Butchering Deer: To me, if you are not butchering your own deer you are missing out on "The Rest Of The Story". It's easy and enjoyable. I don't have time to list all the benifits. One of the wonderful benifits is tracking the bullett or arrow flight through the carcass.
Back to butchering deer: It all depends on your personal situatuion and personality. There are so many factors that influence how you will butcher a deer.
Bottom Line: Do what ever works best for you and your situation.
Personally, I am a one man show. I hunt, shoot, drag, check in and butcher and eat the deer myslef. I only shoot 1.5 year old deer. Older deer are to tough to grind and to tougher to eat. A good deer is a ground deer.
I prefer to eat younger mature does, but, young bucks work just fine.
Butcher the deer fresh, NEVER age venison. Butcher the deer while the meat is still warm. If not, your hands will freeze and hurt badly. I only hunt in the morning so that I have the rest of the day to butcher the warm deer carcass. Hang the deer upside down by the back legs. A doe is very easy to skin. Bucks will wear your arms out and dull your knives.
Before You Begin:
Are your Knives ready and sharp?
Is your butchering table ready?
Freezer Bags ready?
Permanent Marker Pen ready?
Grinder set up, cleaned and ready?
1) Skin the deer
2) Remove every speck of dirt, and every piece of hair, take you time!
3) Remove the back straps, slice them about 1.5 inches thick , put them in a freezer bag then cover with cool water.
4) Remove the entire front shoulders. There is no bone-to-bone socket so this is easy. Take one of the front shoulders, salt it, pepper it and use some ROSEMARRY on it. Add NO water, tightly cover it in a baking dish with aluminum foil. Roast it slowly for 8 hours @ 200deg. F. By the time you are all finished with your carcass you will have a very tasty meal waiting for you.
5) Bone out the rest of the carcass and grind it into tidy small quart size freezer bags. I used a hand grinder for 10 years. Now I use an electric grinder! Thank God for electric grinders.
The ground deer meat can be made into any thing ground beef can be made into. There are so many wonderful dishes.
I make the ground venison into:
etc. etc. etc.
As a one man show I don't have to rely on anyone else's schedule.
I just butcher it on the table, depending on the size, I hunt mostly Elk and do most of my work outside and bring it in piece by piece--the day after I made the kill. I'll bring in my smaller elk, a calf for example to a processing place in Hermiston OR (Eastern Oregon Mobile Slaughter) to save time. Especially when I've made another kill the same day Anyhow, a hunter should know how to do all of this, besides the newbies of course.
Winter is tough on whitetails, that is an accepted fact.
You can help the quality of your herd by providing winter plots - that are not necessarily designed as kill plots.
Having what I call green plots - that the deer can browse in when most of the other food is gone, can greatly benefit the deer herd when they need it most.
Come December - at least in our area of the south - most of the mast is gone, all of the crops were long harvested and this green browse can really make the difference for...