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Deer Processing 2020
I (Non resident) was in the Manhattan area last week working with a friend on stands on our co-owned hunting land (I am a former K-State Faculty with a lifetime hunting license). Apparently several of the local locker plants that process deer each hunting season are saying they are fully booked processing local cattle at least through the end of the year and will not be able to process deer for hunters. We can process our own but have, when we get lucky, used a local locker for several years as a convenience. Is this a local area issue or is a wider area affected? Apparently the changes in the cattle market due to Covid have altered the dynamics of locker plant operation or so one cattleman told us.
Yep. Alot are not taking deer. Kim the Manhattan area you best best is The Deer Shack in Riley.
Yep, most lockers are booked with cattle until the end of the year, and wont be taking deer. I'm thankful I can do it all myself, but I hope other people have a plan before they put one down.
Hunters are going to have a very hard time finding someone to process deer this fall. I have done my own for years, but had my processor grind it as I didn't have a good grinder. Heard rumblings of this months back and invested in a nice grinder. I would highly suggest you guys get yourselves set up to process your own. Word down here in NE Ok is that they are booked up. Many are not taking deer.
Find a deer processor that does not do domestic animals. They should be running business as normal.
All of the meat processors I’ve talked with this year are already booked with beef.
We scheduled half a beef and took six months to get into the locker.
Hearing the same thing here in the middle of unit 12 as well, (Fredonia area). At Pryor's, we do nothing but Deer, so we are all geared up for season to open. One Deer processed at a time, so the Deer you bring in is the Deer you get back. Usual turn-a-round is 3 to 4 days, we like to let them hang a couple days to firm-up, unless it's an emergency type deal. Might want to call ahead to make sure things haven't changed any. Clifford 620-288-9336 Marvin 620-485-4351
Stroots in Mulvane is taking deer
Randy, I think it's going to get crazy. During the earlier archery season, we processed twice as many as last year. By noon Wednesday, we had in 20 and then it started raining. May have been more after I left at dark. we will start cutting this morning. ONLY ELEVEN MORE DAYS
Day Two; rain must have put them down, only got in 15 today. Most of these are out of state hunters. Probably get several locals over the weekend, then maybe it will taper off. ONLY TEN MORE DAYS!
Have to appologize here, got a little behind. We have been receiving around 18 / 20 each day, with 35 in cooler when I came home last night. Beginning to turn folks away. It sounds crazy, but got a phone call from Meade yesterday. "It had to be a joke, didn't it?" Last week we got a call that a guy couldn't find our address anywhere in the Fredonia, New York area. Lord have mercy! ONLY SEVEN MORE DAYS!
Stay strong Marvin, all that extra money will buy a lot more broadheads!
If you are in central KS and looking for processor. Haven’t used them and do my own anyway. Good Luck!
That's what I keep telling myself, Kyle. See one listed on ebay today starting at $150. A non-vented Geronimo. ONLY SIX MORE DAYS!
My good friend Doug Stroot took over for his dad in Goddard they have been semi busy.
We do our own Marvin and I almost consider it torture. I’m sure you’re much more refined than us, but regardless you’re a better man than me!
A good grinder and tenderizer sure help. Jamie, next time your gang gets a deer, give me a shout. Maybe I can help you with it?
Have this old grinder, was thinking of a way to motorize it. Ran a 5/16th bolt into the handle and put a 1/2" drive on my drill. Think it will work?
I appreciate the offer Marvin, I just might take you up on that. We do have access to a good grinder. I’m probably just lazy.... :)
Thane, you're gonna be tired of that real quick!
Got a call about 9:30 this morning, guy just killed a deer. "How quick can you get it processed, I'd like to head home to Florida by noon?" REALLY! Don't know what he did, we told him no way. Beginning to turn down some like the guy that never paid for or picked up his deer from last year and a couple aholes that always complain. ONLY FIVE MORE DAYS. Did I tell you that we have made 400 lbs. of summer sausage so far?
I bought a LEM big bite 12 this summer. It is a real workhorse. I think I could just put them in head first. Took maybe 6 minutes to do the first grind on a roughly 130 lb deer.
ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS! Beginning to see a little daylight, getting more processed than are coming in. My big concern now is what will January be like with season open till the 24th in my area. The other half of the operation has to go back to work, so it will be all mine. I think it's rediculus for the state to expect anyone to be available for that long a time. Thinking it may depend on what mood I'm in each day? No, the state doesn't care, they got their money!
They (KDWP&T) satisfied the legislators and commercialism lobbyists pushing for them to make it happen so they can sell more hunts.
Thanks for pointing the finger in the right direction, Randy. Too many blame the department for everything, and complain how bad things are now. If they only knew some of the really crazy ideas to come out of the legislature. Topeka still hasn’t figure out we can’t kill them all off and get more money for trophy hunts.
Mike, anybody that has attended any of the commission meetings, or legislative hearings, should be able to recognize who and what has been behind all of the changes that have taken place to hunting laws and regs. since 2000. Topeka (legislators) don't want to kill them all, nor do they give a rats arse about car/deer accident numbers. They want to sell more tags to NR hunters, want landowners to be able to ink hunting leases, want land values increased to the levels similar to other states (higher tax revenues). They simply want to cash in on the demand from NR hunters to hunt here. They want the deer to be a another cash crop. The commercialism lobby (those asking for more tags) did not want does killed off to control population numbers, they wanted to sell hunts and hunting access. What they really wanted was unlimited NR buck tags to be able to sell more hunts.
Allowing NR hunters to hunt Kansas, increases in the number of NR tags each year, transferrable tags, special early seasons, NR Mule deer tags, extended seasons, game tags, special units, xguns in archery season, any season tags, all thanks to the commercial hunting industry lobby and their mouth pieces in the legislature, many of whom stood to profit from all the changes being involved in the hunting industry themselves.
I'm sick and tired of wealthy, arrogant NR. They are leasing up everything with no end in site. A kid I grew up with that is much younger than me is trying to get a lease with a well known local landowner and was told $20k and there is a 4 year wait. I hunted public land yesterday and 4 fatcats in $70k trucks from Arkansas pulled up to a locked public gate with bins of corn in the truck beds. They unlocked it, and drove across the public to access their private deer lease. This type of vehicular access should be restricted to LANDOWNER USE ONLY FOR LEGITIMATE AGRICULTURAL USE. If the public can't drive on it to even pick up a buck, then it should be closed to everyone. I did meet some public land hunters from Tennessee that were top notch. None pulled the trigger on a buck due to not seeing a mature one in 5 days.They said all the bucks they saw they could have shot at home.
I fully understand NR hunters wanting to come here to hunt, have nothing against the majority of them. I have met a bunch of them, helped several of them, met a lot of great folks that remain good friends after the season is over. I get landowners and farmers wanting to supplement their income, many make as much or more from hunting fees than they do from the crops grown on the same property. I understand outfitting has a niche in our state, if it didn't exist there wouldn't be so many outfitters in business here.
I do have a problem with the meet demand level on NR buck tags, NR mule deer tags, NR hunters being able to draw every year, outfitters being able to operate unlicensed and uncertified, any season tags, extended seasons, and the smorgasbord of seasons that allow folks to hunt Sept- Feb.
It has been nearly 20 yrs since I was very active lobbying against the proposed changes to deer hunting, the politics haven't changed a bit. Same sad stories and outright lies, supported by many of the same politicians.
Nearing the 200 mark. Who knows what this weekend may bring?
You should offer speedy jum0 to the front of the line processing for $500. I dont know what you charge but a fair hog cost me about $290 to process so i hope your getting about $250 if your skinning and doing summer sausage. Sometimes less equals more.
Randy...you ever get to “visit” with Rep. Seiwert, of Pretty Prairie? He’s the one that was pushing the two-month “doe season” after all the other seasons were closed. That would have been February and March.
Can’t remember which rep from the Salina area proposed the bill to make the Kansas National Guard to conduct deer drives, with shotguns and buckshot, within a certain distance of major highways.
The two-for buck and antlerless tag for non-residents started as a bill for “free” antlerless tags for residents.
Mike, both of those politicians would NOT have been on my visitation list. I have communicated with both, once or twice, neither are worth spending time or energy on, are not open to discussion about deer hunting if you do not support their desired results.
Wasn’t asking if you were members of their fan clubs, Randy. I knew what you opinion would be.
I told you in the past I’d like to be there when you “talked” with Joe. Would have been fun...for me.
Those were just the two worst examples of wanting to wipe out the herd.
Joe is also the one who wanted to shorten bow season, and lengthen gun, because he’s “...always seeing deer running around with four or five arrows sticking out of them.”
He also claimed to spend $10-15k a year getting tractor tires repaired because he was running over deer antlers.
When I was real active in following all of the deer issues, I was informed by the guy from Salina to never contact him again, unless I lived in his district, he didn't care to hear what people he didn't represent had to say. Sielert wasn't in office back then, but I did "talk" with him one of the last times the landowner tags came up again. He is a fine example of outright liars I mentioned above.
LAST DAY OF REGULAR RIFLE SEASON ! Don't know what happened yesterday, only four brought in. With snow predicted for today, who knows ? Matte, we are charging $90 to skin, cool, debone and cut into steaks or grind into burger. It then normally sets in a commericial freezer overnight. A lot of the non-resident hunters are needing to have the skull cleaned before crossing state lines, so we can boil that and hit with a power washer to clean for $25. Also we have some of the worst folks at gutting, so we can gut for $10. At the same time, I think I would rather gut one as to trying to clean it up after being drug through all the grass and tree leaves in the county with the chest cavity wide open. With a little luck we SHOULD have the cooler empty sometime Wednesday?
Marvin, if you were closer, you'd have every deer I got! Your price is CHEAP. I've only paid to have my deer processed once. Ten years ago, I was hunting 50 miles South of here early in the season, it was very warm out, in the 80f range. I snuck in a afternoon hunt on another property on the way to where I was supposed to be early that evening. I killed a 10pt that afternoon of course when I had mainly planned to scout and set up for later hunts during the rut. I didn't have my good knives, my bone saw, there was no access to clean water, I didn't have time to go back home to quarter and ice him down. I took the buck guts and all to the meat locker nearby, a good friend ran it at the time. He scolded me for not field dressing before bringing it to him. Being a inspected beef processing facility, he said he had to charge extra because he had to take extra steps to keep the deer/beef entrails separated, disposal of them had to be handled a different way. He told me they charged $25 for that service, I gladly handed him the cash on the spot. He cut the head/antlers off for me and I was on my way. For $100 they skinned/chilled the carcass for a few days, cut steaks from back straps, cut out the tenderloins, cut a few steaks from the back leg quarters, then ground the rest to zero % burger and packaged it all up. I was tickled to death to pay that price back then and told them they were doing it too cheap 10 years ago! I have a nice grinder, have processed many a deer at home. We never get in a hurry doing any of it, easily have 5-6hrs + in the total process from tagging the deer, to closing the freezer door. $125 is pretty cheap wages IMO.
I still don't understand why anybody drags a deer anywhere. After photos, I can bone an entire buck using the gutless method and have it in sacks in 20 minutes.
That is really, really inexpensive for such quality work.
X2 Jason. I've done that will all of my deer this year. All have been 16-20 mins.
Just as I figured, last night after last light, we get in six more deer. We should have all of the deer in the cooler cut and transfered into freezer by wednesday. Not that I doubt or condim your methods, but I would like to watch one of you use the gutless method sometime.
A friend from Western Ks did the gutless butcher job on a doe one year when he came up to doe hunt with me. He was done quicker than it would have taken me to field dress one. She had a little more meat left on her than if I would have left if I would have deboned her at the house, not a large amount by any means. I was impressed how well he did it in the field. He had her in two coolers in about 15 minutes, did not have a single drop of blood on him when done.
Do you have to keep proof of sex?
Only have to do that on birds Dave
I gotta learn that gutless method. I've seen it on youtube and it looks awesome but just haven't tried it yet. So far this year I had to pull my buck 500 yards down a creek about knee deep then up a huge embankment. And the two does I've shot I've had to drag thru two ravines to get to to the truck then load bymyself. I'm getting so out of shape that this morning I didn't wanna hardly get out of bed after screwing with the two does all weekend long.
There was some legal question recently about boning in the field but don't recall the details, maybe photo proof?
Travis, once you jump in and begin the gutless method, you will see there really isn't much to it. The tenderloin I feel comes out better than when I end up hacking it up from gutting. I don't currently do this on whitetail, but elk has been very beneficial doing it that way. I also think if you take the time around neck meat, you can do it without wasting as little as you would on a gutted deer/elk. Good stuff online regarding it, but i found it easier once you just jump in and try it.
My friend had a very sharp knife and a small saw. He opened the package of a new tarp that he laid out first beside the doe. He cut the lower legs off, skinned one side of her to the top of the neck laying the hide on the ground above her back. He slid the new clean tarp over the hide to the spine. Then he rolled the exposed flesh side of the deer over onto the tarp with the head above the top of the tarp to do the other side. He cut the head off and pulled the entire hide off to the side. He cut off the leg quarters putting them into his large cooler whole, removed the back straps and tenderloins, brisket and neck meat last. He laid the remaining torso and fleshed out neck on the hide, tied the leg flaps together. He grabbed the head, and drug the remains over into a slough in one neat trip. He said he had been taught the method while elk hunting with family.
Bone out both quarters, backstraps, and neck. Make incision under vertebrae and snip out the tenderloins. Flip animal over and repeat. Last, take the head. All the guts, bones, and hide, are left. I did this whole elk by myself in probably less than 40 minutes just guessing.
Kill an elk at 9500 feet while solo and you'll want to learn this method ASAP. The joke about the method amongst western hunters is "you still gut elk?." There are plenty of demonstrations on YouTube. I'm getting ready to head to NM for elk and mule deer over Christmas and a saw won't even be necessary to carry into the field. YouTube can make you an expert on so many things that grandpa or your favorite uncle would've taught you.
The sooner you skin and bone them out, the easier it is while they're still warm. I taught this technique to myself as a boy because I hated gutting rabbits. I carried it over to whitetails as I got older. I never knew it to be known as the "gutless method" until years later.
By the way a little off topic but one that would be great for this method, for $14 get yourself a Hunters Edge ZipBlade knife. It doesn't cut the hair on animals so you could "zip" right up the back and down the legs on the deer and not get a hair on the meat. Since I started using this knife 2 years ago the amount of hair on my deer meat is down 95%. I don't own any of their other knives but this one is amazing.
Thanks Travis. Just ordered one to try.
As Thorton said, once you get started the process kind of takes over itself. We've done it on whitetails, mule deer, pronghorns, bears, bighorn sheep, feral hogs, domestic hogs..rabbits is where we started, too.
All caught up, the cooler is empty. Running total right now is just short of 200. May be a few bow kills yet in December, then to see what kind of crazyness happens with 24 days of antlerless in January.
Put your feet up and relax buddy! How does that # compare to the last few years?
October and November was a 50% increase, while the rifle numbers were up probably 25%. And who knows just how crazy it may get with 24 days of antlerless season? Hard to say who was and who was not processing this year versus last year, but we had some people traveling 50 miles one way.
Time to start over, had 6 brought in yesterday and today looks like a good day to be out hunting.
How long you been doing this MDW?
Been helping this guy for about 10 years. processing my own or family deer for 40 ?
Curious if you know the yearly totals in those 10 years?
It would purely be a guess, but around 125 / 150 each year. It's hard to say if more deer are being taken or not. With the Covid scare and more people getting beef butchered, lots of lockers are not processing deer this year, they are booked far out with domestic stuff. we have had people drive 50 miles one way.
“ I did this whole elk by myself in probably less than 40 minutes just guessing”
I’d be willing to bet your guess is wrong? Our group has probably done over 100 elk by gutless method and even with 2 guys have never done one in less than 40 minutes.
But just like with anything else, Thornton probably can.
I was enjoying your silence Quinn. I'm guessing you'll be in another foul-trash talking mood until the next season? My guess is you failed at your quest for another mulie? If you'd get in shape, you too might be able to bone an elk in 40 minutes..
Passing on 185” mule deer in KS just to be able to put your buddy who’s never shot one on it the next day is not a failure in my book.
Boned out 6 CO elk this year but you’re right nothing can match your speed.
Glad you’re well and still a keyboard cowboy.
Hey folks, just had a guy drop off a deer that has been hanging for two weeks in cooler he said. It has tiny mold spots showing on the outsides. I have a plan in mind as to what I want to do with it, but would like to hear from some of you. At the moment the plan is to process it one way or another Wed.
Someone told me the other day to just trim the mold off on the outside.
I don’t think the mold is that big of an issue with the little I know about it... as long as it’s not rot. A lot of aged meat, in European countries, has some sort of mold.
I’m surprised it has mold after only 2 weeks though? Wonder what temp he had it at?
"Wonder what temp he had it at?" Supposedly had it in cooler, but I'm thinking more like a shed or something. Looks like a cat / dog had chewed on one leg. Oh well, thats the good part of him getting his own deer back. Have five to process today and his will be the last one on the table!
I built a walk-in cooler this year... making sure it was critter proof was at the top of my list while building it.
The girls and I emptied the cooler yesterday by processing the last three Does. All ready for whatever, "almost whatever" shows this weekend. I will NOT be taking any more aged venison!
No, it wasn't rank smelling at all, just looked funky on the outer surfaces. All we did was to save and re-skin all four legs. The meat had a slightly paler look and any blood pooled between muscle sections smelled bad. The backstrap was good looking, being covered with fat on one side and protected by spine and ribs on the other two sides. Did not even consider salvaging any rib meat. Doing a little reading on aging and it sounds like you have to keep the meat cool, (34-40 degrees) and air circulating but not blowing directly on meat. No more aged meat for me! Only about 10 deer so far, but it may go crazy this weekend? Who the heck ever decided on 24 days in this unit?
Going to work on six more Tuesday! Guess they weren't all killed last December, had seven different bucks cross my yard this evening, couple were probably 130 / 140?
Anyone looking into a DIY walk-in cooler I highly recommend the coolbot. I’m going to start raising and butchering my own pigs, the reason I built it, but it sure came in handy during deer season.
Hovers around 36 degrees on a hot day.
Anyone looking into a DIY walk-in cooler I highly recommend the coolbot. I’m going to start raising and butchering my own pigs, the reason I built it, but it sure came in handy during deer season.
Hovers around 36 degrees on a hot day.
Cooler is empty again. ONLY two more weekends left.
Put six deer in the cooler yesterday, with a few people says they were going out today.
Come on Jan. 24th!
Marvin....how many in the cooler after this weekend?
At 9:00 last night, we had 10 hanging for the weekend, with lots of mouse sized fetus'es, mostly twins. So far, no shed antlered bucks! ONLY ONE MORE WEEKEND !!!
You gut the deer for them too? Wow that is A to Z service right there! Are you on call to help drag if need be?:^)
I got a grinder and sausage stuffer so I’m one step closer to doing it all. Just got to figure out how to make summer sausage and jerky now. Our kitchen Island makes a perfect spot to cut the meat and with the help of my son-in-law (standing) we convinced her to let us skin a doe the other day in the house...the 2 story beam makes a perfect hanging spot. The smoke pepper jack jalapeño sausage turned out a good flavor...next time we’re going to use high temp cheese since the cheese we used melted away. We had a little left over that I made breakfast sausage patties which we had the next morning...best I’ve had that I can remember.
Tom, most people still gut their own animals, but with this winter weather a few prefer to bring em in to us to do the entire job. We normally charge another $10 to gut. I had a couple the other night that I would have gutted for free. The hunter gutted them, then drug them through a mudhole followed by a pile of leaves and grass. Took forever to get the body cavity cleaned out. As for helping drag, "that depends on how cute you are".
LOL, have brought in quarters to process in the kitchen, but not a whole deer. My wife supports my hunting habits, but that would never fly in our house.
That doe has has 5x the fat my doe did
I think I’ve heard Kyle use the term raise em right on kids....well on women it’s how you train em. I hope she never reads this though:)
Looks like an episode of Dexter...need more plastic though!
That's next level stuff be still! Bachelor pad move, not "happily married" man move... Well played sir, now I have to up my game at home.
Like the tree in the living room also! Is there a hang-on at the top of it?
Be Still.....War of the Roses type stuff right there, HA!!
"that depends on how cute you are".
I am cute, real cute. I will call you next time:^)
We think alike JB...I did tell her early on that I was wanting to put a hang-on up there with screw in steps going up. Here’s some better pics of it...when I said I wanted a real tree in there she was hesitant at first but she likes it now. I also wanted some of the limbs to stay on and go all the way to the ceiling...I was going to put the hang-on up there as well as some turkey roosting and flying off, coons, squirrels...etc. But she put her foot down and said no to that. We also have some under the carport and one under the front porch. This is all natural...we didn’t stain it or anything. I love the natural colors of it.
That’s gotta hurt when passing thru there in the dark, HA!
Yeah luckily I haven’t ran into it yet...probably a matter of time though.
I like that a lot be still! Looks great. Have your boys climbed it to jump onto the couch yet, Elf style?
Lol no she put her foot down on that one too...my youngest was wanting to climb it to get to his room upstairs instead of using the stairs but she said no way.
Well, the cooler is empty, once again. Just waiting for that last mad push this coming weekend!
Be Still....long before you put anything on that dead tree in your house like a hang-on stand with tree steps or turkeys roosting and flying off, coons, squirrels, etc.....may I make a suggestion? Any trophy room with a dead tree in it should first have a Sito sitting at the base of it with bow in lap and camera w/fuzzy mic at the ready....and no doubt with the sign attached. BTW, camera is pointing at the stairs so be careful coming and going in your skivvies? Also, be careful moving thru there in the dark...he likes to rassle!
Ha Jason it would be pretty hard to find a mannequin that ugly:) No there’s only one problem with that....Sito is the real deal so I doubt he would want to be sitting in this so called Trophy Room. I got to admit a few of these animals have been taken on places with something being spread on the ground and I couldn’t dishonor him like that. First thing he would do when he walked in would have me point them out to him and then he probably rip them off the wall to break them in half...and then say now you want to rassel. Marvin sounds like you’re going to be getting some much needed rest soon.
Y'all are nuts! Made me L
Well, here it is, the last weekend of antlerless deer season in unit 12! Have had several folks say they're going out for one more try. Tom, I'm booked up for this morning, already told one good looking lady I would help her if she shot one. Guessing we'll get 12 to 15 ?
Well, it's a wrap! The antlerless season in unit 12 officially ended today and NO, I'm not moving a portable unit up toward Kansas City for the rest of the month. I skinned five yesterday and only one tonight. THE KILL FLOOR IS DOWN FOR THE SEASON! Will process the ones hanging Tuesday. Also will make another batch of summer sausage, that will make 700 pounds this season.
One of my lady friends hunted yesterday and had six different bucks within 25 yards. Does were all out of her comfort range. Decided to not hunt today. I will try to help keep her from starving??