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ONG
December 06, 2004, 08:53
The wife and I have always put up our own deer. Bone it out and then cut it up into steaks, roasts, jerkey and burger. Keep a bunch on hand that is canned up for a quick meal.

Well my daughter's boyfriend shot a 12 pointer, boned it out and took the meat to a well know processer to be made into hot dogs and bologna. Costs him $225.00 to get it done. He called up the processer to make sure that he hadn't done someones elk and billed him by accident. :cry:

I mean holy crap $225.00 to process 80-90lbs of meat?

We are doing 2 does this year. Let's see that's $450.00 saved. Now how to convince the "Tweeter" that we should convert the "saved" money into a gun.:D

jaykden
December 06, 2004, 09:59
good cripes, $225? the most we spend on working up our deer is maybe 2 bucks for having the local store ground up the burger. thats totally outrageous. sounds like someone better start learning how to work the knife, or maybe he does but just likes hotdogs and balogna that costs a fortune.

WiFAL
December 06, 2004, 10:37
There's a processor here that has reasonable rates per pound on deer processing. What he doesn't tell you is how much pork he adds to your venison when making sausage and the like. You end up paying for a whole pig by the time he's done.

Last time I was there a hunter was dropping off two deer for processing. One was cut into steaks and scraps for processing. The other was all processed. I happened to be there when he picked up the deer. The bill - $810.

You should have seen his face. I felt really bad for the guy as it didn't look like he had a ton of money.

SP10
December 06, 2004, 15:02
[i]Originally posted by WiFAL
Last time I was there a hunter was dropping off two deer for processing. One was cut into steaks and scraps for processing. The other was all processed. I happened to be there when he picked up the deer. The bill - $810.



$810!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF! That is highway robbery! Most deer processed by butchers locally run around $50-60. If you have jerky, bologna, etc made, that will be a little extra depending on how much specialty products you have made.

At a butchershop that I routinely use, a deboned, nicely cut, packaged, and labelled deer will set you back ~$60. They make excellent hot sausage, and charge minimally for adding pork fat. I like this shop as it is clean and they have large walk in coolers to hang the deer shortly after arrival. They call you a day after the deer has been cut up so your venison is completely frozen when you pick it up. No tossing the deer in a pile outdoors until they get to them as I have seen other "butchers" do...All my early season/warm weather deer go here.

I also canned one of my deer this year for the first time. Excellent!

kotengu
December 06, 2004, 15:56
My guy charges $45, and that includes you bringing him the field dressed deer and leaving with nicely wrapped packages of steaks, roasts, or hamburger. You have the option of him adding fat to the burger (I don't).

I can't help but feel like we're not getting all our meat though - is there a rough formula for how much in meat you should get based on a field dressed weight?

DYNOMIKE
December 06, 2004, 16:07
I used to charge $75.00 for cut, wrap, & freeze. The saugage and burger had pork fat added at "NO" x-tra charge.
Charging someone for fat that ends up in the bone can any way is a chicken shit way of doing biz.
I would save my pork fat for a couple dayz before I got the deer in and add what I needed. Simple as that.
If your processor is weighing the finished product with his fat added I say he is a "F*&^$#@ CROOK"!
We used to process several cases of pork loins each day, we would just save the fat from them, or from the boston butts we cut for the case.
Seeing someone paying anything close to a couple of the prices I have seen ($200.00 - $800.00!) is a damn crime.

biggun
December 07, 2004, 00:08
We usually got around 30% boned weight in meat vs. live weight.

Sig220
December 07, 2004, 00:30
SP10 or others who know, what the heck do you mean by "canned"?

I also canned one of my deer this year for the first time. Excellent!

I just gotta know!!:?

ONG
December 07, 2004, 08:01
Originally posted by Sig220
SP10 or others who know, what the heck do you mean by "canned"?



I just gotta know!!:?

Cut meat up in 1" cubes, pack tightly in either pint or quart jars, 1 teaspoon salt on top put canning lid and ring on jar. Place in pressure cooker cook at 10-15 lbs for 90 minutes and you have some fine canned meat. Will keep several years.

Edited to put in numbers. Be sure to check your own canner info.

ONG
December 07, 2004, 08:05
Originally posted by biggun
We usually got around 30% boned weight in meat vs. live weight.

30% seems a little light to me. Is that what others have found? Our preachers neighbor gave him a buck and the preacher ended up with 102 lbs of meat. At 30% that would have made the live weight of the deer over 300 lbs. Course maybe the processor had added some pork I'll have to check.

Sig220
December 07, 2004, 09:09
ONG, I was afraid of that...................! Not that I have tried it, cause I haven't but it sure brings the bizarre thoughts to mind of SPAM, vienna sausage and the like.:uhoh:

I think I will stick to the freezer methods for a while longer.:)

ONG
December 07, 2004, 09:29
Originally posted by Sig220
ONG, I was afraid of that...................! Not that I have tried it, cause I haven't but it sure brings the bizarre thoughts to mind of SPAM, vienna sausage and the like.:uhoh:

I think I will stick to the freezer methods for a while longer.:)

First off it is nothing like those processed meats. The meat will come out of the jar in the same sized chunks that you put in but will easily fall apart if that is what you want. Makes excellent noodles in just a few minutes. Or you can smash it up and make barbecue venison sandwiches. I would urge you to reconsider and give it a try.

Secondly, you know those tough portions down on lower legs. After they are canned they are tender as can be.

If you try it and don't like it let me know I'll pay the freight to have it shipped to my house:p

Sig220
December 07, 2004, 12:48
ONG, where can I find a "recipe" for this with all the steps. I'm willing to try it, but want to get it right!! I remember my mom canning figs and etc, but never any meat.

ONG
December 07, 2004, 13:01
Originally posted by Sig220
ONG, where can I find a "recipe" for this with all the steps. I'm willing to try it, but want to get it right!! I remember my mom canning figs and etc, but never any meat.

Do you have a pressure cooker or access to one? I'll copy the recipe tonight and post it Weds.

Sig220
December 07, 2004, 13:06
I don't have one, but between my Mom and my mother in law, there is one available. I will await your post.

darkknight9
December 07, 2004, 13:08
A pressure cooker is an absolute must!!!!


As for how much meat vs weight, for the does: When we do it ourselves, we only loose about 10-20% of the weight of a dressed deer.

I have never processed a buck before....

Next year, I'm going to try my hand at tanning the hides.

ultramagbrion
December 07, 2004, 14:37
Id cut out the backstraps before Id ever take a deer to a butcher.
But I chop up my own. dont like deer burger and dont care for the sausage either so why bother.

Round here its about 50 bucks for straight processing,BTW.

FAL guy
December 07, 2004, 16:17
My processing bills have averaged $70 -$80 the last few years depending on weight. That is for standard processing wihich includes cutting and wrapping steaks, roasts, burger and ribs. I usually receive back almost 50% of field dressed weight, but that would include the pork fat added to the burger. He will also make jerky, sausage(both breakfast and summer) in varying degrees of heat, and deer stick, all of which make your processing much more expensive.

goofytoof
December 07, 2004, 16:21
i have seriously considered trying to do my own cutting. is there much to it? i pais 80 bucks last year, but i think i got too much burger for what i paid.

newfalguy101
December 07, 2004, 16:46
I have paid to have one deer processed and that was because I was only three months out of hand surgery,

By the time I had it field dressed my hands hurt so bad I could barely stand to lift him into the truck, off to the butcher shop I go. As I recall I think I paid about $75 cut, ground, wrapped including some summer sausage.

I had a freind who took two in last year ( both small deer) and paid close to 200.

I am a cheapskate and to my way of thinking, paying for the processing kinda defeats the purpose of buying a deer tag for cheap meat.

I quarter my deer and put it in the fridge, then over the course of a week or so I bone, cut, grind and vac-pac it.


goofytoof asked " i have seriously considered trying to do my own cutting. is there much to it?"

short answer: nope really pretty easy once you get the hang of it

Longer answer: If you are serious about wanting to do your own I would suggest hooking up with someone who does their own and watching them.


edited cuz I forgot: I believe I am getting probably close to 40% meat in relation to field dressed weight, and I bone everything out.

zack taylor
December 08, 2004, 03:47
I always butcher my own deer. Elk, on the other hand, are taken to the local meat processor. On the average, a bull costs about $100, and that's with fat added for the sausage.

If you are going to have it processed, shop around first.

Zack

ultramagbrion
December 08, 2004, 04:08
Hardest................well...........biggest PITA part is skinning the beast.Hard to get a grip on the hide,with it being so slippery.

Then its just a matter of how you want to cut it up and what to save.

Google deer butcher and read the different links.

Sharp knives are a must!! One filet knive,one short stiff knive and a bone saw.

And lots of trash bags:tongue:

Sig220
December 08, 2004, 08:33
Sometimes it can be a PITA, but sometimes its a breeze as well.

I skinned, gutted and cut up a deer once with only a swiss army knife.

Being a little more organized now, I usually use one or two knives, limb(bone) shears and a sturdy skinning rack.:) I have also added rubber gloves to my equipment as some friends have caught nasty things from the blood.:sad:

darkknight9
December 08, 2004, 08:46
My hunting mentor in MN never used gloves for 35+ years.

He nicked himself three years ago, and now has used gloves while field dressing ever since. He says somethin bad got in him and his skin is allergic to the hairs and blood now.

It might be a plot to get us younger guys involved, but we've always volunteered anyway. :)

ONG
December 08, 2004, 10:36
Canning Venison:

The book says to cube the meat and then cook until the red disappears and then pack into jars. We have never precooked any meat prior to canning. Neither has my mother or my wife’s.

Loosely pack cubed meat into jars, leaving 1” of headspace. If using quart jars place a teaspoon of salt on top of meat, if pints ˝ teaspoon. Exhausting time 7 to 10 minutes. Amount of pressure 10 lbs. Cook for 90 minutes.

If you have never used a pressure cooker before I would highly recommend that you have someone that is experienced help you the first time. It is not rocket science but it’s fairly easy to make a mistake. Like last year when I canned some venison bologna. I now know that bologna requires more than 1” of headroom; it expands a bunch when canned. No one got hurt but it sure made a mess in the canner when it blew the lids off of 3 of the jars.

Lastly if you have any doubts contact your county extension agent. They have all kinds of info on home canning.

SP10
December 13, 2004, 11:44
Originally posted by ONG
Canning Venison:

The book says to cube the meat and then cook until the red disappears and then pack into jars. We have never precooked any meat prior to canning. Neither has my mother or my wife’s.



My brother has quite a bit of canning experience. He recommended the following: To ~15 pounds of cubed venison, add some black pepper (to taste), dice 2-3 onions, add 1 quart water, and bake in a covered roasting pan for 1 hour at 350.

He thinks the browned venison is a more flavorful and tender product. No arguments from me! Only downside is the extra hour it takes to brown the meat.

This nicely browned the meat. I then packed 7 quart jars with the browned venison, using the hot liquid to fill within 1 inch. I then added some canning salt, sealed, and proceeded with the canning process. I bought a Mirro pressure canner at Wal-mart. You can 7 quarts at one time with the unit I purchased. It includes a canning manual. I also bought canning jars at Wally-World.

The result is tender, flavorfull meat which can be used (quickly) in many recipes. I was very pleased, and intend to can a deer every year from here on out.

It took me roughly 3 hours to skin and completely butcher the deer. The actual canning took the rest of the day :)

I also canned a few veggies from my garden a week or so before I shot the deer to get the hang of using the canner. My wife made a very nice salsa with onions, tomatoes, and hot peppers from our garden. I have a few pints of that.

dougjones31
December 13, 2004, 16:24
Originally posted by Sig220
I have also added rubber gloves to my equipment as some friends have caught nasty things from the blood.:sad:

What kind of nasty things??? I have been around deer blood for 30 years and I have never seen or heard of anything contracted from deer blood.

dougjones31
December 13, 2004, 16:29
Around here they charge $35 to process. That includes making sausage...the spices and pork fat. It is almost not worth it to do it myself. I still do it myself because I have this thing about cleanliness.

LAFAL
December 13, 2004, 17:32
Canning deer works great! My sister and I put up one of her does as small roasts (a chunk you can get stuffed down into a quart jar) and ground up as ground meat. The ground meat looks kinda weird with a layer of fat on the top when it cools but it tastes great in chili and spagetti.
Also, if you haven't tried using a vacuum sealer to store it in the freezer in you gotta give it a try. We put up 1 and 1/2 deer the other night in the bags as ground and steaks. All of them stacked up flat and froze flat. Takes less space than paper wrapped lumps.

Sig220
December 13, 2004, 20:34
Dougjones31,

I hear what you are saying and I thought the same thing for many years.....

What kind of nasty things??? I have been around deer blood for 30 years and I have never seen or heard of anything contracted from deer blood.

The problem usually stems from having an open cut in your skin or nicking yourself in skinning the deer and having deer blood make contact with this cut/nick. Apparantly, (hey, I am not a DR!!) the deer blood enters your blood stream through this contact and if the deer is a carrier you can get "mountain tick fever and/or lyme disease". I know you can get lyme disease from deer ticks (been there and done that) but also from infected blood.

I found all this hard to believe until a friend/co-worker came down with the aching musles, fever, weight loss and etc. finally went to the doctor and it took a battery of test to determine that is what he had and where he got it. He admits to cutting himself while skinning a deer.

So since that time, I use nitrile gloves just to keep things on the up and up.

newfalguy101
December 13, 2004, 21:30
I give a hardy thumbs up to the Vacuum sealer, I got one last year and I will never go back to paper and tape!!!!!!!!!

ONG
December 14, 2004, 07:38
Originally posted by newfalguy101
I give a hardy thumbs up to the Vacuum sealer, I got one last year and I will never go back to paper and tape!!!!!!!!!

I am hoping to get one for Christmas!

Timber Wolf
December 15, 2004, 01:39
It's threads like this that confirm I am spoiled. I have a very good friend who has a dear cutting operation with his brother. This past weekend he ground (hamburger) and wrapped the hams and shoulders from two deer for $10 (wrapping paper reimbursment). This includes pick up and delivery at my house! Last year he did one into smoked link sausage for nothing. Oh, he is also an FFL who buys for me at cost and transfers for free! :D Got to buy him something nice for Xmas.

georgestrings
December 15, 2004, 07:57
I process all my own deer - it's a bit of work, but atleast I know exactly what's going on with the meat that's in my freezer - from how it was taken, to field dressing, to cleanlyness of the butchering, to trimming and packaging... I also grind my own burger, but don'r usually add any fat to it... I bought a game hoist and gambrel for about $15 - that, a skinning knife, and a couple of sharp knives - and a hand grinder make up my "butchering tools" - probably cost me about $25... I average keeping 4 to 5 deer a year for my family and myself - and at the $60 or so apiece, I'd be out some $$$ if I paid for all that knife work... I cut it up into chunks that'll fit into a sandwich bag, then put those into gallon freezer bags - being careful to get all the air out before sealing the freezer bags - it'll easily keep over a year that way... One of these days I'm going to get one of those vacuum sealers - they are VERY nice....

I use the plastic shoulder-length field dressing gloves - mainly to keep "the stuff" off me - while gutting them, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to keep "the stuff" off your skin... I also don't cut any bone during the processing, preferring to de-bone everything off the carcass - except the front quarters, which you don't have to cut bone to remove, anyways...

As for diseases, I don't think you can get Lyme disease from deer blood, but experts *think* you might be able to contact some diseases from contact with brain tissue/fluids, spinal fluids, saliva, and bone marrow - so I try to avoid contact with them... To my knowledge, Lyme disease is contacted by being bitten by a deer tick with it... Also, it's not a bad idea to take a look at the deer's internal organs to look for any abnormalities - it's pretty easy to see the difference between healthy organs, and those with "problems"....

I'll take the quarters, put them into those plastic bags you get at the grocery, line the bottom shelf of my fridge with newspaper - then put the bagged quarters in there for a couple of days... It gets the meat good and cold for trimming, and slightly "ages" it under controlled conditions... I think that the larger the pieces are, the better they keep in the freezer - I'll pull a chunk out, then cut it into steaks after it's thawed - just before cooking it... That scheme has worked very well for me over the years...

I only put boneless meat in my freezer - and am pretty picky about the quality of meat that goes into there... I would estimate that I end up with about 1/3 the weight of the field dressed deer, in meat that finally finds it's way into the freezer - on a cleanly killed deer... I *might* waste a little more than some, but I cut up more than I "like" to, so between the money that I save, and the amount of deer meat I end up with, I do OK...

Even if you intend to use a processor in the future, I think it's a good idea to learn how to butcher your own deer - that valuable skill could come in handy one day, and it really isn't all that difficult - nor does it require alot of expensive tools or equipment...


- georgestrings