Deboning, or removing most of the bones from the cuts of venison, can make a huge difference in several areas. I usually debone after the meat has soaked out as described in the How to Butcher pages. This gives me a chance to rest from the work of hunting and butchering. It also allows me to spread the job out over several days. Being a busy person; a teacher, a MMA (UFC style fighting) gym owner and instructor, fighter manager, fight promoter, and certainly not least – a family man; I often don’t have all the time in one day to harvest a deer, or hog for that matter, dress it, and debone it.
The two main tasks in deboning are either:
- Remove large bones, or,
- Remove the ends of bones to the joint that are not needed
Deboning is helpful because it:
- Makes freezer storage of venison easier
- Aids in preparing the meat for cooking
Follows is a quick description of how to debone the various parts of a deer:
- Shoulder – remove the shank by cutting the leg bone away from the shoulder joint
- Ribs – ribs are bone, but, the ends can be trimmed neatly to aid in storage
- Loin/Tenderloin – these should have been cut away from the carcass boneless
- Ham – this is the biggest deboning task but it will also have the greatest outcome. If you have never seen it done before, you will be surprised. First, lay the ham so the inner leg is facing up. At the lower portion of the ham, cut completely around the joint between the large upper bone and the lower leg bone. At the upper portion of the ham, cut completely around the ham, separating it from the hip bone. Running from top to bottom are two muscle groups that pretty well separate along the bone from the lower joint to the upper ball joint; cut along this line from top to bottom. Now, open the ham and trim it away from the bone starting at the bottom and moving to the top. It should fall away fairly easily.