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Hi, I need your input for a future Deer Processing Shop

1519 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  on_the_fly
Hi, I plan on starting up a deer processing plant in Illinois, south of Chicago. Before I do, I want to make sure I will be providing the best possible service for the hunters at the best price. I have some questions that I think will help me set things up and get moving on the right track. If you could answer which ever ones you feel like, any information will be greatly appreciated and I am sure will bay off big in the long run.

When you bring a 100 pound dressed doe into the processing plant, with a clean double lung shot minimizing meat loss, about how much fresh meat (burger, steaks, roasts, etc…) do you get back?

How far are you willing to travel to have your deer processed at a plant that meets your product quality standards?

If you brought in 60 pounds of boned meat, on average, how much of that would you have made into smoked meat (summer sausage, slim jims, jerky, etc…)?

How long does it usually take from the day you hand your deer over to the processor to the day you get the call to pick it up? (please indicate if there was sausage and jerky made)

Do you prefer community batches (all deer are put into one container when boned and separated according to weight) because it is quicker and cheaper, or individual processing because you know you are getting your deer back?

How many deer have you had processed each year for the past three years?

Without going into detail as to where you take your deer for processing, do you have any complaints or praises about your current processor?

Thank you for your time. I hope you will answer these questions as accurately as you can so I can provide the best possible service to the hunters that come to me for processing in the future.
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I do my own but i can promise you your shop will fail if you mention a community bin to put all huntedrs meat in.some people dont know how to field dress,gut shot deer,etc.mentioning this will put put you on a fast track to bankruptcy
I couldn't agree with you more. I cannot stand the thought of community batching. I have however seen that many places use it with success. They cut up the steaks, roasts, and rounds, then lump all the sausage in together. I still don't agree with this, but I am looking for honest opinions from hunters. I have not found ONE that doesn't mind a community batch! These questions are solidifying the processing methods I have learned from my father and Grandfather, and even giving me new some Ideas. Thanks for your response!
The community batch is a no-no in my book. Where I take my deer you get back the same deer you take in.

On average I get my deer back in 2 weeks.

I usually get back about half of whatever live weight the deer was. 100 pd doe equals around 50 lbs of meat.

I would travel 15-20 miles at most for better service. Much farther than that and I would just do it myself everytime.

Average 2-3 deer a year.

Only complaint I have is the folks calling me when its done. Not me having to check in with them. Call your customers when its ready. (that also helps you have freezer room)
If properly done, a 115 lb field dressed deer will yield about 17-20 lbs of burger. Depending on customer's wish list the number of steaks/roasts ect varies dramatically. Generally, 2 neck roasts, 2 small front shoulder roasts, 2-4 hind quarter roasts, 2- back straps either as chops with bone or sliced 1" thick steaks and 2 small tenderloins from inside the carcass. Many now make short ribs for smoking. You should end up with a couple of stew meat packages and the rest as burger. Batching with another's meat is a big no no! I would not advise doing it as it would only take one contaminated carcass, how do you guarantee against it, and you'd have a whole lot of lawsuits coming your way. Community batching is THE reason I've been processing my own game since 1978. One deer at a time for your benefit and the customer's. I would not drive more than 20 miles to process a game animal. I mostly agree with the 50% return on processed meat vs incoming carcass, if all is bone out. This would be minus hide, feet, head. To simply cut and wrap/freeze I think $40-$50 is not bad, then the price for smoking and specialities goes way up. Anyone that promotes batching meat is simply playing Russian roulette. I would not suggest doing it and for those who do, I hope you advise your clients of it, I'm sure they will go elsewhere. Other than vacuum packaging, I have found over the years to plastic wrap each cut of meat forcing the air out using a couple of wraps, then using the old wax freezer paper, again with a couple of wraps and freezer tape the seams. This system gives a solid 2 years of protection. Good luck!
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around here they charge 75 for drop off and standard cut and pick up and 6 bucks a lbs for any specalty meats, like jerky, summer sas, meat sticks, breckfast sas. i have never took a harvest for prossesing i cut out my own and also make my own jerky, and breakfast sausage, community batching is bad bad but i do know were my friend gets his done its your deer for the cuts but specalty meats are bached, i guess because of the high cost people only order small amounts and i guess its cheapper or faster or mabey a measurement issue for them to small batch their seasonning. I dont know but i dont use them either
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