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Thread: Processing game meat

  1. #1

    Default Processing game meat

    Ok. So I’m pretty anxious to get the call that my ADAK Caribou is ready at Indian Valley Meats….which said it would take about 7 to 10 days…been two weeks but I’m not too concerned about that. I called the other day and they said they were running behind which I totally understand as I as a kid worked for my uncles butcher shop processing wild game and that happens. However I KNOW some hunters don’t follow up on getting their game back, or so some processers say HA! Now, that would be a coup. Guy’s bringing wild game and not claiming it…whoops! There goes the store bought sausage HAHA. Working for my uncle’s butcher shop as a kid taught me it was a real blast and LOT’s about game processing. Great thing about Indian Valley Meats is I was guaranteed you get your meat back! Which would be a deal beaker for me. Seriously folks. Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone hunter or fishing dude wanting anything less. Doesn’t make sense. Taking care of the game in the field, and bleeding the fish is EVERYTHING in creating a final great product. Apparently not everyone in town does this. Interesting. And no, Indian Valley Meats DOES not sponsor our show I’m just pointing out a fact.

    Anyway, looking forward to getting my Caribou back…and just in time to store it outside in my “new improved” Alaskan freezer….yes, the outside shed. BUT I promise...it will not last long and none of it will end up at the zoo come spring...fish included.
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  2. #2
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    Got the munchies?

    I do , after reading that ....~~LOL!!~~

    Hope they get done soon, I bet some links would go well with a few beers
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  3. #3
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default processing

    I'm dropping off 100Ibs of boned out roast cuts at a local processor here in Sitka today, Alaska Seafood Gourmet and custom sausage. I'll have 25Ibs of each of Peperoni, summer, salami, and some other grill sausage. It may be a little more than 100Ibs.

    It will be my meat just with fat additives from pork. This guy doesn't do much business yet so I don't have any references but I tried his product beforehand.

    Wish me luck. This is the first time for me letting someone else process my game meat and I've processed plenty. I'm nervous.

    I'll let you guys know how it turns out.

  4. #4
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default Not at all

    I have used them several times. They will tell you to your face you get your own meat back. I don't beleive it. I still use them for moose and caribou products, I butcher my own steaks and such and take the left overs for hot dogs, polish, gotta try the jalepeno cheddar links-pretty awesome. If you take in moose, you will get moose back atleast. Now steaks, roasts, burger and breakfast sausage you should get your own meat back-when I worked as a meat cutter at D&A shop-rite people did. If in the valley go there for the general stuff.
    IVM is good. Like I said I use them.

  5. #5

    Smile good stuff...

    A bunch of moose, caribou, bison, deer, etc. is a real blessing. The Good Lord really sets the table here in Alaska when it comes to being able to fill our freezer with wild game meat. Enjoy!

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    Default The freezer is full!

    Decided to butcher my own deer as I always do and happy with the outcome. Only recommendation is to make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. It took me three days to finish due to work and my severe case of OCD to salvage every scrap of meat I can but all the cutting, grinding, and vacuum sealing is done! Sure is a blessing to put three deer in the freezer. I chose to butterfly all the backstraps, cut steaks and roasts from the hind quarters, and made stew and hamburger from the front quarters and every other scrap I could get of them deer. I added a little pork the burger and that’s it. My only complaint is that I had to use an ice chest as a make shift freezer for some of the meat and fish I had in the freezer.....with these cold temps, everything is still frozen like a rock. Guess I better get eating!!!!

  7. #7
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan View Post
    Decided to butcher my own deer as I always do and happy with the outcome. Only recommendation is to make sure you have plenty of time on your hands. It took me three days to finish due to work and my severe case of OCD to salvage every scrap of meat I can but all the cutting, grinding, and vacuum sealing is done! Sure is a blessing to put three deer in the freezer. I chose to butterfly all the backstraps, cut steaks and roasts from the hind quarters, and made stew and hamburger from the front quarters and every other scrap I could get of them deer. I added a little pork the burger and that’s it. My only complaint is that I had to use an ice chest as a make shift freezer for some of the meat and fish I had in the freezer.....with these cold temps, everything is still frozen like a rock. Guess I better get eating!!!!
    Got to agree with Morgan. I got a goat in October and did the whole thing myself. Advantages: The meat was packaged and ready for consumption or freezing the day after I got back into town, I knew absoluteley that it was my own animal, I could set my own minumums, and a sense of pride. No "minimums" is huge, actually; I did 6 lbs. of hot sausage, 12 lbs of hot sausage, and 15 lbs. of ground with a batch of trimmings that would have only gotten me one of the three at any commercial joint. Of course it is time and labor intensive, especially if you have the hand crank kind like I do. Should have maybe sprung for the electrical one...

    Hopefully I will get to the point where I tan my own game hides as well. Currently I am just doing small game, but they've been coming out well. The process takes less than a week, so no more waiting half a year or more just to get a dang hide tanned!

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  8. #8

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    Man, U guys got me worried now. If I thought I wasn't getting my meat back it wouldn't be a good situation for anyone involved. How U care for meat in the field and the time of season and where it comes from means everything. Same goes for fish. Only reason I took it to them is because I was told I'd get mine back and, honestly, I'm short on time getting the TV show out the door...two days wrapping meat is a lot right now. Typically I ALWAYS do it myself.

    Hmmm...Think I'll place a call tomorrow. ****.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  9. #9
    Member blasterak's Avatar
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    Been using Indian Valley for quite a few years, and as far as I can tell, I am getting my own meat back. At least in the steaks, roasts, and such, but kinda hard to tell if you get sausage, links, peppersticks, etc made, may not be your meat. I wouldn't be too worried, but I started using Glens Wild game processing now. He does great work, get your own meat back, and I like how he wraps the meat so when you thaw it, blood doesnt get everywhere. I would of went to him this year but he was all filled up, he has a smaller operation.

  10. #10
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdelarm View Post
    Man, U guys got me worried now. If I thought I wasn't getting my meat back it wouldn't be a good situation for anyone involved. How U care for meat in the field and the time of season and where it comes from means everything. Same goes for fish. Only reason I took it to them is because I was told I'd get mine back and, honestly, I'm short on time getting the TV show out the door...two days wrapping meat is a lot right now. Typically I ALWAYS do it myself.

    Hmmm...Think I'll place a call tomorrow. ****.
    Yeah, for the record, I would not say that concerns about getting my own meat back drove me to process my goat myself. If they guarantee you get your own back, like Indian Valley and Mat Valley Meats (I believe), I would be pretty comfortable with that. I was just putting the "know for sure it's your own meat" bullet point in my list of pros to make me feel a little better about busting my arse grinding all that goat meat!!

    -Gr
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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    I have used them several times. They will tell you to your face you get your own meat back. I don't beleive it. I still use them for moose and caribou products, I butcher my own steaks and such and take the left overs for hot dogs, polish, gotta try the jalepeno cheddar links-pretty awesome. If you take in moose, you will get moose back atleast. Now steaks, roasts, burger and breakfast sausage you should get your own meat back-when I worked as a meat cutter at D&A shop-rite people did. If in the valley go there for the general stuff.
    IVM is good. Like I said I use them.
    Chris is right, for processed meats like your dogs, meat snacks and all those types of products that you don’t necessarily get your own meat back, this goes for Glenn's also (they use Indian Valley for processed (cooked) meats). The batches they do are too large and lots of peoples stuff gets lumped in together to make up one batch. This was explained to me by Glenn himself when he was explaining why they don’t like to take frozen meat in, he will take it but it has to thaw first in his cooler and be inspected before the final decision will be made if he is going to take it to get done in processed product so there is no chance a bad piece of meat will mess up the entire batch. All the cuts and raw grind is all yours when you get it back. Glenn prides himself on that.

    Mat Valley Meats tells you that if you have a large order for just one product they could/would do yours separate but you have to have a large enough order and specifically ask. They go into it on their web site if you have any questions about it. Hopefully this helps and answers some "questions" and myths people believed.

    Will

  12. #12
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    Yeah, for the record, I would not say that concerns about getting my own meat back drove me to process my goat myself. If they guarantee you get your own back, like Indian Valley and Mat Valley Meats (I believe), I would be pretty comfortable with that. I was just putting the "know for sure it's your own meat" bullet point in my list of pros to make me feel a little better about busting my arse grinding all that goat meat!!

    -Gr
    With Mat Valley Meats you get your own burger and such back. But with processed meats, same thing he makes large batched, usually 100#. I use him for bear and it is awesome stuff guaranteed! I like his bear summer sausage, burger, and his bear pepper sticks. He gets all our bears and has for the last couple years! Only complaints I heard was of his bear jalepeno cheddar hot dogs, but I didn't get a chance to try them, so not sure.
    One place I have never used and never will is Alaska sausage or something like that. I believe with them, not 100% sure, but collected meat for them out in the valley and it seemed all the meat got mixed in. Don't remember seeing moose hunter sticks, just hunter sticks. Guys would bring in sheep, musk ox, deer and all that good stuff. We would get it back in bulk and seperate into each order. Just what I remember anyways.

  13. #13
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    At least Mat-Valley Meats is up front about it when you drop off your meat. When I did my moose there were about 4 guys dropping theirs off. I asked point blank if I was going to get my own meat back and they said no on processed stuff like pepper snacks, etc. On burger they said it depends. He gave me the hint that if I showed up right at opening the next morning my grind would be run first and it would be my burger. I can say that all the products I got from Mat-Valley were excellent.

    I now own my own grinder and I'm buying a meat mixer to blend sausage products. I get great satisfaction from processing my own meat and it adds to the experience of providing good eats to my family.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  14. #14

    Thumbs up Overall I'm happy but will be cautious

    Well, got the meat back. I’m happy. Next time I’ll process my own though just because that’s the way I would normally roll. Polish sausage tastes great and the packaging is clean and well done.

    I drilled the nice folks pretty hard at Indian Valley and bottom line apparently is this; don’t expect to get 100% of your grind back because they don’t clean the grinders in between client grinds so there’s some bleed over. However they guaranteed 100% you do get back your own steaks and such. I was concerned because I was told 7-10 days and it was just over 3 weeks. What happens to the meat in that time? Well, anything not processed into burger/sausage etc. is taken care of within 3 days and frozen until the whole order is completed. Also meat brought in off the bone gets placed on racks for blood drip if it sits any. This is what I was told.

    I’m not endorsing them nor do they sponsor our TV show. I’m simply passing along my experience. 78lbs cost me $113 beer chips!

    Word of note to any game processing company that doesn’t return original game meat or fish, are you nuts! Why would I want to receive anything BUT my original product back, including especially, fish, after I have taken all precautions in caring for that product. Just because you are backed up processing orders is no excuse? Doesn’t make sense and that’s just my two cents.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  15. #15

    Thumbs up It's TACO TIME

    Woooooo...just had Caribou tacos last night. WOW....yummy.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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