Many hunters prefer field dressing their deer and processing the meat immediately in the field to minimize bacteria and parasites that could compromise its final product.
This also gives you the advantage of getting faster turnaround for your meat since processors tend to be extremely busy during deer season.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Deer?
Professional deer processing can be an ideal choice for hunters who lack either the time or equipment to process their kill themselves, but before making this decision it’s important to know some key details. First off, know how long processing at home takes; most individuals should expect around three hours per deer including skinning, cleaning and cutting up of meat. That can be daunting for new hunters trying their own kill at first.
Cost should also be an important factor when processing deer on your own. While upfront costs may be higher, over time and equipment savings can quickly offset this initial investment. Furthermore, experienced processors can usually yield 15% more meat from deer carcasses compared to novice ones! Studies indicate this.
At the center of it all lies quality of your finished product. Doing it yourself allows you to select from various cuts, seasonings and fat content options to customize the final product to your exact tastes – not to mention learning how to properly prepare venison!
Professional deer processors tend to offer faster turnaround times during busy fall seasons when muzzleloader and modern gun hunting is in full force; however, it could still take weeks or months before receiving back your meat from their facility.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Deer at Home?
As soon as you’ve harvested your own deer, the next step in processing it should be skinning, butchering, and processing. Doing it yourself allows for some unique cuts not available from local processors as well as controlling temperature of carcass to help avoid spoilage – usually between three and five hours for processing depending on experience level.
Start off the process right and equip yourself with some tools, such as a knife, meat chopper, cutting board and cooler. A sharp knife is your most critical ally; find one at any hunting store nearby if necessary and learn how to use it properly before beginning this endeavor. Just be sure not to get any dirt into your meat as contaminants could ruin its taste!
Once a deer is killed, it enters into a state known as “rigor mortis,” in which its muscles tighten and contract, making it more difficult to break down its carcass into edible meat. After approximately 24 hours have passed since death, however, rigor mortis will end and natural enzymes in its meat can begin breaking down muscular collagen that gives tough meat its texture.
Skinning a deer requires practice to master, so ideally try skinning soon after killing one when its warm as this will make removing its hide easier while helping identify muscle groups as you go along.
Staying in contact with your processor during peak season of the rut is crucial if you plan on taking in your deer during this period of time. Professional processors typically have full schedules during this time and could become overwhelmed. If this occurs, they may have to stop accepting new clients until they catch up.
Be polite and respectful towards the professionals you deal with; they’re simply trying to do their job and deliver top-quality venison meat. Stay in contact and be patient if the wait seems long; better that than risk going somewhere less reliable or experienced for your meat processing.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Deer at a Professional Processor?
If this is your first experience taking your deer to a processor, the idea can seem intimidating. After all, this could cost both you money and take time and effort. Before going in for processing services it is wise to conduct some preliminary research so that you know which options and cuts meet your requirements as well as where your budget is being spent.
Researching professional processors ahead of time can make your experience of taking your deer to one much less arduous than expected. Remember that these professionals work in high-risk, high-pressure environments; peak times during hunting seasons (such as the rut) could prove particularly hectic for them.
However, an experienced processor will be able to return your meat faster than you can yourself; though be mindful that there may still be delays between weeks or even months until your finished product can be collected from them.
Be mindful that professional processors may charge extra fees. For instance, vacuum-sealing and packaging services might cost $0.50-$1 per pound and meat tenderizing services should cost $20-40 as separate charges; but often these are covered within the overall processing bill.
Should your deer require tanning for a shoulder mount, that can add anywhere from $55 to $110. Furthermore, adding any flavoring elements such as cheese or sausage sticks could cost an additional $2-$4 per pound.
As a general rule, professional deer processors will likely be able to handle your meat processing faster than doing it at home; however, it will still take several weeks or even months before their work is finished. It’s essential that you plan ahead and communicate with your processor so you’re prepared for the waiting game ahead.
How Long Does It Take to Process a Deer at Home with a Vacuum Sealer?
Utilizing a vacuum sealer to store deer meat will extend its freshness and help prevent freezer burn. Plus, using it is also an efficient way to organize cuts of meat so it’s easier to locate pieces for specific meals or recipes – you can find great vacuum sealers online or in sporting goods stores!
Once home, a successful hunt can be very fulfilling; but now is also the time to start processing and cleaning up your deer harvest. Depending on what plans you have in store for its meat, cleaning and butchering could take an inordinate amount of time.
Dry ageing meat requires lots of space. This process typically lasts 21 days and needs somewhere cool and dark with even temperatures for hanging the carcass or quarters to age in – an unused fridge works great, while even large coolers should work too.
Hunters who don’t have the time or desire to clean and butcher their deer themselves often turn to professional processors instead, which can be costly and time consuming – both issues which have consequences in terms of getting meat back.
if you plan to have your deer processed professionally, be sure to call ahead and inquire about their turnaround time. Busy seasons like muzzleloader and modern gun season can take months before your meat returns home.
An experienced processor will be able to extract more meat from your deer than you could on your own, due to their knowledge of all the various cuts of meat available and being familiar with their application on animal carcasses.
Cleaning and butchering a deer may take considerable work, but the result will surely make it worthwhile. By spending the extra time to prepare and clean your meat properly, you’ll enjoy some of the most flavorful wild game around – be sure to make an ethical kill shot before field dressing the deer as quickly as possible to preserve its freshness and avoid spoilage!