Recently I killed a legal deer during deer season, and the 9-point buck weighed in at around 200 pounds before field dressing. I took it to a well-known butcher shop here in Fort Wayne to be processed into roasts and steaks. Now in my calculations a 200-pound deer (150 after field dressing – and even a little less since I took the head home with me) should yield a lot of steaks and roasts but when I went to collect my meat, I found that my box of steaks and roasts weighed 13 pounds and there was a 40-something pound box of ‘scrap’ that I chose to be made into deer burger since there wasn’t anything else to do with it without paying an arm and a leg extra to have it further processed into jerky or summer sausage. Oh, by the way, the processing fee was $.79 per pound and my bill came to within few cents of being $80.00, which means they processed a 100-pound carcass.

I encountered a similar situation back in 1978 when I killed a 5-point buck and had it processed by another well-known butcher shop in Fort Wayne (which by the way has since gone out of business). That time I got very few pounds of meat and 30-some pounds of deerburger. They claimed I shot up both hams and that’s why there weren’t many steaks. I had already taken the hide to a taxidermist and he verified that the bullet hole was in the neck and not in the hind legs. Still they held that what they gave me was my deer. What could I do? I got books on butchering and every deer that I’ve killed since, I’ve butchered myself and surprisingly enough I always get a lot more meat percentage wise than when having a processor do it.

This time I was in a rush and didn’t have time to do the butchering myself. Thus I’ve learned a lesson of sorts. Has anyone else ever thought they’ve been ripped off at a deer-processing place? Let me know and I’ll avoid them in the future. If you are satisfied with the way your deer was butchered and processed then let me know and I’ll post their name in this column for other sportsmen looking to being honestly dealt with. I think all sportsmen should stick together, so pass the word around and let’s give the honest deer processors our money.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer