Big Game Meat Processing
I have NEVER had my deer commercially processed (38 yrs and counting). About ten years ago I gave up the practice of slicing venison steaks and adding fat to the ground meat. Loins are made into 1-2 pound whole sections and the Round into 2-3 pound sections (the three large muscle sections separate easily). When it comes time to using the ground meat I add a splash of oil in the pan. I weigh out the ground into one pound squares and freeze on cookie tins with the whole meat sections. After frozen, I package, vacuum seal and label.
All the meat is boneless and I paid close attention to remove the silver skin and tendon. Never a bone saw has touched my deer and have yet to have a naysayer claim it was GAMEY. As long as the vacuum seal worked, I have discovered that two (2) year old (not intentional-it was hidden) frozen meat is not bad.
I've been fortunate to be able to remove my kill WHOLE from the woods and hang it by the gambrels on the outdoor buck pole. There I skin it, remove the entrails and let it cool until meat processing can begin. The new electric hoist is much easier then the old block and tackle pulley system I previously used.
However, I am interested if I may incorporate any of my Michigan system into an Alaska system, or a hybrid of such. Do you see anything you might do differently regarding prime cuts? I do understand that most game will be in quarters when I arive home.
You are going to hear lots of theories on this stuff. But with moose, our group brings them out quartered, then they are deboned and trimmed just like you describe with your deer.....there's just lots more of it, and the big roasts are cut into many more manageable roasts. Moose fat is pretty edible but you'll hear plenty to the contrary as well....so you will have to decide. For blacktails, many deer come out whole to the boat or can be sledded off the hill, but many will also be quartered. I hang mine in game bags for a day or two if weather permits and then process just as you would a whitetail from da UP.
Don't overthink it, the cuts are the same. Quartering in the field is not hard to do, and a tarp helps keep things much cleaner.
I leave my burger without fat, and add pork at about 15-20% for sausage making. Don't really make straight burgers often, but it goes straight in my chili's burritos and nachos
I see you are in Juneau.....gonna head out for deer?
However, our crew once upon a time would pull out the bandsaw and make tbones etc. if they could bring the spine out whole. Have had several pieces of wild stuff with bone in and have had no problem with it. Moose marrow is actually fantastic.
I'm missing this fall's deer hunt but I'll be in the area for spring bear and late fall deer in 2013. First year of retirement has being playing catchup on EVERYONE's honey-do lists.
If next year's hunts and fishing in the interior are successful I'll have to off load meat/fish because I only have a 5 cuft freezer in the RV. Probably have to start canning and drying stuff like remote people have to.
If you have a "foodsaver" style vacuum packer, the Walmart Brand 1 pint bags work great for burger. One pound when sealed and flattened is about 5/8 inch thick and you can stack them in the freezer, cooler etc. Because they are so thin, when you get ready to use them they thaw quickly.
I've heard some negative things about the foodsaver product but the only time it failed me these last ten years was due to over re-use of bags (tiny holes) and failure to wipe seal area clean, otherwise I recommend it to everyone. I use the square tupperware (approx. 6" x 6") to form the burger, then I get square cubes that stack pretty good.