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Which parts of deer are the best to keep?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Sep 9, 2008.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to harvest some deer that have been damaging my garden and landscaping. I have a permit to take as many as I want, when I want. I will be taking them to a local deer processor who will professionally butcher, vacuum pack, label and freeze all the different cuts. I've never had a whole deer butchered - only eaten a few pieces given to me over the years.

    Which cuts are considered the best for cooking? It is not my style to do a lot of preparation so I will want to keep cuts that can be prepared with some basic recipes like roasts and such. I'll also give some away.

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  2. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    look into making venison jerky (that's all the more I can add to this topic).
  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Get a meat grinder for $100 and some sausage recipes.Bone the deer out yourself. Mix in some fatty hamburg or beef trimmings from a butcher shop at 50/50. You won't be able to tell the difference from store bought. Around here processors get $3.50+/lb to process deer. No way I'll pay that!
  4. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    The back strap is always my favourite. That’s the two pieces on either side of the spine. On a cow that would be filet minion.
    Have him cut some steaks, some checks for stew and chili and the rest burger and sausage.
    Learn to do it your self if you can, you'll go broke otherwise. I usally take 3-4 /yr and thats money I could use for somethng else (like firewood!)
    My first deer I cut up with a "how to" book in one hand and a knife in the other.

    Greg H
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    #1-tenderloins
    #2- backstraps

    You can make everything into chili- little cubes, browned well- chili will tenderize even the worst cuts.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Ditto the others, back straps are great steaks, I personally like lots of jerky & bologna & sausage out of the rest.
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    I cut out the tenderloins immediately after I've got my deer hung and clean. Nothing better IMHO. I hear people paying upwards of $110/deer to process, I guess I'm luck because we process our own and last year I harvested 5. No way would I pay that much myself, for those prices it mind as well be angus.
  8. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    All of the deer meat is good -- waste of a wild animal is the 8th deadly sin.

    You do want to be sure to remove every bit of tallow/fat you possibly can, as that is what can give deer meat a strong flavor. Also, a clean kill (heart, lung, neck or head), no wounding, no chasing. Do not take a gut shot, stomach, intestine or rectum stuff spilled inside the carcass is bad stuff. I've never had to shoot a deer twice, never wounded a deer, never lost a deer.

    Then immediate skinning and chilling to prevent spoilage, followed quickly by butchering and freezing (some will dispute this, ignore them). Some say to hang or age for days or longer to improve flavor or tenderness. This is a myth unless temperature controlled, as hanging/aging really is controlled spoilage. I never hang/age. Good to bone out most everything, and be sure to get the hair strands, leaves and grass out of the meat. Need a sharp knife and a bone saw is useful.

    As others, for a true delicacy the tenderloins (inside back bone, rear half of carcass) and the backstrap loins (outside back bone, neck to tail) can't be beat as wonderful steaks or anything else.

    We keep just a couple of roasts from the rounds, also the front shoulder blade roasts (very tasty). The front legs (shanks) below the knee (leave the bone in) make very good soup bones with just enough meat for a very tasty venison and vegetable soup.

    Everything else we freeze immediately and when convenient bring to the local butcher shop to have made into hamburger, which they grind and add 1 lb beef tallow for 10 pounds of venison at $0.75/lb (last fall price for grinding, tallow, packaging and freezing). Tastes as good or better thank hamburger from beef ground round. Sausages, jerky, etc. all are OK, but unless you make these yourself, they are pricey when made by the butcher shop.

    Don't leave the flanks, neck or rib cage out of the butchering. Just strip the meat out from the tallow. Very good for the hamburger, sausage, stews, etc. Flanks when cut into strips make very good stir fry meat.

    Donate the hide to a local habitat or deer hunter group which collects hides; or if you have several, bring to an area tanning/leather shop to have made into a jacket, gloves, etc. If you live in a rural area nail the leftover carcass to a tree and feed the birds, squirrels, and anything else. I'm not one for organ meat, but the heart, liver also are OK. Entrails I leave in the woods for the coyotes, wolves, and other scavengers to clean up. They normally disappear in a few days.

    Venison is exceptional and healthy meat. If you have bad venison, it's because it's spoiled meat, tallow wasn't stripped out, hair or debris left in meat, or taken from a wounded and chased or gut shot deer (meat full of bad stuff).

    Enjoy! My wife wouldn't eat venison until I butchered myself. Now we no longer eat beef, only venison.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    "Harvest"?
    You mean shoot. kill, vamoose, goner, dead, flat on back, no longer here.......
    Me and the boys are going down for a gang fight tonight, and I'm gonna harvest the opposition. In fact, I'm headed over the Afghanistan to do some harvesting of Taliban.

    First I'm headed to the ATM to harvest some green.

    I'm gonna tell all their bambi friends about your lawn and garden.........and they'll be back.
    :)

    (pay no attention to this post -"to harvest deer" is a proper use of the verb)
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Ohhh boy . Here we go .
  11. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    in my neck of the woods.....its "bagging" a deer lol or just plain "Git R Dun"
  12. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    When I took my last deer I made sure to tell people that I murdered her.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    "Murder is the unlawful killing of another human person with malice aforethought"

    It ain't human..........

    I'm just being funny...pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I'll go back to eating my tofu.
  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I know it, but the term "murder" was more offensive so I used it :)

    Also when asked "how can you kill those innocent creatures?" I respond with " I only kill the guilty ones".
  15. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    So does this make you a serial deer harvester or something?

    I am planning on using my bow on one of the 16 that were in my front yard the other morning.
    Never shot one before and am hesitant on the 'what do you do after you find it lying dead' step.
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Field dressing: http://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/huntingwildlifehabitat/deer_field-dressing.pdf

    You can find videos of it on youtube as well. I field dressed and butchered the first deer I got by myself and it was really no big deal as long as you know how to sharpen a knife, you aren't squeamish, and you don't mind not knowing what most of the cuts of meat are called. I had some labeled things like "left butt cheek". I just mostly took out whole muscles. remember the tenderlois are INSIDE the rib cage near the backbone and are absolutely the best meat on the critter. My wife was hesitant on deer until I made some up for her- her eyes lit up "when are you going to FILL that freezer?" LOL
  17. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Helped my neighbor make about 200 lbs of kielbasa last year. Made some with jalapeno peppers dices and mixed in, other with cheddar cheese chunks mixed in.
    I think the mix was about 40% pork to 60% venison. Was good, but just a tad too dry for me. Being polish and living in a area that has a big kielbasa festival every year, I have become very particular.
    Hillshire farms??? Gag, I like the real stuff.
  18. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Wow this internet stuff is amazing, I thought it was just a fad.
    Thanks for that link.
    Seriously, never even considered looking for a you tube vid on the subject. Will search for it.

    I have taken a number of animals down to bones (Himalyan goat, lizard, sheep) back in my U days. But I was trying to get the bones, not the meat.

    Just hear stories about make sure you don't do this, and that. Would be nice to have someone do it while I watched kinda thing but that ain't going to happen.


    cheers
  19. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    What parts are best...the eatin ones!!! We use a few knives and a sawsall. Do all our own butchering. The backstraps and tenderloins are the best but there is nothing wrong with a good roast!!! We get as much of the fat off as possible because that is where the gamie taste comes from, the rest goes in the grinder and freezer vacuum packed. Sometimes they were running arround 5 hours earlier...now that is kinda morbid. My 3 year old sees deer and says yummy, boy am I proud of that little guy! We may actually start to do some reading so we know how to cut the steaks one day!
  20. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    Forgot to add, some of you may find this amusing...we go to Kentucky to deer hunt as well as Wisconsin, we say that it is Kentucky or Wisconsin beef, and if someone asks what we mean we tell them it is eather 44 tender (44 mag pistol) or 6.8 tender (6.8spc ar-15). You can insert the caliber of your choice!
  21. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    OK, thanks!

    tenderloin
    backstrap
    front shoulders for roasts

    What about rear leg quarters? I think I roasted one of those and it came out OK.

    Deer processing is $60 here. I see them in my yard early in the morning before work, or late in the day. Either way I'm lazy and would prefer to shoot with my crossbow, throw in truck and pay someone $60 to do all the work.
  22. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    You are thinking of 1, we have 5 in our hunting party and can bag 2 each...volume is bigger!
  23. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Eat it all. Any tougher cuts- have made into sausage or jerky, burgers, or save for chili and stew.

    And of course there's hats of meat

    I know this is pest control, but don't waste it if you can avoid it! If I lived closer I'd say "give me the rest" :)
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yeah, the hats of meats.

    The last 2 that I butchered (other than straps and loins) was turned into jerky if whole muscle or burger. MMmmm venison sketti. I was doing 60 pound batches of venison jerky at a time. Man does that go through a deer in a hurry.
  25. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Id say the feet, you can nail them to a board and turn them pointing up at a 90 degree angle and they make a great coat or hat hook. Looks great in a cabin.

    Actually the meat is excellent also . Very tasty.

    NOTE: I am a member of P E T A

    People who like to Eat Tasty Animals
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