ORIGINAL: Woods Walker
[size="3"]I was taught how to butcher deer when I was 16, and have done all my own, and many of my friends since then. [/size]
[size="3"]I wouldn't do it any other way. I get MY meat, the way I like it, and I KNOW how it's been handled and what's in it![/size]
I'm the same way. We always did our own ever since I was a kid. Now I'm doing all my own and passing on the skills to anyone who will let me.
I began butchering my deer at age 15, and have never hired someone else to do it. Read about how I got started here:
Paul, good photos you've provided. Cutting up a deer is really very easy. I do it exactly the same way. Tenderloins, loins, front quarters boned, rib cage (and any remaining loin meat) boned, neck boned, hind quarters cut. I usually do it in about 4 hours, but have taken as little as 2 to do it. I never touch my meat with a saw, so there are no bone chips, and no bone marrow from a saw blade.
This year the only deer I shot was a small doe, and so far I've made half of it into jerky with the Cabela's Jerky Blaster and dehydrator I got for Christmas. I grind the meat with an old cast iron food chopper, season it, let it marinate, and shoot it through the tube onto the trays. I'm eating some right now.
No deer processor can do as good a job as I do, and I have had a couple of them tell me so. They couldn't afford to be as meticulous with the meat as I am. I remove all the silver skin from the meat, so nothing ends up on a the dinner plate that can't be eaten.
Somehow, I wouldn't feel right about it if I didn't do it myself.
Forgot to say that I also made some turkey jerky this year from the fall bird I got. I used a commercial seasoning with a hickory smoke flavoring, and added some homemade chunky applesauce to the ground meat. It turned out delicious. I'll be trying other fruit flavors. I drink mango juice for breakfast, so that will go into my next batch of turkey jerky.