With hunting season in full swing, one of our lunch time discussions at work this week was 'how you get your animals processed'. I, obviously, am a member of the 'drop it off for butchering' group, but a number of the guys I work with handle it themselves, some stopping at the cut and wrapped stage and grinding their own burger.
One gentleman even processes his own sausage and jerky, although he recommends you practice with beef and pork first, because you feel much less bad about wasting 10 pounds of pork that you can buy at the store on a bum batch of sausage then you do about wasting the round roast out a deer that you won't get back until next year.
After admiting that I am one of the types that has someone else do my dirty work, I did express the opinion that I felt butchering a deer, or even an elk was something I could do, given the right facilities. Getting the backstraps and tenderloin out doesn't look too tough, and if the rest of the animal ends up looking sad and getting turned into burger...well, that tastes okay too.
At this, one of my buddies brightened up and asked if I had ever seen the youtube video of a guy butchering a deer in 8 minutes. When I said I hadn't, he told, just go home and type in 'butcher deer in 8 minutes', and enjoy.
So I did...and I did enjoy. Holy Moly...it's not so much an instructional video, as it is a display of skill and experience. I'm sure residing in Wisconsin, where more deer are hit by cars each year than hunters kill in Washington, Mr. Heid, of Heid Wild Game Cutting, gets to practice on 400-500 deers a year...and it shows. The techniques that really blew me away was the way he detaches the hind quarter, and then takes all the rib meat and back straps off at once. It might be cheaper and less frustrating to fly Mr. Heid in every year to handle my animals that to practice until I get to his level.
Embedding was disabled on the video, but, please, click here to enjoy and be blown away.(No, there is no warning for it being icky...I suspect if you are the type who has stuck around this long, seeing your dinner BEFORE it ends up on your plate won't disturb you.