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Dons Deer Processing
Deer processing is a business many people may not be aware of. It is a process of disassembling a whitetail deer to be cut up and packaged. Hunters bring their deer to a processing company for many reasons. The main objective for the hunter to bring the deer to our company is they want the animal to be processed professionally. Second, many people do not have time to clean their own deer. Others may not know how to clean a deer, or they simply do not have sufficient room to process a deer. With this being said, I will explain in Dons own words on how to process a whitetail deer.
When a hunter arrives to the processing company with a freshly shot deer from the woods, there are a couple of procedures before the hunter is able to leave. The deer has a tag on his ear and the tag has to be written onto paper and recorded in the log book for legal purposes. For example, if a game warden checks the business and a deer tag doesnt match the tag on the paper, the business will be fined. Also, the hunter has to write down how they want there deer to be processed. There are several options on how to process a deer and how they want the meat to be seasoned.
After the hunter leaves, the deer is hung by there hind legs so the access blood is drained out of the body. It is also easier to remove the skin off of the deer. To remove the skin from the deer, the processor must first cut a straight line from the back legs down to the anus.
Next, the skin is removed around the hind legs and peeled down the back. The same procedure is repeated on the front legs and the skin is also removed with a knife around the neck. When the skin is removed past the front legs, the neck is sawed off. When the skinning process is complete, the pelt is taken to the fur company down the road. From there on, the pelt is made in to fur jackets.
There are a couple of different ways to process the deer after it is skinned. The most popular is a normal cut. This means the front legs are disengaged from the body cavity. The meat from the front legs are removed and placed in a bin for a later date. Next, the tenderest meat is removed. They are called the back straps. The back straps are located on each side of the spine; they are simply cut out with a skinny fillet knife to remove most of the meat. Finally, the spine is removed from the back legs with a saw and each leg is removed from one other. The body cavity is disposed of and the back legs are cut into steaks with a rotating ban saw. The steaks are wrapped with saran wrap and then covered with a white freezer paper. The back straps are also packaged the same way as the steaks. The front legs are then put into a large machine that grinds the meat. The ground meat is then packaged directly from the machine into one pound bags. The other cuts are primarily the same as a normal cut, with a few minor differences. The primary alterations are done with the back legs.
The back legs are deboned and cut into boneless steaks.