The Ultimate Deer Processing Chart [INFOGRAPHIC]

Have you seen this awesome graphic by designer Nadia van der Donk? It explains which parts of a deer are used or consumed and where the different cuts of meat come from.


Do you process your own venison? Try the DIY approach with our Venison Processing Tips!

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33 Responses to “The Ultimate Deer Processing Chart [INFOGRAPHIC]”

  1. Maryetta Ables

    Not all deer are “trophy” bound… that neck meat makes the most savory roast, nice and tender! What may be of more interest are the locations of the 14 glands that need to be removed when butchering, so they don’t cause a foul flavor in the meat when cooked. Some are external and can be used to make “scents” with, the others are internal and can really mess up the taste of the meat.

    • wayne

      Can you give me info on the glands on a deer that taint the meat and where they are located?

      • dwag

        The tarsal glands between the hind legs on the hide is the main concern,” don’t touch it” just cut the legs off several inches above it prior to skinning the deer.There is some yellowish fatty looking glands located in the hind quarters that I like to trim out as I’m butchering,other than that I don’t see a problem.

  2. Bobby Swain

    Steaks and back straps

  3. RJ Bachner

    Where is mention of the sinews in the back and legs, very useful for bowyers and fletchers and leather workers. ;) The bones can be made into soup or glue or arrowheads or… The antlers are tools and trade items for crafters. I have used every inch of every deer I have ever had the honor to process.

    • Jake Dybedahl

      Jake Dybedahl

      Good additions! If we create our own chart next time, we’ll be sure to include them.

  4. Ronnie Moore

    I love to watch the white tail and to hunt them they are very smart when I get one I try to every thing I can . If your lucky enough bag one they need or honor they proudly walk the woods with.

  5. Dusty

    Can I say every bitty bit of venison, ’cause I love it, maybe not the remains part. I’d leave them for the critters. I wouldn’t have the head used as a trophy either, there’s meat and bone in that area to be used for anything and everything.

  6. chuck williamson

    take the neck meat,put it in a crock pot with veggies,cook it slow,the meat will fall off the bone and be as tender and delicious as can venison…….I can cook up some venison that will make your tongue slap your brains out,hahahaha

    • Terri Whaley

      Yep that is very good. If it’s cooked right people don’t even realize they are eating venison. I have fooled a few. lol After we get done butchering our deer I throw the bones in a big pot and cook them down. All the meat that you can’t cut off the bones just fall off and you have that good broth. I then make vegetable soup with that and freeze it. It is yummy.

  7. Terri Whaley

    That is basically all we eat. I haven’t bought cow in many year. I like it all too. We butcher & process everything ourselves. I must say though it would be a toss up between the loin & heart for me.

  8. Larry

    My maw-in-law would cook the bones with so little meat on it and would make some dang good deer hash. Miss that ole woman something fierce.. Cooked meat – gravy- mashed taters- and some gravy soppin biscuits that was outta this world. And It lives on as passed down from generations.

  9. sally thornburg

    like the picture guide and would like more receipes. thanks

  10. thomas kaufman

    It is so good to find a chart that defines all the cuts with such clarity. I have taken my deer to the butcher , but with the rising prices thought I would process my own this year .

  11. Scott

    Its a nice chart, but what would be even nicer is a chart or a breakdown of how to cut or where to start in processing the deer for the first time home processors. I really haven’t seen anything out there that is that informative. Just a thought for future posts.

    • Tom Kacheroski

      Great idea Scott … we will work on getting that content! Thanks for the feedback!

      • Steve Tucker

        Kentucky fish and wildlife has a video from Kentucky
        Afield with Tim Farmer that is one of the best deer processing ” how to ” videos I’ve ever seen.
        I can’t remember the cost , but you can take your lap
        top to your ” chop shop ” and just follow the instructions.
        Ky afield is on pbs 1 Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and they usually feature the video close to deer season every year.

  12. ZB

    Excellent tips here! This is my first year processing an animal.

    • Barry

      Well I was gonna post a couple more charts of different cuts other ways to butcher and a video but it won’t let me

  13. wayne

    The BEST chart i’ve seen , other than a butcher shop.Very good detail and guide. Thank you.

  14. Wayne Allen

    Good view of the deer.

  15. neal

    Where can I buy deer processing chart?

  16. Don

    I think the bones on the chops should be discarded as Deer bone marrow has a off flavor it adds to meat, no fat, no bone, just meat.
    Secondly, I would hope that the meat from the shoulder and neck is removed for consumption and “not” left so taxidermist can have a good shoulder mount cape. If done right, meat is removed, cape saved too.

    • Jim Doering

      Brains and Deer tongue are always used from my deer,as well as liver and kidney .

  17. Robert Cash

    I just want to learn how to cut my own deer meat and maybe start cutting deer meat on the side.

  18. Gary Orlando

    Skull cleaning tip simmer skull in dawn dish soap 20 mins remove scrape excess meat of with dull fillet knife simmer again 20 mins use small brass brush that look like tooth brush to clean when all clean simmer in half water and half peroxide only put skull in up to the base of antler so horns don’t get cleaned skull will be Snow White.

  19. Jerry L Jackson (PEEPERS)

    I truly luv the whitetail in all aspects. I didn’t see anything about making jerkey. In Ohio we are allowed 6 deer and everyone I get turns into some flavor of jerkey. Granted I cannot eat 6 deer in a year so I give most all of the deer to needy families. The processing makes it fun and everyone I give it to appreciates the deer also. I also make lots of deer bacon. I use the belly meat to make bacon for those that can’t have pig bacon for religous reasons. They really love my deer bacon.



  21. Nikki

    Can I get this printed on a poster somewhere/somehow?