by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
No offense to the commercial deer processors out there. They are a great option if you don’t have the time and resources to process, or butcher, your own deer. If the temps are unseasonably warm and you don’t have a cool place to store your deer until you’re ready to break out the knives, then a pro may be the way to go.
I’m still a novice at cutting up my own deer, but I watched a few experienced carvers, spent some time on youtube, even bought a dvd and have now enjoyed some of the best steaks of my life.
You get the cuts you want, in the timeframe you want and you’re guaranteed to get YOUR deer back. I’m not saying you won’t get your meat back from your favorite processor, but there is a 100% chance you’ll get it back when you do it yourself.
Make sure to do your homework, but once you do, you’ll find it’s not only easy but rewarding. There was no greater sense of fulfillment for me than the first time I hunted, shot, cleaned, processed, cooked and ate my first deer.
More than once I’ve heard people tell me that they won’t eat venison. “Gross”, is a common reaction. More than once after I’ve fed these people venison, “No way that’s deer”, is usually the response. Properly cleaned, processed and prepared venison will taste as good as beef, if not better in some cases.
I’m a steak guy. I’ll eat a whole filet or porterhouse before you can finish asking me if I want a bite. But trim a backstrap up, clean of silver skin and other miscellaneous material, sprinkle it with your preferred seasoning and grill it up to a hair past medium rare and I’ll love you like a brother. In fact, you’ll probably get sick of me after a while.
I also want to apologize to all those who ask me for deer sticks or summer sausage each year. I don’t make too much sausage. I’m a steaks and roasts kinda guy. I might make jerky out of my grind meat, but usually I make hamburger and whip up a batch of chili. But that’s just me.
That’s the beauty of being your own butcher. Get the meat you want, when you want it. You save a few bucks and it might just put a few hairs on your chest.
by Bret “T-Bone” Amundsonfirstname.lastname@example.org