Thinking Ahead For Next Season
For most deer hunters across the country, the season is winding down. How did yours go? Is your freezer full? Did you do your own processing or have it professionally done? Happy with the results?
With turkey season still a few months away and deer fresh on the mind, now is a good time to step back and give your venison a thorough evaluation. Does your venison have an off flavor? Is it packaged well enough to prevent freezer burn over the next several months? Did you get it back in a reasonable amount of time?
If the answer to any of those is no, it might be time to look into stepping up your game (processing) before next season. Butchering your own game meat, and doing it correctly, goes a long way when it comes to quality meals on the table.
If it is the unknown that is holding you back from doing your own, this is the time to remedy the situation by watching any of the hundreds of YouTube videos out there on the subject. Even better? The instructional DVD available from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and its Emmy Award winning KY Afield outdoors show. Host Tim Farmer and professional butcher Sim Harp cover every aspect of game processing from field to final packaging. Over the years, I have watched a ton of instructional videos and DVDs. This is one of the best I have seen and one that I don't hesitate to recommend anytime someone has a question about processing. Get it, watch it, and then watch it again. You will understand the process in no time. For just a few dollars, you can pick up the DVD here.
The off-season is also a great time to stock up on a few needed tools as well. A few knives, a bone saw, a grinder and, if the budget allows, a vacuum sealer for the ultimate in freezer protection. Many outdoor and butcher supply outlets run end of season deals this time of the year. Don't overlook Craigslist and EBay for deals on gently used equipment that always seems to pop up after season as well. It doesn't take many trips to the processor to cover the costs of all of the equipment needed to do it yourself.
By starting the process now, you will be ready to process your own deer when season rolls around again.