How To Make Room In Your Freezer For That Prize Buck
So you've got yourself a six- or eight-point buck. You strap it to your truck, bring it home and start to prepare it. But what do you do when you find out there's not much room in the freezer? Sure, you could cook up a few venison steaks that same day, but there's no way you'll be able to eat a whole buck in one night - unless you're hosting a feast. How should you go about preparing the meat and making room in your freezer?
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your trophy buck:
Make the Proper Cuts
Once you've removed the skin, head and limbs, trim away any excess fat. It'll take up more room than necessary, and, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, deer fat has a very strong, pungent flavor. As for the cuts themselves, the following work best:
- Hind leg
- Sirloin tip
- Sirloin roast
- Tender loins
- Side of rib
- Arm roast
- Shoulder roast.
Unless they've been damaged by the gunshot or bone fragments, you should be able to get two of each cut, one from each side of the body. You can keep pre-butchered meat on ice for several days, which will help draw out the blood and give you time to cut the meat without worrying about it going bad. It's better to take your time and have nice cuts rather than rush and end up with unwieldy pieces of meat that don't fit well in your freezer or look good on your plate.
Save It For Later
There's usually a lot of meat on an eight-point buck, so you'll probably need to freeze a lot - this goes doubly if you've bagged more than one deer. Don't let any of your meat go bad - instead, use the FoodSaver® GameSaver® Deluxe Plus to vacuum seal every cut so it tastes fresh weeks and months later. FoodSaver® GameSaver® Bags are made of heavy-duty, multi-ply material and are proven to prevent freezer burn better than freezer bags.
When saving fresh meat, you should vacuum seal each cut individually and label them properly so there's no confusion down the road. If you've had a particularly good season, you can give a few cuts of venison to your friends and family as gifts. If there's still not enough room in your freezer, go in and eat up all of the food that's been in there the longest. You can also dry them out and make jerky strips - they make great snacks for your next hunting trip.