DIY Must-Have Wild Game Processing Tools

Want to learn how to process hard-earned venison yourself? Check out Academy Sports + Outdoors' must-have tools and gear for making deer meat processing an easy-to-accomplish task!

Years ago, in the infancy of my deer hunting career, a successful visit to deer camp meant a subsequent visit to the local venison processor near my North Texas home.

That drop-off was met with several days of waiting, followed by a phone call and a pickup that always left me wondering why there weren’t more packages marked “venison” headed for my freezer – along with a vague feeling that it wasn’t my whitetail, but simply meat packages from an assembly-line butchering process.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to join the do-it-yourself ranks and start processing venison myself. While there was a learning curve and a bit of trial and error in the pre-internet video days, I eventually mastered the art of butchering and putting away a fresh load of venison at home.

Nowadays, breaking down the meat of a freshly tagged buck or doe is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the hunting experience for me. And I’m guessing the same will be true for you, if you’re inclined to go the DIY route for deer processing.

Below, you’ll find a list of tools and gear from Academy Sports + Outdoors that are essential for processing a load of venison at home this fall.

YETI Tundra 105 Cooler

One of the most crucial tasks for successful deer hunters is figuring out how to get – and keep – their game chilled down.

In some cases, it’s as easy as hanging the tagged deer in a tree as chilly temperatures grip the landscape. In warmer climates, it can mean heading to the nearest town to find a meat locker to chill down and store the deer. Or it can mean dressing and quartering a buck (see your state regulations for proof of sex requirements), and burying it underneath a blanket of ice in a cooler like the YETI Tundra 105 — a workhorse piece of gear that can be found at Academy stores or online at

With a five-year limited warranty, one-piece roto-molded construction, polyurethane foam insulation, a freezer-style sealing gasket and T-latch keepers that lock in the cold, this 21.8-gallon super cooler can chill meat down at deer camp and keep it nearly frozen for the long trek home.



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