Lark Bunting

New member
Sep 14, 2016
Last year I was pretty proud of myself for taking my first big game animal. She was a tasty doe. I learned how to blood trail, how to field dress, and I did all the butchering the next day. I\'d watched videos and read articles. I was pretty confident in most of the fiasco but the butchering was quite a chore. If I\'m not mistaken it took me and my son every bit of 6.5 hours. We stopped often to disinfect the work surfaces and knives. I don\'t have a meat grinder so everything was cut into roasts and steaks...the \"scraps\" were cut thin for jerky.

Do you have any good videos on butchering, tips for getting the most out of the meat, charts on identifying cuts of meat, etc?

MUCH appreciated!
Lark, first off congrats on the doe! I\'ve not done my own butchering but do have a beef cuts chart that might help. If this is too small or anything, just PM me and I\'ll attach it that way. Once you buy a grinder and start into making sausage, brats, etc...then I can help more![attachment=0]<!-- ia0 -->beef_cuts_poster_4047.pdf<!-- ia0 -->[/attachment]


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To me the key to butchering is deciding what you like to eat and start from there. Grindings for burger, stew meat, steaks, loins and roasts. Elk are big enough you can make steaks out of anything. This his how my Mom taught me and I learned everything else on my own. Start by separating the large muscles from bone and each other. Clean as much as the silver skin off that you can. Big chunks are kept as roasts or cut across the grain into steaks. Lately I\'ve been cutting all my steaks before I freeze it but I do freeze the loins whole becuase sometimes I like to roast them. So when I thaw a package of steaks I get little round ones mixed in with long narrow ones, who cares. You can kind of predict how tough a steak will be by how firm the meat is when you cut it up.
So when I tear into a deer for example, I know I want 20# of grindings, no stew meat, only one or two roasts and whatever I can get in steaks.
For elk I try to steak as much as I can, a couple roasts and everything else goes into straight burger. Love it.
The loins on both I leave whole because they are so versatile, steak them up when you thaw it or roast it whole. Don\'t grind them. (Give em to me instead).
To me, doing it this way opens up a lot of options as far as a change of menu down the road. For example, if we run low on steaks, I can steak up a roast, knowing I ate the \"best\" steaks already and this will be tougher, so cook it differently.

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