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spatin
October 22, 2006, 21:22
Anybody know where I can get a good price on game processing within 30 miles or so of Colorado Springs?

I'll be hunting down in Gunnison and it looks like the going rate down there is about $.90 per lb. for processing. At that rate, I would probably opt to do it myself, but I sure would like to have someone who has the right equipment take care of the cutting and wrapping for me.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Sidney

Da Nerd
October 22, 2006, 23:11
Since you are in Colorado SPrings, why dont you look in the yellow pages under butchering, meat market, etc and make you choice from that information.
The cost can vary quite abit as to what you want done./
Will YOU skin it? want all hamburger? etc etc
Also be prepared to wait, seems these operations always are overloaded during hunting season.
Deer are pretty easily done by your self. Elk can be a handfull but very possible.
Lots of luck.
Where around Gunnison are you hunting?

ftierson
October 22, 2006, 23:39
Give Earl a call, Sidney...

Forrest

spatin
October 23, 2006, 08:36
Bob, I'll be hunting in Unit #68 and #682. The yellow pages didn't give much. I'll check with Earl, Forrest.
Sidney

thunderchicken
October 23, 2006, 09:36
With CWD I'm done taking my meat to a butcher. Even if you have your own animal tested, any butchers tools are almost certainly contaminated. Those damn prions survive autoclaving in some cases. Frankly, any commercial butcher who is using the same tools to work with game as he uses to work with domestic animals is pretty irresponsible in my book and I won't be having a pig or cow butchered by him either.

lutefisk
October 23, 2006, 19:36
Spat, I'm going to suggest doing it yourself. It really is not that bad and you will get ALL your backstraps and much higher quality meat. Here's a couple of thoughts(after you get the hide off fast):
1. As mentioned before, you really want to get your own meat back (well, depending on circumstances, maybe you don't want your own meat). It's hopefully been shot with care, field dressed and cooled properly, and had been treated with care. I like to age mine at about 38 degrees for 9-14 days... if hanging the whole animal, I'll leave it open for 3 days and then cover in plastic for the remainding time. This reduces the surface loss to drying and makes the whole process easier. I pull out the belly t-loins(two 1-4" diameter round strips of meat above the guts and to each side of the bottom of the vertebra) and eat them immediately(they are the best and don't freeze well).
I've also had to process the elk immediately after shooting...honestly, I did not notice the difference, but the aging thing seems like the right thing to do.
2. Remove the fat from the carcass-on elk it is on the outside and not in the meat.
3. Filet off the backstraps- they run from the rump to under the front shoulder blades. These will be 3-5' long and about 4-6" diameter. To process, just remove any fascia or other stuff that doesn't look like you like to eat. Then, just cut the this big meat tube into 1-1 1/2" steaks. Double wrap in Saran wrap and single wrap freezer paper making sure you squeeze out all the air. Label and hide these for you. I generally am snacking on raw elk by this time.
4. Remove and process the hindquarters...they are somewhat heavy and throwing one over a shoulder with the lower leg forward is good for carryin'. On these, I always separate all the various muscle masses...they are separated by fascia. Remove the fascia and cut across (perpendicular) to the grain of the meat. Each unshot hindquarter will produce a bunch of meat.
5. Filet the muscle masses off the front shoulders, study it, grab a couple steaks and grind the rest into burger.
6. I generally pull about 80lbs burger off an elk. I package and freeze it as 100% ground elk with no fat added. If necessary, you can mix it with hamburger or ground pork at cooking time. We generally enjoy ours straight.
I bought a cheap grinder and can really crank out the meat. It is important that the meat going into it has been trimmed or the fascia and connective tissue will plug up the grinding plate thingy. I package all the burger in ziplock bags.
7. Take the brisket and any other trimmings(including the neck) and grind it up. INHO, it's just not worth the time going after roasts or thin steaks.
8. Throughout the process, I'll chunk up stuff that isn't quite big enough for steaks and use it for stew or kabobs.
9. I'll cut the heart into strips for saute or stuff and roast it.
10. Ribs, I have no advice. Never found a good way to deal with them so I feed these and any nasty stuff to any rehab birds that I might have.
11. Liver, I used to love it. Then I started hunting with a Vet and he destroyed the enjoyment..."pocket of puss".
12. If you encounter a 1/2-3/4" roundish/brownish thing, it is probably a gland. Cut it out and throw out immediately so it doesn't wind up in the burger.

Most used knife is a medium length filet knife with a nice flexible blade.

Other thoughts, trade some elk (not backstraps) for assistance in wrapping. Then, the packages are not stained by bloody handprints and you can specialize in the processing.

Anyhow, I know it's not exactly what you asked, but I would really encourage you to try it. You really can't mess it up as long as you:
1. Don't use your chainsaw(sends bones and CNS shit all over).
2. Properly field dress and care for the carcass, ie not dragging in mud after hide pulled.

As an aside, if you are concerned about CWD, keep the spinal column intact. This includes keeping the head on the carcass while the meat is removed from the carcass. If your elk is commercially processed, they will, in all likely hood, run a saw right through the middle of the spinal column vertically to split the elk into 1/2's. This is not good.

I also package the meat packs in several heavy plastic bags in the freezer. The whole point is to keep the air out. I eat elk that is 3-4 years old if I mix up my freezer organization(not recommended for lamb!).

Go for it!

spatin
October 23, 2006, 23:07
Wow, that was a headful. My problem is not that I wouldn't want to try it myself, but that I just don't have a place to do it. About the best I can do is to skin it and get 'er into the truck for the trip to the butcher.
Sidney

lutefisk
October 24, 2006, 00:01
If you can bone it out in the field, it will fit in a refrig for aging. Then, processing is on the kitchen table for me. Oh well, I got gabby there and reflected back on my hesitation the first time around.

I used to take the scrap to Old World Meat in Grand Juction for sausage sticks. Then, I found out they didn't process your meat separately and wound up with $300 plus in sausage with a nasty taste. Since then, I do it all by myself. I do miss those jalapino(sp?) sticks...

It might be worth checking around Salida or Canyon City to get better prices. Still, request double plastic and no bone. If you really want to try and keep them honest, package your backstraps separately and have them weighed in before processing...it might piss them off so be nice.

Windustsearch
October 24, 2006, 07:01
What is CWD?

thunderchicken
October 24, 2006, 09:35
Originally posted by Windustsearch
What is CWD?

chronic wasting disease. One of those oddball prion caused conditions like kreutzfeldt jacob in people or scrapie in sheep. There is some debate about the transmissibility to people, but I come down on the side of caution and have my animals tested every year.

Falcon
October 24, 2006, 21:22
How about this one, looks to be about 40 or so miles South in Pueblo

Mr Bills Wild Game Processing
814 W 8th St
Pueblo, CO 81003

(719) 248-6204


http://www.google.com/maps?f=l&hl=en&q=wild+game+processing&near=Colorado+springs+CO&sll=38.835429,-104.776611&sspn=1.985376,3.702393&ie=UTF8&latlng=38274204,-104618050,3799425607362745742

Btw, here's a good video to learn game processing...

http://www.hessvideo.com/index.htm