Deer processing: From the field to the freezer

By By Natalie Stewart / American Press

LACASSINE — Shoot it, hang it, skin it, gut it, cut it, and it’s ready to be cooked.

Joel Jackson, manager at the McNeese State University Center for the Advancement of Meat Production and Processing, made it

look that easy when he demonstrated the stages of deer processing.

Before the demonstration was a presentation on how to tell how old deer are by their antlers, and the university’s nutrition

department talked about the benefits of eating “lean meat” like venison.

Jackson showed attendees where to make cuts on the deer to skin it, how to extract its guts, and how to debone the carcass.

He also went through the different cuts of meat and how to properly package it.

Chip LeMieux, department head for the

Center of Agricultural Science, said the demonstration was held as an

educational opportunity

for the community.

“We have bow season now, and then we

have gun season coming up in a couple of weeks, so we want to make sure

that we provide

this education to hunters,” he said. “How to get it from the field

to the freezer and make sure it’s a safe product for them

to consume.”

LeMieux said the demonstration also serves as a learning tool for students in the agricultural department as well as others.

“Any time we can have a hands-on, real-life opportunity it just means so much more than us standing in front of a group of

students lecturing,” he said. “They are now able to see (the process) and see the breakdown of the carcass.”

CAMPP, LeMieux said, is used for domestic animals and for the harvest of red meats — sheep, pigs, cattle.

He said the facility serves as a place where people in the community can have custom processing done and as a place for students

to train.

This is the first time CAMPP has held a community demonstration, but LeMieux said he “hopes to have many more.”