Deer hunting is a hugely popular activity in many parts of the world. But it’s particularly popular in North America, where hunting is such a massive part of the culture. And the best part of deer hunting? All that delicious venison to eat!
But to get that yummy meat, you need to know how to process the animal. Sure, you can do it at home yourself, but you’ll need serious skills, so it’s better to hire a professional. But how much does deer processing cost?
Let’s find out in my in-depth look at…
- How Much Does it Cost to Process a Deer?
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Deer Processed on Average?
- How to Save Money on Deer Processing?
- Need to Know How Much Anything Else Costs?
- Final Thoughts
How Much Does it Cost to Process a Deer?
There’s no set price for processing a deer. Several different factors can affect the cost. So, what are they?
Type of Processing
What kind of processing do you need? Depending on the resulting product, the processing costs different amounts. Are you hoping to end up with lots of juicy steaks? Or would you prefer sausages, jerky, and ground meat?
The tools used to make each of these products are not the same. And the methods of producing the meat are not either. Therefore, the price can change based on what kind of product you want to take home.
Quality of the Meat
The standard of the meat can greatly affect the price of deer processing too. Inexperienced hunters can easily shoot the deer in the wrong place, making it harder to handle. Similarly, if it’s been improperly handled after shooting, the quality can be affected.
When a carcass is difficult to handle, it takes longer to process. And more time equals more money. You should expect to pay more for processing low-quality meat.
Quantity of the Meat
How big is the deer being processed? Did you shoot a large, noble buck? Or was it a smaller, immature fawn?
Processing understandably takes longer when it involves a big animal. After all, it’s much more labor-intensive and requires more tools than dealing with a smaller deer. And that means it comes with a higher price tag.
Where are you? And where did you hunt the deer? Location plays a huge role in the cost of processing a deer.
Deer hunting usually takes place in rural areas. This is awesome because rural facilities generally have lower overheads and, therefore, can charge their customers less! And conversely, facilities in areas with a higher cost of living are generally more expensive due to higher overheads.
Want to Give it a Try?
All these considerations may seem a little intimidating. But if you’ve got the time and some decent knife skills, you could always give the process a try yourself! Why not check out this helpful guide with pictures to get a better idea of the process?
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Deer Processed on Average?
As you’ve already seen, there are many things to consider when working out the cost of processing a deer. However, you can figure out a rough amount. It’s just a case of breaking down the costs into sections.
The price for basic deer processing starts at about $40 and generally goes up to around $100. This, of course, depends on all the factors mentioned earlier.
The first step of the basic process is skinning. From there, the processor will gut the deer. And the final step involves deboning the animal.
Custom Processing Fees
If you’re happy to simply take loose meat home, you can stop after the basic process. But if you want to leave with ready-to-cook products, you’ll need to have some custom processing done. This step involves turning the meat into things like jerky, sausages, and burgers.
The price for this custom processing is determined by the weight of the meat. Facilities with low overheads generally start at around $0.50 a pound. More expensive facilities may charge up to about $1.50 a pound.
Extra services mean extra fees! There are a whole host of add-ons that most processing facilities provide. And their price depends on how labor-intensive they are.
Aging adds an amazing depth of flavor to the meat, but it takes a while, so it can be pricey. Smoked meat tastes incredible but requires special equipment to do so. And vacuum-packing can also bring that cost up a bit.
So, How Much Does it Cost to Process a Deer on Average?
Broadly speaking, having a deer butchered costs between $70 – $200 per animal. So, as you can see, it’s a pretty wide range. There are so many variables to take into account when it comes to working out that final price.
How to Save Money on Deer Processing?
Processing a deer can quickly get expensive! And that’s even more true if you have several animals to butcher. Don’t worry, though! Here are some tips to keep your deer processing costs down.
Don’t go with the first processing plant you see. Different facilities specialize in different services and therefore have different prices. Shop around and try to find one that suits your needs for a decent price.
Sharing is Caring
If you know a few other hunters, why not pool your resources? Many facilities offer a discount on bulk orders. If you all approach the processor together, you can easily save a few dollars.
Keep Things Basic
The easiest way to save money is to stick to basic processing. OK, you won’t get those yummy sausages. But you could always make them yourself using an online recipe. Or learn to prepare delicious venison steaks with Downfield Farm.
Need to Know How Much Anything Else Costs?
Well, check out the site for the answers you need, such as How Much are Eggs at Walmart, How Much Does Bowling Cost, How Much Does it Cost to Renew a Passport, How Much Do Movie Tickets Cost, or How Much Do Newspapers Cost?
Or, find out How Much Does Golden Corral Cost Per Person, How Much is a Forever Stamp Worth, How Much Does Dry Cleaning Cost, How Much Does a McDonalds Franchise Cost, or even How Much is the Cost of Building a Shipping Container Home?
Or, maybe you’ve been wondering How Much Does Salmon Cost, How Much do Utilities Cost for an Average Apartment, How Much is a Roll of Stamps, How Much Do BET Award Tickets Cost, or How Much Does Dry Ice Cost in 2023?
Deer hunting is a sustainable way to provide your family with cheap, healthy meat. But after killing the deer, that meat needs to be processed. And that can get expensive.
But don’t forget; you’ll end up with a huge pile of delectable steak, sausages, and burgers! Sure, it’s a lot of money to pay at once, but it’ll keep you going all winter. And for that reason, I reckon it’s worth it.
So, happy huntin’ folks!