We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Involved in Deer Meat Processing?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Deer meat processing is not much different than beef butchering, and the same amount of care should be applied to the carcass. The required removal of the silver skin or sinew of the deer meat is commonly the largest difference between the two. Once the deer is hung and allowed to cool down and bleed out thoroughly, the hide is removed. The fat is commonly trimmed in the first stage of processing deer meat, followed by the removal of the silver skin from the meat. The back straps are commonly removed next in the deer meat processing, followed by the removal of the rear quarters, the rib sections and then the front quarters and neck.

The back straps, or loins as they are most commonly called, are typically butterfly-cut during the deer meat processing. This cut is also commonly the most preferred cut of the venison for many eaters. Occasionally, during some discount meat processing, these loins are saw-cut into sections called chops containing small pieces of backbone and upper rib meat. This is a common practice in some processing plants due to the expediency of the process as compared to hand-cutting and trimming the loin. In some areas where deer chronic wasting disease (CWD) is prone to exist, much of the bone, including the ribs, spine and neck bones, are disposed of and not consumed by humans.

The hind quarters are cut into steaks, roasts and any small pieces are left for burger meat. Commonly chilled to near freezing, the large quarters are placed in band saws at the deer meat processing plant and sliced into the desired cuts. Round steaks and roasts are the largest cuts from the hind quarters. The ribs are trimmed of all fat and silver skin and sectioned into small packages. The front legs can be cut into individual steaks or left whole as roasts, depending on the wishes of the customer.

In most deer meat processing plants, nothing is left to waste. Small pieces of meat from the brisket, rib and neck areas are used to create burger or stew meat. The hide is also sold, tanned and used for leather. A popular option when using a deer meat processing plant is to have the entire or partial animal turned into venison jerky, summer sausage or pepper sticks. This option is a good way to utilize the entire animal while feeding friends and family during parties, holiday meals or simple get-togethers.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By gravois — On Mar 20, 2012

I processed my deer at home for a while but all the gore involved with the butchering process attracted a lot of vermin to my shed. I ended up with a terrible mouse problem and I would see all kinds of other animals prowling around there at night.

I decided to send my meat off elsewhere. It's not much of a loss. I never really like cutting deer meat in the first place. I am a hunter not a butcher.

By summing — On Mar 20, 2012

My dad showed me how to butcher a deer when I was a kid and I have never seen the need to take one to a processing plant. The butchering process is not as hard as some people make it out to be but processing a carcass can be more expensive than they make it out to be. I see no reason to pay the money for someone to do something I can do perfectly well on my own.

By tigers88 — On Mar 19, 2012

I love to hunt and I usually end up with at least three or four deer at the end of any season. I used to butcher the meat myself but it got to be such a hassle and such a mess that I started taking it to a processing plant in the next town over. I wish I would have done this sooner.

Its great because I get all the best parts butchered out carefully for me and then all the rest gets turned into some really quality deer sausage. None of the meat gets wasted and I have more occasions to use it then ever before.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.