butchering 101

dobber

Twelve Pointer
You really risk nothing by butchering a deer yourself. If you plan to grind most of it anyway there is no risk at all. keep everything red and get rid of everything white. (a little white is ok) You mentioned the loins. Im guessing you mean tenderloins (on the inside of the body cavity)The loins or backstraps are on the outside of the body cavity and run along the spine just under the hide of the back.

Start cutting at the hip joint, right at the top of the hind quarter. Run your knife along the spine until you hit the rib bones.

Cut along the spine all the way to the base of the neck. You can run your knife along the ribs to free the long boneless loin

When you have them both removed they will look like this. Remove the shiny layer that was clesest to the hide side of the loin.
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer
Some folks are intimidated by butchering their own deer and opt for paying a processor to do it for them. If you have a garage, a place to hang a deer and a knife. You could do it yourself. Most folks get scared when it comes to the hind quarters because they are not professional butchers and fear that they will screw up cuts of meat. Trust me if you follow the natural seams of fat, you will find it very easy to take apart the hind quarters. If you mess up on the first one, you always have the other leg to improve on. Once you have removed the meat from the rest of the deer you will be left with the hanging hind quarters where the spine meets the pelvis.

You can use a saw to remove the spine or you can work a knife in between the vertebrae to remove it near the pelvis.


Take the pair of hind quarters to a table to debone them. The first step is to lay the pair on the tail end and press on each hind quarter to see where the hip is. By spreading the hindquarters, you will see where to start. What you are looking for is the hip joint (ball and socket joint) No saws are needed for this operation and you only need to cut the tendon in the ball joint to remove it from the pelvis.

Follow the seams in the meat and cut along the pelvis bone until one half is removed.

When you are done. You will have a de-boned pelvis with very little meat to trim off. (use this for burger or sausage)

On the inside of the thigh you will be able to feel the thigh bone (femur). Cut around and remove the bone. This is the bone you are removing. The ball joint is on the upper right.

Once deboned your hind quarter will look like this. This view is from the outside or hide side of the leg. The lines show you the cuts of meat that are in the hind quarter. If you were to leave the bone in the leg and saw across the whole hind quarter, you would have a "Whole Round Steak" Most folks don't do this with a deer and it is seen less and less in beef as well

Follow the natural seams in the muscle groups and you will be able to take each group out. Clean up any fat and you are left with cuts that can be sliced into steaks or used as roasts
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer

while butchering a bow kill, I took some pictures of other parts of the deer that you would encounter while doing your own processing. These are the tenderloins and the front shoulders. The tenderloins are the two small cuts of meat on the inside of the deer's rib cage. (the loins are on the outside and run along either side of the spine) These are the most tender of all the cuts of meat on a deer (or cow or pig) There are two tenderloins and they are located along the spine between the rib cage and the hind quarters

Start by cutting them at the point where they are closest to the hind quarter and run your knife along the short ribs and the spine. Peel them down as you cut.

When removed you will see the short ribs of the deer
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer
This what they look like after being removed. Remove any white fat before cooking. I prefer to remove them when I a gutting the deer (or very soon afterwards) If you don't get them out soon, the exposed areas will turn dark red/black due to drying out. If that happens, soak them in cold (ice) water and scrub them lightly to wash away any blood. DO NOT freeze tenderloins!! these are to be enjoyed as soon as possible. Freezing will make them less than tender-loins. Cook them until slightly pink in the center with onions and mushrooms.

The front shoulders have a lot of bone and will be damaged most of the time due to shot placement. Unlike the hind quarters, the front legs are not connected to the body by a bone joint. The only thing keeping them in place is meat. After skinning, pull the front leg away from the rib cage and cut the stretched meat. They are very easy to remove. This is what it will look like. You can see the ridge bone that runs the length of the scapula

Run your knife on both sides of the ridge bone

Cut along the bone until you have exposed the entire scapula

Follow the leg bone and remove the rest of the meat. There is no wrong way to do this. This meat will end up in a grinder or made into stew or jerky. It is a tough cut of meat as these muscles do a lot of work.

These are the three bones of the front leg. The blue object is my crude depiction of the heart. You can see the the leg bones do a pretty good job of protecting the heart but it still can be gotten to by correct shot placement. It is better to shoot a little high and then you will still get both lungs and the top of the heart, this is a deadly shot that will bring a deer down in very short order.
 

Zombie

Old Mossy Horns
Great post! I hope to be using your directions very soon. :D


Last year i did most of my own butchering, but i wasn't that good. It looks so easy in the pics, lol.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
I agree this is a great post. The photos are very helpful with the cuts labeled. Hopefully a few moor deer and I'll have it down :):D Thanks for posting
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer
ole 2chucks gets around, he posts some amazing things and definatly takes the time to have all the pictures done up right. He also goes by Rancid Crabtree on another forum.

Check out his post on how to make a bow, amazing
 

Greg in Cary

Twelve Pointer
Brilliant!
Excellent post, should be very helpful to a lot of people.
One thing I need to get faster at is skinning. It just plain take me too long to skin a deer.
 

GrizzlyBear

Old Mossy Horns
Brilliant!
Excellent post, should be very helpful to a lot of people.
One thing I need to get faster at is skinning. It just plain take me too long to skin a deer.
Greg, try pulling the hide off from the head end by rolling up the hide over a baseball. Tie a rope under the ball and pull the hide off with a truck.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
I've never tried it but I heard you should use a golf ball.


Skinning a Deer with a Golf Ball

I read this in a magazine, I don't remember which one now, but it claimed to be the cleanest way to skin a deer. We decided to 'road test' this one! It sounded lame, but what the h*ll we all learn by our mistakes right?

From the magazine:

Lay the deer belly-up on a sheet of plastic or plywood. Make an incision through the skin all the way around the deer's neck about 6 inches below the ears. Make another incision from the neck cut down to a point between the front legs. Continue this incision out the inside of each front leg as far down as you want to skin the carcass.

Working from the top of the deer, free about 6 inches of skin between the top of the shoulder blades, and insert a golf ball or golf ball-size rock.

Tie the head off to a sturdy pole or tree. Make a slipknot in one end of another rope and cinch it over the golf ball, making sure it holds the deer's hide firmly. Attach the other end of this rope to your vehicle's tow hook.

Now just strip the hide from the deer by easing the vehicle slowly away.

Ok. we followed the instructions. Figuring that worst comes to worst, we end up losing a perfectly good hide for tanning and have to drag the whole carcass back up on the tarp where we were working.

When we first got the golf ball under the skin, and tied it off it looked pretty good. We tied the head to the bumper of my 4WD Ford 150 and tied the skin off to the trailer hitch on the Chevy S10 Blazer and made sure everything was snug.

As soon as the Blazer started to creep off, the deer caught tension and started dragging off the tarp behind the blazer till the ropes caught. The rope tied off around the golf ball slipped off and the deer hit the ground and the golf ball rolled away.

We retrieved the golf ball and tried it again, this time tying off a bit more 'hide' under the golf ball. When the Blazer pulled off the second time, I stood and watched the carcass come up off the ground and the hide being stripped from the deer as if by magic.

To say the least, I was surprised. Pleasantly so. The hide came of as clean as a whistle, completely intact and with very little meat on it, leaving little to flesh off for tanning.

Believe it or not, this one worked and worked well. I wish I could remember who wrote it or where I tore the article from so that I could thank them!
Link
 

Crash

Guest
I've never tried it but I heard you should use a golf ball.
Baseball, golfball or a rock all work well.(we normally use a rock) It's by far the best way to skin a deer w/ minimal to no hair to clean off the meat.
 

Crash

Guest
I'll see if we can get video on the next one Spoon. The best part is the sound it makes as the hide is pulled from the meat.
 

poppop

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I skinned a couple last year with a golf ball and a fourwheeler. Its pretty neat...but by the time you get the deer down to where the hide pulls off...you are about done anyways, but with me the best thing with using pulling the hide off...is no hair on the meat.
 

dobber

Twelve Pointer
i can't take the credit for it, all i did was copy and paste but its a great how to and had to share
 

Resqrick

Guest
Thanks

I do most of my skinning and quartering in the field. I leave the guts in and get the tenderloins. Backstraps sholders and hams leave the guts and ribs for the bears to find can do this in about 10-15min great explanation of the different cuts of meat! i get most of mine ground big family 6 of us but might save a roast or 2 now Thank You reat display and instructions !
 

JUSTWIKID

Guest
Thanks for sharing. Great info. Wife didnt care much for the skinning vids tho lmao.
 

7mm-08

Twelve Pointer
You must be single if you can hang a deer from the celing in your kitchen
 
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