We process all of our own game meat. I prefer to do it simply because I'm cheap and kind of particular about how it's done. The down side is the time it takes for an elk--about 6 hours from carcass to stacked in the freezer. Deer and antelope aren't near as much time, maybe an 1.5 hours for the whole process.
When it's all finished it makes it taste that much better to know we did it all.
I like to do my own processing also, but I haven't had the opportunity to process my own elk yet. I agree on the financial considerations, and I also get more satisfaction out of doing it myself. It sounds like quite a bit of work for an elk, so we will see how it goes when I finally get to process one. Nice work, and enjoy the meats of your labor.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...