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There are a lot of reasons hunters process their own deer meat, and it’s not only about saving a buck. How a deer is processed very much affects the taste and quality of the meat. There are some great guys out there processing deer who do an amazing job, but sometimes even the best shops get busy and have to rush things. Processing deer at home could allow for some additional time with family and could improve your yield. Maybe not your first time around but over time, you can develop some skills. Some of these skills include deboning properly so nothing is wasted, and learning what cuts of meat are best suited for certain aspects such as jerky cuts, stew meat, and ground meat. When you start DIY venison processing you may find some techniques to be more efficient at removing the hide from your deer or removing silver skin efficiently.

The Majority of us process our own meat in order to continue enjoying the process from field to table and knowing where our meat comes from. Being involved in butchering your own animal, is just another part of the same hunt. If you’ve ever considered processing your own venison, there are a ton of resources out there to help. Knowing how your venison is processed and packaged, is a huge piece of mind this day and age. Making sausage jerky and ground venison are also essential parts to making your harvest taste as enjoyable as ever while still enjoying every aspect of the hunt. It also is a great opportunity to teach the next generation of hunters where their meals come from and how to process your own harvest from field to fork.

We’d encourage you to take some time, learn what you can, find a friend who has some experience processing deer, and go for it. One of our favorite books on this subject is 60 Minute Venison by our friends Mitch Kezar and Steve Stortz. This book has great photos and real, step-by-step, simple instructions. These two make it easy enough for even a newbie.  

According to some whitetail hunters “Veteran hunters Jeremiah Voithofer and Jeremy Critchfield combine their hunting talents and culinary skills to vividly describe the process of butchering a deer in about an hour. This richly illustrated tool for novice and seasoned hunters culminates with multiple great and varied venison recipes. Whether you’re a hunter new to the game or a grizzled old woodsman with a way-dirty knife, you’re bound to learn a few good tricks and techniques from this rich little creation called Hunt Chef

Also, we reviewed a bunch of videos on this subject and find this to be a great one, covering steps from A to Z.

You also can check out the folks at GrowingDeer.TV, who do a great job of explaining the process and the cuts of meat. Check out the video.

By doing it yourself, you can ensure that you get your deer, that the cuts are exactly to your liking, and you’ll save about $50 on each deer.

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Bow Hunting Whitetails: The Ground Game

By far the most popular method of bow hunting deer is from a tree stand or elevated Redneck blind. It has been the preferred technique of bowhunters across the country for decades and will probably remain that way. An increasingly popular method for taking whitetails is bow hunting whitetails from the ground using a pop-up blind placed along trails or food plots. Pop-up blinds can easily be erected and moved to a new location, concealing movement and making hunting in bad weather with kids more enjoyable.

I have hunted from treestands for more than 30 years. I regularly used ground blinds but felt confined and unable to make a move if need be. In the last several years I have tweaked some of my hunting methods when chasing whitetails. I prefer to hunt from the ground without a blind especially early. Many of you reading this may think I am crazy because bow hunting from the ground without a blind is extremely difficult, but achieving success from the ground is possible and gives you a rush as you drawback on a target buck at eye level. Not much on this earth compares to getting to full draw on the ground on a mature whitetail.

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The advantage of bow hunting from the ground without a blind is that it allows you to hunt where sometimes you can’t go with a treestand set. Many times, those places such as thickets, early-season hedgerows, cut-overs, and even destination feeding areas where deer are most concentrated can be taken advantage of. The key is to always remember that effective kill range is going to be inside of 40 yards, and at ground level, your kill angle will be larger than from a stand. In any situation where hunting from the ground is an option, you must play the wind even more wisely and make sure that your setup doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Breaking up your outline falls into the same camp as wearing camo that matches your terrain, but instead of trying to mask your head, arms, and legs, you are trying to mask the shape of your body mainly. Here is how you do not want to hunt from the ground: sit in sparse vegetation with no ground cover when you expect to shoot deer relatively close to you. Any “blob” sitting on the ground gets noticed by a whitetail instantly. Do not sit against a fence post unless you are hunting with a rifle and you expect your target to be at least 100 yards out. Instead, increase your chances of success deer hunting by sitting at the base of a large tree, broken up stump, or even a small dirt pile/hill that is at least as tall as the top of your head while sitting and at least as wide as your shoulders. This completely breaks down your silhouette and makes you vanish into the object you are sitting in front of, especially since you will have on your camo cloths, gloves and face paint.