Before you step foot into the deer woods you need to have a plan for what you are going to do if you are successful. Most newer hunters are not ready to process or butcher their own deer. Learning to hunt, getting equipped, scouting, and field dressing absorbs all of their focus. I recommend you save processing a deer for a future hunting season, if you are interested in trying it.
Finding a good deer processor is key and will relieve a lot of anxiety when it’s time to hunt because you will have a solid plan. This episode will help you learn everything you need to know about finding and vetting a good deer processor and what you need to do before and after.
- Get your deer to a processor as quickly as possible. Field dress it within minutes of the kill and then go straight to the processor to minimize chance of spoiling.
- If you are able, wash out the animal and pack it with some ice. Nothing else is needed after you field dress it, and even these steps are optional.
- Make 100% sure the processor you find will give you back the meat from the deer you brought in, not just meat from the last deer butchered.
- Ask the processor for a nice variety of meat items back, even if it costs a little more. Get steaks, roasts, ground, sausages, sticks, jerky, and any other options they have. It may cost a little more but it will help you learn what you like and you will enjoy the animal to it’s fullest.
- Expect to only get back meat that is 60-70% of the weight of the deer after it is field dressed, if everything on the animal is perfect. There are many things that could result in you getting back less meat, and some things that could help you get a little more.