M*CARBO Brotherhood

Hunters: Process Kill Yourself Or Get Processed?


Just curious. Do you you process your own wild game or have it professionally processed. I have always done my own processing. I’ve done moose, elk, axis deer, red stag, whitetail deer, sitka deer and wild hogs as well as small game. I tried having it professionally processed once but it was just not up to my standards. I cut my own steaks, roasts, grind my own burger, make my own patty sausage, and stuff and smoke my own link sausage. Also make my own jerky and venison sticks. My wife is making venison bone broth as I type this from the bones of the 2 deer I shot a few days ago.
What do you prefer? Do it yourself or have it done professionally?


Always self processed. In my opinion if you can’t self process you shouldn’t be hunting.


Personally, I agree with you BUT I’m not going to judge someone that wants to have it done. Some don’t have the know how to do it, others don’t have the time. To me, it’s easy but smoking meat and making jerky takes owning a smoker or smokehouse or at the very least, a dehydrator. There is some knowledge involved in doing it correct.


Well, I’m jealous, no, I’m guilty of hitting the expensive “easy button” that is less rewarding



Me… Guilty as charged! Grew up in the city. My first hunt and last was with my father in law (almost 30 years ago.) I just have a lot of good friends to enjoy ‘the feast!’


process my own. always have.


I always process my game. For me, it is a very rewarding to know that I not only successfully hunted and harvested an animal but also that it was properly done from initial field dressing to finally putting the meat into the freezer. I like to own the whole process from start to finish.


I have always done all my own except pepperoni sticks and salami. Hamburger I grind and add bacon or pork shoulder. @Texprep Jerky I do in smoker and dehydrator. I don’t do roasts with elk or deer. I cut and package it all in grades of steak (finger to back strap), I package steaks, hamburger etc in approx 1lb packs with a good food saver vacuum sealer. A good Food Saver vac sealer with the thick, heavy bags is the Bee’s Knees as it were. LOL


For anyone that wants to build a smoker it’s a piece of cake. You need box, 110v electric stove-top element, thermostat, cast iron skillet.
This is what I have now but same as we used to build out of old fridg/freezers. You would need to find an old one with metal interior like we used to or strip the interior of a newer one. (a mini-fridge I think would be cool for a limited space alternative)
The thermostat in the weatherproof box is from the stove along with the element. The element is in a piece of tin I bent and cut out. I can put several racks in this one for fish, jerky etc or take them out and hang turkeys. I put a cast iron pan on the element to throw the wood chips in and I set mine at 180 deg.


For whitetail deer and Sitka deer I will grind chuck roast or some other type beef and add about 20 to 30% beef. Those deer are just to lean to hold together on the BBQ pit when making burgers. Need the added beef/fat to help hold together. When making sausage, both links and patty, I add 40-50% pork trimmings.


I do about the same for the deer burger, either 60/40 for burgers and meatloaf, or 70/30 for chili and spaghetti I cut it with boston butt, (i get 3/4 cow @ 1.5 hawg every spring, from a local and cut it up)I do the backstraps separate, butterflied and wrapped in a strip of bacon


For burgers I will mix it with some egg and spice before I cook it and that helps keep it from crumbling. For burritos and enchiladas it’s not needed.
One difference is nearly all my hamburger is elk. It’s different than deer. It’s sweeter and slightly less lean than the deer is.
My parents used to buy a 4H lamb every year at the end of the fair.


Whitetail and Sitka deer are the only thing I add beef to for my burger. Elk, moose, axis, stag, and antelope I don’t add any beef to. All the sausage I make gets 40 to 50% pork trimmings regardless of what wild game I make it with. Sausage just needs that added fat. Of all the wild game, I’ll have to say elk, axis, and red stag are my favorites. The 3 are very similar in taste and fat content. Whitetail is probably what I eat most of. I live in Texas and deer are about as plentiful as mosquitoes here.


LOL right. In Arkansas my buddy can get 3 a day for the 1 month season. I agree the sausage, salami, pepperoni needs a lot pork…


here in the lowcountry, average dressout in meat is about 80 lbs. tiny swamp whitetails. had one in the last few years that dressed at over 125LB. most you could almost carry out by the ears LOL. miss the mountain deer… but not if i get a chance to get a crosshair on one…


Sounds like the 2 deer I shot last weekend. Live weight probably about 125 each. By the time I had them both completely processed and wrapped I had 64 lbs of burger, 20 lbs of steaks, and 10 lbs of stew meat.


thats why i prefer to use Bow down here, or head base of skull/neck shots. least amount of blood/shot meat. I can remember growing up in the Appalachians , 170, 190 average dress out, and that wasnt even a monster buck, also, organs were fair game, Heart,Liver, loved the liver, now they are so many toxins ,you cant go by looks, hell in 1986, we were in, (Charleston Naval base) a handfull of us were hunters, Had a hunt then a appropriate cookout the next weekend, week after we were going on and off subs, and we started popping the “friskalls” (radiation detector) turned out, we hunted, bagged a couple, ate the meat, and also ingested cesium (Cs 137) that came down in the rain, hit the vegetation, deer ate the vegetation, we ate the deer and subsequently set off the detectors… all residue that was the result from Chernobyl meltdown… only thing that hasnt changed, is the fact im using the same hand crank grinder…


I hunt by all means. Bow, crossbow, contender pistol, and rifle. Both of these latest deer were taken with my tack driving Savage model 11 Trophy Hunter .243. Used hand loaded 95 gr. Hornady SST bullets and VihtaVuori N165 powder and Federal 210M primers. Like I said, rifle is a tack driver. Can cover 5 shots with a dime at 100 yards. Both animals were shot in the neck and fell in their tracks. Like you, I prefer neck/head shots. Not near as messy when dressing out and since they fall where they stand, there is no tracking.


Always done it myself I am a butcher/slaughterman by trade before giving up the knives and going farming


I grew up learning to skin/ process everything we hunt.