I have never taken a deer to a processor.
I have never taken a deer to a processor.
I am not surprised. There are good and bad & pros and cons. My father & I have always taken our deer to a processor. He wazs good and we always got a ton of meat back, but he has gotten very old now and stopped doing it. We now split a deer and give the rest of them away. But we know a guy that is doing it that has been friends of mine for quite a while, so I hope he isn't stickin me being a good friend, we still get several bags of meat still from a single deer.
I bone out all my deer the marrow and bone is the part that makes meat rank or bitter. I have a grinder and slicer,with a stable of great cutting knives .That is all you need for a professional cut job .I worked at the worlds largest prossesing plant when I was young for 10 years and they actually bone 95% or more of thier meat . Bone in at the factory was a special order.
The taking of meat by low life places is not uncomon especialy if they offer smoked meats and sausages.Those guys are scum!
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Dad always had a local processor do his till he got laid off. So, for about the last... id say 10 years or close to it we have done it. well up until last year i was fetch, carry, and hold, but i did the majoirty of it this year (well 07 season)
Dad always said processors generally take the best cuts for themselves. but i can't recall him ever have any issues with a processor?
not all of em are theives. but it would be hard to know which arent screwing you.
or if you are even getting your own deer back...
My wife and I were just talking about this not even an hour ago....
Over dinner.We had burgers from a cow her mother just had butchered.She had them ready when I got home so I wasn't here for the cooking....one bite and I told her "this is NOT fresh where'd you get the burger"...."My mom",she said."Why?"
The burger had that been in the frige' for a week too long taste!
I think they ALL do it to some extent. It's too easy,how many people know exactly how much meat they should get?
I think it was BigPappa who left a processor with a couple steaks....Those steaks went into the processors rotation probably 'till they were almost freezer burnt and then swapped out for new ones or given to a food bank.....someone still pay'd for them.
This year was the first time I used a processor...an elk, my wife wasn't in the mood and I wasn't gonna argue.Wow what a shock and waste of money.These guy make a fortune, especially off of extra processing...i.e. salami...per pound to initially process and then tack on $1.50 per pound for the salami......The wife's gonna throw a fit but never again!
I may be whipped but not that whipped!!!!
Still think I shoulda had more roast and less salami.
i have always injoyed cleaning and processing my own deer.i guess i'm to cheep to pay someone to do it for me.
I bought a commercial Hobart grinder from a grocery that went out of business for $300 (close to 2K new) and a used refrigerator for $50. I also bought a good set of knives just for processing meat. First I quarter the deer and cut out the backstraps and ribs. Lay the meat in the extra fridge to cool and age for about 3 days. Bone it all out...cut the backstraps and loins into steaks. Grind the rest. An average 150 lb. deer makes about 40 lbs of ground meat and about 15-20 lbs of steaks. Great taste and tender. After my dad took a nice young buck to have it processed and the meat we got back was so strong tasting and tough as leather, we knew we got someone else's deer that had probably ridden in the back of the truck all day, maybe longer. Never again. My wife actually helps me package and wrap the meat, label it, and stack it in our freezer.
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I wish I could have showed BigPappa my cooler and grinder setup....what was I thinking but after 20 years I'm ready to quit.
Processing your own meat is part of hunting as far as I'm concerned.
It's how Pops taught me.
I couldn't even imagine taking my deer, elk or bear to some place to be handled by people I don't even know. Not me, ever.
Bone them out, grind it and weigh it. Then if you take it to a processer and have them weigh it when you first bring it in. Weights should be the same. Then if yopu have any thing added (pork or beef or whatever) know what percent they are going to add to your meat. Figure that up. When you get the final results you know how many pounds you should get back. This still doesnt guarentee that it is your meat you are getting back,because when it comes to making sausage anyway, It is made in large quanities and your share is weighted and taken out of the mix. It may take yours and someone elses deer or two to make a complete batch.
Processors won't steal from me unless they break into my kitchen to do so.
It's not just about trust, either. It's very rewarding to have meat in your freezer that you put there from start to finish.
Well guys..and gals. I do my own processing....always. It's pretty easy, and..I was a butcher by trade before going back to University to be teacher. I've worked for more than one business, and well, I'd do my own processing. I've seen some bad stuff.
I always do it myself. I just use a hand crank grinder and two knives. Make my own jerky, sausage, roasts, and steaks. Its easy and I don't worry about cross contamination or not my meat. I have a 5# a minute hand grinder that only cost $50 new. Get my cuts any thickness I like.
There is dishonesty in every field: I don't know that meat processors are any more dishonest than any other profession. I worked at a small family shop in Michigan. I have hunted all my life, and had personally butchered dozens of big game animals before going to work there. We always laughed at the thought that we would steal meat. Why? For the display case, we purchased all beef from one farmer who we knew what we were getting. With custom beef, we never knew the origins of the beef. As for the deer, I could go on and on about horror stories of deer we received. It still amazes me how many hunters expected miracles! I would almost never want to eat a deer that someone had brought into the processor. Way too many of those deer were brought to us because the hunter had no clue how to care for the meat himself, beginning with leaving a deer in the woods till noon the next day, with 70 degree nighttime heat and 80-90 degrees by noon. The average yield for the average decent sized dear was 40-50 pounds, depending on shot placement and time laying in the field.
One stolen beef story is this: A lady brought in a huge cow, about 475 to the side. She asked for lean burger, and various cuts. When she got her meat back (trust me- we never lost or switched a single cut of meat.) there was much less yield than one would expect from a 475 # side of beef. Well, the rest of the story. Her lean burger was more white than red. We filled almost two 60 gallon plastic drums with just fat from her beef. Even trimming all the visible fat we could, the burger was still extremely fat due to the marbling. The only way to lean out the burger would have been to sacrifice the roasts and steaks, and grind them in with the other trim.
Hunters often came in with huge expectations, all excited by shooting an animal. One question I was asked quite often is "do you need a hand hauling that in," when I would pull a deer from the bed of a pickup. This on the one handers- that year's fawn that field dressed 50-70# tops, and as low as 40#. These guys thought they'd killed a mature doe, and I wasn't going to embarrass them or deflate their bubble. When they'd get 15-20 pounds of meat back from a 50# deer that had been shot through both shoulders, they would sometimes wonder what happened to the rest of the meat? Well, we'd have to explain that with bullet shock, and laying on the wound overnight, pooling of blood, etc, that there would often be nothing of either shoulder left to salvage. Remember, too, that as a processor, if you have a huge pile of deer to process, you're going to cut with a broad blade. If the meat is blood shot, the whole piece is likely to be tossed. Personally, when I butcher an animal I've shot, I like to get to the wounded area ASAP, to clean the interstitial blood out and minimize meat loss. After that blood has sat in the meat a day or two, it is very tough to pull it out, and a hunter cannot pay a butcher enough to do that.
Any time I hear stories bashing processors, I do take it with a grain of salt. I've seen too many hunters bash a processor and accuse him of theft to cover up his own poor shooting, or the fact that he shot a really little deer! The fact that his first bullet blew out a shoulder or two, the second perforated the gut and blew the contents everywhere, and he left the deer overnight while he went home to sleep on it, often get left out of the story. Only the processor sees that. Early season archery hunts, sadly, are very tough on the processors. With so many shots occurring at last light, and hunters sleeping on it before beginning to track, a lot of meat is lost to bone rot (the meat's fluorescent green-tasty!) and bloodshot. Sometimes the bone rot is not evident when the deer is dropped off, but in a couple hours when that deer is about to be skinned, its apparent. Thats prime time for the processor to get accused of losing a deer, or not trying hard enough to salvage it.
Well, just wanted to present the other side of the story. There are bad processors. I always screen mine very carefully before bringing in meat to be smoked. I know how I've cared for the meat, and I dont' want to receive mystery meat back... yes, that does happen sometimes with some processors. Just not with all processors. Theres a lot of good apples in the basket still!
There is a local processor that I know skims deer meat and sells it as jerky in stores. My suspicion was confirmed by a couple other guys that had the same experience as I did. I took a mature buck in to be processed that weighed 190# dressed and I picked up 1 1/2 grocery bags of meat.
*Edit after reading the above post*
I shot the buck at first light that morning and had it at the processor by 11am. It was a clean bow kill when I dropped it off.
Last edited by RxBowhunter; May 28th, 2008 at 06:24 AM.
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Oh I use to bone them that way myself. Basically I'd just fillet the deer. I've personal come to find that I prefer the bone in the meat for cooking. It helps keep the meat moist and adds great flavor. I still do bone out a whole deer once in a while because sometimes it's not worth it to me to dirty up the saw for just one deer.I hate to disagree, but get the video on boning out the whole carcuss. You can go from neck to tail and never have a bone in it, thus no need for a saw. Lay out the meat, once done, and cut steaks and roast off, then seal and freeze. I process 1 to 6 deer a year, never have a bone in the meat, and process it all with 3 meat knives, 2 steels and a kitchen aid mixer with grinder attachment. This year I finally got a 1/2 horse motor on my big grinder( rated 400 lbs per hour ) Should be able to grind a deer in about 10 minutes
I have always cut up my own deer and bear. It is very easy and a rewarding part of the hunt.
I have a processor I am very happy with. I call him as soon as I kill a deer and he gives me an appointment time, frequently same day, sometimes next day, depending on time of day I call and how busy he is. When I get there, he starts processing immediately. He custom cuts and grinds to order, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, while you wait. His helper double freezer wraps and packages the meat. 45 minutes later you are driving home with your meat ready to set in the freezer. I know for a fact I get ALL of MY deer because I am present when he cuts and packages. His fee? $70. Great guy, great deal, great way to do business.
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That is awesome and a rarity!I have a processor I am very happy with. I call him as soon as I kill a deer and he gives me an appointment time, frequently same day, sometimes next day, depending on time of day I call and how busy he is. When I get there, he starts processing immediately. He custom cuts and grinds to order, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU, while you wait. His helper double freezer wraps and packages the meat. 45 minutes later you are driving home with your meat ready to set in the freezer. I know for a fact I get ALL of MY deer because I am present when he cuts and packages. His fee? $70. Great guy, great deal, great way to do business.