Around here people pay $60-$90 to have their deer processed and all I can say is why? A lot of meat processors are bad to mix up customers deer meat and you really cant be sure your getting your own back. Its a simple but important skill to learn how to butcher your own game and you know its your game your getting and you know how its processed. In hard times it may be necessary to add butchering to your repertoire and I see it as just part of self sufficient living.
We keep the hides of most of the animals we hunt and tan them for use on various projects or to give to others to use. Here I have just removed the tail bone with a pair of pliers (couldn't find my tail stripper).
The next step is to flesh out the hide and get as much residual meat and fat off the hide as possible.
Then I salt the hide heavily and fold it flesh to flesh and let it sit for a day. Then repeat.
We decided to tan this hide with the fur on but you can also tan it without the fur if your looking for a rawhide application.
After the two saltings and a couple days I soak the hide for 24 hours in a salt brine and then wash it in water and dish soap and rinse real well.
The hide is now hanging to dry and it is supple and smells like you would expect a tanned hide to smell.
This is the skin side where I have applied a commercial tanning solution. Once it is dry I will sand it with sand paper and then its ready to be used.
This is the final end result of two years of effort. We have a sewer hookup for the farmhouse and Judy's place and no more worries about how much water we put down the drain or pumping out the septic tank. Our septic tank was small and the leach lines were failing so we are extremely relieved and happy to have gotten this.
The excess fill dirt has now been leveled and smoothed with the Kubota and a box blade and will be the site of the new greenhouse in the spring.
The cleared brush has now been burned and this project is Fin!