“Oh gross! Did you see how that guy had the head of some deer he killed mounted right next to his dinner table? That is so weird. It’s… like… cult-ish or something. You’d have to be pretty sick to want to look at the face of some animal you killed all day (shudder).”
Fresh meat, field to table: this is the dream of meat lovers, hunters, and locavores alike. But for anyone who didn’t grow up around hunting, farming, or butcher shops, knowledge of how to turn a whole animal into an individual meal is usually missing. It certainly was for me for most of my life.
Three years into my hunting journey, I am by no means an expert in wild game processing or butchery — I still consider myself a novice — but I do have expertise in the art of being a self-taught hunter. Everything I know about animal processing I have taught myself through the use of mostly free and widely accessible resources. It is not only possible to do, but a lot easier than you might think. So, for the new hunters and the do-it-yourselfers, I’ve compiled a compendium of videos and instructionals to help you break down whole animals in the field without an in-person mentor. You can teach yourself to process wild game!
About a month ago, Nick harvested a couple of rattlesnakes with his bow. When we kill an animal, it is very important to us to use as much of that animal as possible. For our snakes that meant eating the meat and preserving the skin. I promised to write a follow up post detailing my attempt to tan the rattlesnake hide and I am here now to deliver on that promise.