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Your deer can be brought hide on and field dressed, or you may choose to debone the deer and bring in the trimmed meat.  Please see information below for each: 


Whole deer processing:

Deer need to be brought in field dressed with the hide on with proper tags attached. 

Wash out the inside of the carcass and remove all hair and blood. This will also help cool the meat. Put bags of ice in chest cavity and between hind legs to cool carcass when weather is warm.  If fresh, bring it in as soon as possible. 

Prop deer legs and cavity open to cool (if below 40 degrees) or ice down.  (Ensure the legs are going to stay propped open). If this is not done, the meat may spoil.

DO NOT allow deer to lie over night without being field dressed.

DO NOT pile hot deer on top of each other. They will not cool properly and will spoil.

DO NOT skin your deer. The hide helps to protect the meat from contamination while in transit and keeps it from drying out. It takes longer and wastes meat if we have to trim a layer from carcass or remove contamination.

DO NOT split the brisket or rib cage. This will reduce excess hair in the cavity.

DO NOT cut the tendons on the back legs. We need them to hang the deer.


When deboning your own meat-

Zeb takes great pride in the products he produces at the smokehouse, and this can only occur with meat that is clean and trimmed of all fat.  Every customer deserves to have only the best meat in his/her products.  Zeb's team goes through all trim that is brought into the smokehouse thoroughly.

(See above for proper ways to care for your deer from the time it is harvested until you are ready to debone it - allow deer to properly cool before deboning)

After skinning the deer use a propane torch and graze the meat with the flame.  This will snap any hairs that are remaining on the meat.  Rinse the meat with water to remove the remaining debris. 

Ensure you are deboning your deer in a clean area.

Ensure all fat is trimmed from the meat.  Any white should be removed or our team will be removing.   Meat should be bright red.   Use your nose. If it doesn't smell like good fresh met, trim it off and dispose of it.

Keep it clean after trimmed.  Bringing meat in gallon Ziploc bags is a great way to ensure trim stays clean and any cleaning fees can be avoided.

DO NOT soak deer meat in water.

DO NOT grind the trim.

Freeze the meat right away or bring fresh trim in within 2 days.

If you want dried venison or jerky made, remove leg at joint or bring whole hindquarter in. If you wish to remove the bone yourself, open leg at seam, cut down to bone, and remove bone carefully. Leave whole muscles in tact. 

If you feel this is a lot to manage bring your deer field dressed and we will take care of the work for you!!        


All meat that we debone or trim brought in is commingled, unless you have enough meat to make a 100# batch of one product. 

Steaks and roasts will be from your own deer.

All trim brought in is thoroughly inspected. An extra fee will apply if we have to remove bone, hair or excess fat. Meat will be refused if it is not properly cared for. Thank you for understanding, and we hope this gives you reassurance that all meat you are getting in return is only of the highest quality!


Zeb's Smokehouse also participates in the Iowa Hush Program.