Deer Processing; Do You Do It, Tips, Short Cuts, or Drop ‘em Off

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08H3

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My first two deer were gutted in the field and dropped off. The rest for the last 12 years have been done hanging in a tree on the property I hunt on 30 yards from my feeder. Never had a issue like some would think, hell I have had deer walk up to the feeder while I am skinning and processing a deer multiple times. I dont gut them anymore, simply drag em to the tree, set up the hanger and use the truck or the side by side to pull em up. skin and bone out the meat into 1 gallon bags and get it on ice. Start to finish on a mature deer maybe 30-45 minutes depending on how cold I am and whatnot.
 

KroyWen

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Ready.Aim.Fire said “””. I try to get every scrap of meat off the bones, even cut the thin stuff between the ribs and put it in the grind pile “””
I’m the same ,nothing gets wasted, even the shanks, lower legs, get cooked overnight in a crock pot. Amazingly all the meat falls off and even the tendons & ligaments turn to tasty edible food. When I toss out my bones, they are so cleaned of meat, it’s just a naked skeleton, head to toe.

I agree with dennishoddy, the chore of processing is “ part of the hunt “.

Every deer we process ties us to all our ancestors throughout the ages. Modern technology in arms and tools etc aside, the hands on skinning, gutting and butchering is for the most part unchanged. I think of this connection every deer I process. I don’t know why but this is a very satisfying connection for me .
 

KroyWen

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I have been processing deer since before i was a teenager. My dad always field dressed until in was I teenager or so. I was raised in Minnesota, so we had the luxury every year I can remember of being able to hang the deer outside in "natural" cooler. If it was too cold (below freezing) we would hang in shop / garage No bugs etc. Normally below 50 during the day, cooler at night. Some years we processed a day or two early due to weather. Never used a cooler until I moved to OK to stage meat prior to processing. :-)
Lucky hunters up north, having the cold weather outdoor refrigeration. If it’s too hot here in OK, I will try to hold off till the weather chills down .
 

KroyWen

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My first two deer were gutted in the field and dropped off. The rest for the last 12 years have been done hanging in a tree on the property I hunt on 30 yards from my feeder. Never had a issue like some would think, hell I have had deer walk up to the feeder while I am skinning and processing a deer multiple times. I dont gut them anymore, simply drag em to the tree, set up the hanger and use the truck or the side by side to pull em up. skin and bone out the meat into 1 gallon bags and get it on ice. Start to finish on a mature deer maybe 30-45 minutes depending on how cold I am and whatnot.
I was always concerned that if I gutted where I hunt, that it would draw in the coyotes, & I didn’t want to encourage rhat.
 

FlyGuyGSP

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With the increasing incidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer, I advise gutting in the field and having the carcasses tested for CWD before processing. Since few people have a means to store their game while waiting for test results, it’s probably best to resort to commercial alternatives. The disease is transmissible to humans and cooking doesn’t prevent transmission; also, it is incurable as well as fatal.
Where are you getting any of that info from?
 

08H3

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I was always concerned that if I gutted where I hunt, that it would draw in the coyotes, & I didn’t want to encourage rhat.
in my case, the yotes and the bob cats and badgers are already there too. And if I see them when I am out for multiple days then thats the last time they are seen whole, in the last few years we've killed about a dozen coyotes or so and a bunch of coons too.

I've also seen gut piles sit for 3-4 days un touched. they wait for me/ us to leave before going after them.
 

OHJEEZE

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I do my own. My goal in deer hunting is to produce the cheapest cost meat.

No high priced ammo
No paid processing
No license or tags
No travel expences
No willful wildlife feeding

Sometimes I wonder why I bother. Usually in the stand I ponder all the stuff I could be doing on my land instead of sitting there wasting away! Lol

And the meat is nothing I get excited about
 

kirk1978

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Started out processing my own with a hand crank grinder after field dressing and smothering inside and out with ice from the first convenience store that was closest to cool the meat.
Then work and overtime got in the way, so dropped them off at Tonkawa Meats that don’t do them any more as beef processing has them almost a year behind schedule.
Now, after retiring, there is a used Hobart commercial slicer and a 3/4 hp Cabellas Conivore grinder to process them. Everything goes into a commercial double motor vacuum sealer.
Not very speedy at doing one, taking a day or so to get it all packaged and in the freezer.
Consider it part of the hunt.
I picked up a commercial Hobart meat slicer at auction a couple months ago for $100. That's a game changer from my Cabelas slicer! I sliced a couple roasts for jerky and it was like butter. Heavy sucker though.
 

08H3

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I do my own. My goal in deer hunting is to produce the cheapest cost meat.

No high priced ammo
No paid processing
No license or tags
No travel expences
No willful wildlife feeding

Sometimes I wonder why I bother. Usually in the stand I ponder all the stuff I could be doing on my land instead of sitting there wasting away! Lol

And the meat is nothing I get excited about

No license or tags ?

Private property or not, I’d be careful with that one…..
 

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