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Old 08-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #21
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My wife and I hunt deer, and we butcher our own deer every year (all the way from gutting it, dragging it home, skinning it, cutting and wrapping for the freezer). Last year we were able to harvest and process 3 deer, which is a good year for us. It helps keep us connected to the food that we eat, which I believe is a good thing. I also fish quite a bit, and we like to eat fish, so I clean and filet all the fish that we catch also. We are also getting a 1/4 side of beef from a farmer friend this fall, but I think she has already arranged for a butcher to cut it up and wrap the meat.........otherwise I wouldn't mind doing that either.

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:54 PM   #22
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I can cut up a chicken, but I like the dark meat better than breast, so unless someone invents an eight- or ten-legged chicken, I will probably more often buy packages of drumsticks than whole birds. I'd like to learn how to fillet a fish and butterfly a lamb leg.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:07 PM   #23
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Sounds tasty. Do they export to foreign locations, like Chicago?

As for explaining, not sure why the facepalm - unless you had to explain more than once...
You can order boudin and other Cajun goodies from Poché's Smokehouse/Market in Breaux Bridge LA. They also make Turdunken. Great Cajun market and worth stopping for lunch if you're crossing LA on I-10. Poches Market — Boudin
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #24
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My wife and I hunt deer, and we butcher our own deer every year (all the way from gutting it, dragging it home, skinning it, cutting and wrapping for the freezer). Last year we were able to harvest and process 3 deer, which is a good year for us. It helps keep us connected to the food that we eat, which I believe is a good thing. I also fish quite a bit, and we like to eat fish, so I clean and filet all the fish that we catch also. We are also getting a 1/4 side of beef from a farmer friend this fall, but I think she has already arranged for a butcher to cut it up and wrap the meat.........otherwise I wouldn't mind doing that either.

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How did you learn to process your deer? I grew up a fishmonger's son so I learned how to clean all kinds of fish at a very early age, and I can figure out how to clean small game, but deer are a lot bigger, messier, and seem more complicated to butcher.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #25
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How did you learn to process your deer? I grew up a fishmonger's son so I learned how to clean all kinds of fish at a very early age, and I can figure out how to clean small game, but deer are a lot bigger, messier, and seem more complicated to butcher.
Fish, eh ?? I actually find them much more finicky and complicated. I did work in an abattoir and learnt all the basics of dressing, splitting and butchering beef and later some of the finer details of making the primal cuts and efficient use of different sections. By observing the butcher and the journeymen I also learnt a few knife techniques that I later applied to "self teaching" myself the same skills on poultry but I have never, ever been able to make a decent job of a fish. Fine bones, flaky flesh.. they just usually fall apart or look like a three year old did it with a set of shears..
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:33 PM   #26
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How did you learn to process your deer? I grew up a fishmonger's son so I learned how to clean all kinds of fish at a very early age, and I can figure out how to clean small game, but deer are a lot bigger, messier, and seem more complicated to butcher.
I learned by watching my dad and uncle do it when I was a teen-ager. But, there are other ways to learn. Most State DNRs offer classes periodically on processing deer and cooking venison.........your state may do the same. Or, if you can locate a hunter in your area that processes his/her own deer, just ask them if you can observe the process. There are also lots of videos online on processing deer.........here is one I found with a quick Google search:


By the way, processing a deer does not have to be very complicated. When we do it, we de-bone all the meat, so there is no sawing of bones involved. You won't necessarily get all the "classic" cuts that way, but we don't really care about that.......we simply package the de-boned meat in packages big enough for a meal, and it works out fine. We also have a meat grinder, so we can grind our own burger (if you don't have one, you can take your venison to a butcher and have them grind it for you, and also make sausage out of it if you like).
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:02 PM   #27
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We used to raise our own hogs and chickens. It helped our kids understand the cycle. However, it really tied us down since we couldn't go anywhere for long unless we could find someone who would feed the animals for us while we were gone.
I would hunt deer every year as well. The most difficult part is gutting. No matter what it is, that's a stinky job. Over the years I decided it's not worth the effort to do all that work and pay to keep it for up to a year in a freezer.

I'm the same way with heating the house these days. I used to go out and cut/split 5 cords of wood for every winter. Now I just make sure the programmable thermostat is set. My cost for firewood was $20 per cord for permits, $40 in gas for the truck, $100 a season for saws, fuel, mauls, wedges, etc to process the wood. Now it's $75 a month for the propane man on average for the year. Maybe not as cheap, but also not nearly as risky to my health either. I've hauled in everything from bats, scorpions, even a rattlesnake with a load of fire wood that would 'wake up' from their winter slumber when the wood was brought inside.

The chicken eggs sure were good though, but they attracted a lot of skunks.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #28
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Does anyone else enjoy doing their own "butchery" ?

My daddy was a butcher for almost 30 years....so, I learned a thing or two. Can't say I've ever really enjoyed it tho.

Didn't get asked out on dates too often either....
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:44 AM   #29
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I hunt a lot and most of meat we eat is from wild game. Deer, rabbits, etc. Except for chicken and turkey..which we buy. I harvest quite a few wild hogs, (I have hog traps as well as hunt them), and we eat them, too. They are pretty lean not quite like the farm raised. One thing about wild game...there's no hormones or any of that other junk in the meat that we don't know about. All natural.

About butchery...I guess it's a learned thing. You learn from your friends and the people you hang around with. Like working on cars. I make my own burger, sausage, cube meats and vacuum wrap my cuts of meat. We have 3 large freezers.

I have a line of crawfish traps I run during the summer and freeze the tails in the freezer. Fall, I get shrimp. Mmmmm...crawfish and shrimp.

Also cut firewood and have a big wood stove.

Sorry for getting off the subject. Mmmmm...shrimp....
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #30
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As a young boy of 10 or 11, one day a couple of us happened upon a shed out in the country where they butchered cattle. They had a cow tied up outside to be butchered that day. We were really curious and the men allowed us to stay and watch. I won't go into details but it was a terrible experience. I have never forgotten that. Not that I think about it, but I'll never forget it either.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:55 AM   #31
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I hunt a lot and most of meat we eat is from wild game. Deer, rabbits, etc. Except for chicken and turkey..which we buy. I harvest quite a few wild hogs, (I have hog traps as well as hunt them), and we eat them, too. They are pretty lean not quite like the farm raised. One thing about wild game...there's no hormones or any of that other junk in the meat that we don't know about. All natural.

About butchery...I guess it's a learned thing. You learn from your friends and the people you hang around with. Like working on cars. I make my own burger, sausage, cube meats and vacuum wrap my cuts of meat. We have 3 large freezers.

I have a line of crawfish traps I run during the summer and freeze the tails in the freezer. Fall, I get shrimp. Mmmmm...crawfish and shrimp.

Also cut firewood and have a big wood stove.

Sorry for getting off the subject. Mmmmm...shrimp....
Alas, I am engaged in learning a lot of this pretty much solo. I intend to start with small game, which I am pretty confident I can dress out without issues. Larger stuff will likely be more tha I want to deal with the first time out, so I have a processor in mind if I am lucky enough to be successful at deer hunting this year. The area my tag is good for is steep and much of it is 8000-9000 feet of elevation, so I suspect I will not want to consiider doing anything but sucking in more oxygen after I drag a field dressed deer to the truck. Maybe next year I will try doing more. I also have the problem of DW and the kids being squeamish (DW disappears when I am even cleaning fish, cannot imagine what cutting up something bigger would be like) and me living in suburbia.

We don't have feral hogs here as it is too dry. At some point after I get some experience I would like to take a trip to hog country and try my hand at it. I don't eat commercially produced pork because of what the meat industry does to produce the stuff, but wild critters are fine by me.

Have been scavenging wood here in the burbs and cut up about a cord of wood. We have a woodstove that can heat the whole house, but we have frequent burn restrictions in the winter due to air quality issues in the city (I can tell without checking the relevant website that we will not be able to burn because I can't see the skyscrapers from a hill near the house). I'd guess that a cord is about all we will be able to burn, although I have more logs seasoning that I could cut any time.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #32
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I was motivated enough to watch several videos of skinning squirrels. It seems there are a number of different ways to do it. I feel confident that I will never go hungry now.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #33
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I was motivated enough to watch several videos of skinning squirrels. It seems there are a number of different ways to do it. I feel confident that I will never go hungry now.
Of course, first you have to catch/hunt one or more of said "limb chickens."
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #34
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I was motivated enough to watch several videos of skinning squirrels. It seems there are a number of different ways to do it. I feel confident that I will never go hungry now.
That's how my late MIL's father fed his family during the depression. Nine kids - that's a lot of squirrels!
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:37 PM   #35
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One thing about wild game...there's no hormones or any of that other junk in the meat that we don't know about. All natural.
I think a lot of folks might be surprised at the amount of (artificial) chemicals to be found in wild game. It all depends on what they eat and drink, and what their food ate or drank. Of course anything killed near farmland is going to have pesticides and herbicides in its food chain. And, in most of the country, the "woodlands" are really farms--tree farms that are treated with copious amounts of herbicides (to discourage undergrowth) and pesticides (to keep the timber healthy). Runoff goes into the rivers where folks fish as well. Some of these chemicals aren't approved for use on food crops, but they are getting into the food supply of humans through wild game.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:38 PM   #36
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brewer12345, if you are looking for some excitement find a camp that specializes in hunting wild hogs with dogs. My son-in-law does this and I guess it a real experience. Especially at night with flashlights and the dogs. It's unbelieveable. The dogs are dressed in Kevlar body armour. They have "chase dogs" and "catch dogs". Never been on a hunt but have seen the caught hogs with their tusks and I wouldn't want to mess with one. They look mean.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:47 PM   #37
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That's how my late MIL's father fed his family during the depression. Nine kids - that's a lot of squirrels!
I am only one generation away from squirrel, possum, woodchuck, etc. for dinner because that is all there was.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:44 AM   #38
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Brewer and the gang...Do you guys have a garden?
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:55 AM   #39
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Brewer and the gang...Do you guys have a garden?
Yes, although with 9 of the last 16 weeks travelling on business and 2 on vacation it is a shambles. Plus we had a very damaging hail storm in the spring. The tomatoes are only ok, the heirloom beans are going nuts, and the herbs have done well. Have made jam from plums and chokecherries growing in the yard so far, and made stuff with local crabapples.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #40
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What, no hops?

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