually end up with around 90# of meat from the deer I get here.

Those of you who hunt deer a lot should look into investing in an electric grinder,makes the process go much faster than using a hand crank grinder that clamps on to your table.

I still have a couple hand crank grinders,I keep them because there could be a SHTF situation in which we have no power from the grid for weeks or months-maybe longer.

All it took was a tree branch to cause a blackout that shut down all power in Ohio,Pa,Ny,and parts of Canada for several days a few years ago-you should always have the means to survive without power,or with a back-up power source in case a similar blackout happens,or the people who shot the transformers at a substation in CA decide to shoot up multiple substations ,in multiple states.

Like the Boy Scouts say-be prepared.





Do more PT.


  1. gamegetterII says:

    Reblogged this on Starvin Larry and commented:

    Bow season starts in a month-more on processing your own deer…


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