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Cable/bolt cutter or saw?

QuinianQuinian Senior MemberPosts: 707 Senior Member
For those of you who do your own butchering, do you use clippers of some kind or a saw? I've been using a saw but I've seen several people use large cable cutter, bolt cutters, or even smaller 1 handed curved blade pruning tools on small critters like rabbit and chicken. The cable cutters sure did look a lot easier than all my sawing but I'm not sure which size and brand to get. This is of course for the sole purpose of chopping off legs.

So lets hear your opinions and experience.

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,617 Senior Member
    I use a set of Fiskar curved blade, ratcheting, limb loppers (the ones with two foot handles) for removing deer legs and cutting through the spine...doesn't leave bone chips like an edged implement or saw...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • farm boyfarm boy Senior Member Posts: 1,001 Senior Member
    For deer legs the front anyway I use my knife to cut around the knee joint and just break it off.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    A set of loping shears and a sawzall are standard equipment at our cleaning station.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    A good sharp knife does the job on all small game and leaves the dressed carcase looking more like food that came from a supermarket rather than something which came from the film set of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'.

    For deer sized critturs the knife plus a bit of muscle does the same job although I have used my sabre saw at times.

    I like to process game so that when I give it away or cook it, people concentrate on the flavour etc and not on the visuals..
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I have used Klein brand wire cutters to lop off squirrel feet. As well as tree pruners. I prefer a small hatchet, and a chunk O wood.[/b[

    For a deer sternum in the field, a hatchet is my go-to tool. Wire cutters/diagonal dikes are clutch for small critters or small bones.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,953 Senior Member
    I use a bone saw on large bones, for ribs I use wire cutting dikes; for small critters I use the same dikes for the bigger bones so I do not snap them wrong and puncture my hand, and to cut the ribs off I use a kitchen shears. I, also, use a 6" knife with a gut hook.

    I've seen Lopping Shears used as well as a machete.
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    Well so far for small critters, the cut around the joint and snap off method works but for bigger things like deer I can't break the legs off. I've got some minor nerve damage in my hands so I can't get a good enough grip. I've been using a miter saw because it's small, cheap and cuts fast. For deer ribs I've always just ripped right through em with my field knife no prob. I've never saved whole ribs to grill or anything, they end up as snausagees so I wasn't worried about presentation. If I get an elk hough that's another story.. i'll want quality cuts of ribs from that thing.

    The issue with the saw is it leave bits of bone all over the place.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    On small stuff, I just break them with my hands, fold over, and cut them off with my knife. If I'm gonna freeze them whole, I square up the ends in the kitchen with kitchen shears, so they don't poke holes in the bag.
    On deer, I usually cut them off at the joints with a knife as well. I've been thinking about loppers or a sawzall to speed up the process, doesn't really matter since I debone it all anyway.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    I've used tree trimmers to lope off lower deer legs and cut bones. I use a hack saw to cut the head off or to saw the ribs off the back bone (Edited to Add:) and also to saw the pelvic bone in half. Whatever works for you is what is best.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • gunwalkergunwalker Member Posts: 479 Member
    Consider going to some estate sales and picking up a good cleaver, Not a small one, get about an 8 lb one. it will handle most chores. Then use a meat saw to cut steaks.
    We do not view the world as it is, but as we perceive it to be.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    On small stuff, I just break them with my hands, fold over, and cut them off with my knife. If I'm gonna freeze them whole, I square up the ends in the kitchen with kitchen shears, so they don't poke holes in the bag.
    On deer, I usually cut them off at the joints with a knife as well. I've been thinking about loppers or a sawzall to speed up the process, doesn't really matter since I debone it all anyway.

    Yep, me too, I don't like a bunch of bones. The only thing I don't debone is front shoulder. I guess you'd call what I do to the hams deboning. That's what happens anyway. I cut steaks off and when I'm through all is left is the bone.

    When I say steaks, I mean pieces about a quarter to 3/8 inch thick the width of the ham. Then before I cook it I beat garlic into the meat with a tenderizing hammer. Then chicken fry it. That is my favorite way to enjoy venison other than the back strap. I sometimes fry that too but more often I marianate it and BBQ it slowly for about 30 minutes. I don't like it over cooked. And even if it's a bit rare I don't mind it if the animal was really healthy.
    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: 22,429 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    On small stuff, I just break them with my hands, fold over, and cut them off with my knife. If I'm gonna freeze them whole, I square up the ends in the kitchen with kitchen shears, so they don't poke holes in the bag.
    On deer, I usually cut them off at the joints with a knife as well. I've been thinking about loppers or a sawzall to speed up the process, doesn't really matter since I debone it all anyway.

    Yep, me too, I don't like a bunch of bones. The only thing I don't debone is front shoulder. I guess you'd call what I do to the hams deboning. That's what happens anyway. I cut steaks off and when I'm through all is left is the bone.

    When I say steaks, I mean pieces about a quarter to 3/8 inch thick the width of the ham. Then before I cook it I beat garlic into the meat with a tenderizing hammer. Then chicken fry it. That is my favorite way to enjoy venison other than the back strap. I sometimes fry that too but more often I marianate it and BBQ it slowly for about 30 minutes. I don't like it over cooked. And even if it's a bit rare I don't mind it if the animal was really healthy.
    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: 22,429 Senior Member
    gunwalker wrote: »
    Consider going to some estate sales and picking up a good cleaver, Not a small one, get about an 8 lb one. it will handle most chores. Then use a meat saw to cut steaks.

    You can also pick up a good heavy cleaver in an Asian market area. My wife got one in Houston on Belair Blvd. in China Town. Asians use them a lot in cooking and I love to use them also. They are easier to handle than a hatchet and it's hard to find a SS hatchet.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • drwalker47drwalker47 Member Posts: 192 Member
    My cousin built a processing station on the side of the mountain; walk-in freezer and five station set of saws, etc. Now that is the cat's meow.
    He has a lot of visitors he processes their deer rather than driving 40 miles to get it processed.
    Celebrate life, moment by moment. I plan to enjoy what time I have left, and that means MORE GUNS!
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,648 Senior Member
    A good knife will break the joints and go through the sternum on all but the biggest bucks. A little saw is handy to go through the pelvis girdle if needed and break the sternum on larger critters.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    1965Jeff wrote: »
    A good knife will break the joints and go through the sternum on all but the biggest bucks. A little saw is handy to go through the pelvis girdle if needed and break the sternum on larger critters.

    Jeff, I agree with you. However, after having dressed and butchered my own animals most of my life, I believe you can never have enough tools available. I would add a cleaver or at least a good hand ax to what you havel listed here. I carry a good knife with me in the field as well as a small saw. But back in the vehicle I keep the rest of my gear. Another thing I bring with me is a good rope or heavy sash cord and a small SS pulley and chain with a couple of D Rings. I wrap the chain around an appropriate tree limb, secure it with a D Ring and hook the pulley to it with another D-Ring and haul the animal up and hang it while I skin and then gut it. I use my vehicle in the skinning operation so what I do woudn't work in remote areas. But for most deer and hog hunting this is the easiest and cleanest way
    i've found to field dress an animal.
    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: 22,429 Senior Member
    1965Jeff wrote: »
    A good knife will break the joints and go through the sternum on all but the biggest bucks. A little saw is handy to go through the pelvis girdle if needed and break the sternum on larger critters.

    Jeff, I agree with you. However, after having dressed and butchered my own animals most of my life, I believe you can never have enough tools available. I would add a cleaver or at least a good hand ax to what you havel listed here. I carry a good knife with me in the field as well as a small saw. But back in the vehicle I keep the rest of my gear. Another thing I bring with me is a good rope or heavy sash cord and a small SS pulley and chain with a couple of D Rings. I wrap the chain around an appropriate tree limb, secure it with a D Ring and hook the pulley to it with another D-Ring and haul the animal up and hang it while I skin and then gut it. I use my vehicle in the skinning operation so what I do woudn't work in remote areas. But for most deer and hog hunting this is the easiest and cleanest way I've found to field dress an animal.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,622 Senior Member
    1965Jeff wrote: »
    A good knife will break the joints and go through the sternum on all but the biggest bucks. A little saw is handy to go through the pelvis girdle if needed and break the sternum on larger critters.

    yeah, I used to use a hacksaw on the legs, but now that I have been shown "the tricks", I can actually take a deer completely apart with just a knife. Including taking the pelvis out from between the hams. It's pretty cool.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
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