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.
Let me start off by saying I am not a farmer.
I am a deer hunter and I do own a tractor and have all of the equipment - but that does not make you a farmer any more than standing in the garage makes you a car - well, you get the picture!
Having said that - and with most of my ineptitude fairly well hidden - I do think that buckwheat is one of the most under rated cover crops out there.
I say cover crop because I see mixed results as it relates to the deer eating the plants.