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Do you ???? #6027168 11/13/15 02:21 PM
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High Country Archer Offline OP
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Process your own deer or take it to a Processor?

For those that do, is it a matter of convenience or lack of knowledge on how to process wild game?

For you that process your own, is it a matter of cost, trust or self satisfaction?




Do you use a Processer?
multiple choice
Votes accepted starting: 11/13/15 02:03 PM
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.

If you ain't hunting, you ain't living right.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027177 11/13/15 02:24 PM
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I process my own for all three of the reasons listed above. We have always worked up our own deer. I guess I just don't know any better.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027181 11/13/15 02:26 PM
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What jmh004 said.

Plus, I can 'customize' the mix on the burger or sausage.

The only time I use a processor is for smoked sausage and even then I'll bring my own grind in to him to smoke.


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Pay it forward - Kids are the future.

Rifles are similar to boats and young women...there's no end to how much money you can pour into them without making them any more useful.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027184 11/13/15 02:28 PM
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I read it wrong... I do my own processing

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027190 11/13/15 02:31 PM
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I take mine to the processer. When I was a kid, I would sit around and watch my dad and grandfather process our meat, but it just got too easy to drop them off at the processer. For the price of getting one processed back then, it was a no-brainer.

Now days, I guess its just a convenience being able to drop a gutted deer off to have someone else process and make some awesome jalapeno & cheese smoked sausage up

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027193 11/13/15 02:32 PM
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I really enjoy processing my own wild game. I like that I can control how my meat is aged and cut and how it was handled all the way to the kitchen table.

Here is a doe that I shot last Friday that has been in a cooler under ice since Friday night.



Ready for the freezer.



I save a lot of money by doing it myself which is a huge plus as well.

Sure glad I was a butcher as my after school job during my high school years which helps a bunch. I could also tell a few horror stories of how some of the game was treated and still passed off to the customers.


If you ain't hunting, you ain't living right.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027207 11/13/15 02:39 PM
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We process our own.

For me its a little bit of a lot of things. Its convenient for use we have the tools, know how, and time. It is a tradition, my family has done it for generations and I have done it with my grandparents, parents, brother and will continue with my son. I could afford to take it to a processor, but im a tight square headed sob so a penny saved is a penny earned. Ive eaten stuff that other people have had processed and it was good, but I like knowing that my cleanly killed gutted and iced deer isn't getting mixed in with so and so's gut shot let sit over night in 70 degree weather didn't gut till after breakfast and didn't ice because its only 2 hours to the processor deer.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Do you ???? [Re: redchevy] #6027228 11/13/15 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
I like knowing that my cleanly killed gutted and iced deer isn't getting mixed in with so and so's gut shot let sit over night in 70 degree weather didn't gut till after breakfast and didn't ice because its only 2 hours to the processor deer.


That is very true and I have seen it many times.


If you ain't hunting, you ain't living right.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027282 11/13/15 03:03 PM
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I have used a processor and processed my own. I choose my processor by looking at the facility and how clean it is.


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Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027346 11/13/15 03:28 PM
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I process my own. I started doing because I wanted to save some money. I have learned to really enjoy it. I like knowing that I have control over how my meat is handled and after some trial and error I have learned to make sausage and jerky just the way I like it. I've even built a little smokehouse.

Last edited by LumberKat; 11/13/15 03:51 PM. Reason: Typo
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027375 11/13/15 03:42 PM
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I used to process all of my own meat, make sausage, (Link & Breakfast) smoke it in the smoke house, the whole 9 yards, still have all of the equipment. Several years ago one of my real goods friends opened his own processing facility, so i take all of my stuff to him now, it is much easier for me, due to i work offshore, and am only home 14 days a month. So if you factor in the time it takes to hunt, take care of honey do's, bleed out your deer, and normal life duty's, it doesn't leave much room to process your deer.


In these times , 'I'll keep my God , my freedom , my gun and my money. Anyone that supports this insanity can keep "THE CHANGE".
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027376 11/13/15 03:44 PM
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I voted no, but there are certain things that I won't do. I prefer professionally made summer sausage compared to the sausage that I make. I will process the rest of the animal (deer or hog). If I want a specialty product, then I will take it to a processor.


Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

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Re: Do you ???? [Re: redchevy] #6027381 11/13/15 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: redchevy
We process our own.

For me its a little bit of a lot of things. Its convenient for use we have the tools, know how, and time. It is a tradition, my family has done it for generations and I have done it with my grandparents, parents, brother and will continue with my son. I could afford to take it to a processor, but im a tight square headed sob so a penny saved is a penny earned. Ive eaten stuff that other people have had processed and it was good, but I like knowing that my cleanly killed gutted and iced deer isn't getting mixed in with so and so's gut shot let sit over night in 70 degree weather didn't gut till after breakfast and didn't ice because its only 2 hours to the processor deer.


And this happens way more than you think. The whole reason my buddy opened his own place, oh the story's he could tell you about the deer he has seen brought to other places he worked.


In these times , 'I'll keep my God , my freedom , my gun and my money. Anyone that supports this insanity can keep "THE CHANGE".
Re: Do you ???? [Re: stxranchman] #6027388 11/13/15 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
I have used a processor and processed my own. I choose my processor by looking at the facility and how clean it is.


Still be careful. I worked at a local meat market that sold meat and groceries and was kept very clean because we would get inspected randomly throughout the month. We had another cooler (and a check in area) that held the wild game in the back and the inspector would never check it because they knew it was for wild game. It was clean as well. We could not process wild game until the 'store' was closed down. Then the horror would start on more than a few occasions (a lot of times it involved some drinking). If we cut up 40 deer that night, all the grind would be ground at the same time. Many times that would include some questionable meat from some animal that wasn't taken care of it the field as well as it should have been. As the night went on, a lot more hair and blood shot meat would make it into the grind because cutters were tired and sometimes slightly buzzed. It wasn't malicious intent but would happen. Kinda like the third or 32nd deer of the 40 that might have some bone sour going on but still was put through the saw and you could smell the difference on the next four or five deer after. Some deer may have been hanging for two weeks and some may have only aged for an hour based on how busy or slow we were. And I don't blame the guys because it was a business and sometimes 's--t happens'. It wasn't right but I have seen it first hand at many processors and this was better than most facilities I had worked/been in.

My worst experience was when I shot a buck on the first day of a week long bowhunt and it was in the 90's. I took it to the local processor and after inspecting it myself (much like you do), I decided that it was my best option. When I went to pick up that deer after a couple of weeks, I was sickened by the cutting room and the foul smell that was coming from it. They loaded my and 5 or 6 other guys meat all the while the deer that the guy had been skinning was sitting in the direct sunlight with flies swarming all over the meat for better than an hour (he was having a hard time finding the boxes in the freezer). I got home and thawed out one steak and it was already nearly rancid from the bone dust. I took it back to him and after a come to Jesus meeting and him realizing I knew what I was talking about. He gave me my money back and some deer meat to make up for my lost deer.

That is when I decided to always do my own processing.

I guess what I am trying to say is if you are not there while they are cutting your deer, you never really know what has been done to your deer. Also keep in mind that it may be a week or so until they get to your deer and a lot of things can change during that time.


If you ain't hunting, you ain't living right.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027390 11/13/15 03:50 PM
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I process my own. I like making my own summer sausage, smoked sausage, and jerky. I grind, then freeze, thawing enough for 10-20 pound batches of sausage or jerky.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027425 11/13/15 04:04 PM
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An uncle of mine took his deer to a local processor that was a guy he grew up with and went to school with, he still hung out with him etc, they were FRIENDS. The processor swore all deer were done separately and you got your deer back. He closed his shop down a year or so ago and finally came clean he said they never kept any of it separate.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027429 11/13/15 04:04 PM
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I have a little advise for the guys that may take their grind into the processor to have sausage made. Make sure they inspect it with you and write on your invoice that your grind is clean. I had one near 35/Mockingbird that tried to charge $40.00 for having to re-clean my grind. After a discussion and proving to them it was clean (I had taken a picture), the lead guy finally waived it. The 2nd time I went to the same place, they tried the same thing but I had them write 'Clean Grind' on my receipt when I had dropped it off. They all looked like jerks because I had a good discussion with a few of them before they finally brought out the manager at which time I showed him my receipt which was noted as 'Clean Grind'. Boy, was he po'ed at the guys.

I loved their Hot Links (even though they are just stuffed in a bag for you) but that was the last time I have ever been back.


If you ain't hunting, you ain't living right.
Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027430 11/13/15 04:05 PM
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I'll be doing some of my own grinding this year for hamburger meat, for the other stuff I still use a processor. Switched to a new facility this year after checking them out and eating some of their retail products. They only use your deer (which comes with a 10 lb raw meat minimum per item which I'm fine with), run the meat through a metal detector to ensure no bullet fragments are present, and they are a USDA inspected facility. Hell even dropping my deer off this week they were taking internal meat temperature before even accepting the deer. Never seen that at any processor I've been to. Cleanest facility I've ever been to and the folks there are super nice. Also prices are competitive and they have a food truck that puts out some amazing BBQ.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027431 11/13/15 04:06 PM
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I process my own. I started doing because I just did not like the way the processors cut the meat. I also was not very happy with the yield. Seemed I got the same amount of meat from a small doe as I did a mature buck that was 2x the weight. Over time I have bought all the equipment and have learned you get what you pay for. If you are going to process your own. Start with very good vacuum sealer. Then a commercial grade grinder, sausage stuffer, and meat mixer.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027434 11/13/15 04:09 PM
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I do my own. I know there are good processors but it's just not worth the risk or the money to me. Too easy for me to do it and I know it won't be "gamey" when I do it. I have had burger from processors that stink like poop when cooking it and that is just a waste of good meat.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027435 11/13/15 04:10 PM
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Both.

I always, skin, quarter, and "process" the back strap/tenderloin (partly just to be able to fit in the cooler), and take the rest to get processed into ground/jerky.

For my first deer of the season though, I keep the hind quarters to make sausage.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027437 11/13/15 04:11 PM
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I have always done my own. I did one last night in fact.
A processor swapped a grain fed steer on us when I was a kid and I don't trust any of them. If you think your getting the same deer back your wrong. I'm sure some of them keep the deer separated at smaller facilities but I don't see how it could be cost effective when grinding chili and sausage. They also aren t going to take the time to cut out all the fat off of a deer.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027476 11/13/15 04:32 PM
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I process my own deer.. but I cannot match the jalapeno cheese link sausage at hudson's in Austin. always take some meat over there. We do make our own breakfast sausage, and lately I've been muscling out the hams and cut them into steaks for the grill.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: DuckCoach1985] #6027484 11/13/15 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I have always done my own. I did one last night in fact.
A processor swapped a grain fed steer on us when I was a kid and I don't trust any of them. If you think your getting the same deer back your wrong. I'm sure some of them keep the deer separated at smaller facilities but I don't see how it could be cost effective when grinding chili and sausage. They also aren t going to take the time to cut out all the fat off of a deer.


The process I'm using this year requires a minimum of 10 lbs of raw meat per item, this is because they keep your animal separate from the others. Costs a tad bit more but I will be getting back my deer this year.

Originally Posted By: DuckCoach1985
I process my own deer.. but I cannot match the jalapeno cheese link sausage at hudson's in Austin. always take some meat over there. We do make our own breakfast sausage, and lately I've been muscling out the hams and cut them into steaks for the grill.


Used to use Hudson's, they totally screwed me last year. I was short at least 30 lbs of meat when I got my order. Year before that I got a really skanky batch of sausage back that clearly was from game that wasn't taken care of. Won't do business there anymore. Very unfortunate as they had some amazing products including the fajitas.

Re: Do you ???? [Re: High Country Archer] #6027661 11/13/15 06:15 PM
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After high school I worked at a butcher shop that did wild game on the side at a separate facility. This guy was Extremely anal about cleanliness which he should. Well after a couple weeks into season we got to talking regulations and horror stories. One thing he pointed out is all wild game processing is regulated by TPWD (IE your local warden), not the health dept. So use common sense when choosing a processor.


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