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Well today the wife and I got to work on our two does, got them all cut up ready to grind, when a buddy called me, asked me if I wanted a big buck to eat, his girlfriend shot a big 8pt, and though they both love to hunt, they don't eat deer, maybe a couple rolls of summer sausage, and some jerky, which I make myself and give them. We went and got her buck, already skinned out and iced down, came home and went to work deboning it, cutting into grinder size pieces. We made several packs of backstraps, stew meat and steaks, and ground the rest. We ended up with #100 of burger in the freezer, and about 20# of the steaks, stew and back straps, plus the filet mignon upon which I will be dining tomorrow!! I was fixing to break the grinder down to clean it up, when I a buddy stopped by with a bear he had killed, in our chase season here in KY this weekend. I helped him skin it, bone all the meat off and cut it into roasts and steaks, we ground up all the trimmings and the shoulders we had boned out. I made country sausage with all the grind, putting Leggs #7 seasoning into it and also peeling and cutting up some Cortland apples and grinding them into it, an old German recipe that we had done before, and it turned out great, packaged into #1 packages, he ended up with 36 of them, gave me two and all the lard off the bear to render down. I figured this was a good deal, because the two I have rendered down before, was the best tasting substance I have ever cooked in!!! Nothing will soak it up, everything you fry in it gets super crisp, best fish I have ever fried was in bear grease. Also it is the best replacement for Crisco for baking, biscuits and pie shells made with this, will raise up about twice as high as regular. The absolute best biscuits I have ever ate the wife cooked with the bear fat and buttermilk. We barely have room in the two deep freezers, for maybe one more deer, then we will have to start canning them, which is pretty darn tasty too. The wife and I and my friend who killed the bear, like doing the processing the meat, nearly as much as hunting, we see it as an extension of the hunt, especially when everyone has scored. Worked hard for four hours, am wore slap down out, but it is a good thing going into winter, with a pantry full of canned goods, dehydrated stuff from the garden, 2 full freezers, and a winter garden full of cabbage, carrots, turnips, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli starting to all come in. Especially since I am on a fixed income! Barley can walk thru the house I am so stiff and tired, but it is a good kind of tired!
 

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Sounds like a big day

Just reading it made me both tired and hungry.
 

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WOW!!!! I can remember as a kid the "butcher day" on the farm. My Dad's brothers all brought their hogs and beef to our place to kill, skin, and cut up. Lot of hard work and fond memories. I too was tired just reading your post. So glad your here and able to enjoy. Mike
 

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boy Sam...you should move closer to me. I don't like the butchering at all any more. Probably why I haven't pulled the trigger as much as I used to. Can't get the wife to get a pack of burger out of the freezer. Instead she makes a special trip to town so she can buy burger and doesn't have to wait for it to thaw.:rolleyes: Drives me crazy!

Sure glad you're up and about though ole buddy!
 

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Memories - not of the volume of work but great fellowship that accompanied butchering my first OH deer - non hunting school teacher buddy reading instructions from Field and Stream while I used a USN version of a KBAR..sharpest knife I owned.

Many hours later all large muscle groups boned out and packaged and area cleaned. Actually learned a lot from that write up - that deer marrow is bitter and sawing bones generally a mistake and of course that the top edge of the blade forward of the spine will take and hold a razor edge(can visualize some Navy or Marine enlisted man finishing my knife- didn't need stitches).

Thanks for sharing.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dave H you brought back a lot of memories for me, the first 15 years I deer hunted, I used a MC Kabar, as my everyday, do everything camp knife! I had the top clip also honed to a razor edge and used it as a guthook on many a deer! I have 5 years experience as a professional butcher in a previous life, and now don't bother with breaking a deer down, but do like the KY Afield segment, which you can find on YouTube , by skinning the deer hanging up by their hocks, and skin the skin down around the head, then bone off all the different cuts and scraps for burger, then roll the skeleton up in the hide and drop it off in the back field for coyote bait! It usally takes me about 45 minutes to skin and completely bone out a deer, including cutting up the steaks and stew meat. Then grinding up most of one takes about 35 minutes to grind and package it, I have a spout on my grinder that I pull a poly bag up on it and it fills it up with no air voids to freezer burn. The wife tapes them up as I fill them, and has a bunch of bags rolled back and ready for me to grab. I bought a tape machine that you just pull the neck of the bag thru, it tapes it shut and cuts the tape with just a tug thru it, makes much quicker work of the process for only $20, money well spent. I buy my bags from The Home Processor. com, for $30 for 500 bags if my memory serves me well, and also use them to put my homemade pork sausage in that I make when I catch pork shoulders or sirloin on sale for .99 cents a pound, just made #60 about a month ago, lots better than what you can buy for around$1.25 a #, counting seasoning and bag. I think it is pretty goodm, ask JR for reference, he has tried it a time or two.
 

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Koger, like you, I've said for years that I enjoy the butchering almost as much as the hunting. There's just something about eating meat that you've had control of all the way from the field to the freezer to the table. Very fulfilling. I especially enjoyed your comments about bear grease. I've read several books about the mountain men of the Rockies, how much they valued bear grease, and the many ways they used it.

Miss Cindy and I spent last week in the Smokies and saw three bears. Not The Three Bears, just three bears. One was just off the road, eating something, and we sat there not 10-12 yards watching it. Since we didn't get out or anything the bear went about its business and just ignored us. We're clearly getting more bears in Kentucky and I kind of hate to see it because I don't think they mix well with people. If they're waaaay out away from homes or campgrounds that's one thing, but they're so darned adaptable that they start living out of garbage cans pretty easy, and that just leads to problems.

I had to chuckle at how you and your wife started out to process two does and ended up working your butts off. That's just how it happens sometimes. Good physical therapy for you, though.
 
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