Butchering and Processing

Who knew it was so much work!  But it was so good too!  Approximately 200 lbs of deer, processed to 46 lbs of meat (we had some loss due to someones shot going through both hind legs of his deer 🙁 ~ oh well).  Anyhow, if you are the slightest bit squeamish or just do not wish to see what the skinning and butchering process looked like, I HIGHLY suggest that you do not proceed further.  However, if you are like me, and find this incredibly fascinating, I’m talking where your “science” brain kicks in, you are a homeschooling Mama and find this to be awesome for anatomy, or you just have a morbid curiosity (lol), then by all means, continue on.

Working on de-skinning Cactus Conor's deer.

 

The skin is a bit challenging to remove.

Okay, the science brain in me thinks the esophagus looks like an intubation tube.

Travis Tree makes the first cut for skinning on his deer.

Making progress...

Cactus Conor diligently pulling the skin from his deer.

He's still working hard, but getting a bit slap-happy.

Just a quick pause...

Making the deer "dance". Before this, he "spanked" the deer for not co-operating in removing the skin. Like I said, slap-happy.

Okay, now what?

Fat, muscle, joints, ligaments...Oh My!

Trying not to tear the skin while removing from the hind legs...

I was stunned at how long the deers hair is...and so soft!

Ugh ~ this stuff doesn't want to come off.

Pulling the skin away from the chest.

Older deer do not want to give up their hids even in death.

Cactus Conor's deer skinned.

Travis Tree's deer, skinned and minus two front legs.

Taking off a front leg.

Cutting out the backstrips (aka: tenderloins).

Still working the backstraps.

A hind leg from Travis' deer ready to be cut.

A certain little kitty, we won't name name's, Roxie, was getting spoiled!

No, she's not going for the garbage, she want's what is on the counter ~ 'Come on Dad, more please?!?!'

 And then Day 2, yes, it took two days to butcher, clean, process and package all that meat.

Packaging station in the kitchen.

Grinding station in the kitchen.

 I don’t have a picture of all the meat packaged.  I didn’t have anywhere I could just put it all while we worked other than my freezer.

Would we do this all again?  Well, does the fact that my Men are all out hunting right now as I put this together answer the question? 🙂  Yes, we definitely would, will and are.  I do advocate responsible hunting ~ hunt legally, if you insist on hunting just for a “trophy” at least donate the deer to an organization such as Hunt 4 Hunger .  If they are not in your area, talk to your local food bank to see what resources or options are available in your area.

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