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Aquaman01

Possible first timer with questions

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Hi,
I've never hunted before in my life (37 yrs old). I'm considering taking a deer this season or the next for the possible grocery economics. I have what I figure is a ringer location (within 1/4 mile of base camp) and I'm fairly proficient with firearms. My questions are...

Does the meat yield of an average kill make good $$ sense after butchering costs?

What do some of ya'll typically pay for butchering and what is the nature of the average service provided?

Other than my license, tag(s), firearm, ammo and field apparel - what initial expenses might I expect to incur? Concealment has already been provided at this location.

Any other advice or opinions are openly invited and certainly welcome.

Thanks-

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Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
"The bow is set to distant shore,
then loss is gained and gains once more.
When beach is reached and sails are torn,
the journey is it's own reward."

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the people that clean my deer for me charge $55 bucks and the cut the stakes and package them the way you want (# of stakes in each package), they also grind your burger meat for you.
during bow season your deer gfets done faster than gun season but they never take any longer then five days. and you get your meat back not somone elses. brainerd area
happy hunting
duck
[email protected]

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The price of commercial processing has risen some in the last year. This can be attributed to the CWD scare, and butchers not wanting to run venision/elk through their bandsaws. That's fine by be, as bone chips and bone marrow can taint the meat. If you just stick to the basic butcher job, the 55-70 dollar range is in the ballpark. Once you start getting sausage made, the price begins to rise quickly.

Have you given any thought to butchering yourself? There are some great books and videos out there that explain the process very well. If I have the time this year, we will probably do some of the processing ourselves.

Good luck, Aquaman!

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Auqua,
If your anywhere close to the cambridge area or north (actually grasston) when your hunting or done hunting you can come over and WE will butcher your deer and you can learn. I do mine and my neighbors in the area. I just like help when I do it. You will come out with all your steaks and roasts if you want them and a couple packs of trimmings. Let me know

------------------
www.bucketrack.com
Hey nice Rack

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By all means butcher the deer yourself!
Been doing my own for years now and will only bring a deer to the butcher during the bow season when it's too warm outside.
I just cut the meat away from the bone and don't have to worry about bone chips in my meat!
Don't worry about making mistakes cutting the venison because all the mistakes can be ground into sausage or burger!
I also invested in a electric meat grinder that works great and we mix all our sausage and burger the way we want it! Lean or not so lean. And you can get together with someone to purchase the grinder (around $100.00). It's paid for itself many times now!

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If Sandburn is offering, take him up on it. The best way to process a deer is to do everything you can by yourself. Roasts and steaks are easy. Then you can take clean trimmings to just about any butcher for further processing. I like to get half of it ground with fatty beef chuck for ground venison (use like beef. Burgers, tacos, etc) and the other half turned onto sausage. It is so much cheaper this way, and you'll get your own stuff back!

Processing is also very interesting, in an odd kind of way........

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we have always processed our own deer. I can remember trying to turn the handle on the old hand crank grinder when I was 3 or 4 years old. It is a very easy process it just takes some time, and if you get the chance to have some one show you it becomes even easier...Take Sand Burr up on the offer if possible, heck if you're close I could possibly help you out. Trade a trip or something like that.

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Aqua, I've always felt that wild game is some of the most expensive meat around once you factor in the price of your equipment and gear - multiple guns, 4 wheel drive truck, cold weather clothes, trip costs, my new bow last year, with all the bells and whistles was over $500. You could buy beef cheaper! The reason we hunt is the sunrises and sunsets and comradery and challenge of the hunt, can I get close enough to get a nice buck with my bow? You can't beat that anticipation on opening morning or that heart throbbing excitement when you hear leaves rustling!!! The meat is just a bonus for partaking in great fun!

That being said, my take on the cost is that it costs about $60 to take it to a butcher if you just have it cut up into the basic steaks and roasts and ground meat. Its the sausage, jerky, etc that gets spendy. Just guessing, but on an average deer, you probably get 50-80 pounds of meat back. I've never butchered my own because of time and travel constraints, we get done hunting, take the deer to a butcher, and get it back in white packages. Plus is it worth the mess and fuss and time spent to butcher your own?

Another factor to consider is will you and your family like venison? An overcooked venison steak tastes like tough liver!! People have this misconception that you have to cook 'all the bugs out of venison'. Venison is best eaten hot and rare. Also, on the ground venison, I tell them to just give me straight venison, why add fat to a low cholesterol meat? When browning the burger, just Pam the teflon pan and it will work just fine.

Good luck!

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H2Oguy,

The others have covered the economics pretty well....it is cheaper by the pound to buy meat at the store, at least for the first few seasons. In the long run, if you hunt close to home, use the same firearm every year and butcher the animal yourself, you may start coming out ahead.

One very important point made previously is to make sure that the whole family enjoys eating venison. If they don't, then venison burger, cut with a little beef fat, goes a long ways in chili, tacos, pasta sauce, meatloaf, etc, as it's non-beef flavor can be more easily masked by other ingredients.

You can make your own burger. Know someone with a Kitchen-Aid mixer and a grinding attachment ($60 for the attachement)? It will make short work of your trimmings and you can package it in the quantities you want.

As far as the other gear expenses....I bet you've got most of what you need already because you are an outdoors person. Quality boots are a must, poly-pro liner socks, wool over-socks, poly-pro long underwear, wool/fleece pants, etc. Layers are key, as I'm sure you know.

Other suggestions on some odds and ends that may cost money: a good, sharp knife for field dressing (minimum 4" blade for me), orange trail tape for marking your routes in and out and for marking blood trails, small flashlight, folding hand saw for taking down branches near the stand or on your access trails, a small compass (just in case), perhaps some attractant/cover scent (many debate which one or if any is really that effective, but I use it just in case), perhaps some fingerless gloves w/mitten covers (I find these good for stand hunting), depending on the stand you will hunt from, you may want a safety harness of some kind, and, perhaps most importantly, spend a few dollars on extra shells and a couple hours at an area shooting range--know your gun, make sure it's sighted to where you want it to be and make sure the firing of your gun is close to second nature.

Become very familiar with your hunting area. Know where area homes are, know where livestock may be, know where other hunters may be.....it's all about safety.

I'm excited for you....we're almost the same age and I've been hunting deer for 22 years. It is what I enjoy doing most in the outdoors as it requires a complete and total immersion into the outdoor environment. Everything out there tells a story and you've got to learn to listen to what is being said to you.

Good luck!

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fishnhooks,
It works good for me during the week and yes I will give you a hand. MGD works well for me. Oh make it a light we could both use it!

------------------
www.bucketrack.com
Hey nice Rack

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SB,
I will make it many lites. After 2 weeks and 3 weekends of sitting in a tree, I will deffinetly need to make it a lite!
"hooks"

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Aqua,
I would take SandBurr up on his offer. I know that his family have been processing there deer for years and know how to handle there meat. As far as being cost worthy.... I have never found it to be cost efficient for me, But I sure do have a heck of alot of fun!! Not having to suffer the cost of processing deffinitly helps.

SandBurr,
Now that I know that the only requirment for you to process a deer is to give you a hand..... Would you please schedule my deer in. The plan will be 2 this year. One from the first weekend, one the next (to spread it out a little for us)and I will just go up and help whomever in the group needs help shooting there's on the 3rd.
Thanks,
"hooks"

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If you go to Northern Tool, you can pick up a #32 grinder with a pulley wheel for about $50. Put an electric motor wired for 220 on it, and throw in a hoof and stand back, your deer is ground. grin.gif
Made my own stuffer that runs on air out of 4" PVC pipe, made a smoker big enough for 2 good size deer at once. I actually enjoy the experimentation with different recipes to see what I get just as much as shooting the deer.
It's a lot of work, and not cheaper once you start buying all the seasonings and stuff for sausage, sticks, and jerky, but you can make it the way you want it, and you get your own deer back. A lot of processors will just weigh what you bring in, and give you something similar back, not neccessarily yours. You don't know how someone else has cared for their meat before they brought it in, so you could be getting anything back.

As it was stated before, it's more for the experience than it is for the econimic gain of getting free meat. It's far from free when all is said and done.

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Takin it easy! & if it’s easy, I’ll take it twice!

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