Quick---How do you butcher/process an elk???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Billie in MO, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Billie in MO

    Billie in MO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hubby and his brother just came back from hunting and got a young bull elk. Their first one. Called around and all places are full for processing and so they have no choice but to try it themselves.

    Can anyone help give some simple guidelines on what to do and maybe what not to do? I'm trying to look thru the archives and search for what to do at the same time as I'm posting this. They are outside right now trying to do this.

    Thanks.
     
  2. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Fillet it !
    That means just cut the meat from the bones dont try for butcher shop cuts unless you have thier equipment
    then take the muscles apart
    Up under the backbone there are two very good long thin muscles dont forget them.
    If ya really wantsteaks just take any lage muscleand cut it acrossthe grain in thickness you like
     

  3. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    keep it clean and hairless !
    If you have a place that wontfreezeand wont get far from 32 (say up to 36)you can let it "age" dont usually that means the fridge. Dont do it if ya cant give up the space for at least a week and 3 is optimum and if it gets over 40 degrees stop the aging and use or freeze
     
  4. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would imagine its very much the same as a large deer/goat-small beef........take all the meat off the bones. Peel the hide off keeping the hairy side away from the meat. Keep the meat clean or it won't taste as good..........trying to think of anything else especially.... :shrug:
     
  5. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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  6. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    By the way if the elk is home they have already made the bigest most important choices about how it will taste you do that in the field
     
  7. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    DUH WE FOR GOT THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!!
    If you are freezing it WRAP IT TIGHT! No air! Use GOOD butcher paper and tape, Be very carefull to seal it well.Or zip FREEZER lock bags pressed tight to remove the air.

    Oh and dont get the meat wet that makes it tough.
     
  8. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    I watched my grandfather butcher meat a lot ( he was fourth generation German butcher) I sure hope the scent glands under the tail were removed as soon as the Elk was gutted. If not your meat may taste a bit gamey.
    Take your time and like was mentioned before remove as much air from the package as possible. You may want to try one of the Broil n Bags for the rib cage . My father in law put half a rack of ribs in one of those and followed the instructions for roast beef . It was delicious. Congratulations on your bounty.
     
  9. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do these men have any experience in butchering deer? If so it is going to be the same only with a bigger animal. I assume the elk was properly field dressed as soon as possible?

    The next most important thing is to get the hide off so the carcass can cool. Once the hide is off they're going to want to split the carcass down the middle following the backbone. Hopefully the weather is sufficiently cool in your area (30-40 degrees) that you can now let the animal hang for at least a couple of days to allow the heat to leave the animals body. I'm not a big advocate of letting my animals hang longer than that to "age".

    Then it's just a matter of taking your time cutting the carcass up, I wouldn't worry too much about pretty, or proper cuts at this point, hamburg, stew meat, and roasts are wonderful things. And even if some of what you cut up as steaks turn out to be a little tough, so what. The main thing at this point is to not let this gift go to waste.

    Good luck, and good eating! BTW, I hope they are better prepared next time. Once the animal is down, the fun is over (at least until the eating) and the work begins :)
     
  10. Billie in MO

    Billie in MO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. They are pretty much doing what everyone has suggested. Yes, they were able to field dress it properly(I think a couple of you asked that) And the weather is quite cool here right now. Rain down here but snow up on the mesa where they were hunting. Winter storm warning with 18" expected. They came down just in time.

    Now to find room in the freezer!

    Tracy, what a funny story!!

    They brought the hide back, also. So we will be tanning that. Found some good articles in my BWH anthologies on tanning so we will give a try. Gotta start sometime if you want to learn!!