Author Topic: game processing kit suggestions?  (Read 11461 times)

Offline joeandmich

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game processing kit suggestions?
« on: April 09, 2013, 08:38:21 AM »
Can anyone suggest a decent game processing kit? I've seen a variety of them and don't know which one to purchase. I'm starting hog hunting this fall in Florida and later deer hunting in Tennessee so I would like a kit that can be used for a variety of animals.

thanks,

Joe

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 10:36:33 AM »
You can put your own together without buying the whole kit. It really depends to what extent you are going to be processing your game. Are you simply going to field dress it and take it to a processor or are you going to do all the meat processing yourself?

For field dressing I've never needed anything more than: good fixed blade drop point knife, a hacksaw (and extra blades). butcher's string (for tying off intestines/ureter) and add to that a gimbel and set of tackle blocks and rope for ease of hoisting, a plastic tub for a gut bucket,  a cooler, paper towels, water (to wash with), rubber gloves and you have more than a minimalist set-up.

Offline joeandmich

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 11:47:53 AM »
You can put your own together without buying the whole kit. It really depends to what extent you are going to be processing your game. Are you simply going to field dress it and take it to a processor or are you going to do all the meat processing yourself?

For field dressing I've never needed anything more than: good fixed blade drop point knife, a hacksaw (and extra blades). butcher's string (for tying off intestines/ureter) and add to that a gimbel and set of tackle blocks and rope for ease of hoisting, a plastic tub for a gut bucket,  a cooler, paper towels, water (to wash with), rubber gloves and you have more than a minimalist set-up.

What is a gimbel?


nelson96

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 12:15:15 PM »
Gambrel is what he meant. . .  It's used to hang the carcass buy its hocks. . . .  I simply use a green branch and hang it with mule tape.

I use even less than BB2A mentioned and I too process my own meat.  Their are many levels/types of processing, you'll have to define what it is you will be doing before we can give an accurate answer. . . .  The short answer is, I've never seen a kit that offered only what you need, all of what you need, and/or the quality that could last generations (buy it once).

This thread may answer part of your questions.... http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=38766.0
.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 12:23:42 PM by nelson96 »

Offline trekker111

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 01:11:53 AM »
When you say processing, I think of the field to freezer.

For field dressing, skinning and gutting, I really like my knives of alaska light hunter, but any comfortable knive which holds an edge well will work. I've field dressed deer with everything from a pocket knife to a bowie with a 9" blade, but a fixed blade with a 3 to 5 inch blade seems best. A way to hang the animal is nice. And a way to hang head down is even better. For a long time I hung deer by their neck, but head down is better, imo.

After the field dressing is done, a cutting board (bigger than that little thing that comes with those kits)  and a good kitchen knife or filet knife. I have an old hickory butcher knife which I like.

I split the rib cage but don't split the pelvis so i have no need for a saw, there is a sweet spot that takes some practice to find, but once you find it you can split the rib cage with a knife, usually in one stroke.

Other than that, butcher paper, freezer tape, a permanent marker, and a meat grinder.

Offline joeandmich

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 12:20:15 PM »
A buddy of mine is taking me pig hunting in central Florida in September and has everything onsite at his trailer. I guess I will see what he uses and work from there.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2013, 09:36:57 AM »
When you say processing, I think of the field to freezer.

For field dressing, skinning and gutting, I really like my knives of alaska light hunter, but any comfortable knive which holds an edge well will work. I've field dressed deer with everything from a pocket knife to a bowie with a 9" blade, but a fixed blade with a 3 to 5 inch blade seems best. A way to hang the animal is nice. And a way to hang head down is even better. For a long time I hung deer by their neck, but head down is better, imo.

After the field dressing is done, a cutting board (bigger than that little thing that comes with those kits)  and a good kitchen knife or filet knife. I have an old hickory butcher knife which I like.

I split the rib cage but don't split the pelvis so i have no need for a saw, there is a sweet spot that takes some practice to find, but once you find it you can split the rib cage with a knife, usually in one stroke.

Other than that, butcher paper, freezer tape, a permanent marker, and a meat grinder.

I don't have the upper body strength that you guys do ( or what I had when I started hunting 25 yrs. ago).   ; )
So, I use a saw or loppers depending on the size of the deer. I've found it easier to pull the skin down after cutting the front legs off at the elbow. YMMV.

nelson96

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2013, 12:07:02 PM »
I don't have the upper body strength that you guys do ( or what I had when I started hunting 25 yrs. ago).   ; )
So, I use a saw or loppers depending on the size of the deer. I've found it easier to pull the skin down after cutting the front legs off at the elbow. YMMV.

I'm just curious, but I don't get what you're saying.  Using a blade in the right area and in the right way, requires no strength at all, from field to butcher table. . . .  I'm not slamming your idea, it's a very efficient one, but in my experience doing it the traditional way doesn't take strength.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 08:56:57 PM »
I'm just curious, but I don't get what you're saying.  Using a blade in the right area and in the right way, requires no strength at all, from field to butcher table. . . .  I'm not slamming your idea, it's a very efficient one, but in my experience doing it the traditional way doesn't take strength.

It is entirely possible that my technique could use improvement; or that midway through the field dressing, that my blade needs sharpening.  The right way? I guess everyone has a way. I only know the ways I've been shown. Your way might be better. But, you aren't there to help me field dress my deer, nor is anyone else.  ;)

nelson96

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 10:35:20 PM »
The right way? I guess everyone has a way.

What was I thinking when I said the "traditional" way?  Traditional would be relative to how each person has always done it.  To each his own.

Offline DDJ

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 10:46:01 AM »
I butchered my first deer last year.  I should say that my family butchered my deer this last year.  I have added a few tools.

I really like my Swing blade with the saw, by Outdoor edge,  as both my field dressing and a lot of the butchering.
I grabbed 2 cheap fillet knife. 
I went with a low cost plastic table, BLEACH WASHED, as a butchering table instead of cutting boards. 
I grabbed a number of the plastic sheet cutting boards to use in the kitchen for the final processing.

That is what I used to process my Deer.

A grinder, canner, and vacuum sealer were used to prep my meat for storage.

We are hoping to get 3 deer this year.

Offline Cedar

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 11:29:13 AM »
I wonder how much stuff out if a kit you will really use. I figure anything more than a good knife is luxury. After 36 years of butchering, I finally decided a gambrel was a must have. Usually I did not have one available. My fav knife is my Opinel which looks like a wimpy little filet knife, but the last two llamas I did and a few rabbits I just used my medium sized Chicago Cultulry knife. Nothing special.

Z bought a bung thingymajiggy which we have failed to use.

But it does depend on what you are going to do with your meat. I make boneless cuts, as I do not have or wanted a meat saw. We do send in the hogs we butcher ourselves to cut cut and wrapped due to pork chops. But I make boneless steals and roasts just fine.

If I asked for all the bells and whistles, I guess I would get two of my good knives, a gambrel, a cooler larger than the normal fridge we use for hanging/cooling meat and a meat band saw.

Maybe butcher out for a bit and decide what you need and don't need as odd as that sounds.

Cedar

nelson96

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 09:34:10 PM »
All these years and I still don't own a gambrel.  Hanging by the head or the traditional stick through both hocks has suited me for every elk or deer I ever needed to hang.

LOL . . .  I've never even seen a "bung thingymajiggy".

I too pretty much just use my Chicago Cutlery knife for most (all) of the butchering.  We also bone everything so a saw hasn't been needed.  I've spoiled myself with a vacuum sealer so we don't use butcher paper to wrap meat anymore.  What doesn't make a perfect steak or roast gets turned in to jerky or goes in the pressure cooker for canning.  The only thing else I need is a kitchen table lifted up with blocks to save on my back.  Butcher paper to cover the table and a cutting board to cut on once I have the quarters removed. . . .  I can certainly afford other knives and gadgets but this small list has served me just fine for 35 years of bringing home meat.

On my wish list is a walk-in cooler so that I can hang my meat longer.  It will be accomodated when I build my shop.

Offline Cedar

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 10:15:24 PM »
LOL . . .  I've never even seen a "bung thingymajiggy".

Ooops... told you I had not used it before, hence not knowing the real name for it.. it is called a BUTT OUT...
http://www.basspro.com/Hunters-Specialties-Butt-Out-2-Big-Game-Dressing-Tool/product/94754/

Cedar

nelson96

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 10:17:44 PM »
Ooops... told you I had not used it before, hence not knowing the real name for it.. it is called a BUTT OUT...
http://www.basspro.com/Hunters-Specialties-Butt-Out-2-Big-Game-Dressing-Tool/product/94754/

 :D Never seen one of those either.  Never had a problem not having one either  ;)

Offline Cedar

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 10:21:32 PM »
It is entirely possible that my technique could use improvement; or that midway through the field dressing, that my blade needs sharpening.  The right way? I guess everyone has a way. I only know the ways I've been shown. Your way might be better. But, you aren't there to help me field dress my deer, nor is anyone else.  ;)

Hey BB, somewhere on TSP here I did a step-by-step with pics on how to butcher out a rabbit. I do all livestocks and wild game like this except fish and chickens. On the hogs I do it a bit differently since I do not skin them, but 'burn' the hog skin to 'scald' them instead. But I do deer, elk, moose, goat, llama just like the rabbits, only it is on a larger scale. I do not have any upper body strength per se either, but I can do all of them by myself in about 20 minutes. That might help you take less time and not wear yourself out.

Cedar

Edit: Found it http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=34598.msg388211#msg388211


Offline trekker111

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Re: game processing kit suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 04:34:41 AM »
Ooops... told you I had not used it before, hence not knowing the real name for it.. it is called a BUTT OUT...
http://www.basspro.com/Hunters-Specialties-Butt-Out-2-Big-Game-Dressing-Tool/product/94754/

Cedar

Got one as a present one year, as did my best friend. We used his once, mine is still in the package. We have processed over 30 deer since.