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Scott M

Deer Processing Cost

16 posts in this topic

This will be my first deer hunt this fall. I'm scouting right now and into the next couple months and am feeling confidant on putting down an O. virginianus in November. Did a search on deer processing and found a bunch of info on where to take a deer in the metro, now my question is how much will it cost? Sounds like I should skin it and let it hang for a week at the cabin to cool it down. Sounds right or would that be risky to other hunters/bears?

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I'd take it in right away and if you want it aged then ask. There's about a 0% chance the weather will remain between 33 and 42ish degrees outside the cabin. Price? Don't know about metro area but think its around $70/deer around here. Good luck.

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I have never heard anyone seriously say that you should let your deer hang for any length of time to "age" it or let it cool down. I've heard old timers talk about that but as far as I know it doesn't do good things for the meat. If you want "aged" meat that risks getting spoiled or eaten try it.

The best advice is to drop it off at the processors ASAP. They will put it in a climate controlled cooler if it needs to be "cooled".

Sorry I don't know what it costs. I've always processed all my own deer and I'm only 26. Its really not that ahrd and there are lots of book and videos on how to do it. You can save money and get to enjoy your venison the first night your home. You don't have to wait weeks or months wondering if you're even gonna get "YOUR" deer back in those packages.

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One other bit of advice, leave the skin on if you want to age it at the processors. Should be on for aging plus it will save you the hassle of doing it yourself!

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da chise, don't know if this is one of the places yuou looked at, but Stasny's in St. Paul over by Rice St does an amazing job and we would bring our deer there every year until we decided to start doing it ourselves.

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ya i dont know anybody around here that lets the deer hang for a week let alone 2 days. we normally just skin it and cut it up the same day, i honestly dont mess around with the whole processers. but around here the prices very ive seen it go from 80/deer to 150/deer. good luck tryen to find one that works for ya!

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Really depends on what you want done with it.

The basic $70-90 will get your animal processed resulting in steaks, roasts and ground meat. They'll usually ask if you want the roasts left whole or cut into steaks etc.

If you want anything along the line of sausage or jerky you'll end up paying a per lb cost. They'll usually use your scraps that would have gone into ground venison unless they ask/ you request they use any of the roasts. My suggestion is to have them mix scraps with a roast if you want the sausage. Some better meat will/should get you better sausage. "you get what you put into it" to a point.

The way I'd order it would be...

*Tenderloins and backstraps as steaks! They'll likely do it that way anyway but I always stressed that. Best parts of the deer. Those little steaks are great on a february sunday morning with eggs and hashbrowns. tongue.gif

Even if you don't normally eat or make roasts you should try them - roasts are one of my favorite venison dishes.

I'd have all the scraps made into sausage or jerky. I can buy burger if that's what I want but some venison sticks, jerky or sausage is great plus there's a little pride when I offer it to a friend at the cabin. wink.gif

Some places also do things like "smoked venison" which is like a sliced lunch meat... sounds stupid, but ... great!

Doing it yourself is a great way to go. You'll get plenty of help on this site if you're interested in it.

A couple advantages is that you know you're getting your own deer back. A number of people believe that your likely not to at some places. It's free and adds to the experience for many of us.

I think the majority of people out there probably don't want the hassle but if you're ever thinking about trying it don't let "I've never done it" mentality stop you. It's not really that hard and after the first one you'll feel pretty confident.

Either way best of luck on your hunt.

Oh, leave the hide on. Aging doesn't work the same way with deer as beef. The really spendy beef you get at fancy restaurants ages for up to a month. blush.gif That's in a really controlled temp environment though. Maybe more importantly is that deer don't have the same sort of fat - they have tallow which some say actually adds to the gamey taste as it breaks down. I personally always hung my deer for a while (if the temp is right a cool garage works - typically stays cooler during daytime temp rises and keeps them out of the sun). I still hang them a day or two if the temps are right, but my belief that it helps mellow the taste is probably just in my head. smirk.gif

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We let our deer hang for a day or so to cool down/age and then process them ourselves. 2 years ago I brought one in because of time constraints though. If you are going to have someone else do it, get it to them them as soon as possible and request that you get your deer back. I didn't have to worry about it where I took mine, not too many white tails in CO smile.gif I would like to think that it shouldn't be a problem here but I have no first hand experience with any local shops. Leave the hide on, it'll cost a little more to have them skin it (maybe) I will tell you that you need to make sure that you wash the cavity out well and get any loose hair off any meat that is showing. The butchers hate that hair.

Bring a stick about 12" - 16" long to spread the chest cavity open which helps with cooling and makes easier access to cleaning. Cut the tenderloins out yourself as soon as you get the deer up. You'll see them inside the cavity.

Best breakfast in the world is the loins fried up in butter. Ours are usually cooking before we get done with hanging/cleaning and pictures.

Good luck and shoot straight!

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We have been processing our own deer for 30 years. If the weather permits we always age our deer. It helps the tenderness alot on the older deer. But as mentioned before the temp is critical and must be monitored or you will end up with rotten meat! shocked.gifblush.gif.

I forgot too add that for us the determining factor weather we age or not is if we grind the whole deer we don't age. If we cut steaks and roasts we age!

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Woodview has it right on the aging, deer have lots less fat than beef, aging doesn't help.

Leave the hide on, it will help keep the meat cleaner, unless its really really hot out, then get the hide off to help with cooling.

Costs for basic processing will be in that $75 range, that will get you all the steaks, roasts, and ground burger. Be careful on how much extra processing you order like brats, jerky, sausage, its all very good but its real easy to run up a $200 bill! Normally we have them make a few of the summer sausage and thats it. They always want to add pork to the ground burger, I always tell them no, why add fat to lean meat??! Most of the farmland deer are fat enough anyway that you can fry it up without adding fat, and if you use it in a casserole, you couldn't tell the difference between it and ground beef.

Good luck!

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Lots of opinions on aging venison but they are all just opinions and you know what they are like... No firm answers that I've ever been able to find.

As to the price it varies greatly, particularly depending on what you want as one poster said. The processed meats (sausauge, brats, etc.) really add to the price. You can also do the main butchering yourself and just bring your trim in if you want that stuff made and can't do that yourself. Its MUCH cheaper that way.

Cutting your own deer can be a lot of work but it can save you money too. To each their own based upon what you can do and what you want done...

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We have never purposely aged our deer. Now we cut most all of our own, at least I do. It takes me a little over an hour to take a deer from hanging with hide on to a couple of shopping bags of meat and a small one of trim. It did take me 12 hours to do 5 deer from start to finish. Law Dog hit it right too. If you keep your own trim and then bring it in about January you will get your own back too. Some places do require you to bring in enough for a whole batch and that can be a lot.

I have used one place for a while to make sausage. They do small batches of your own meat too and are by far the cheapest place I have come by. Good quality too. It is in Lake City, Mn. The average is just over a buck a #!

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Aging Wild Game

The importance of Aging Meat has often been disputed, here are the facts,

Courtesy of www.chefdepot

Aging Meat -

Shortly after the slaughter of an animal the muscles stiffen and the animal goes through a chemical process called Rigor Mortis. This process gradually disappears and the natural tenderizing begins. There are natural Enzymes in the flesh of all animals.

These Enzymes break down the muscle tissue over time depending on the size of the animal.

A side of beef takes 3 to 4 days at 40 degrees F. for this process to begin.

Quality beef is usually aged for 2-4 weeks before it reaches the consumer.

Aging meat does not mean simply hanging it. It is important to control the following conditions, sanitation, temperature, humidity and air circulation.

Aging meat increases tenderness and flavor. Any off taste or bad smell is not

a characteristic of properly aged and butchered meat.

The following are recommended guidelines for aging your game.

Deer - Quickly after killing a deer, carefully open the animal and remove all entrails inside the chest cavity (any sharp high quality knife will work if you are careful, we prefer a German boning knife). Take your time to avoid puncturing vital organs. Carefully split the hide open back to the rear, use a Bone Saw to cut open the tailbone (the bone that joins the two read legs together) and remove all entrails.

The bone saw also works well to split open the upper chest cavity.

As soon as possible flush the deer cavity with several gallons of cold water. It is important to cool the animal as fast as possible. This can be done several ways. If it is cold outside, simply use a clean piece of wood to prop open the chest cavity. If it is warm outside place several bags of ice inside the chest cavity. We also recommend keeping the chest cavity as dry as possible, use several towels to wipe it often. Remove any visible hair, sticks and leaves. Now you have a properly cleaned deer that is ready for hanging. We recommend hanging the deer from the rear legs as high as necessary to avoid touching the ground. It is the easiest position for skinning a deer properly. We remove the hide with a Skinning Knife and cut off the head and front legs with a bone saw. (Many hunters need to begin the aging of their deer outdoors with the hide on,

this is acceptable but be careful of insects, animals, dirt, sticks, leaves, temperature and handling).

It is time to begin the aging of your venison carcass. At 40 degrees F. we find that the meat tastes the best after 5-7 days of aging. This aging time will vary on the size of the deer, temperature and individual preferences. We hang our deer in a walk in cooler with a concrete floor. After several days the enzymes break down the venison muscle tissues and you end up with tender meat. After proper aging the venison is ready for butchering.

We like to break ours down to the Rounds, Tenderloins, Loins, Ribs, Stew Meat and Ground Meat for Sausage and Burger. We use a German Flexible Boning Knife, Skinning Knife, Butchering Knife, Sharpening Steel, Stainless Steel Bone Saw and Meat Grinder. With practice and the right tools, you can achieve these cuts and butcher easily and consistently.(see the Sportsmans Corner section)

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If the temps permit I will always let my deer hang for 2 days.Number one it is much easier to cut up the meat.

The last deer I took in to a butcher plant and had the whole thing done cost me almost 300 beans 6 years ago.It was late in the year and I didnt want to deal with doing it.That was the cost for your regular cuts plus jerky,pepper stixs,sausage,ring bologna and such.

I almost always cut up my own now and only have the locker plant make my pepper stixs and sausage and I am thinking of doing that also.

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Quote:

I almost always cut up my own now and only have the locker plant make my pepper stixs and sausage and I am thinking of doing that also.


Ditto

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I cut my own steaks and chops and to age them I put them in the refrigerator for 7-8 days. Makes a big difference in the tenderness.

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