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Can I get advice on meat care

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by .45 guy, Nov 12, 2010.


  1. .45 guy

    .45 guy
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    I'm thinking of butchering my own deer this year. I can get it quartered ok. I have questions about how long I have to deal with the meat.
    1) Propper package for freezing.
    2) How long to work with it before the peices need to be froze.
    3) what do mix with ground venison
    I'd appreciate any advice. Around here I pay 90.00$ to have a doe butchered.
     

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  2. Jonesee

    Jonesee
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    Ok I always butcher my own kills so here goes:

    1. A vacuum sealer is the absolute best for freezer packing. If you don't have one, Ziplocs with all the air you can get out of them. Ziplocs won't last as long and freezer burn will happen faster.

    2. A hard question. Up north we used to leave th deer out awhile as long as the weather permitted. Now that I live in the south (Florida) I put the meat on ice in parts (hams, backstraps, neck etc). Then I allow it to bleed out a week adding ice daily and draining off most of the water. How long? with proper care, at least a week.

    3. The usual mix with ground venison is sausage. I have also seen hamburger with a higher fat content used. You will need to experiment with the flavor and amount of the sausage to your own taste. Mild, spicy etc... Personally I don't grind up any venison. I cut the hams, straps, loins, neck meat etc. If it is tougher piece of meat it goes to roasts and stew meat.

    Some hints:

    Cut the hams off while the deer is hung. As long as you don't sever a tendon it will be fine and you will end up with boneless hams.

    Grab the backstraps first.

    Then grab the inner loin (the preacher meat)

    Take the neck meat as a roast, it will be more tough.

    Use a small knife!!! 3.5 " blade is all you need. An Old Timer sharp finger is the best I've found for field dressing. For the fine work, use a boning knife. KEEP THEM RAZOR SHARP!! Those "elephant skinner" knives once a year hunters carry on their hip will only hack the meat up. Show me an old man who goes deer hunting with a pocket knife and a sandwich in his pocket and I will show you a man who is likely to get his kill and will clean it before you can ogle at it.

    My step dad always cleaned deer with a pocket knife. My father in law turned me on to the Old Timer Sharp Finger. I'm not young and my Father-in-law is close to 80. Still hunts and limits out every season. he finally quit bow hunting about 75 years old when he couldn't draw the bow steady. Still cleans his own kill before I can help. I still look at him and am amazed.
     

    #2 Jonesee, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  3. paynter2

    paynter2
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    Like Jonesee - I always butcher my own deer too. Get a good meat saw to cut through the back bone and any other bones...

    I hang the deer by the head and skin it. Then I cut the bottom third from the carcass - the hinds. Cut just above the hind quarters.

    I lay that saddle on a table with poly and split it. Then, I slice the top round steaks off and make roast of the bottom round. Done.

    Use the saw to cut the middle third - up to the shoulders. I then strip the tenderloins. done (if someone wants the ribs, fine. otherwise I give it to the birds.

    Shoulders - roast or hamburger meat - same with the neck. Done cutting.

    Vacuum press - if you don't have one, use a large kettle of room temperature water. Pack what ever size you need for a meal into a zip-lock and close it - but for a small corner. Submerge the zip-lock into the kettle of water and all the air will be forced out. Pinch the corner of the bag and voila - vacuum! I use if for fish all the time - works great.

    I then wrap each bag twice in freezer wrap - cheap insurance. But, no freezer burn and no need for vacuum press.

    Good luck - no magic, just go in an do it!
     
    #3 paynter2, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  4. .45 guy

    .45 guy
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    Great information. Thank you very much. A week in a cooler is great. I just hoping a day or two while I fiqure how to cut it up. The guy I'm hunting with says he quarters them after check in. So I'll have the quarters to work with. I use an old, Old Timer lock blade, about 3". It's wide and I've never had trouble cutting through the chest brisket. Thanks again. Mike
     
  5. K.Kiser

    K.Kiser
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    I usually don't worry with butchering, as I typically eat the entire animal where it fell dead... Less ice to buy and dishes to clean...
     
  6. Dalton Wayne

    Dalton Wayne
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    When I hunted I would mix a pound of pork in every 5 pounds of burger
    Regards
    DW
     
  7. Tvov

    Tvov
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    Any links to how-to websites, preferably with pictures? I am a newbie to this.
     
  8. 357glocker

    357glocker
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    1) Propper package for freezing.

    I use vacuum sealers for the steaks and roasts. For the burger I use ziplocks or those game bags that cabelas sells.


    2) How long to work with it before the peices need to be froze.

    As mentioned above, it depends on the temperature it's already being kept at.


    3) what do mix with ground venison

    Most people just mix with hamburger or sausage or trim fat from a local butcher. Personally what I do is grind the deer with whole untrimmed brisket to a 50-50 mix. A chunk of deer a chunk of brisket. A course grind first to mix it all then back through with a medium grind. A little more time consuming, but turns out to be better than actual hamburger. Watch for clearance briskets at meat markets or Walmart throughout the year to get them cheaper.
     
  9. Tvov

    Tvov
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    Oh, I just realized my post is a bit different from the original. I'm asking about how to handle the deer after getting it in the woods, and how to actually butcher it. Then I'll worry about long term storage...
     
  10. Big Bird

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    The ONLY thing you need is a boning knife...if you are on a budget get a Forschner boning knife from a restaurant supply store for less than $20. That and some way to package the meat. I prefer a vaccum sealer but nothing wrong with plain ole. white/freezer butcher paper you can get at the grocery store. If you want burger you will also need a grinder. If you buy your own grinder spend the money on a decent one. $200 or so. Forget the cheapy grinders you can get at most department stores. They can't handle 20-30lbs of burger and get clogged with connective tissue too fast. Many smaller grocery stores will grind your burger for you at the end of the day for a nominal charge. Many will also sell you some beef/pork fat to blend with the meat--I recommend this) But if you do this enough you will want to buy a nice grinder and some sausage attachments and you can make your own venison sausage--which I heartily recommend.

    You have to have a way to hang the deer up from its hind legs.

    You will need some food grade tubs for the meat. You can use plastic pickle buckets if that's all you can afford. I prefer the plastic bus trays you can buy at the Restaurant Supply store--again for not a lot of money. Two will be enough.

    There's no need at all for a meat saw as you will bone out the carcass as it hangs. The only major part you will cut off the animal are the front legs and they are only attached with sinew--the entire shoulder will filet right off the critter and you don't need to cut through a joint. You can use a saw to cut off the lower legs if you want. I use a sawsall with a simple all purpose blade. You could use a hack saw if you wanted. But to send $30 or $40 for a meat saw to saw off deer legs is silly IMO.

    There are a ton of free videos on Youtube on how to process deer. I can only say that when I get done I have a nearly complete skeleton hanging (sans front legs) and VERY little waste. Takes me about 45 minutes to bone out a deer. Maybe 2 hours to prepare the meat for storage...make burger etc.
     
  11. Tvov

    Tvov
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    Thanks! I don't know why I forgot about YouTube. I watched some last night, I guess some videos were "sponsored" by Kentucky Fish and Game and were pretty good.
     
  12. .45 guy

    .45 guy
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    This has been a very helpfull thread. Thanks everyone who has helped. Now all i have to do is bag one. :whistling: I had two bucks come close but not quite in range last weekend.
     
  13. vafish

    vafish
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    Others covered it pretty well,

    I use zip loc bags to put the meat in after cutting it up.

    I don't mix anything in with the grind. But, I don't make burgers with my ground venison. I use the ground venison for chili and spaghetti sauce. I have high cholesterol and try to keep the fat down when I can.
     
    #13 vafish, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010