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WARNING!!!!! Today's post is extremely graphic. My friend is an avid hunter and he recently caught a deer. He and Kim asked me to come over and help them butcher the deer and pack the meat away. I jumped at the chance to help and learn more about the butchering art. I feel strongly that people should understand better about where their food comes from. I normally don't talk about it on here because I don't want to be preachy, but today I think it is ok. I wasn't sure about posting these pictures today, but in the end I decided it was relevant. Jamie Oliver killed a chicken on live TV. Gordon Ramsay raises and kills different animals on each season of The F Word (the best food show on TV.) Why can't I show some pictures of butchering a deer? Again, these pictures are very graphic, and I urge you not to click through if you don't think you can handle it.

Its a big one!

There she is.

Greg is still taking the skin off. In the woods, he "field dressed" the deer (link), but when you take it home you have to pull the skin off.

Watch for ticks!!! We found many ticks on this deer. I was sure to check myself every few minutes and wash my clothes and shower after.

Now that the skin is off, you can see the neck more clearly.

Everything about this reminded me of lamb. The smell and the look mostly.

As we were cutting into this guy, we found the arrow Greg shot him with! There is nothing more ethical than killing a deer with a bow and arrow.

Here Greg is snapping the arm so it is easier to cut.

Be thankful that this picture is blurry.

Here Greg is getting the backstrap off of the deer. This is in a similar location to the NY strip on the cow.

The piece just pulls right out of the deer.

From this angle, you can see the tenderloin inside of the cavity.

Two Backstraps, and two tenderloins. These are the gold mine of deermeat.

Here we are gathering some of the leg meat. Greg and I are far from experts on butchering a deer. We did the best we could, and gathered as much of the meat as possible.

I am proud of the work that I did that night. You can tell by the smile in my chefs coat. That is a beautiful roast I have in my hand. I told them to use it on Christmas!

We made a tenderloin with some cajun spices, some backstrap steaks with montreal seasoning, and some of the backstrap chunks marinated in teriyaki.

The teriyaki was the best, soo good that I couldn't even take a picture of it!!! We ate it soo fast.

Yum. So tasty.

Remember when I said lamb? I stand by it, I think the taste is lamby too.

There is something very serious about starting the night with a full animal and ending the night eating some of it. I will never forget this evening and I thank Greg and Kim so much for inviting me!

I have already admitted that Greg and I are not the biggest experts at this job. We did what we could and harvested as much meat off the deer as we could. I understand if others know better ways to do this, and I hope to do it more efficiently next time, but i think we did the best we could on this particular night.  We got much more than was shown here, and Greg has a ton put away in his freezer.  I have some deer meat in my fridge too, some scraps for sausage and a brisket I found that Greg didn't even know about!  I cant wait to share the recipes with you guys next week!


I've never commented before, but I've been reading for almost a year now. This post has me wanting to return home to Texas where I grew up.

Each year deer season was a favorite time of year because the bounty of delicious meats.

I think you're a pretty out going guy when it comes to food, so I'll recommend trying the heart of the deer. We never cooked it anyway special, just like if it were the tenderloin.

Deer Jerky is also delicious, I'm sure you know that.

Thanks again for bringing me back.

Oh, I couldn't me any more excited about this post... I've never had venison, but my friend's boyfriend recently returned from a hunting trip and gave me a 2-3 lb bag of hamburger and about a pound of cube steak (they saved the best bits for themselves, but I'm happy to use what I get!). The trouble is, I have NO idea what to do with this! Do I treat it like beef? It looks like beef, but apparently, it's leaner than beef, so I'm scared to cook it too long. I'm a subscriber, so hopefully I'll see some posts coming up on what do to with my deer meat!

Dan- This was so cool! I don't like gorey stuff but I love knowing more about my food instead of being ignorant about what's in it. With all the cancer in my family over the past few years it's made me drive to eat all natural for the most part. I've felt a difference in my body eating natrually versus food made in labs.

Kelly- this is what I would do.

for the cube steakthe best way in my opion is sautee onions until they are tender in butter on low... salt and pepper the meat... then put on top of the onions and cook on medium for a few mins then turn the meat over... i like my cube steak not pink since it's a tender cut and will remains juicy. serve topped with the onions.

For the ground meat... becuase it's similar to lamb... sautee up some celery (until tender) then let it cool. while that's cooling chop some baby spinach into small bits. mix the meat with spinach, celery, salt and pepper adn roll into burgers. cook burgers as a little less than normal since it can sometimes dry out quicker then put in a pita or hamburger roll and top with feta (and hummus if you want) for a greek style burger.

Good luck if you try them! :)

excellent post! i am not a hunter but members of my family are and my boyfriend is so i've had venison my whole life. you're right - venison tenderloin is awesome!

thanks so much for sharing such a cool experience!

I figured out where I went wrong with the chili-rub! I should have added brown sugar.

i'll have to try it again.

The person who mentioned the deer heart is right, it's the best part. If you ever have the chance you should try it. When I had it, it was just sliced up and sauteed in a frying pan with butter, salt and pepper.

I didn't grow up a hunter, but, like you, want to know where my food comes from and to be more involved in the process. To date, I've only been active one deer season, but it changes a meal entirely.

True appreciation follows. Thakns for the post.

wow a beautiful animal.

@kelly: a 50/50 venison/pork mix is a good way to make it act like ground beef. the pork will provide the fat.

Hi there,

I was given a brace of pheasant last week and i plucked and butchered them myself for the first time. It's great to see people getting back to the nitty gritty and preparing animals themselves. Good on you. Can i just add (as this is the internet and therefore there is no embarrassment) that you are a good looking guy! We need more like you over in England!

Thanks again


For Christs sake, ever hear of McDonalds?

This is such an interesting post! I think many people forget where meat comes from and in a way it was gross, but it was also pretty cool to see how you'd go about preparing the meat. It wasn't as gory as I was preparing myself for!

There's that old saying about not wanting to know how the sausage is made. I disagree with it, we meat-eaters all need to be confortable with the fact that our food doesn't magically fall off an animal and into a nice vacuum-sealed pack. That being said, great post.

The people that can't look at this post are truly pathetic human beings.
Anyway, the meat looks delicious!

Never killed/butcherd my own dinner before. This makes me want to take up hunting for that satisfying smile at the end. Thanks for sharing.
I'll look forward your post in the coming weeks with more deer.

Seriously hardcore! I love what you have done in this post, and how you now know about what it takes to put the dinner on the table. I find when one knows everything that goes into it, they respect the food that much more. This is what it is all about.

Thank you for that!

Wow. We're not hunters (though I would love to try venison sometime) but that was fascinating to see the process. I think the ticks would bar me from the whole process though. Yikes.

Thanks for documenting that. And I will echo the comments above that more people need to understand where their food comes from.

Yea... agree with most commenters... if you can't stomach this, you should be a vegetarian. Don't eat meat and then be grossed out by this.

@Breenie and McDonalds. Ever heard of eating real food?

my dad was a hunter when I was growing up. I used to love helping him clean the deer that would hang in our garage. you guys should def try the heart, i remember that being my favorite part.

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