Tips for processing your deer

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whitetail deer doe in forest

Tips for processing your deer

Whether this year is your first season deer hunting or your 41st, it’s important to have a plan for processing your deer if you have luck in the field this fall. Whether you have a professional processor do the work or choose to process your deer yourself, preparation is the key to keep meat fresh and tasty.

The DNR has some great resources to help you plan. This DNR video walking you through quartering a deer is a good place to start. Several videos available on YouTube can help you get precise cuts of meat from the deer’s shoulder and hindquarters. Our staff found these shoulder and hindquarter videos especially helpful.

If all of this seems a bit too complicated and you’d prefer to have a professional do the work for you, check out our list of wild game processors in Michigan.

Don’t forget that your health and safety is very important while processing a deer. Make sure to wear latex or rubber gloves while handling deer and clean your knives and other tools in a solution of 50% bleach, 50% water when finished with your work. Take care when cutting near the brain or spinal cord, and if you see anything worrisome like nodules or abscesses, contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab by filling out this form.

We wish you lots of luck this fall. Enjoy your hunt!

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at