Butchering 101: Deer

It is my impression that many deer hunters give their kills over to processors and get lots of ground venison and a few steaks.  I believe this is wasteful of the resource, and may well not do justice to numerous delicious cuts and uses of the meat, as well as costing a significant amount to have the processing done.

Yes, but butchering requires work and proper weather conditions, but I suspect that many hunters may find this a satisfying activity, get JUST the cuts of meat they like, and save a substantial amount in the process.

To be clear, I did not kill the deer shown here being butchered.  It was hit and killed by a car in front of our house in the evening. It was a seven point buck, apparently a year and a half old.  I immediately hung it and gutted it and let it hang overnight before skinning it the next morning.  I then let it hang at 35-40 F in a protected area for two weeks.  I have never had such mild, tender and delicious venison.  It needed no heavy seasoning, over cooking, or disguising of its flavor.  I would suggest to all who try venison, to be sure to gut it immediately, carefully and cleanly skin it, let it hang, and try it with the minimum of seasoning and cooking.  If yours tastes like this one, you will have your socks knocked off.

Most of these pictures were taken by Tammy Maham. My thanks to her for her assistance and photographic skill.