One of my favorite times of the year is deer season. One of our goals for this year is to provide the majority of our meat from what we can either catch (like fish), hunt (like deer) or raise (like hogs).

With Johnny’s crazy work schedule over the last six weeks, it’s been hard for him to get out and hunt. There’s been a particular buck he’s been seeing this season and he was able to get him within five minutes of getting on the stand tonight. So, tomorrow we start processing him. With the cold temperatures tonight we’re going to let him bleed out and will actually start quartering him in the morning (before Johnny heads to work).

We’ve processed our own deer for the past 10 years and this year will be no different. We have set up a process that as Johnny quarters it, the kids bring the meat in the house where I wash it, de-bone it, and package it for the freezer. This is just the precursor to the rest of the processing. Over the next few posts I will go through our process of cleaning the deer.

Living in the country and being self-sufficient means knowing where your food comes from, how to clean it, process it, freeze it or even can it. Step one involves actually killing the deer and gutting it. No, it’s not a pretty site. It’s dirty. It stinks and it’s downright messy. There’s no two ways around it. But, we like knowing that our deer came from the land on which we live, only 300 yards from our home. That in itself is awesome. 

Step two comes later this week – preparing the meat for the freezer.

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