Process Yourself Or Take To Processor


5 year old buck +
Now that most of our "main" hunting seasons are wrapping up do you process the deer you shoot or take to the processor?

We process everything ourselves. Depending on who, or how many, are helping it can be a pain in the hind end or a pretty good time. For the most part, it's not too bad. We then wait until after the first of the year to take in any meat if we want any specialty items (landjaegers, etc.)

We have two local processors and one is $75 and the other $90. This is for skin, cut, grind, wrap and freeze. I have a buddy that manages the meat dept at a local grocery store. He takes two weeks off during our rifle season and does the same as the others for $65. He only does it during those two weeks though.
We have a group that gets together and does 6ish deer per year. Lots of burger ground 50/50 with chuck roast from Sams Club gets tasty burger for a reasonable price.
I do my own if conditions allow..... Now that its late season, once that thing gets frozen, I have no way to thaw to butcher.

So it just depends. :)
We normally skin\cut up the deer ourselves, than take some de-boned meat to the processor later if we want sausage hotdogs etc made.
Very rarely do I ever harvest more than one deer in a year. Combine that with my busy schedule and getting my deer processed for a nominal fee is a no brainer. Sometime in the future when time allows I would like to start butchering my own.
Mine go to the local meat locker - I have never butchered an animal or have the equipment to do so in a timely manner. I mostly have the tenderloins removed, have the rest ground, and occasiinally have a few rolls of summer sausage made (all by the locker).

General processing fee is $70 - this will include all standard processing as you like (regardless of the size of the deer).
Summer sausage is an additional $11 each (3 lb roll)
We do at least two at the locker and cut a few up with friends.
We bone, vacuum pack and freeze our venison. Trimmings are saved for burger and taken to a locker at a later date.

I don't mind the processing of about 2 deer per year and get it done in just under 4 hours. per deer. Temps have to be right, because if it freezes solid it is a real bear to get done.
I try to skin, quarter, de bone and slice up myself if I can. Then I take the trimmings in to have sausage made. Just last night I spent 3 hours cutting up my wife's deer. I really take my time and definitely get a lot more meat off the deer than if I take it in.
Cut and wrap our own. I like to vacuum pack it and the wife like to use freezer paper.
I used to do my own but when we moved into our new house my wife put a ban on butchering in the garage. Now I take them to a guy with a good size operation. He does about 400 deer a year. Your price starts at $90 and he charges extra for the processed stuff, cube steaks, and sausage. I usually get back straps cut in 1" medallions, hind quarters into cube steaks, scraps into maple sausage, and a 5 pound bologna stick. The bologna stick is everyone's favorite. Everything comes vacuum sealed. My total bill is usually $130-$150 depending on size of deer. He also charges you $12 extra if there is more than 2 holes in the hide.
Cut my own. Just did a batch of canned venison Sunday.

A local guy cuts & wraps all steaks, loin, & roasts and grinds burger for $60 ... no mess, no problems
I'd like to do our own, but my family only has the weekend, and multiple deer without help is no fun. We pay $70 for cut and wrap of the better cuts.....and use the balance for sausage....being certain our meat is kept separate (which it is). Then we will make home-made jerky out of many of the roasts....and grill the back-straps and chops. I usually pick up the tab for my a part of our Christmas gift to them. :)

I wish we all had time to butcher together. Alas.....they all have jobs (live far away) and I don't care to do it myself.
Once I learned, I never took one in again. Never really had the money to pay for it, but scrounged it up when I needed to. I never really "loved" any of the processed stuff. Since I learned/tried/succeeded at canning it, there is no other way for me. I look forward to canned venison. Also, when you're canning your venison, it's simply a matter of get-meat-off-carcass. I separate the backstraps, heart, tenderloins, and that inner thigh roast that is mostly rectangular (that is good for pan fried breakfast steak).

All the rest gets cut off in whatever chunks I can get. Packed in gallon zip lock bags and frozen until I get to the liquor store and get the canner fired up on a saturday.

I enjoy the process if I've got help and beer. I also like the ownership of field to fork all by myself.
Now that most of our "main" hunting seasons are wrapping up do you process the deer you shoot or take to the processor?

It's always interesting to see different perspectives across the country. While most seasons I guess are wrapping up or over, our firearms seasoned just opened yesterday here in Mass. Two weeks of shotgun, and then muzzleloader to the last day of december. I'm just getting warmed up!

I coach soccer in the fall, so if I get a deer late October through the first week of November or so I just don't have the time to butcher it myself. I pay to have it processed. After that, I prefer to do it myself, although I really am kind of a hack. I'm still learning how to do it well. I vacuum seal everything and then make a bunch of sausage from the scraps.
We do one a year and donate the rest to the food shelf or one of the share the harvest programs! But the one we do, gets everyone involved, even the Barracuda and her Daughter!:D

(Don't say anything inappropriate, don't say anything inappropriate, don't say anything innappropriate.)

(Don't say anything inappropriate, don't say anything inappropriate, don't say anything innappropriate.)


About the pic of the Barracuda.