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 deer processing cost is influenced by many factors including the size of the deer, what cut you want, the geographical location and the processing company you are going to employ.
Be prepared to pay anywhere between $75 and $180 on average for processing the deer itself. In this expense, the premium cuts like jerky, hamburger, or sausages are not included. The minimum price for skinning and gutting starts at around $60, but you want more than this like summer sausages or standard cuts, the expense will go up to $320 for a full deer of average size.
There are two ways 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 pack 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 sticks can be bought for $6 to $10.
On the other hand, hamburgers 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, 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 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|
|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, and wrapping of the deer meat.
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 into the freezer. In order to receive just your meat and and no other parts, most well-known processors will keep and tag your deer separately.
Depending on the season, it would take up to two weeks to get your deer meat processed. However, it could take longer if you order jerky or sausages, due to the processing method.
What are the extra costs?
You will have to pay 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 $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 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 around 50% of its weight in lean boneless venison.
When it comes to processing deer, most processors recommend taking the animal “as-is” because this can make for an easier and more sanitary 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.