How Much Does Deer Processing Cost?

Last Updated on September 20, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

If you’re looking for a way to get your fill of venison, look no further than at a world-renowned deer processing service. These professionals will process an entire carcass and make sure that every last bit is utilized. You can have fresh meat cuts such as steaks, sausages, or hamburgers depending on what are your preferences.

How Much Does Deer Processing Cost?

The cost of processing the deer itself is anywhere between $75 and $180 on average. In this expense, the premium cuts like jerky, hamburger, or sausages are not included. The minimum deer processing price for skinning and gutting starts at around $60, but if you want something extra like summer sausages or standard cuts, the expense will go up to $320 for a full deer of average size.

The deer processing cost is influenced by many factors including the size of the deer, what cut you want, the geographical location, and the deer processor you are going to employ.

There are two ways meat processors charge for deer processing: by the “cut” or by the pound.

For instance, the professional processor, Skoglund Meats charges around $1.25 per pound to grind and package the meat, while Clay’s Deer Processing from Texas charges around $90 only for the processing.

Depending on the type of sausages, expect to pay anywhere between $2.5 and $6 per pound for sausages and brats. Some of the most popular sausages are Smoked Polish and Italian.

In case you want shrink-wrapped sausages flavored with jalapeno or cheese, be prepared to pay $15 to $25 for 3 pounds, while the summer sausages will set you back $12 to $20 for 3 pounds.

One pound of jerky or snack deer sticks can be bought for $6 to $10.

On the other hand, burgers are somewhat cheaper with a cost of $1.5 to $5 per pound, but the cost could increase if you want to add extra flavor like bacon.

The price of bacon is anywhere between $7 and $10 per pound.

For lunch meat or boneless meat, you will have to pay anywhere between $3 and $5 per pound.

According to a member of the Filed and Stream forum, the price of summer sausages is anywhere between $5 and $6 per pound, while the standard roast and burger are charged at around $90. Also, another member said that he had to pay around $80 flat fee for custom cuts.

In the table below you will find the average price per pound for some of the most popular cuts, without including the specialty processing fees already mentioned.

Type of Meat Cut Average Price (per pound)
Summer Sausage (regular) $15 to $19 per 3 pounds
Summer Sausage (other flavors) $16 to $20 per 3 pounds
Summer Sausage (jalapeno and cheese) $16 to $20 per 3 pounds
Stew Meat $0.75 to $1.50
Snack Sticks $4 to $5
Smoked Sausage (regular) $5 to $6
Smoked Sausage (jalapeno and cheese) $5 to $8
Smoked Sausage (Italian) $5 to $8
Salami $18 per 3 pounds
Lunch meat $3 to $4
Kielbasa $3 to $4
Jerky $4 to $12
Hot Links $3 to $5
Hot Dogs (cheese) $3 to $6
Hot Dogs $3 to $5
Hamburger Patties $1.50
Breakfast Sausage $3 to $4
Bratwurst $5 to $6
Bologna $3 to $5
Basic Hamburger $0.75 to $3
Bacon $7 to $10

Deer processing details

Once you arrive at the butcher shop, they will give you an order sheet to fill with what needs to be done. They charge the processed meat by weight. The whole process includes cutting, skinning, as well as tenderizing, wrapping, and conservation of the deer meat.

You might also like our articles about the cost of venison, taxidermy, or pig roast.

The first thing that is done once the deer is dropped off at the butcher is skinning and cleaning. After that, it will be cooled for storage.

After processing, the meat is shrink-wrapped and organized so you can store it directly in the freezer. In order to receive just your meat and no other parts, most professional deer processors will keep and tag your deer separately.

Depending on the season, it would take up around 14 days to get your deer meat processed. However, it could take longer if you order jerky or sausages, due to the processing method.

Extra costs besides the deer processing price

Deer Meat ProcessedYou will have to pay directly to the processor around $8 to $20 for disposing of the carcass.

In case you want items that need to be vacuum-sealed and wrapped such as sausages, you should budget $0.50 to $1 per pound.

In some cases, people choose to tenderize the meat and the price for this is $20 to $40. This cost is usually included in the overall processing fee.

For less than $80, most of the processors can tan the hide and return it to you.

You will have to pay $55 to $110 if the deer has to be caped for a shoulder mount.

Depending on your preferences, if you want to add extra flavor to the meat you will have to pay an additional price. For instance, the price will increase by $2 to $4 per pound when adding cheese flavor to the sausage sticks.

In case you want your order to be done in an urgent manner the cost could increase by more than 40%.

There are processors that will charge an extra storage fee if you don’t pick up the order during the agreed-upon time frame.

Also, some processors will require a small deposit of $55 to $80 in order to start working on your order.

Important things to consider

There are minimum orders for certain cuts. For instance, some processors require you to purchase at least 25 pounds of summer sausages.

Field dressing a deer can be an involved process, but the meat is worth it. The average 75 to 125-pound deer will yield about 50 percent of its weight in lean boneless venison.

When it comes to processing the deer meat, most processors recommend bringing the deer “as-is”. It’s important because this can ensure the safety of the process. However, if you plan on doing so then make sure that after loading your carcass you take all necessary precautions in order not to have any bacteria spoil your meat.

How can I save money?

Make sure you ask for three price offers at least before choosing a deer processing company. Most are more than happy to offer you a quote immediately over the phone or by e-mail. But you can check on their official website as well.

2 replies
  1. jerry sharp
    jerry sharp says:

    Your statement saying the average deer will yield 50% of it’s body weight in boneless meat is far from correct.. there are so many variable that effect meat yield ….. Shot placement is very important when considering meat yield . A deer shot through the front shoulders will cause 10-15% meat loss . A deer brought in dirty will need to be cleaned . sometime the dirt has to be cut off which causes meat loss. Big deer have big bones.. I have not processed a deer that I got 50% of boned out clean meat. A 80 pound doe will not yield 40 pounds of clean boneless meat

    • Josh Preis
      Josh Preis says:

      I agree 100% with the comment above after field dressed you are looking at 1/3 of the dressed weight (no way even 1/3 total deer weight) in meat back. This is a much more realistic expectation. If gut shot much less also. Most people do not field dress and wash out properly once out of the field even more loss.


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