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Do you butcher your kill, or have it processed?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 7,748 Senior Member
I've done both. Several of us butchered the elk I killed last fall, which probably saved me several hundred dollars. However, it's a lot of work and just setting up and cleaning up is a pretty good chore.
Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    I just can't believe that you grind the entire deer. Do you really like ground meat that much????
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,049 Senior Member
    I butcher my own mostly, but if I want Salami's or sausages I take the whole animal to a homekill butcher and get the back legs/backstraps turned into steak and the rest into sausages etc.

    When I butcher them myself, I keep the trimmings etc and freeze them, then add swan/duck/goose breasts from any culls I have done and take a couple of chili bins of frozen meat to him for the sausages/salami's....

    I enjoy processing them myself, the same with plucking birds etc as it gives me quiet time to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to enjoy natures bounty.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,767 Senior Member
    Back in Louisiana, I had all deer processed. Of course, you were allowed to take a lot more deer there than you are here in Colorado.

    Antelope, deer, etc.....I'll just do myself. However, I learned from this years experience with your elk that doing it yourself is not only a heckuva lot more work than I imagined, there's also a lot of potential burger/sausage meat that gets thrown out if you don't have the proper tools to utilize it.

    So.....deer and down, I'll do myself. Larger than deer, it's worth it to either pay a pro to do it, or invest in the stuff it requires to do it right.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,122 Senior Member
    If I knew what I was doing to get the kind of cuts my processor gets, I would do it myself. Therefore, I don't. Not only that, but if I continue hunting deer in Nebraska, I really have no choice. The guy I used this year did a great job and charged me extremely reasonably to get it all shipped out to Las Vegas.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    I do it myself. The processors out here want $200 or more for deer, you're lookin close to 1K for elk. I don't keep trophys, I don't care about any of that I'm really only in it for the meat so I can't see the point of spending that much. Plus I've heard from friends who all used different guys they often get back deer that had been run to death or something they knew they wernt getting their deer back for sure.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,703 Senior Member
    I don't know how to do it, and I don't really have the time or money to learn how and gear up for it. As such, I pay the $80ish fee to have it done. For the four (average) deer that we shoot each year it's under $500, which ends up being less than buying beef in the store all year.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,122 Senior Member
    Your machine frightens me.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    :tooth:There has got to be some way to use your machine to have some fun with the neighbors.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,049 Senior Member
    bml wrote: »
    :tooth:There has got to be some way to use your machine to have some fun with the neighbors.

    There is.....Trap the dog that killed the chickens, kill it humanely, grind it up, freeze it and then give it back to them as hamburger.

    Just dont accept an invite to their BBQ....

    Every time they thank you for the meat will be sweet satisfaction.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...do all the butchering, 1 goat/ 2 elk/ 4 deer this year...

    ...5 elk/ 6 deer last year...

    ...been helping/ butchering for 45years, goes pretty quick...
  • pardogpardog Member Posts: 423 Member
    I've done both. Cutting up a deer isn't that big of deal. My biggest problem is the weather. It's usually pretty warm around here and I like to get it into a processors cooler pretty quick. If I had someplace to hang it for a few days I don't think I would worry about a processor for deer. Now elk on the other hand. That's more than I want to mess with. Somebody else can cut my elk up.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,635 Senior Member
    Always did it myself.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,425 Senior Member
    Both.
    Myself more recently
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,641 Senior Member
    Me do it, plus do friends as well.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    pardog wrote: »
    I've done both. Cutting up a deer isn't that big of deal. My biggest problem is the weather. It's usually pretty warm around here and I like to get it into a processors cooler pretty quick. If I had someplace to hang it for a few days I don't think I would worry about a processor for deer. Now elk on the other hand. That's more than I want to mess with. Somebody else can cut my elk up.

    Because archery season is so warm, I built a hillbilly meat locker. It's not as cool as CPJ's grinder, but it works. A simple frame, insulation, and plywood. I scored a roof mounted AC unit from an RV. It maintains 45°. No more need to rush to the processor.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,127 Senior Member
    I have done both. When I finish the commercial kitchen I am building in the back yard, I will have a walk in cooler and all the goodies to do the job without much hassle.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    I do it all myself. It's SO much better quality. I've invested in a food saver, grinder, and a sausage stuffer, and some other goodies. The various sausage kits produce some great sausage, cheap.
    It's really pretty easy, but takes a while. Quite satisfying, though.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,122 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I think I can squeeze that into my signature line. :up:

    But yes, it IS frightening. But effective. Very, very effective.

    I needed a grinder, but the electric ones that all the big box outdoor stores sell have a tiny opening for the meat. You have to cut it into tiny pieces to get it to fit. Plus, they are pretty spendy.(they would pay for themselves though) I say, BAH! A little time and some brainstorming, and I have one that will not only grind and entire backstrap in one shot, but it will also grind up your fingers, as well as scare the pants off of the Product Safety people.

    Haha - nice. BTW - how do you rig up the pulley/motor setup?
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,122 Senior Member
    Not a bad way to go, especially with the machine work costing just $10.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,426 Senior Member
    Both, I mostly have cut up any smaller deer I have gotten, the bigger ones go to the processer, it is aroud 75$ here. They charge the same whether it is a 75#er or a 200#er.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • farm boyfarm boy Senior Member Posts: 1,001 Senior Member
    I have always done my own its not hard. We process our own pigs ever year too. I have helped to build one grinder similar to cpj's. Ours was better :tooth: because we used a three speed lawn mower transmission, reverse makes clean up a snap.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,861 Senior Member
    I've done it both ways, but have had it processed for the last 10-15 years
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    I knew a guy at work that would buy a whole steer calf, set up in his garage and cut the whole thing up himself. I ask him what kind of cuts he liked and he said he had no special favorite, that he cut everything up to steak! Then he'd freeze it in bags big enough for one meal. This guy had his act together to say the least. He was the ultimate tight wad and he planned everything out.

    But this reminds me of another guy at work that knew next to nothing about meat and different cuts. We used to pool together and buy half a calf each. We'd call a place called Country Slaughter House and make the order. They would give us a good price break because there were like 8 of us each buying a half a calf. When Tom T first went to work there he was naive and young and they asked Tom," How do you want your calf cut up?" He answered "I like T-Bones, just cut the whole thing up into T-Bones." That guy worked there for nearly 40 years and never lived that down.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Seriously, I usually do my own. It's a true PIA for sure, but it saves you money and there's no doubt whose deer is in your freezer.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,788 Senior Member
    I do it myself. I've never had gamy tasting meat when I've taken care of it myself. I cut most of it into steaks, and if the shoulder meat is too tough, I'll later cube it for stew meat. Or, Mrs. Bisley marinates the steaks, fries them lightly, then bakes them at low heat in a roasting pan with tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and lots of garlic.

    I also make jerky with the 'shooter' and my grand kids love it. The little ones call it 'Grandpa's bacon.' The rest of the ground meat I run through the grinder again, with bacon ends (pork fat you can buy at Walmart) and a little bit of 70% lean hamburger. It makes great chili and sausage.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,569 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I've done both. Several of us butchered the elk I killed last fall, which probably saved me several hundred dollars. However, it's a lot of work and just setting up and cleaning up is a pretty good chore.

    FWIW, Jerry, the times I've been out west hunting, I fully intended to process it myself. At the very least, bone it out, and break it down into whole cuts that I could freeze, and pack in a box and check on the plane. 50 bucks to check a 100 lb box is the way to go, I'd ship my gear home UPS.
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    I've done both but would prefer to do it myself. Right now I'm in the middle of building a custom skinning/processing shed out back that will make the chore a lot easier and convenient.
  • bklysenbklysen Member Posts: 473 Member
    I do my own, although I admit I'm not always in the mood for it. I just cite the reasons already given, mostly that I like knowing I'm eating my own deer and not something that has run a mile after a gut shot.

    Once I learned how to do it, and learned to take my time...I just started to view it as part of the experience. AND....I like to get all of that small stuff for stews, etc. that I suspect gets no attention at all, in the places that do a zillion/day.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Being that I have more time than money, I do it myself. I've done five does and one buck so far this year. I cut it up for steaks, stew, jerky, and quite a bit of ground meat as I make quite a bit of summer sausage. I'm thinking of getting a meat bandsaw before next season.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,703 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    There is.....Trap the dog that killed the chickens, kill it humanely, grind it up, freeze it and then give it back to them as hamburger.

    Just dont accept an invite to their BBQ....

    Every time they thank you for the meat will be sweet satisfaction.

    This is eerily reminiscent of a certain South Park episode...
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
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