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I have morphed into the leave-steaks-as-roasts camp as well, cutting only when it's time to "fry up".

The folding plastic tables you get at Wally's World or Sam's work well, just have to block them up to get them at least "berries-high", preferably waist-high.

Walton's is a great place to get meat luger's, knives, seasonings, and other "stuff".

I'm running a 15# Hakka Bros. stuffer and #22 Walton's Grinder. Tape dispenser's for both stuffed grind bags and wrapped packages are from LEM. Coated paper is LEM and plastic freezer wrap is just whatever from Shamrock Supplies (provide equipment and other items for commercial restaurant and big event gatherings).

LEM vacuum sealer with accompanying LEM vacuum seal bags.
 

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Do you burn the hair off the carcass if you hang it? That's pretty handy if you can do that. Not always possible. Hair is the bane of my existence when processing.
HoleeeyHellNooooooooooooooooooooo..... the garage would smell, like forever. LMAO.

Skin the animal, CUT FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Run the knife with the blade facing AWAY from the meat. It will cut less hair, and result in less hair on the meat. If your blade faces the meat, you are going to have hair issues. I usually insert two fingers between meat and skin, and slip the knife between them using the fingers to guide it, cut from inside outward and you are GTG.

I loathe hair on meat, and we usually keep it mostly hair free. Antelope hair is the hardest to keep off meat. Its brittle, breaks off easily and any wind will carry it.

-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I have recently started burning stray hairs off of the carcass. I have also just recently started doing the butcherig myself and am getting a bit better at not getting too much hair on the meat in the first place.

I'm going to keep an eye out for items that can be stored during the off season but will help in the processing. Things like removed countertops or tables, etc.

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All of it. Hiking is terrible without a gun or rod in my hands.
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HoleeeyHellNooooooooooooooooooooo..... the garage would smell, like forever. LMAO.
Now that's funny. There will always be a little hair to be managed. And I agree, antelope hair is the worst.
 

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I'm going to keep an eye out for items that can be stored during the off season but will help in the processing. Things like removed countertops or tables, etc.

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I'm in the process of redoing my kitchen. I carefully pulled my old countertops without breaking them. I reattached them to a section of my garage workbench. Works great. Highly recommend this.
 

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Kine - I'm just impressed that you were able to process the elk during the day. Seems the only time I ever have time to do it is between about 9pm-2am in the morning!

Everything about processing has been said, so I'll just leave it at that.
 

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On the hairs, once you get the meat home and hanging get a damp cloth and wipe it down. This will get the vast majority of hairs off.
If I'm lucky to have taken an animal that doesn't require quartering/boning to get out of the woods, I wont skin it until I begin to process it. Saves the hair problem it seems, and, your not having to skin it a second time from the outer meat drying out. I believe this happens when the animal is hung to "age" at a higher temp than 34-37 degrees. I have two extra fridges in the shop that I can let meat sit until I can get cutting. I only have one plugged into power running to keep beverages cold. I'll plug the second one in the night before I head out.

Johnycake made a great comment and I agree 100% Buy a good quality knife and learn how to sharpen it and keep it sharp!! Your $50 "razor blade" isn't what I'm talking about either.
 

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I did my own antelope last year. My issue is the waste as I’m not good at this, and that makes me feel bad. There is only one way to get better, but that takes animals, and more waste, which makes me feel bad.
 

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Most of the time the waist is from those doing it themselves being picky on what they place into the packaging and being somewhat confused on what to do with the trimmings.

That is where I'll throw all the trimmings together and make a decision on if they go into a grind or if it is stew meat. But then not all like stew, but I grew up on it. The trimmings along with any bones such as the shanks make great stews..
 

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Most of the time the waist is from those doing it themselves being picky on what they place into the packaging and being somewhat confused on what to do with the trimmings.
This is what I found processing my elk this year as a first timer. I was being way too picky at first and it was taking f o r e v e r and I had a lot of waste. The last 3 quarters I left quite a bit of silver skin on, mostly in the shanks. It went through the grinder just fine, and most of that silver skin was left behind on the cutting blade. Just had to clean the blade every 10 lbs or so. My ground stuff is soft and delicious. But I had too much waste on that first quarter. Maybe 7-8 lbs, and at least half of that could have gone through the grinder in hindsight.

And when I pull the roasts and steaks I can trim off leftover silver skin, membranes, etc.
 

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You will also find that there is no problem eating that silver skin.

When I first started hunting I never bothered with it, along with the bark so to speak of dried meat on the outside. But then young teeth can go through just about anything. And the older you get the more picky you get.
 

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As someone who grew up on wild game meat I have a hard time understanding the aversion to silver skin. It is what it is and part of what you get. It all eats the same to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Silver skin increases the "gaminess" of meat and it also can negatively impact texture.

In my case I hunt but the wife does not. If the taste is off or the texture is off it can really push non-hunters away from wanting to eat the harvest.

I feel it is my duty to make the wild game palatable. Not just because it's better but also because I don't want to end up having to eat the whole freezer full by myself.

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I did my own antelope last year. My issue is the waste as I’m not good at this, and that makes me feel bad. There is only one way to get better, but that takes animals, and more waste, which makes me feel bad.
Most all of that trim can be added to a stock/broth pot with roasted bones. There's a lot of collagen and flavor that you can extract in that stuff
 

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It is interesting to watch the progression of the hunter and or consumer as far as meat is concerned.

Anymore just about all processors will not process any meat cuts with the bones in it. Likewise it is hard to walk into a store and go look at their meat selection and find any steaks or chops with bones in it. Granted, a lot believe that they should not be paying $xx.99 for a steak with a bone in it that you are either going to throw away or shuffle off to the family dog, do dogs even eat bones anymore?

I remember back in the Cub Scouts that one time the pack master or someone suggested that we make tie bolers for out neckerchiefs and that we needed to ask our moms to save the bone out of the roast so that we could make them. Then there is the classic 7 bone beef roast. I haven't seen one of them in a store in years.
 

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Do you burn the hair off the carcass if you hang it?
When I worked for the phone company, I worked in an area for awhile that had alot of slaughter houses. One of them was Farmer John's. They slaughtered 4000-6000 pigs a day there. They burned the hair off. Boy did it smell. You could smell it miles away on windy days.
 
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