butchering your own in archery - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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butchering your own in archery

I've never processed my own, but would like to begin to.

When you shoot one in archery, do you guys just quarter it up and put in the refrigerator til you're ready to do cuts or grind?

How/do you age in warm weather if you dont have a walk in cooler?

Any other considerations in autumn?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 09:55 PM
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I bone it out as fast as I can then get it into a refrigerator I have in the garage. I try to spread it out to let it cool. Once cooled when I'm ready to cut, I'll put the meat in my freeze for about 20 minutes or so to firm it up for cutting or cubing for jerky. Never aged mine.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 10:17 PM
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I do the same as Laylow- here are a few tips I've picked up over the years- you really can't age it by hanging it unless you have a large cooler to hang it. Since I don't have that capability, I don't worry about aging the meat.

1) Get the hide off as quickly as possible. If you have a long trip home (over 45 minutes) stop and throw a few bags of ice in the chest and abdominal cavities.
2) Quarter the deer into 2 front quarters, 2 hind quarters, remove the inside loins, the back strap, and the neck roast (I don't fool with ribs this time of year).
3) DO NOT WRAP THE PIECES IN PLASTIC OR PUT IN A PLASTIC BAG!!! I loosely wrap each section with the old waxed butcher paper, but I don't tape it tight, just wrap enough to keep the blood from leaking into the refrigerator.
4) I let it cool overnight. Usually by the next morning the front quarters, inside loins, and back strap are ready to cut further. The hind quarters will need about an hour or so in the freezer to firm up.
5) Only get out the section you are working with, and try to vacuum seal and freeze as much as you can. I will freeze chunked meat that I grind in Ziplocks until I'm ready to grind at least 10 pounds to mix with ground beef.

Wipe everything down, and repeat for the next one!

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 10:40 PM
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If you kill one in the evening, pull the hide off and leave it hang outside to get the animal heat out of it. I’d get up early, before I left for work, ( usually 4:30 am) and quarter it quickly and put pieces in a fridge in the garage. The meat was cool enough that it wouldn’t “sweat” like it would if you put in the warm quarters.

If it’s daylight, and warm, you gotta get them into the fridge ASAP to avoid the blowflies and yellowjackets.

I’ve skinned and quartered a lot of deer in the woods also. I carried a shiv wheel, saw, and bags on the quad and would use the winch to hang them from a limb of a tree.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 10:43 PM
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Look up "wet aging".

I hang/skin/quarter as fast as possible (it was 90f on Monday and a constant fight with yellow jackets) and get it inside to relatively cool indoor temps. Then debone. That hasn't changed. But now that I have a vacuum sealer, instead of leaving bowls in the fridge for fresh steak to age up to a week, I just vacuum seal it. It takes up a lot less space that way and is good for a couple weeks, in fact gets better in two weeks. Anything to be ground - shank, arm, flank, neck - doesn't really need aging and can be frozen immediately in freezer paper and then ground up later. I often do some chunks to be cured pastrami, they get rolled in cure and go in a ziplock in the fridge for a week or so before smoking.

I printed out the following guide many years ago, B&W pics and all. If you have never done your own deer, this is a pretty good place start.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 12:36 AM
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I am going to cut my own deer in archery season also. Youtube has a ton of videos that show how to do everything from skinning to cutting. Search for "processing deer". Below are links to two of the best videos that I have found.

This video shows how to cut on a hanging deer. I like how it shows how to cut the sirloin and rounds (top, eye, and bottom) off the hind quarter.

This is a great video to show how to finish cut the meat. I like how it explains the steps to process the backstraps. This is a long video but I have watched it several times to understand it all.

I have looked at several videos on cooling down and aging the deer meat. Some use coolers or refrigerators after skinning the deer and quartering it. From what I understand, it is better to age the deer with the hide on. Nothing can get to the meat that way. I am going to hang the deer and put ice in chest cavity. I also am going to make a box out of a 4x8 sheet of foam insulation to put around the deer. I will put a few gallon jugs of ice inside the box. I will use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. If I can keep the temp around 40 that will work. After two or three days I will skin and cut the deer.

Hope this all helps. Good luck.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 08:28 AM
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Hittinguru does things the same as I do. I don't harvest more than one at a time so I'm not rushed.

Keep in mind that a quartered deer on ice, (I use a 164qt Igloo and a bunch of water filled juice 1/2 gallon frozen containers), will stay fresh about 7 days if you're in a pinch, but try to get it done much sooner than that. First night I try to have it skinned, quartered, and muscle groups separated before they go on ice, each quarter gets its' own gallon bag (or two). One of the backstraps is generally missing by morning.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 08:59 AM
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Anymore, I usually have a cooler with frozen ice bottles in the back of the truck. If I'm fortunate enough to get a deer, they usually get skun and quartered using the gutless method right on my tailgate. I'll let the pieces hang from my ladder rack to cool off until I'm ready to go, then throw them in the cooler. From there, the pieces wind up spread out in my beer-'n-deer fridge for a few days until I have time to finish them up. It's a lot of work, but it's every bit as important and rewarding to me as the hunt itself.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 308 ruger View Post
I've never processed my own, but would like to begin to.

When you shoot one in archery, do you guys just quarter it up and put in the refrigerator til you're ready to do cuts or grind?

How/do you age in warm weather if you dont have a walk in cooler?

Any other considerations in autumn?
I've butchered my own deer since I began hunting.

When I shoot one in archery, I gut in the field, load into my truck and drive home where I have frozen gallon jugs waiting. I stuff them in the cavity while prepping to skin and quarter.

Depending on the time of day, I will skin and quarter and throw in a cooler until the next day or I will full trim out the entire deer and process it 100%.

I don't age my venison...

Just get the deer gutted and iced as soon as possible. Even if you have to stop at a minute mart on the way home and stuff that deer full of ice, do it.

Previously JJ5C
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:11 AM
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Pretty much what was said above. Place cookies sheets or something metal in the freezer and when you cut the meat, lay on the frozen sheets, this helps keep the meat cool when processing.
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Last edited by G2CDeer; 09-27-2019 at 09:16 AM.
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