One of the great things about deer hunting is enjoying the delicious venison. In the long run, it’s cheaper than buying meat from a grocery store or a butcher. It also means that you know exactly where your food comes from. But a major cost of deer hunting is getting your deer processed. So, how much does it cost to process a deer?
We’ll delve into the topic of deer processing and its costs here. We’ll talk about:
- How much does it cost to process a deer? (Answered)
- How much does it cost to process a deer at a butcher near me?
- How long it takes for a butcher to process a deer
- How much meat you get from a deer per pound
- How to find a local butcher for your deer
- DIY deer processing
How Much Does It Cost to Process a Deer? (answered)
On average, it costs anywhere between $75-$120 to process a deer. A number of factors contribute to the cost of deer processing. In our research, there is often a lot of variation in deer processing prices, with costs increasing during peak hunting season, and dropping when demand for this service is lower.
Here you’ll find an overview of deer processing and the costs involved.
This information will help you save money and know what you’re getting yourself into. You may even decide to start processing your own deer!
How Much Does it Cost to Process a Deer at a Butcher Near Me?
The answer to this question depends on where you live and what your definition of “near” is. If you live in an isolated area, it could take several hours to drive to a professional butcher.
You’ll also need to calculate the driving time from the hunting site to your house.
If you want to get very technical, you should calculate the gas mileage involved in your transportation.
If you’re like many hunters, you probably have a butcher within a reasonable distance who is more than happy to process your deer.
States that are more popular for hunting like Texas have higher prices than, for example, Wisconsin.
The best way to find out how much it’s going to cost to process a deer is to ask around or call up some local butchers.
Since butchers are incredibly busy during peak hunting season, that’s when they raise their prices. They’re often working overtime during those times.
Most of the cost involved in processing a deer revolves around labor. It takes time, training, and expensive equipment to properly process a deer.
How Long it Takes a Butcher to Process a Deer?
Return times on deer meat will depend on how busy the butcher is.
Wait times will be longer during peak hunting season. Ask them for an estimate and keep in mind that a faster return will usually cost you a bit extra.
From the time of hunting to receiving a final product, you’re generally looking at a few days.
Once a deer has been killed, it needs to be skinned and dried.
This is why you will often see deer carcasses hanging before they are butchered. Drying the meat gives it more flavor and makes it easier to work with.
The temperature conditions and air quality of the drying area need to be controlled. Working in an area with dirty air will contaminate the meat.
After the meat has been dried, the butchering process will also vary depending on animal size and the type of cut you want. Larger bucks take longer to process because they have more meat.
Specialty meats like sausages, jerkies, and bacon will be more expensive. Preparing these requires more time and skill.
How Much Meat You Get From a Deer Per Pound?
One of the first questions hunters ask is how much meat they will get from a single deer.
This depends on the size of the deer and how it is being butchered. A lot of factors go into processing.
Generally speaking, a deer will yield about 40-50% of its weight in meat.
That means if a deer is 80 lbs while it is living and, it could give you on average up to 40 lbs of meat.
So, the bigger the deer, the more meat you’re going to get.
Good butchering skills are essential to maximizing both the quality and quantity of meat.
How to Find a Local Butcher for Your Deer?
The best way to find a butcher is to ask other hunters.
Most butchers will process more than one deer at once. This means that there is a chance that the meat you get back won’t necessarily be the deer you hunted.
This saves the butcher time, which will end up saving you money.
But if you want to be sure that the deer you’re eating is the deer you’ve hunted, you should find a butcher who guarantees that the meat you get is from your deer.
Most butchers have their prices available online. They should be able to give you a direct quote if you call and know the weight of your deer.
Some will charge more for a heavier deer, whereas others will have a flat rate.
Local butchers face regular health inspections. That way you don’t have to worry about food contamination. And it should go without saying, that you should field dress your deer promptly after you shoot it.
DIY Deer Processing
If you’re a frequent deer hunter, you could consider doing your own processing.
You’ll have some high upfront costs if you do this, however.
However, once you have the necessary equipment and you’ve become skilled at deer processing, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
Keep in mind, though, that deer processing is time-intensive. Also, make sure to have an experienced butcher show you the ropes, including how to trim fat.
Processing your own deer meat is a great choice if you want to make sure you’re getting the meat from your own deer.
If you want to start processing your own deer, you’ll have to be ready to do a lot of learning.
You must process the deer in a completely clean, sterile environment. If you don’t, your venison will quickly spoil and become dangerous to eat.
You’ll also need enough freezer space to store your venison. It will go back within a week if you don’t freeze it.
Now You Know How Much It Costs to Process a Deer
Deer processing is a complicated process. For dedicated hunters, learning to process is an art.
In many cases, it’s the only way to ensure that the deer you’ve hunted is the deer on your table.
But if you don’t hunt that often or you just don’t like the idea of processing DIY, you should look for a local deer processing facility or butcher.
To sum up, processing a deer will cost you anywhere between $75-$120. Most of the costs involved in this are labor.
Prices vary and will be higher during the peak hunting season. If you want anything special, that’s going to cost you extra.
The internet is a great resource for finding local butchering services. Call around and ask for quotes.
Make sure you tell them exactly what it is you want and ask about their turnaround time. After that, all that’s left is to enjoy your food!
Ready for your next hunting trip? Learn how to rattle for bucks to draw them in to your blind, or prepare for next season and read our guide on the best food plots for deer. This way next year you’ll be able to harvest even more meat.