Research shows that more and more people have left rural areas and society has become more urban/suburban. With this societal change, people have left farm life for suburban life. Consequently, people have specialized in their jobs. No longer does everyone in the family work on growing or harvesting food to put on the table, as was the case generally speaking, years ago.
However, the number of hunters has grown in recent decades. Quality deer management programs abound from state to state across the United States. More deer are harvested than ever before. In my lifetime, I have seen the Georgia deer regulations change greatly. When I was a child, a hunter could harvest 1 doe on a few specific doe days and 2 bucks. Today, the limit is 12 deer; 10 does that can be taken anytime during the season and 2 bucks, one of which must be a quality, or larger antlered, buck.
Another societal change has been the increased divorce rate. This often leaves these suburban children without a role model who can teach them outdoor skills. One of these skills is deer butchering. As a result, it is the norm for hunters to use a specialist; they take their harvested animal to a deer processor who’s fees may run into the hundreds of dollars for a single animal.
How to Butcher a Deer
Butchering a deer is actually a simple process. A quick description is as follows:
- Hang the deer up by the back legs
- Remove the skin
- Remove extremities
- Open body cavity
- Remove entrails
- Cut animal into quarters
- Place in cooler
The overall goal of butchering a deer yourself is to save money and insure quality of the meat products for as long as possible. In the following pages, I will provide instruction on deer butchering, cooking, curing, smoking, sausage making, and an array of related topics.