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Wild Game Processing – Jammin With Goosie

“Me and my boys had pretty good luck last weekend and harvested a couple of deer. I’m going to bring some of that venison to that place in Destrehan to get some sausage, some of this, some of that and some of them processed for the freezer. About a week later he called back and in a frustrating manner exclaimed that the processor had called to tell him that his products were ready to be picked up with a price tag attached for five hundred dollars. I replied, “Yea, it’s gonna cost a lot to get all of those different products made”. That conversation took place about twenty years ago and I still smile whenever I recall that phone call from my late friend Terry.
Wild game processing was not very popular in our area back some fifteen or twenty years ago. At this day and time that business has grown remarkably with many processors available. These businesses offer a large variety of products that are made from wild game. Venison is not the only flesh available for the makings. Other game such as feral hogs, rabbits, squirrels, waterfowl, alligators, nutria, excotic game etc. can readily be used to produce the makings or your choice. Depending on how much and what products you choose will naturally dictate the price that you will pay. There’s a wide variety to choose from and more and more recipes are seemingly being created from season to season. These offerings are very tasty and give the hunter many more options of what to do with game or fowl.
I once took a feral hog that I had killed to a local processor to get some smoked sausage made. When I appeared to pick up the sausage, he told me how much he appreciated how the flesh that I had brought to him had been cleaned properly. I thanked him for the comment and told him that every edible animal that I take the life from will be cleaned in that respect. As our conversation of cleanliness continued, I remarked, “I bet that you see some horrible ice chest of improperly cleaned game brought to you”. He said, “You wouldn’t believe what some people bring in to be processed”. Hair, dirt, leaves, lead fragments, rocks, gut shot and blood shot pieces, just to name a few, are common occurrences.
It’s amazing just how many animals are brought to these people at certain times of the year. And, yes, you’re paying them for their services. But they don’t really have time to clean your stuff in the manner of what should have already been done before bringing it to them. If you want that to be done, then you should have to pay extra for that service. Remember, these guys and gals are there to make the products and not to do your job of preparing your stuff properly before you bring it to them.
There’s an old saying about putting something into a system that gives you something back in return. It goes like this. “Garbage in” – “Garbage out”. Or maybe you’re familiar with this phrase. “It’s hard to make chicken salad out of chicken (you know what)”. These wild game processors do a wonderful job, but you must give them something worthy of working with to create a palpable end product.
It does take time and effort to properly clean an animal for the processor. But after all, you’re the one that shot the thing. So now do your job as a responsible hunter and prepare it correctly before bringing it to someone who’ll try to create a delicious meal for you, your family, and your friends. Believe me, with the proper care, you will taste the difference.

Till next time
Put forth the effort,
James “Goosie” Guice