How much gets thrown away?


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HankR
December 5, 2013, 11:01 AM
Hi All,

Longtime shooter, relatively new to the hunting thing, and finally learning to process our own deer. I've had two separate acquaintances show me how they butcher their deer, and it both cases it seems to me like a lot of meat gets thrown away. A lot of the smaller muscles, low on the leg, maybe 1-1 1/2 inch diameter, maybe 4-5 inches long which I would think would make decent burger or stew. Both gentlemen threw these in the trash as "not being worth messing with". When asked, both thought that a better grinder might work OK with those, but that they couldn't get enough of the membrane stuff off to make it worth their time. One had a hand grinder, and I'm not sure about the other. One (a buck) had what looked like a lot of neck meat to me, but the gentleman said the veins made it unsatisfactory. After cutting out the loins/backstrap, tenderloins, and big roasts from the rear quarter the pile of left-overs for the grinder was about half to two-thirds the size as the trash pile (with no roasts from the front quarter, all to grind). Does this seem right? I'm hoping for a late season doe, and would like to process it ourselves but don't want to be wasteful. (My dogs on the other hand wouldn't mind a bit if they ended up with more.)


On a related question, which would you buy first. A grinder or a vacuum sealer?

Thanks,

Hank

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1911 guy
December 5, 2013, 11:38 AM
Buy the grinder first, as it is easier to live without the sealer for a year, while processing without a grinder is very difficult.

There is as much meat on a deer as you want to spend the effort on. Personally, I'm in your camp. I make steaks, chops and stew meat out of anything I can. All the meat between the ribs, bits here and there, etc, gets turned into burger. When a bone is tossed into the trash pile, there should be no meat on it, in my opinion.

To freeze better with no sealer, pat the meat dry after processing, wrap TIGHTLY (as in roll in up on a sturdy table) in plastic wrap then cover in butcher paper. Moisture and air cause freezer burn.

Arkansas Paul
December 5, 2013, 11:48 AM
A lot of the smaller muscles, low on the leg, maybe 1-1 1/2 inch diameter, maybe 4-5 inches long which I would think would make decent burger or stew.

I agree.
Even if you can't grind them because of the membrane, they will still work great in the crock pot. Slow cooked all night and they'll be falling apart. Then add veggies for stew/soup or do other things with it.

One (a buck) had what looked like a lot of neck meat to me, but the gentleman said the veins made it unsatisfactory.

Sounds like they're just too lazy to do it.
I've always cut off the neck meat and used it for grind or stew meat. I've never tasted anything bad because of veins.

with no roasts from the front quarter, all to grind

That part is just personal preference. I don't make anything into roasts. The hams get steaked out. What I can't steak out, goes into the grind pile.
Shoulders all go in the grind or stew pile.

would like to process it ourselves but don't want to be wasteful.

If you think what your friends did was wasteful, you don't want to have it processed. I'm always shocked by how little my friends get back. I will NEVER take one to a processor.
Now, I do take grind meat to a local place and have jalepeno/cheddar summer sausage made. Mmmmmm

dab102999
December 5, 2013, 12:13 PM
As stated depending on how involved you want to get (only out time not money) there is a lot of meat. Learing with time how the tenions run will allow for better cuts also. I am in the boat of definately get a grinder first. Also experiment with adding beef or pork to some grind to get a good blend.

As far as a grinder goes watch you local auction sites for kitchen supply place auctions and also Craigs list. I bought a real nice grinder and band saw (stainless) off Craigslist years ago for pennys on the dollar of new and have put lots of my own and tons of neighbors deers thru them.

If you are looking for a smaller countertype one do not go cheap...it will not last to long. I have even seen nice looking models from Cabelas take a crap after a couple of deer.

HankR
December 5, 2013, 12:32 PM
Thanks. As for the grinder, my wife has a pretty serious stand-type mixer (Kitchenaid) that she never uses. I see grinder attachments for these when I google. Is that a viable option? Seems like the beefy motor part is already paid for, and I would think that is a decent brand.


If you stew the small muscles does the membrane layer just go away, or do you just need to eat around it?

As stated depending on how involved you want to get (only out time not money) there is a lot of meat

Gotta admit, at the end of the evening, cold and shivering, fingers too numb to grip the membrane, I was starting to agree w/ them. We were doing this in an unheated building both times. Good for the meat, not so good on my old bones.

Thanks again

der Teufel
December 5, 2013, 01:07 PM
Thanks. As for the grinder, my wife has a pretty serious stand-type mixer (Kitchenaid) that she never uses. I see grinder attachments for these when I google. Is that a viable option? Seems like the beefy motor part is already paid for, and I would think that is a decent brand.


This is all just opinion. Other folks may have other opinions which are certainly as valid as mine:

The Kitchen Aid is okay, but not great. I have one, an old K5 model, which I use to make small (5 Lbs at a time) quantities of breakfast sausage. For that it's satisfactory. I've used it in the past to make larger quantities (20-25 Lbs) of link sausage, but nowadays I just de-bone the meat and take it to a processor. They grind, season, and stuff it for $1/Lb. If you want them to add fat or other meat to it you'll pay for that, of course. The Kitchen Aid just doesn't have the umph! to work through the membrane material so it keeps clogging up. I keep looking at dedicated grinders, but can't really justify the cost. Maybe if I found a good one on Craigslist . . .

Centurian22
December 5, 2013, 01:11 PM
I got my first deer this year and made the intimidating choice to process it myself. The deer weighed 125 after field dressing and only 10lbs went in the trash. That was the spine and the pelvis after it was picked clean by my wife. She spent about 1.5-2 hrs and extracted a total of 14oz of meat from the pelvis. Worth it to her but not quite to me after I had been processing for two days straight.

The skin is getting tanned, the antlers will be a gun rack and the head was given to a friend. I estimate a total of 80-90lbs of meat. After skinning I quartered it into a large (30gal maybe?) clear Rubbermaid bin. Then moved the operation inside. Big black trash bag over the kitchen table and went to town. Working out of one Rubbermaid, into ziplocks, into another Rubbermaid. All the leg bones are saved for my four dogs. If I would have had to stay out in the cold it would have been much harder to care enough to be so efficient.

Glad I made the choice to do it though. Skinning and Processing was WAY easier than field dressing. Good luck!

WayBeau
December 5, 2013, 01:13 PM
Thanks. As for the grinder, my wife has a pretty serious stand-type mixer (Kitchenaid) that she never uses. I see grinder attachments for these when I google. Is that a viable option? Seems like the beefy motor part is already paid for, and I would think that is a decent brand.

I have a Kitchenaid mixer which I was thinking about getting the grinder attachment for. . . until I read some of the reviews. Now, I like to think that I'm fairly level headed on such matters, as online opinions seem to vary from one extreme to the other and it's hard to know what's true or not. That being said, I read too many reviews of the blades not being up to the task and the need to 're-grind' or stop and clean the machine after a small amount of meat going through. If you're going to buy a grinder, invest in a good one (that's my plan at least). I'm keeping my eye on the classified ads and eBay for a good deal on a quality one. Nothing worse than trying to grind meat and you're having to stop every few minutes to clean the blades/disks/etc.

The other thing to keep in mind, you want to get the meat as 'clean' of membranes as possible before grinding. The littlest bit of silver skin can gum up a grinder very quickly. Also, slightly freezing the meat before grinding seems to help.

Hope that's helpful. I don't make stews with my deer. All jerky (which the smaller pieces are perfect for), steaks, and roasts for me.

wyohome
December 5, 2013, 01:47 PM
We use a Kitchen Aid for stuffing pepperoni and links. The larger grinder gets used for summer sausage and general grinding. Get the largest grinder that you can justify the expense of. Also, the colder the meat, the better it grinds.

goofyoldfart
December 5, 2013, 02:22 PM
just reading through some of the posts on this forum and found this one. I was just wondering if, for one doe, a hand grinder could be used for a "first time try" by an old retired fart like me. the advice of Centurian22 on the use of the Rubbermaid containers makes A LOT of sense. One thing I have a lot of is time (and a warm basement). thanks for any responses. God Bless to all and theirs.

Goofy

HankR
December 5, 2013, 02:37 PM
Is it OK for the meat to warm it up to household temps for a few hours while processing? Any tricks in gripping the membrane to pull it away and cut it off? Not sure if my fingers were just numb, but I couldn't really grip it well and ended up whittling it off when I tried to do one of the smaller pieces I mentioned. Ended up looking gnawed on, with lots of meat on the membrane.

WayBeau
December 5, 2013, 02:59 PM
Is it OK for the meat to warm it up to household temps for a few hours while processing?

Yes. I usually do one section at a time and move it to the fridge right after I'm done. Then grab the next section out and work on it. A cooler works well for this if you don't have the space in the fridge/freezer.

Any tricks in gripping the membrane to pull it away and cut it off? Not sure if my fingers were just numb, but I couldn't really grip it well and ended up whittling it off when I tried to do one of the smaller pieces I mentioned. Ended up looking gnawed on, with lots of meat on the membrane.

I usually just try to filet it off like you would the skin of a fish. I can generally get it all off with minimal meat lost. There might be better/easier ways to do it, but I don't know any.

mnhntr
December 5, 2013, 03:09 PM
Meat should be processed at cooler than room temp and partially frozen if grinding. It should hang in 36-42* temp for a week for optimal quality. The lower leg muscles are easily taken off the membrane with a sharp fillet knife. Buy a grinder and the money you will save will pay for the vacuum sealer. I throw away the hide and bones and most of the organs, everything else is used. The heart and liver are good and most guys throw the ribs away but they make great BBQ.

Arkansas Paul
December 5, 2013, 04:06 PM
If you stew the small muscles does the membrane layer just go away, or do you just need to eat around it?

If you cook in the crock pot overnight like I do, the membrane is pretty much dissolved into the mix.

HankR
December 5, 2013, 04:06 PM
OK. Can people recommend good grinders? Probably won't get one this year, but I can at least figure out what brands/features/construction are good.

inclinebench
December 5, 2013, 04:12 PM
My wife has a Kitchenaid and we have used that grinder. Then I bought a dedicated grinder, and I will never use the Kitchenaid one again. I was amazed at the power and speed a dedicated grinder gave me. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I will just say I bought an STX Turboforce 3000 grinder. I am sure there are other models just as good, but this one has been pretty good to me.

Bull Nutria
December 5, 2013, 04:13 PM
LOWER LEGS ON DEER MAKE EXCELLENT SOUP, IT WILL SURPRISE YOU HOW TENDER AND TASTY THAT TOUGH LOOKING MUSCLE WILL GET!!

bULL

mnhntr
December 5, 2013, 04:43 PM
Look for #8 or larger grinder if you do more than 1 or 2 deer a season. The best grinders have metal gears but are more expensive. If you pick up a cheaper one with plastic gears get it from somewhere that will warranty it. LEM has some of the best equipment.

Cocked & Locked
December 5, 2013, 09:08 PM
"How much gets thrown away?"

Here is a link to a yield chart. Might be somewhat optimistic...I dunno. :scrutiny:

http://www.alfredny.biz/sportsmen/Whitetail-yield-chart.htm

travisd
December 5, 2013, 09:25 PM
I take mine down to the bone with the exception of the ribs. Never found it worth it to mess with. Hardly any meat there and half of it is the membrane stuff and some of it is always going to be ruined from the shot. Maybe if you had a huge deer you could get something out of it.

I'm also going to be buying a grinder before next year. Bringing in meat ready to grind doesn't cost anything to get done but it'll save a couple bucks and mainly an hour drive round trip to the butchers.

DM~
December 5, 2013, 09:35 PM
Different strokes for different folks!

I grind most all of my deer, only "steaking" the tender loins and back straps... I'm just not that fond of venison roast ect...

DM

Liberty1776
December 5, 2013, 09:54 PM
Pardon me but the guys you were watching were lazy, stupid, or both. ArkansasPaul has it right. As far as the lower legs go, I use them all the way down until the meat runs out. You can grind it, stew it or make soup but usually I take the entire lower leg and bake them long and in beef stock with onions, mushrooms and red wine until tender.

And they were just plain wrong or lying about the neck. Once you remove the lymph glands, the neck makes a wonderful, tender roast. I bone out the front shoulders and once the silver skin is removed from the three main pieces the meat is just as tender as the rest and makes great steak for Swiss steak, etc.

And definitely do it yourself. I would NEVER take my deer in to a processor... you CANNOT be guaranteed they will do a good, efficient job or that you get your own deer back.

Wolfgang james
December 5, 2013, 10:04 PM
I have a great butcher here in town and I skinned for him for a few yrs so he will grind and package for me for a 12pk but I know he don't charge others more then like $20 and its a better finished product then we got from a small stainless (kitchen) grinder. In my case I'd buy the vac sealer but its also not an hr round trip to get some grinding done, well unless you count the bsing and drinking some of the payment.

Gunnerboy
December 5, 2013, 10:43 PM
Sounds to me like these guys have never gone hungry before....

DM~
December 5, 2013, 11:10 PM
And definitely do it yourself. I would NEVER take my deer in to a processor... you CANNOT be guaranteed they will do a good, efficient job or that you get your own deer back.


Depends! There's a place here that makes sure you get YOUR deer back. YOUR license number stays with YOUR deer all the way through the whole process, and i've stood there and watched them push deer through. They cut/wrap/freeze them anyway YOU want them and do a VERY good job. The cost is 50 bucks...

I have them do one deer a year, and split it with a friend, any other deer, i do myself.

DM

dubbleA
December 5, 2013, 11:56 PM
Been processing my game animals since I was a young'n.

I have been there and done that with small hand powered equipment. Nowadays I use powered grinders, mixers and stuffers and have a dedicated smoke house, it still takes time but it's easier on the ol body.

This is a 100lbs of venison hamburger made from my daughter's deer taken a couple of weeks ago. It was made into smoked snack sticks.

Using this 1 1/2 HP #32 grinder it took less than 10 minutes.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_1832_zps1f9d8811.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_1836_zpsca062430.jpg

dubbleA
December 6, 2013, 12:20 AM
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh .....forgot to mention the rewards. One can take pride and great satisfaction on making excellent eats yourself. You'll have lots of friends you didn't realize you had.:D



http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_5959.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/OctSausage.jpg

KansasSasquatch
December 6, 2013, 12:55 AM
Thi might help anyone who's unfamiliar with processing a deer. There's 4 videos total http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-aD43mDtk70

Centurian22
December 6, 2013, 09:57 AM
DoubleA do you add fat / bacon when you are grinding it for burgers or sausage?

DM~
December 6, 2013, 10:45 AM
Here's my grinder,

http://www.fototime.com/D3465EE66CDD936/standard.jpg

I bought it new in the 70's.... It's never given a minutes problem and with the thousands of pounds of moose/caribou/bear/deer/fish/cow /pig/fruits/veggies and so much more that i've put through it since then, it's paid for itself a thousand times!

BTW, i add any fat to my meat when i "thaw it out", as i don't always want fat in my meat, and meat keeps much better without the fat in it. Also, i hate buying fat and then have it take up freezer space...

DM

HankR
December 6, 2013, 11:45 AM
Look for #8 or larger grinder if you do more than 1 or 2 deer a season. The best grinders have metal gears but are more expensive.

Probably 2-3 a year max. Of course, if I have a nice grinder I would probably be inclined to loan it out. Apparently Lem has a #5 w/ metal gears for cheaper than the #8, but also some higher power with plastic gears for similar. I guess I'd go metal and small?

I grind most all of my deer, only "steaking" the tender loins and back straps... I'm just not that fond of venison roast ect...


"Me too". Normally mix 1-1 with cheapest/fattiest ground beef for chili, spaghetti sauce, burritos, etc. If I had a grinder I'd grind a lot of the deer. If it could handle the lower legs I'd grind them, as the above meals are more of a staple at my house than stews.

Sounds to me like these guys have never gone hungry before....

That's what I was thinking watching them. Thankfully I've only gone hungry due to my own poor choices and for short periods of time. However I was raised by parents who grew up in the depression era who made wise choices and sheltered me from the leaner years when I was younger. I get very concerned if food is wasted in my house. Hence the initial question. If I couldn't grind the lower legs, I'd start eating more stews before I'd throw any away.

I will NEVER take one to a processor.

Well we had a few issues with the only local processor last year, and then asked around and heard some pretty bad stories.

DM~ and doubleA: Now I'm hungry for some reason. My stomach just started growling when I got to your pictures. Looks yummy.

Thanks for all the help guys. I will check out the links when I get some time, and appreciate the continued help.

BP Hunter
December 6, 2013, 11:56 AM
No meat is truly wasted. You keep the best and the left is for the varmints...back to nature.

buck460XVR
December 6, 2013, 12:01 PM
How much gets thrown away is entirely up to who's gonna eat it. It also depends on how badly the animal is shot up, the size of the animal and sometimes the sex. Large mature bucks have quite a bit of meat on the neck and to me are more than worthwhile to bone out. Small does and yearlings not so much. Same goes for the ribs. That and Rib meat is better if it is removed immediately and not allowed to dry out and get strong flavored by hanging. A lean buck will have no fat protecting the rib meat and it will dry out when left to hang skinned in a matter of only a coupla days. This is where some of that "strong, wild gamey" taste that many dislike comes from. Same with blood meat or other cuts that have "rinded over". If this dry membrane is not removed and is included with the meat, it will have adverse effects on the taste of that piece of meat. Even small pieces of this and/or blood meat damaged from the shot can taint the whole batch of hamburger and take it from delicious to so-so. While I try to utilize the most from an animal, I am also very picky what I keep to eat. That means all fat is removed as venison fat has a low melting point and strong flavor. It also tends to rancify quicker than most other animal fats. I also remove and dispose of any dry rind from the meat along with tendons. Small deer that are allowed to hang will have the very little meat in the lower leg areas dried to the point, that when butchered, to me, aren't worth the twenty minutes it takes to remove it from the tendons. As you process your own, you will learn what works for you and how picky you want to be. I save the heart and liver.....many others don't. Don't make them wasteful to me, just that they don't like it, so why keep it. Same goes for the rest of the deer. Leaving a small amount on the ribs or lower legs because you don't like it is not a waste. Pulling the backstraps and rear hams and trashing the rest is. I too worked with a Kitchen-aide Mixer grinder for a few years and it worked well enough if the amount was small, cut in small pieces and at that ideal temperature right above being froze solid. I now use a commercial grinder and have since given the grinder attachment away.

hipoint
December 6, 2013, 06:58 PM
you are correct sir, we are taking that animal's life and we should respect it by using as much of the meat as possible. All those little bits are great for grinding, however using a hand grinder is RIDICULOUS... I own one, more of a prepper supply than a real usable thing though. My electric grinder cost about 60 bucks brand new from one of those mobile tool sale things they have from time to time. Works great, has plenty of power and is better than some of the more expensive ones I've used.

With a grinder, the bigger the motor the better, you don't want to sit there all night grinding meat.

anyhow, what I do is I'll process what I can when I can, then freeze the bits that I can't get to. I'll go back when I'm feeling up to it and thaw out the ribs, legs, neck, etc. and strip them of meat to throw in the grinder. I tested this out once, and I got almost 15 pounds of meat off of the "trash" parts. 15 pounds is alot of meat, that's 2 weeks worth of meals!

the advice above me is spot on though, most of that gamey flavor comes from the membranes but especially the fat. I'll grind up stuff with lots of membranes since spaghetti and chili get lots of seasoning anyhow, but I do throw away all the fat.

oneounceload
December 6, 2013, 07:30 PM
Personally, NOTHING should be wasted. Start watching some of those food TV shows where they go to other countries and you can get some ideas as how other folks manage to use everything with zero waste

Elkins45
December 6, 2013, 10:52 PM
If you have access to either a crock pot or a pressure cooker then there's really no such thing as a "too tough" cut of meat. I take all the stuff that's too full of sinew to properly grind and dump it into the pressure cooker with an onion and a pouch of beef stew seasoning, then let it chug away at 15 pounds for an hour or so. I might add a few potatoes, celery and carrots if there happen to be any in the fridge.

Once I discovered this method of cooking venison I really started enjoying the parts other than tenderloin and steaks. For years the only real enjoyment was the hunting and processing, and I was happy to give most of the meat I harvested away. Now that I know how to properly use a pressure cooker, grinder and dehydrator I finally enjoy consuming the deer as much as I enjoy hunting them.

I don't put any bones in my freezer, and I cut off as much fat as I possibly can before storing it. I have also discovered that pressure canning with garlic, salt and onion makes for a delicious product that doesn't take up space in the freezer and can be used in a whole bunch of recipes, and it is SO tender!

Anything that doesn't go into the freezer gets used by our two dogs.

Liberty1776
December 6, 2013, 10:53 PM
dubbleA - sorry, lost your address... When will those links be coming out of the smoker, exactly?:D

Liberty1776
December 6, 2013, 10:56 PM
DM - if your in central MN, please private message me with that processor's name. The guy I work with is totally bummed out with the one he used this year, and is still waiting for his sausage and sticks three weeks after he took his deer in. His processor told him he's still waiting for enough to come in to "do a batch". Which would be a good trick as the season closed several weeks ago and there's unlikely to be many muzzleloaders hunting in this weather.

Thanks.

DM~
December 6, 2013, 11:11 PM
Sorry, i'm not in central Mn.

DM

DM~
December 7, 2013, 10:05 PM
Cabela's has their electric grinders on sale right now...

DM

twofifty
December 7, 2013, 10:59 PM
got my first deer ever a few weeks ago and my mentor and I
processed it. It is detail work but worthwhile and adds to the total experience. You sure learn a lot about skeletal anatomy and the effect of gun shots, etc.

Mentor commented that some processors will kind of mix and match
your animal with others when making sausages, ground meat, etc.

To those thinking that processing their own is a lot of work, consider the possibility that while you took proper care of your drt deer, the other guy might have tracked his gut shot buck for 6 hours on a hot day.....

travisd
December 7, 2013, 11:48 PM
Around here it's hit and miss about getting your own meat depending on how much you bring in and how busy they are. So basically you never know but it depends who you take it to. Some are better than others.
One thing i can say is when you take a deer in to get processed make sure you know how to gut it well. For example if you don't get all the butt hole out.. its going to end up in your burger...

MrMarty51
December 8, 2013, 12:32 AM
A good thing to use if You are wanting a venison/pork type of sausage is those pork shoulder roasts.
They have one bone in them, a few ounces, and the rest is meat and fat, mix it 30% pork and the pork fat and 70% venison.
I like to use My Kitchen Aid mixers grinder attachment for grinding things like the heart and leftover roasts, after they have been cooked, makes wunnerfull good samich meat.
Cleanup with the grinder attachment is quick and easy, saves making a mess in the big grinder.
Also, I always run a slice or two of bread through the grinder to grind out the meat that would other wise be left in the grinder, unground.

Andrew Leigh
December 8, 2013, 10:06 AM
If you think what your friends did was wasteful, you don't want to have it processed. I'm always shocked by how little my friends get back. I will NEVER take one to a processor.
Now, I do take grind meat to a local place and have jalepeno/cheddar summer sausage made. Mmmmmm

Agree 100%. I have a meat grinder and then built a sausage stuffer. have yet to use the stuffer.

hq
December 8, 2013, 10:38 AM
Personally, NOTHING should be wasted.

I'm with you here. Parts that contain more veins/membranes go through the grinder 2-3 times and are mixed with pork to make wurster/salami-style sausages, anything that is burger-quality will become burgers. The hides go to a tannery that makes heat-resistant gloves for firefighters and so on.

Guts are piled up, frozen and used as bait for varmints. That's one of my favorite parts, a sort of a recycling procedure that turns waste into nice fox and raccoon dog hides... ;)

Dollar for dollar, it isn't "worth" your spare time but using some of your spare time to make the most out of the game you hunted is a very rewarding feeling that can't be measured in cold hard cash. Hunters are the only real environmentalists left in the world and it's worth the effort to live up to that reputation.

Ankeny
December 8, 2013, 10:55 AM
Depends! There's a place here that makes sure you get YOUR deer back. YOUR license number stays with YOUR deer all the way through the whole process, and i've stood there and watched them push deer through. They cut/wrap/freeze them anyway YOU want them and do a VERY good job. The cost is 50 bucks... My processor does a fantastic job, but the cost for a deer is over twice what you are paying for the standard cut with no specialized meets (breakfast sausage, cold cuts, jerky, etc.). You get your animal back and everything is vacuum sealed.

When I was a kid we processed everything ourselves and there was very little waste. I don't have a decent place to process meet and I end up having 2-3 deer and 2 elk processed each year. Sure, processors operate under the time is money concept, but they can still do a good job without an excessive amount of waste. In fact, my processor tells me there is more waste before the animal gets to him from improper handling and/or being all shot up.

Last year and again this year I had to bone elk out (five total) to get them out of the field. By some of your standards I probably had a lot of waste, but as long as a person does the best they can...

buck460XVR
December 8, 2013, 04:11 PM
Guts are piled up, frozen and used as bait for varmints. That's one of my favorite parts, a sort of a recycling procedure that turns waste into nice fox and raccoon dog hides... ;)




Not legal in my state. While you can hunt over a gut pile deposited on that spot by the act of legally taking and field dressing a deer, you cannot collect or redistribute any animal part for the sole purpose of baiting any animal.

Lloyd Smale
December 9, 2013, 07:26 AM
if your going to do more then one deer a year id recomend a good quality grinder like lem or a weston. If your just doing burger and its only a couple deer a good #8 will do it. A #12 would be better though. If your doing second grinding for sausage ect i wouldnt fool with anything smaller then a #22. My buddy has a #22 lem and it is a real nice grinder. I have a weston #32 and its an animal. It weights close to what some of the deer i grind do and i think if you stuck a hoof in the grinder it would suck the whole deer through and grind it bone and all. Its one thing id recomend you dont go cheap on. A good grinder makes a tedious chore into an enjoyable one.

HankR
December 9, 2013, 09:48 AM
I see that #8 (number 8? Pound 8? Guessing not "Hashtag 8") is bigger than the #5 and smaller than the #12. But the hand grinder was a #10 (and, I think the bigger hand grinder was a #32).

Is that just a model number, or some kind of ranking? I thought a saw two different Lem #8s, one w/ plastic gears for cheaper (but a bigger motor) and the one you guys are talking about. Maybe I imagined that part though.

Lloyd Smale
December 10, 2013, 07:54 AM
hank i dont now how the come up with it but its the size of the grinding plates. Bigger number is a bigger plate, bigger cutter ect and being there bigger they need more power so bigger motors too. Keep in mind though that a high quality all steal #8 will outgrind and out last a #10 that is plastic and uses plastic gears and probably has a smaller motor too to save money.

HankR
December 10, 2013, 09:12 AM
So, a smaller size (#5 vs #8) just costs me time, assuming good quality? When people say "more than 2 deer a year", they are referring to the time I'll spend, not necessarily wearing out the grinder?

Thanks for the food for thought (and the pics of real food). I appreciate the time you all took to help educate me.

Hank

3212
December 10, 2013, 09:51 AM
For what its worth, the PA Game Commission says you get 44% meat yield of the live weight from our deer.I have found this to be pretty accurate depending on bullet damage.I usually get 55 to 65 lbs from a 140 to 150 lb adult.

buck460XVR
December 10, 2013, 10:01 AM
Better grinders grind meat better. They do this because more power keeps the feed and the cutting by the plates consistent. It also means the meat can be ground partially frozen and thus not allowed to warm up and have the taste degrade. Cheap, small grinders will not readily grind semi-frozen meat and will turn it into mush more so than good looking burger. Spending more time trying to grind the meat makes it warm up to room temperature, thus degrading taste. The cheaper grinders also do not do a good job at grinding tendons and sinew so the meat needs to be trimmed more or the grinder will clog. Larger grinders also take larger chunks of meat, this meat needs to be handled less when processing. I like to coarse grind my venison burger....once for use in Chili, twice for everything else. I also like to keep my meat in larger pieces and grind the burger in smaller quantities as I need it, as ground meat tends to degrade in the freezer faster than whole meat. If I am going to add beef or pork fat to the burger, I do it at the time of cooking as the other fats, especially pork, tends to break down and rancify, even when frozen, when exposed to the enzymes found in venison. This is why sausage, bologna and wieners your butcher makes from your venison tastes so good when you first bring it home, but gets a "freezer" taste to it after being frozen for several months.

baronthered
December 11, 2013, 03:59 AM
Lots of opinions on what is wastefull and what is not. I'd recommend getting as much as you can/want in the environment that is available.

As to grinders; a few years ago being unemployed and wanting to save some cash i found the largest hand grinder I could find at the local "junk store" and a relatively slow speed motor and cobbled them together to get a good powered grinder. not pretty but it'll churn through LOTS of meat.

Lloyd Smale
December 14, 2013, 08:57 AM
first like buck460 said a bigger grinder just does a better job. They have bigger motors along with bigger throats for easier feeding and a good grinder will grind faster then you can feed it. i sure wouldnt fool with any grinder smaller then a #8 and even wouldnt fool with a #8 unless it was a good all steal grinder from a reputable company. you may only grind one deer a year now into burger but that could change in the future and if you ever want to fool with making summer sauage or beef sticks or something else that requires a second grind, it brutal work with a small grinder trying to push allready ground meat through it where as with a big grinder its a joy. I had one of those cabela #10s with the white plastic motor cover. I made alot of sausage with that grinder but it was work. The first day i used my weston i was flat in love. It usually took me about 3 hours to process 16 sticks of summer sausage from raw meat to stuffed. With the new grinder that time was cut right in half and my arms werent sore from trying to push meat through a grinder. Id sell guns before i sold this grinder! even if i only had to use it for one deer a year.

Andrew Leigh
December 15, 2013, 11:32 AM
Although limited to African game species this is an excellent yield calculator based on a variety of hunting areas (yes they get bigger and smaller dependant on area) you can also select the % of condition you believe based on the feed available.

Have a look purely for interest sake, I think the percentages will be very much the same. You will note a financial calculator as we pay for all our deer, put in a value for the calculator to work.

http://www.stealthadventures.co.za/CarcassProcessingCalculator.aspx

HankR
December 16, 2013, 10:06 AM
you may only grind one deer a year now into burger but that could change in the future

My concern is that it may change the other way. My son has a tag to fill, and supposedly loves to hunt. It was snowy yesterday, and we did work outside for an hour or so, and it was cold, but not cold (Probably right around 0, with very little wind). We knocked off early so we could warm up before coming back out, but he didn't bother to go sit out at dusk. I'd hate to drop $300 on a grinder and have him outgrow hunting. He's 15 and what is "cool" changes on an hourly basis. I never hunted growing up. I like it OK, but I'm not obsessed (well, yet anyway). Hunting is mainly time to spend w/ my son (and maybe in a few years my daughter) and a chance to teach him to do things for himself.

Lloyd Smale
December 17, 2013, 08:45 AM
you have a point too hank. Ive got a couple grand rapped up in butcher tools. We shoot crop damage deer and i use the stuff alot. But ive also thought that if this ended all these tools would be an overkill for one or two deer a year. One thing though is even if i only did one deer id rather do it on a good grinder then a cheap one. But then if i knew it would on be one deer a year i doubt i would have bothered buying it.

coyote315
December 17, 2013, 09:08 PM
There is little waste on a deer.

A good grinder salvages a lot of the marginal meat. Combine w/ 10% liver for healthy sausage.

The scraps you don't use, roast then boil for stock w/ the rib and long bones.
Keep the stock, strain off the rest, use for dog food (except the cooked bones)

Boil the fat (trimmed) alone, throw it in the blender/ food processor, and bring it to boil again. Let it cool skim off and use for soap. The junk underneath is the same as premium wet dog food, minus the salt and chemicals. If you don't have dogs, use it for trapping or coyote bait.

Everything else is bait for fish or coyotes. Which should fill maybe a 5 gallon bucket, counting the pelvis and spine.

Do it right, and one deer start to finish takes one day. No muss, no fuss, no time to spoil and nothing but pleasure in your toil.

788Ham
December 20, 2013, 11:41 PM
Grind up the neck portion? Man, there are good neck roasts on there, thats just plain lazy ! If they had to depend on that deer to make it through the winter, I hope they starve. From the sounds of your friends, they're just plain wasteful !

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