Finding deer processorrs in your area can be a challenge, especially if the processor you normally use is fully booked. To help solve this problem, we’ve created a directory that contains more than 750 meat processors across the United States!

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Find a Deer Processor Near You

How much does it cost to process a deer?

If you plan on getting a deer processed, especially for the first time, you are probably wondering how much it will cost.

You can generally expect the cost of processing a deer to be $55-125. This price range gives you a general idea of how much you can expect to pay. Where you fall in that range depends on your location, the cuts you order, if you want to keep the hide, and more.

Check out these deer processor prices to get a better idea of how much it could cost:

To receive an actual quote for local deer processing, contact a local deer processor!

How long does it take to process a deer?

After dropping your deer off with a meat processor, you may wonder how long it will take to process it.

It typically takes 3-6 hours to process a deer, although this doesn’t mean you’ll get your meat back this quick! The deer must also hang for 2-7+ days before processing. Overall, you can expect to wait 1-2 weeks to get your meat back during the peak of the hunting season.

Check with a local meat processor to get a better idea of how long it will take them to process your deer.

Deer Processing at Home (DIY)

Processing a deer at home can be a rewarding experience for any hunter or outdoor enthusiast. Not only does it give you full control over how the meat is handled, but it also adds an element of self-sufficiency to your hunting experience. Reminds me of Game of Thrones, where Charles Dance learned how to skin a deer in 1 hour after watching a butcher. You can do it too. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you process your deer:

Watch this full video of How to Butcher a Deer at Home, by The Bearded Butchers

Equipment Needed

  1. Sharp Knives: A boning knife and a skinning knife are essential.
  2. Meat Saw: For cutting through bone.
  3. Meat Grinder: If you plan to make ground meat or sausages.
  4. Large Cutting Board: Preferably plastic for easy cleaning.
  5. Coolers or Freezer Space: For storing the meat.
  6. Gloves: For hygiene and safety.
  7. Game Bags and Plastic Wrap: For storage and aging.


  • Check Local Regulations: Ensure you’re compliant with local wildlife and hunting laws.
  • Field Dressing: This should be done immediately after the hunt to preserve the quality of the meat.
  • Transport Safely: Bring the deer back home using a game cart or vehicle.


  1. Hang the deer by its hind legs.
  2. Make incisions around the legs and down the belly.
  3. Carefully peel the skin away from the meat.


  1. Remove the internal organs carefully to avoid contaminating the meat.
  2. Keep the area and tools clean to prevent bacterial growth.


  1. Remove the Hindquarters: Start by cutting the meat away from the pelvis and working down.
  2. Front Shoulders: These can be pulled off without cutting through bone.
  3. Backstrap and Ribs: Cut along the spine for backstraps. Ribs can be sawed off.
  4. Neck and Misc. Cuts: Use what you can from the neck and other areas.


  1. Trimming: Remove fat and connective tissue.
  2. Cutting Steaks and Roasts: Decide on your preferred cuts and sizes.
  3. Grinding: Use tougher cuts for ground meat or sausage.
  4. Packaging: Use game bags, plastic wrap, or vacuum seal for storage.
  5. Aging the Meat: Age the meat in a cool, controlled environment for a few days to improve tenderness and flavor.

Safety and Hygiene

  • Always use sharp knives to avoid accidents.
  • Keep your workspace clean to prevent contamination.
  • Store meat at safe temperatures to prevent spoilage.

Processing a deer at home requires time, patience, and a bit of skill, but it is a fulfilling process for any hunter. Not only does it provide a deeper connection to the hunting experience, but it also ensures that you get the most out of your harvest. Remember to respect the animal by using as much of it as possible and always follow safe handling and processing practices.