Deer hunting can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but once you’ve bagged your game, you’ll need to get it processed. The cost of deer processing can vary greatly depending on the services you choose and the region you’re in. Here’s an overview of estimated costs:
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Deer Processed?
The cost of deer processing can be influenced by various factors such as the size of the deer, the type of cut you prefer, the location, and the processing company you select. The cost of processing a deer typically ranges from $75 to $180. However, this price usually does not include premium cuts such as jerky, hamburger, or sausages.
Depending on the type of cut you want, the expense can go up to $320 for a full-sized deer. Processing companies charge either by the cut or by the pound. For example, Skoglund Meats charges $1.25 per pound to grind and pack the meat, while Clay’s Deer Processing from Texas charges a flat fee of $90 for processing.
The cost of sausages varies between $2.5 and $6 per pound and the cost of jerky ranges from $6 to $10 per pound. Hamburgers are relatively cheaper with a cost of $1.5 to $5 per pound, while the cost of bacon is around $7 to $10 per pound. For lunch meat, the cost is typically between $3 and $5 per pound.
What Are the Extra Costs for Deer Processing?
Disposing of the deer carcass can cost you anywhere from $8 to $20. If you want certain items like sausages to be vacuum-sealed and wrapped, you should set aside $0.50 to $1 per pound. Meat tenderizing services can cost you between $20 to $40 and are often included in the overall processing fee.
For less than $80, most processors can tan the hide and return it to you. Caping the deer for a shoulder mount can range from $55 to $110. If you choose to add extra flavor to the meat, such as cheese to sausage sticks, you could pay an additional $2 to $4 per pound.
If you need your order to be processed urgently, the cost can increase by more than 40%. Some processors may also charge a storage fee if you don’t pick up your order within the agreed-upon time frame, and a deposit of $55 to $80 may be required to start working on your order.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Professional Process Your Deer?
Knowledge About Deer Processing
Deer processing requires a lot of knowledge about the animal and the best methods for extracting the meat. A professional meat processor is equipped with this knowledge and will ensure that you get the best cuts of meat. There are certain areas of the deer that are better than others, and a professional will be able to identify them easily.
If you are processing the deer yourself, you may miss out on the best cuts of meat and even waste some parts of the deer due to inexperience. The professionals, on the other hand, are experts in this field and know how to extract as much meat as possible, resulting in a higher yield and return.
This is a crucial factor to consider if you want to maximize the amount of meat you can get from the deer.
Sterile and Clean Deer Processing
Maintaining a sterile and clean environment is crucial for a professional deer processor. This is because the presence of bacteria can compromise the quality of the meat and even cause health problems. A professional processor follows specific time limits to make sure that the meat stays fresh and free from any harmful bacteria.
By ensuring a sterile and clean environment, the processor guarantees that the meat is safe to consume and that none of it goes to waste. So, it’s important to choose a deer processor who prioritizes cleanliness and hygiene in their work to ensure the safety of the meat you will be consuming.
Professional Fat Trimming
When processing a deer, it can be challenging to determine where the best cuts and trims will be for the fat of the deer, even if you know the anatomy of the animal. Fat is crucial in giving the meat flavor and ensuring it tastes good when cooked. However, leaving too much fat can result in the meat tasting terrible.
It is essential to know precisely how much fat to leave on the meat to get the right flavor. Many people admit that they have trimmed the fat off of a deer they processed themselves, and the meat ended up tasting bad.
If you are planning to store months’ worth of deer meat, you need to think about the amount of packaging required to keep it safe from freezer damage. Improper packaging can result in losing some of the meat. However, if you choose to have a professional process the deer for you, they will take care of the packaging. The meat will be given to you frozen and ready to be stored in your freezer.
You can even ask the processor to package the meat into portions of certain sizes to make it easier for you to take out chunks for family dinners. It’s important to keep in mind that the packaging process and the ability to get the meat in different cuts will impact the costs.
If you want to keep the costs down, it’s a good idea to discuss other options with the processor.
What Are the Things You Need to Know About Deer Processing?
When choosing a deer processing company, it’s important to be aware of their minimum requirements for certain cuts. For instance, some processors may require a minimum purchase of 25 pounds for summer sausage. On average, a 75 to 125-pound deer will yield about 50 percent of its weight in lean, boneless meat after field dressing.
While some processors recommend bringing the deer in “as-is,” it’s crucial to take it directly to the processor after loading it to prevent bacteria from spoiling the meat. It’s important to note that following proper handling and storage techniques can ensure that the meat stays fresh and safe to consume.
Where to Get Your Deer Processed?
Deer processing is available all over the country, regardless of where you are located. As long as there is an opportunity for deer hunting, there will be deer processors nearby. A quick online search can help you find a local deer processor, but your friends who also hunt can be your best resource.
Because deer processors are usually small businesses, they rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. If a local deer processor has a good reputation, it’s likely that people will continue to choose them for their deer processing needs. So, if you hear good things about a local deer processor, it’s probably a safe bet that they are a good choice for you.
How You Can Save Money on Deer Processing?
When it comes to selecting a deer processing company, it is important to be mindful of the cost. It is a good idea to request at least three price quotes from different companies before making your final decision. Many deer processors are happy to provide quotes over the phone or via email, and you can also check their official websites for pricing information.
By obtaining multiple quotes, you can compare costs and find the best value for your money. Keep in mind that price is not the only factor to consider when selecting a deer processor, but it is an important one to keep in mind.
Getting a deer processed can be a convenient and efficient way to ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh and delicious meat. While the cost can vary depending on the processor and the services you require, it is important to do your research and get several quotes before making a decision.
With the right processor, you can enjoy the benefits of high-quality meat without having to worry about the time and effort required to process it yourself.