2019-2020 Deer Processing
ATTENTION HUNTERS: The Iowa Department of Meat Inspection will not allow any locker or meat processing plant to accept any custom meats you bring in for processing to be contained in garbage bags. You must bring them in clear bags or food containers. Clear bags are available at farm and fleet stores or home improvement stores. Grocery stores have large zip-lock bags as well.
(Many of the new garbage bags are now being treated with chemicals for odor and/or insect protection, so that is the reasoning behind the law.)
Storage Tips for Venison Items
These items should be frozen within a few weeks:
-Regular Summer Sausage
-Regular Summer Sausage with Cheddar Cheese
-Regular Summer Sausage with Jalapeno Cheese
-Ring Bologna with Cheddar Cheese
-Ring Bologna with Jalapeno Cheese
-Polish Sausage with Cheddar Cheese
-Polish Sausage with Jalapeno Cheese
-Smoked Bratwurst with Cheddar Cheese
-Smoked Bratwurst with Jalapeno Cheese
-Frankfurters with Cheddar Cheese
-Frankfurters with Jalapeno Cheese
It is best to thaw in your refrigerator 3-4 days before use.
The following items have a longer shelf life unfrozen,
freeze only if you are storing them for 2 months or longer:
-Fermented Summer Sausage
-Fermented Summer Sausage with Cheddar Cheese
-Fermented Summer Sausage with Jalapeno Cheese
-Deer Slims Sausage with Cheddar Cheese
-Deer Slims Sausage with Jalapeno Cheese
Deer Jerky does NOT need to be frozen
Field Dressing Your Deer
As featured in the “Progress Review” – By Joest Kramer and Dave Stueve
This will be the first of this year’s series of hunting articles from Double Lung Archery. Last Season, while talking with Joest at Kramer Sausage Co., he mentioned that this year we should team up and do an article on the proper care for your deer after the shot. I agreed that this is an important subject to make sure you get the best venison you can.
Like Joest, I grew up in the meat locker business and we have both seen many errors hunters sometimes make. It is our hope that this article will provide new hunters with the information they need and be a reminder to the “seasoned professionals.”
Rule #1 – Clean
When you retrieve your deer the first order of business should be to field dress it. Field dressing means getting ALL the innards out of the deer. This will slow the bacteria growth and help cool the meat. In this case, ALL means ALL! The paunch, the intestines, liver, the lungs and heart, EVERYTHING! Make sure you cut the esophagus (wind pipe) off as far up as you can reach. One thing many people do not remove is the colon. You must split the pelvic bone with a saw, heavy knife or cleaver, then carefully cut out the colon. Keep the hindquarters where you split it spread apart, this will aid the cooling of the hams (this is the largest and slowest cooling portion of the deer). Rinse out the inside of the deer if clean water is available.
If you are going to skin the deer right away, make sure to get the whole windpipe out. Cut into the neck after skinning and remove the whole thing – it is chock full of bacteria!
Rule #2 – Cool
If the outside temp is above 40 degrees, you need to get some ice. Stuff 2 or 3 bags of ice inside of the deer. I usually put 2 in the cavity and 1 between the hindquarters. Use a stick or something to hold the back legs apart so the ice can rest in the V where you split the pelvic bone.
Keep in mind that “Life begins at 41 degrees” for all the bad bacteria that can and will taint your meat.
If you cut and bone your own meat, rinse the carcass with cold water after you skin it. To remove any excess hair after skinning, use a propane torch to LIGHTLY singe the hair off.
Do not soak the meat after boning as that just spreads any bacteria present to all of the meat. If you are going to put the meat in coolers with ice, place the meat in into plastic bags first, then place in the cooler and cover with ice.
The best way to make sure your deer is properly cared for is to take it to a meat locker as soon as possible. Most lockers have and answering machine with “after hour” information for deer drop off.
If you have additional question on how to do any of the things listed above, please contact Joest at Kramer Sausage Co. 319-342-1693 or Dave at Double Lung Archery 319-342-4550.