Deer Processing Near Me

Where can I find Deer Processing Near Me? Hunters have a couple of options available to them when it comes to Deer Processing. You can Drop Off and Pick Up your deer harvest at your local meat market or meat processor center, or you can process the deer yourself as a DIY activity. There really is no right or wrong choice for Deer Processing. Ultimately, how you decide to process your deer one season may be different than the next season.

deer processing near me

What is Deer Processing?

  • Skinning – removing the hide
  • Deboning – separating the meat from the bones
  • Cutting – cuts include chops, steaks, roasts, and tenderloins
  • Wrapping or Packaging – placing venison in fridge or freezer-safe paper or plastic
  • Carcass Handling and Disposal

Drop Off and Pick Up at Your Local Meat Market

This may be the easiest option for Deer Processing as you are electing to drop off your venison to have your local meat market process your game for you. The advantage of this service is that someone else (hopefully a professional) is handling the processing for you (for a small fee, of course). Typically you can expect to pick up your final processed venison meat anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks after you drop off your deer.

DIY Deer Processing – Do It Yourself

Processing a Deer yourself can be a cheaper alternative than having a game processor do it for you, assuming you already have the deer processing equipment. To successfully turn your deer meat into delicious edible venison, here is our suggestion on equipment that you may need to help make the activity easy and enjoyable. Disposable gloves, cut resistant gloves, knives, rope, gambrel, bucket, flashlight, headlamp, paper towels, hand sanitizer, heavy-duty aluminum foil, wax paper, freezer paper, freezer storage bags, meat grinder, meat tubes, food saver vacuum sealer bags, and a black permanent marker are our suggested items.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Deer Butchered?

Typically, deer processing typically includes skinning, deboning, cutting, packaging, and carcass disposal. Pricing for these services can vary depending on your local area. On average, you can expect deer processing to cost in the range of $75 to $160 per deer. In addition, there are a number of potential add-on options that a processor will offer for you to choose from. There may be a cost for these add-on options (often by the pound) so make sure you fully understand exactly what you are ordering from your meat processor.

Add-On Options Cost Estimate (may vary)
Remove and Keep the Antlers $5.00
Remove and Return the Head $10.00
Hide, or Pelt Return $10.00
Request Same Deer Meat Returned $10.00
Grinding and Processing Trim Meat $25.00
Caping Deer $80.00
Ground Venison $2.00 per finished pound (lb.)
Ground Venison Plus Pork and/or Bacon $3.00 per finished pound (lb.)
Venison Summer Sausage $4.00 per finished pound (lb.)
Venison Brats $4.00 per finished pound (lb.)
Deer Sausage $4.50 per finished pound (lb.)
Deer Sticks $5.00 per finished pound (lb.)
Deer Jerky $10.50 per finished pound (lb.)
Additional Charges Cost Estimate
Process Whole Frozen Deer $25.00
Spoiled Carcass Handling and Disposal $50.00

Tip: Check to make sure your meat market will take a whole carcass deer. Some processing locations will no longer take whole carcass deer. Instead, they will take hide off quarters.

Do You Have to Field Dress a Deer Before Taking it in to a Processor?

Field dressing a deer is typically completely shortly after the animal has been harvested. The sooner a hunter is able to field dress a deer, the quicker the meat is able to start to cool, which will help preserve the meat. Also, field dressing decreases the overall weight of the deer, which will help make moving the deer a little easier. Therefore, field dressing usually occurs before the deer is brought out of the woods and before it is taken to a processor.

How Do You Store Deer Before Processing?

Most hunters store their deer by hanging them from an elevated position such as a tree. Hanging a deer allows the deer to cool quickly and keeps the game off the ground where other animals, bugs, and debris could easily access the meat. A deer gambrel and rope are nice pieces of equipment to have on hand that will help you hoist the deer up into the tree for hanging. Also, if you find yourself on a warmer day with a deer hanging in a tree, it is best to try and pack the deer cavity with ice or snow to help keep your venison meat cool.

How Long Should You Wait to Process a Deer?

As a general rule, hunters should process a deer within 3 to 6 days of harvesting the animal if not sooner. Processing quickly will help preserve the freshness of the venison meat.

Hanging or elevating a deer helps the meat cool as well as start to break down. You will want to wait at least 24 to 48 hours for the rigor mortis period to complete. Rigor mortis is when the muscled of the deer tighten up right after harvest. Once this period is complete, the meat will start to loosen up, leaving you hopefully with some nice and tender meat.

How Much Meat From A Deer?

On average, how much meat from a deer is estimated to be a little less than half of the weight of the deer after field dressing. A 130 pound ( lb. ) deer will yield an estimated 50 to 60 pounds of meat.

How much meat do you get from deer also depends on the butchers processing skills. In addition, you will need to subtract any meat that is damaged due to entry and exit wounds. Also, if you puncture the stomach while processing, some meat could be spoiled due to stomach contents. Another factor is meat spoilage due to heat. Make sure to keep your deer meat cool and dry. 

Deer Processing Near Me ( State Map )

Click on a State below for a map of Meat Processors in your area

How Long Does Deer Last in the Freezer?

About a year, give or take a few months, depending on the quality of freezer wrapping and packaging. The overall quality and freshness of the venison will start to decrease after 6 to 9 months in the freezer.