If you are a successful deer hunter, you have a decision to make. Do you take your deer to a local processor for the butchering process, or do you do it yourself? While there are several reasons to take it to a processor, lack of time and butchering space being the main two, the arguments for butchering your own can be even stronger. Here are five reasons to do it yourself
1: You get your own deer back.
While many processors strive to keep each deer tagged through the entire process, we all know that doesn’t always happen. When several deer are being butchered at once, cuts sometime end up in another pile, or, even worse, entire deer sometimes get switched. If you butcher your own, you know the deer that you worked so hard to take care of in the field is the one you are putting in your freezer.
2: It’s easier than you think
Don’t be intimidated when you are looking at an entire deer hanging from the meat pole. There are a ton of great videos on Youtube that show you each cut and how to make it. The Deer Processing DVD put out by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife several years ago is still one of the best I have seen. It is available through their online store and is worth the money. Watch it a few times and that uneasy feeling will disappear.
3: You get to make the custom cuts you want
Want a bone in neck roast? You can make it as you go. Think you might want some bone-in chops for a special occasion dinner? No problem if you are cutting up the deer yourself. Want more stew meat than burger? Or vice versa? Make it happen.
4: You get to use every bit of the deer
Often, large-scale processors are too busy to take the extra time to save every scrap of meat from your hard-earned trophy. Cuts like shanks, neck roast, and rib meat often get discarded in the name of saving time. Doing it yourself allows you to make use of the entire deer. We owe it to the animal to waste as little as possible.
5: You get to package the deer the way you want
It is a hard fact that vacuum-sealed meat keeps longer in the freezer than paper-wrapped. While more and more processors are vacuum sealing these days, a large number are still doing the old freezer paper and tape wrap of yesterday. A vacuum sealer like the Weston Realtree models will seal your meat and protect it from freezer burn for a year or more.