MDC offers deer processing class at Parma Woods

News from the region
Kansas City
Published Date

PARKVILLE, Mo -- One reason white-tailed deer hunting is popular in Missouri is that venison is a lean, nutritious and delicious protein source. Careful processing from field to freezer can enhance deer meat for the table.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a course on how to process venison 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Parma Woods Shooting Range near Parkville, 15900 N.W. River Road.

Instructors will explain how to process a field-dressed deer for cooking or for storage in a freezer. The class will include tool demonstrations, such as what types of knives work best for various butchering chores. Attendees will learn how to skin a deer and how to prepare various cuts of meat. The class is free but participants are urged to pre-register by Nov. 18.

For more information or to register, call 816-891-9941.

A good source of information on how to process deer meat for table or freezer is available on the MDC website at

Some of the basics include:

  • Hang a deer to allow blood to drain and the body temperature to cool to 50 degrees or below. Freezing the meat immediately can add toughness. It is not necessary to hang deer for long periods, although, hanging them for up to eight days in temperatures from 30 to 40 degrees can improve tenderness and flavor.
  • Leave the skin on during hanging to avoid dehydration.
  • Remove as much fat as possibly while processing, and removed bruised or gun shot-damaged tissue.
  • The deer’s age, sex and diet influences venison taste and tenderness, so plan recipes accordingly.

Eating venison is the hunt’s final reward. For some fresh ideas and venison recipes, check out the new MDC cookbook “Cooking Wild in Missouri” by author Bernadette Dryden. The book is available at MDC nature centers and regional offices, or via the web at