Processing My Own Deer: A Labor of Love and Satisfaction for Feeding My Family

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butchering & field work8H 30M
19 Comments
76 Upvotes
  • John's avatar

    Looks great Mike! I too did my 1st Euro snd it came out great!! Congrats on taking the jump!

  • Gobbler Knob's avatar

    That’s an inspiring image, bro! 😎👊🏻🫡

  • Mike's avatar

    @John I’ve probably done 3 dozen euros and I learn something new each time, but the biggest thing I’ve learned is sooner the better!

  • Mike's avatar

    @Gobbler the call is the star of the show man👊

  • Gobbler Knob's avatar

    @Mike that’s stretching it! 😂

  • Adam D's avatar

    1st. After having grown up on processed deer and now doing it myself I can tell a HUGE difference in meat quality, plus I know it's my deer. I'm sure you and everyone else has heard the rumors about possibly not getting your deer back from the processor. I don't even like the thought of having someone else do it now. I mentioned to my wife that my dad asked if I was doing it myself or dropping it at the meat house and my wife's response was "ugh" 🤣

    2. Your primal cuts there are much prettier than mine sir, do you hang your deer or cut up on the ground?

    3. Are you a skin a boil guy on your euros?

  • Mike's avatar

    @Adam I hang the deer on a gambrel, head down and start with skinning from the back legs toward the head. Then I remove the head. Then I butcher starting with the neck and work my way up the carcass finishing with the hindquarters. I put removed sections on a stainless steel table for trimming/finishing. (Out west is done on the ground obviously, but in the same order one side at a time. I use the hide as my “tarp” and quarters go into game bags for the cooler to be finished at home).

  • Mike's avatar

    @Adam for euros, I skin completely and SIMMER in a custom made stainless steel pot, then I pressure wash.

  • Adam D's avatar

    @Mike I'm 100% getting one of those hitch receiver gambrels, this tarp cleaning bs is hard on a fella's back. Question 3. How do you remove the hams without hitting the ground?

  • Mike's avatar

    @Adam groundwork is definitely a back strain. I have an electric hoist and do it from the rafters in my barn. Once I’ve removed the back straps and I’m down to the 2 hindquarters, I lower the gambrel to chest height and cut the spine off. This just leaves the 2 connected hindquarters on the gambrel. Then I tie one off from the tendon to the winch hook. That way, when I saw the hindquarters apart, the one I’m holding goes onto the table and the other one is held up by the rope from the opposite quarter to the winch hook. Then I just untie that one and finish on the table.

  • Adam D's avatar

    @Mike

  • Jackson's avatar

    That looks great man!! What did you do to the skull? Can you give a step by step description? (If it’s not to much of a burden) I wanna try it with my next deer and there’s so many methods

  • Mike's avatar

    Thanks man, it’s super easy. All you need is a pot of some kind large enough to submerse the skull up to the base of the antlers, a heat source and a pressure washer for the method I use. I bring the water to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and then place the skull in. (See the pic above). After about an hour and a half, I remove it, pressure wash it and repeat as necessary until all meat and connective tissue is removed. I remove all of the hide before placing it in the pot. If there’s any staining or discoloration, I whiten with a paste I make out of mixing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and spreading in the skull. I’ll let it sit in the sun with the paste on for a few days and rinse it off and repeat if necessary again.

  • Mike's avatar

    @Jackson forgot to tag you👆

  • Jackson's avatar

    @Mike thanks man! I appreciate it!

  • Lisa's avatar

    Sweet!!
    My fingers froze off on the last elk we processed. It is so time consuming, but gratifing for sure. I admire all that self process.
    I thank God above that we all can still hunt and gather our own food. I pray it stays that way. Hopefully I'll get back at it eventually.
    Well done, Mike

  • Mike's avatar

    @Lisa thanks! I do too!

  • Rebecca's avatar

    The Euro looks great Mike!

  • Mike's avatar

    @Rebecca thanks! I’ve gotten pretty competent at it finally..

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Mike's avatar

Mike L

Michigan

Family first Hunter, trapper, fisherman, LEO, firearms instructor, Diver GoWild O.G.

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