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Getting set up to process our own game.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Armored farmer, Apr 6, 2017.

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  1. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    You are right about that! I once took an archery deer into the processor, when I got my venison bologna back, I found a chunk of copper bullet jacket in it!#@^%!
    :barf::cuss:
     
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  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've never had deer processed by anyone else. What I did do is take a quartered deer sans backstrap and tenderloins to have processed to sausage. This was 20 years ago at least and they charged me a buck 10 a pound, part of it for the pork of course. OUCH, well, I can buy pork sausage at the store for that. AND, I didn't even have it smoked, did that myself. That was an extra charge.

    So, I bought my first grinder and moved on. :D
     
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  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    You get everybody's deer.
     
  4. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    I agree MC, those deer processors are a near ripoff. It only took once for me to blow that off. When I lived in lake Charles. There was an old time meat market Fontenots! That old man made sausage and ground meat for me very reasonable. When I moved to Houma in 2000 the prices are thru the roof for processing. My hunting buddy has the grinder and vacuum packing machine. Now we wait until a rainy day and grind our meat and package it. We definitely know whose deer is in the package!

    Bull
     
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  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Unless someone is a very occasional hunter who rarely if ever kills an animal, it just doesn't make sense to me to have someone else do this stuff. Maybe its just me being weird, I don't know. But its just too easy to buy yourself a gambler hoist from amazon (or just weld one up out of rebar and get a couple pulleys and some rope from Lowe's), buy a few decent knives and a way to sharpen them (which any hunter should already have anyway), a vacuum sealer from wally world, maybe some "specialized" items like a Wal Mart dehydrator, meat grinder, etc, and a washtub for guts and other trash at tractor supply, and DO IT YOUR SELF! It will be cheaper than repeated trips and dealing with the processors, and you'll learn something new every time. Not to mention having complete control over every aspect of that critter from the time it drops to the time you swallow it. If you're going to get guns, scopes, licenses, whatever clothing, and everything else- why wouldn't you WANT to know how to deal with the critter after you shot it? I understand that some people don't have "mentors" or whatever to walk them through all the steps- I got that. But you can just type in whatever you want to dress, quarter, butcher, cook, or whatever on you tube and you're good to go! Who cares if you aren't "perfect" the first time, or the first few times. Practice makes perfect!
     
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  6. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    FWIW
    I can understand if someone lives in an apartment and has no place to deal with butchering an animal. Or perhaps works and doesn't have time or whatever. I'm not saying one should never use a processor. There are times when it would be very convenient say if you were hunting out of state or whatever. Face it some people would rather let a processor handle the meat and be done with it. The cost may not bother them. I totally understand that too.

    Bull
     
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  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Yeah, some folks have the money, but not the time. I'm sorta the antithesis of that. :rofl:
     
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  8. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    A good vac sealer is essential. I wore out 2 of the FoodSucker brand, the second and most expensive one lasting only 1 season. I recommend the stainless steel one sold by Cabelas as the commercial grade 15" and also Bass Pro and LEM others under different labels.
    I've never had a problem getting even a BIG Illinois whitetail into a 128qt marine cooler- front and hindquarters, neck, and backstraps. I prop one end of the cooler up with a block of 2x4 and leave the drain open on the low end and fill with ice.
     
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  9. Rembrandt

    Rembrandt Member

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    I began processing our own after putting 10+ animals in the freezer each year. Hunting multiple states with the kids ran the processing costs through the roof. Bought the equipment and began doing our own.....cost savings paid for everything after the first year. That was nearly 20 years ago. It can be time consuming, but we get better quality meat at no cost.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Bull Nutria

    Bull Nutria Member

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    Wow you have some very nice processing equipment!

    Bull
     
  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    You do have a point. I didn't think about the apartment factor. Otherwise, I personally budget just a little time after every hunt to at least quarter the thing, get it on ice, and finish up the next day. Shouldn't take that long, anyway. I know I would be a lot faster if I wasn't drinking during most of the processing process. I guess my point is that doing it yourself prevents the shenanigans of getting ALL of YOUR animal, and knowing the conditions under which it was done. Plus the knowledge and I guess "pride" in doing it yourself. Plus the whiskey drinking.
     
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  12. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Dang! That's even worse than the experience we had 2 years ago. I shot a small buck right in the throat at 75 or 80 yards with my .308 Norma, and in my scope, I actually saw the bullet kick up dust on the hillside behind the deer as he went down.
    We've butchered our own deer for many years, but that year we were feeling lazy. So after skinning him, we took the deer to a butcher that owns a grocery store in a small town not far from here. It's not one of those big, throw everybody's deer in a big bin, grind it all up, and make sausage/salami/baloney out of it. It's just a small town grocery store with a butcher shop in the back, where in the evenings during hunting season, the butcher and his help (his wife and two sons) cut and wrap deer, elk and moose.
    Anyway, as I said, we got lazy that year, so we took the deer I'd shot clean through the throat to a small town butcher. And what do you know - I bit down on a bullet fragment in some venison stew a couple of months later! I guess that's what I get for being lazy.:(
     
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  13. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    The most important part of the process is cleanse the meat properly before cutting or grinding. The carcass should be washed with a mild soap and rinsed to remove musk and sand etc. If hunting "Prong Horn" musk is a big problem. We wash the carcass with soda such as 7-Up. This is followed by soap and rinse. Soaking and removing blood is important. The carbonation and citric acid reduces the musk orders.
    In Desert areas well salted meat can be sun dried for great Jerky.:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, I went for years wrapping with regular freezer paper before these vacuum sealers were invented, or at least before they were mass marketed. If you're going to keep it in the freezer much over a year, the vacuum sealer is the way to go, but I wouldn't say I'd put its purchase in front of a good electric grinder. I've cranked my last grinder handle. LOL

    My wife bought me the cheaper 75 dollar or so food saver several years ago. I've packed multiple hogs, deer, and garden veggies with it. It's really nice to know I don't have to eat everything up in a year. :D
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Eeeww, think I'll pass on the speed goats.

    In desert areas, sun drying works, but my moron ex SIL thought he could hang meat to dry at the house in Port Lavaca, which is 150 yards from Lavaca Bay and the humidity rarely drops below 80 percent. He had enough sense to throw it all out when it started stinkin'. I figured it was his deer and I raised my daughter not to eat rotten meat. LOL
     
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  16. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Lots of good points and ideas. My partner(s) and I process any Elk or Pronghorn we get (used to also do deer, but we haven't hunted those for years). We use freezer plastic, freezer paper and freezer tape, and have a Sharpie handy for labeling packages. We set up a sturdy table and large cutting board. We wash all meat to further clean off dirt, hair, etc. I bone everything including ribs (to cut down on bulk in the freezer) and the rib meat goes into the stew meat pile. Each package is wrapped first with plastic with paper over that. The double wrap keeps meat good for years.

    Mike
     
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  17. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I've had good luck with my vac sealer I got from wally world, I also use it for non-food items that I want to preserve and waterproof long term, like the survival kit in my hunting pack. When I was in the military, our medics would vac-seal the contents of our individual 1st aid kits to keep them in good condition. The items in the bag were placed in the nylon pouch with a set of EMT shears to slice open the bag, cut away clothing or gear, etc.
     
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  18. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    Well I see you know about Prong Horns/ Speed Goats. :D They are very good if handled properly. When we were young there was no limit on does and fawns and half price for residents. We processed many head each Fall.:) They make great sausage and jerky.
     
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  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    They had some sort of disease out in Marathon (west Texas) that wiped out the pronghorn....sad. That was the only place in that part of the state excluding the panhandle that had pronghorn. It's a high plateau and has more grass than the lower desert. Texas Parks and Wildlife is working to bring the numbers back. You once could see 'em all over driving down I10 west, not so much anymore. I wish [email protected] good luck.
     
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  20. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    Goats have to have a strong diet of Sage Brush. When they get on hay meadows for a long period they develop digestive problems and die off. Big Sage is called "Mother Sage". It keeps animals alive in the foot hills of the High Rocky Mtns. :thumbup:

    http://www.usu.edu/weeds/plant_species/nativespecies/nativespecies.html
     
  21. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have been known to vacuum sealer my hunting license and permits so they don't get wet.
    Trail mix.
    TP
     
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