How To Quarter A Deer : The Easiest Way To GET It Done
Quartering your deer is fun and easy. You’ll get high-quality meat and it will save you the cost of having the deer processed commercially. The good news is that you won’t need fancy tools, just the normal tools you use daily. You won’t even need a special butcher shop. A place where you can hang the carcass would suffice.
The process of quartering a deer means separating it into four quarters, or four parts. Each leg of a deer is attached to a quarter part of the deer. However, this process doesn't result in exactly four parts but five parts because the ribs and the neck spine will make an additional part.
Using the right tools to quarter your deer will make the work easier and more fulfilling. The tools you’ll need in this case include:
Gambrel or Single Tree
You can quarter your deer well only if you hang it on strong support. Whether you want to work in your barn, out in the pasture, or under a tree, having your deer hanged will make it easier for you to skin the deer and separate it into parts. Gravity will work to your advantage as you pull the skin and the meat downward.
Using a study winch comes in handy. You'll also need a strong rope that can support the deer. A gambrel or single tree will allow you to lift (or lower) the deer easily while quartering.
Yes. The knife you use must be very sharp, otherwise, your hands will get tired even before the job is done. A sharp knife saves your energy and time. You’ll need a sturdy, high-quality steel knife that fits well into your hand. To dress, skin, and quarter the deer, you’ll need two blades.
A very sharp blade is best for skinning, while a sturdy heavier blade is great for butchering, boning, and quartering. As you work, your blades will eventually get blunt. That’s why you also need to have a sharpening stone, honing steel, or any other tool you can use for sharpening the blades.
Bone Saw or Reciprocating Saw
Deer hooves are very tough. cutting them off, and also cutting through the spine requires a powerful tool. you'll also need such a tool when separating the pelvic bone and the rear legs.
The best tool for this job is a saw. A bone Saw or reciprocating saw is perfect for this job. If you can get a battery-powered saw, it can make things a lot easier. A folding camp saw or the traditional bow saw can also get the job done perfectly.
The deer's shank and its front shoulder form a single quarter. This means you'll have two front quarters. Likewise, the rear quarters are also two. Here are the steps you need to follow when quartering your deer.
1.Take off its front quarters (Shoulder)
Interestingly, the tissue connecting the deer’s front shoulders to its body is tender. The front shoulder lacks the socket joint. So after you cut off the deer’s front legs near its knee joint and skinning the carcass, you can use your sharp blade to cut off the front shoulder from the body.
Lift and twist the shoulders to make cutting easier. You’ll be surprised at how the front shanks and the shoulders come off easily.
2.Cut off the rear quarters
It is more difficult to separate the rear quarters from carcass than separating the front quarters. Follow these steps:
- Remove the hide, the hoof, and its lower legs.
- Use the reciprocating saw to cut the rear quarter off the carcass. If you don’t have a saw, just use your sharp knife. Cut the muscle groups, then separate the pelvic bone, the hip, and the ham muscles.
- Lift the deer’s hind legs, then cut the upper leg bone on the inside. Cut until you reach where the socket is attached to the pelvis.
- Twist the leg a bit and cut the tendons to release the rear quarter.
Using a knife is a little tedious, so try to get a saw for this job. The saw makes it easy to separate the two rear quarters. Once you use the knife on the soft parts, you can use the saw to cut through the bones to release the rear quarter.
Once you’ve quartered your deer, you’ll have five pieces to butcher and break down. These pieces include:
The Front Quarters
The two front quarters of a deer are great for braising and slow cooking. If you wish, you can trim the soft parts from these quarters and use them for making sausage and burgers, or for grinding.
The Rear Quarters
The rear quarters comprise the muscle group or ham that form the hip and rump and the shank. The rear quarters are great for venison roasts such as round, sirloin, and rump. If you wish, you can try brining the ham.
Neck, Ribs, and Spine
After separating the four quarters of your deer, you’ll remain with the neck, ribs, and spine. These will form one big section. You can spend a few minutes cutting off any usable meat in this section.
The deer neck produces some excellent roasts, while the ribs can be cooked slow and low or grilled.
As you quarter your deer, you’ll end up having several small pieces of meat. That’s why it is advisable to have a small tray to collect these pieces. They can be great for making venison stew. You can as well grind them for making burgers.
The deer quarters are large chunks of meat that may need further cutting into smaller pieces depending on your taste. With your sharp knife and the saw, you can do this job efficiently.
Now that you have the meat, you can process it the way you like. Burger, stew, roasts, chops, or steaks; the meat is yours. If there are some parts you don’t feel like eating, you can share them with your friends.