Missouri DC Offers Deer Processing Class at Parma Woods

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One reason white-tailed deer hunting is popular in Missouri is that venison is a lean, nutritious and delicious protein source. Careful processing from field to freezer can enhance deer meat for the table.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a course on how to process venison 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Parma Woods Shooting Range near Parkville, 15900 N.W. River Road.

Instructors will explain how to process a field-dressed deer for cooking or for storage in a freezer. The class will include tool demonstrations, such as what types of knives work best for various butchering chores. Attendees will learn how to skin a deer and how to prepare various cuts of meat. The class is free but participants are urged to pre-register by Nov. 18.

For more information or to register, call 816-891-9941.

A good source of information on how to process deer meat for table or freezer is available on the MDC website at http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/deer/preparing-venison.

Some of the basics include:

  • Hang a deer to allow blood to drain and the body temperature to cool to 50 degrees or below. Freezing the meat immediately can add toughness. It is not necessary to hang deer for long periods, although, hanging them for up to eight days in temperatures from 30 to 40 degrees can improve tenderness and flavor.
  • Leave the skin on during hanging to avoid dehydration.
  • Remove as much fat as possibly while processing, and removed bruised or gun shot-damaged tissue.
  • The deer’s age, sex and diet influences venison taste and tenderness, so plan recipes accordingly.

Eating venison is the hunt’s final reward. For some fresh ideas and venison recipes, check out the new MDC cookbook “Cooking Wild in Missouri” by author Bernadette Dryden. The book is available at MDC nature centers and regional offices, or via the web at www.mdcnatureshop.com.


numbnutz's picture

Missouri has done some great

Missouri has done some great stuff for the hunting public in recent years I commend them for their efforts. I think this class is a great idea for new and old hunter. I have been carving up my own deer and elk for a long time. The only time I take my animals to a butcher is when I don't have the time to process the deer or elk or when I want sausage or jerkey made. Other than that I will butcher my own animals to save money and that I know it was done right. If my state offered a class like this I know I would attend to show my support for stuff like this and maybe to learn something new. Good job Missouri.

Retired2hunt's picture

  This is like the fourth


This is like the fourth article highlighting Missouri and a very positive impact they are making with the general hunting or outdoor public.  Fantastic state on their interaction with the outdoor public from what I read so far.

Offering a class like this is an added tool that the average person can learn and be successful at.  While all of this information can be found on the internet there is nothing like first hand and doing it.

Kudos to Missouri and keep up that great hunting public service.


hunter25's picture

This is a great class and one

This is a great class and one I have not seen offered before. We have always processed our own animals but for me I know I would have liked more information other than this is the way we have always done it. We have always been able to do a pretty good job but then the majority of our meat goes into ground meat. We take a lot of animals every year so keep the best meat for steaks and grind the rest. This works out fastest and easiest for us and if we need to give some away a lot more people can use the ground stuff.

swisheroutdoors's picture

Needed a good website

Monsta, thanks for responding to this article.  I needed a good website to refer to once in awhile.  I was just talking today about hanging a deer with hide on or off.  One processor around here had enough room to hang 35 deer and let them hang for exactly 8 days before processing.  I've been looking for used cooling system.  I'd build a walk in cooler and shed to processes meat if I could find enough materials without having to invest in all new.  Currently, the only option for me is to cooler kit a deer all quartered up.  I don't like this option very well.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Try finding a way to hang a

Try finding a way to hang a deer down here in southern California, and keeping it cool Wink

I usually quarter it immediately, then put it in the fridge for a day or two, and then cut it up.  Not ideal, but better than wasting it.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

An excellent class being

An excellent class being offered by Missouri!  If there is a hunter out there that has never tried to butcher their own animal, I saw you should give it a try.  We used to bring our to the butcher, until we decided to try it ourselves.  Now, we don't do it any other way.  It's a family event for us.  We sit in the kitchen, and I am usually the one who debones it.  Then, my dad will cut up the boneless meat into whatever cut we desire, and finally, my Mom will wrap it and trow it in the freezer.

All the while this is going on, Mom has a pan on the stove going with some backstrap or tenderloin, simmering in simple butter and onions, and a little salt and pepper.  Yum yum!

I actually just bookmarked the page from the MDC.  Lots of good information on there, even for soomeone who has cut up 4-5 deer already.  Good story, thanks for the links.