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I have never butchered a deer. We typically skin it then cut off the major portions and take them whole to a processor but I wan

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  • I have never butchered a deer. We typically skin it then cut off the major portions and take them whole to a processor but I wan

    I have never butchered a deer. We typically skin it then cut off the major portions and take them whole to a processor but I want to get away from that. How do I go about the butchering of a whole deer? Does it HAVE to be aged? I guess what I'm asking is what cuts are located where and how do I separate them.

  • #2
    Matt

    You can get a "cut chart" off the internet.
    Sheep and goats are about the same size. Hogs can be also.
    Beef cattle are much larger, but the "cuts" are still the same.

    I process my own.
    The backstrap (loin) is trimmed of all sinew and sliced across the graon and butterflied.
    The inside loin (tenderloin) is trimmed of sinew and sliced across the grain for stir fry, soup or stew. These little jewels, the wife and I reserve for our own consumption.
    I don't know the proper terminology, but there are 3 or 4 major (large) muscles in each hind quarter.
    These are seperated out, trimmed of sinew and either butterflied into steak or cut into strips for fajitas, soups, stews and stir frying.
    Everything else goes through the grinder.
    Some of the grind is turned into keilbasa.

    Good luck. Good hunting and God Bless!

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    • #3
      Thanks FirstBubba I'll look up a cut chart I had never heard of one. That'll help big time!

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      • #4
        If you have a friend that does their own, maybe you can watch/help. Seeing it done is a quick way to learn.
        If it is around 35deg or close to freezing without actually freezing, I will let it hang a couple days. I use vice grips to skin the deer. Other than that you need a meat saw and some good sharp knives and sharpeners.
        It goes fast if one person makes the cuts and the other wraps and labels the meat for the freezer.

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        • #5
          Matt,
          I forgot, for grinding, I mix in some beef, it helps the burgers stay together on the grill.

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          • #6
            Back whar Ah'm from in Sowfalabammie, the temp averages mebbe 70 degrees during most of hunting season and nobuddy ages the meat.

            It is punishment to eat thet.

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            • #7
              I shot my first deer last year, I had never done it before but processed it myself. My cuts were not the best and I didn't know what to cut for different types of steaks. But, I was given the book Preparing Fish & Wild Game, for my birthday this year. It doesn't just have recipes, but step by step guides in the back on how to process birds, small and big game. It also shows where different cuts come and how to make them when processing. Hope this helps.

              www.amazon.com/Preparing-Fish-Wild-Game-Complete/dp/086573125X/ref=pd_sim_b_2/190-2237921-9651857

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              • #8
                I learned by trial and error, but nothing went to waste -- anything that didn't get cut into a nice steak or roast was simply diced and frozen or canned as stew meat. As time went on, I had more and more nice-looking cuts and less and less stew meat. Once you have the quarter on the table in front of you, you can see and feel how the muscles lay and cut accordingly; it's not hard and with the help of the chart mentioned above and/or some YouTube videos, you should do fine (and again, if you screw something up, turn it into stewmeat or meat for the grinder). As for aging, don't bother unless you have precise temperature control. Properly aged meat is wonderful, but so is fresh meat.

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                • #9
                  Matt's got it, and expressed it nicely. You don't need to be an expert to start butchering. Just start quartering and cutting. Soon you will start to recognize portions/cuts. If you use all the trimmings for at least grinding or stew meat, you will end up with more product than you get from commercial butchers, where speed is most important and trimmings are often discarded. And you will have learned a valuable skill!

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                  • #10
                    Skin it of course. I read on this site about cutting a little slit in the skin and putting an air nozzle in it to separate the skin from the rest and it works wonders. I'd suggest this method if you have an air compressor. You still have to cut and all that but it makes skinning much easier. Use a blow torch to burn hair off meat as you go, just be sure to keep it moving so you don’t cook the meat, imagine running the blow torch over a piece of paper without catching it on fire.

                    Remove whole quarters and head from carcass.

                    Next remove all salvageable meat from carcass, and remember to get the loins from inside the carcass. They are located under the inside the cavity just before the excrement hole. There is a lot of meat in the neck region and sometimes I even cut the meat from between the ribs.

                    Next remove the backstraps. They are the muscles that run along the spine. For this I like to use a fish fillet knife and run it along the spinal cord from front shoulder blade to base of the rump. I then make a cut perpendicular from the spine down until you hit the rib cage. Then you can almost strip the entire loin from the carcass just don’t start ripping it apart go slowly and have your knife handy to cut the muscle tissue that starts to tear. Then remove all sinew as Firstbubba refered too. You can either cut into individual steaks or as I do cut into thirds. I do this because they are just large enough to feed my family and then I rap them in bacon and cut into the size steaks I want after being cooked.

                    Next I start with the front legs and typically I will only cut them into chunks for hamburger meat so just cut away. I use bacon to mix with my venison. I will freeze the bacon and grind it then mix it in when I grind the venison. Also when grinding your meat get your meat just on the verge of being frozen then grind it. To maintain the no added “ “ I buy the natural bacon with no added preservatives, salt, nitrates, etc… just straight smoke bacon. You can use beef or pork suet. I know my local Kroger’s carry beef suet during hunting season and my local butcher does also he will even grind it up for me making it like parmesan cheese so I can just sprinkle it in the meat as I go, it works great.

                    The back legs are where you need to take your time if you want steaks. I will cut the calf up for hamburger. The thigh and rump is where all the good roasts and steaks are. The muscles are separated into groups and I will cut the back of the thigh off the bone. Then do the same to the front portion of the thigh. Now you’ll have two massive chunks of meat. Grab one and locate one group of muscle and try to work your fingers between it and the other group of muscle and start working apart with hands and knife. Once you have them all separated cut into steak, cubes, roasts, etc… just be sure to trim excess silver skin and sinew.

                    I know this is overwhelming to comprehend but it really isn’t too difficult. You will probably ruin some cuts of meat the 1st couple of deer but you will get the hang of it in no time.

                    Here’s any easy way of processing how to butcher a deer. Imagine you’re eating an orange 1st you remove the peel (skin) then you pull the orange apart in two this makes it easier to remove each carpel (muscle group) remove the pith (that being the silver skin sinew) then you enjoy!

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                    • #11
                      On the NET look for How to DVD on Butchering Wild Game...$ 5.99 its step by step, well worth the Money.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        On the NET look for How to DVD on Butchering Wild Game...$ 5.99 its step by step, well worth the Money.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you live in a place down south (if I remember correctly, you are from north Mississippi) where it is warm, this is what I would (actually, this is what I do) do:
                          1. Depending on if you hunt your own property or not, don't worry about field dressing it. Normally I find the deer about the time the truck or tractor get there to pick the deer up. So once you get to where you are going to clean your deer, skin, gut and quarter it. Not that hard to skin it. A tip is when you start getting around the shoulders (if you skin it from the neck down) be careful about pulling the skin off with meat. It is also kinda slick around the wound, so what we do is use catfish (skinning) pliers to grip is and pull it the rest of the way off. Gutting isn't hard either. Just cut em' loose and have a bucket ready. A utility knife can be useful when cutting the guts out because it is small and easy to control. Then quarter the deer (sounds like you already know how to do that) and take the back straps and all the meat.
                          2. We just take all the meat and put it in the ice chest with ice and water and let it soak for a couple of days. Be sure you keep ice in there or your meat will spoil surprisingly fast.
                          3. After we soak it, we spend an evening de-boning the meat and packaging it. We just cut out what we want and turn the rest into sausage. A meat grinder (if you don't have one) Is a really good way to use all that not so nice meat and little scraps that you don't want to throw away.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you live in a place down south (if I remember correctly, you are from north Mississippi) where it is warm, this is what I would (actually, this is what I do) do:
                            1. Depending on if you hunt your own property or not, don't worry about field dressing it. Normally I find the deer about the time the truck or tractor get there to pick the deer up. So once you get to where you are going to clean your deer, skin, gut and quarter it. Not that hard to skin it. A tip is when you start getting around the shoulders (if you skin it from the neck down) be careful about pulling the skin off with meat. It is also kinda slick around the wound, so what we do is use catfish (skinning) pliers to grip is and pull it the rest of the way off. Gutting isn't hard either. Just cut em' loose and have a bucket ready. A utility knife can be useful when cutting the guts out because it is small and easy to control. Then quarter the deer (sounds like you already know how to do that) and take the back straps and all the meat.
                            2. We just take all the meat and put it in the ice chest with ice and water and let it soak for a couple of days. Be sure you keep ice in there or your meat will spoil surprisingly fast.
                            3. After we soak it, we spend an evening de-boning the meat and packaging it. We just cut out what we want and turn the rest into sausage. A meat grinder (if you don't have one) Is a really good way to use all that not so nice meat and little scraps that you don't want to throw away.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Oh boy! I double posted! (sarcasm)

                              Comment

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