Whitetail Butchering Tip: How to Remove the Backstraps

What: The backstraps, or loins, run along the spine.

Workstation: Hang the skinned deer from its hind legs.

Spine Cut: With a short, flexible, and sharp fillet or paring knife, start with an incision at the pelvis. Make a shallow, 1⁄4-inch cut along one side of the spine--close to the bone--all the way to the front shoulders. Deepen the cut down to the ribs, prying the muscle away from the spine while cutting.

Rib Cut: Start at either end and make a cut along the ribs to meet the spine cut. The end of the loin should pull free of the rib cage. Grasp this free end and pull it away from the carcass. Slide the blade along the seam between ribs and meat to free the rest of the loin. Repeat with the second loin.
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Trim**: Remove all fat and silverskin, washing the blade frequently.
Preserve: Freeze whole or in chunks to preserve moisture.
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From the October 2012 issue of Field & Stream magazine.

Photo by Luke Nilsson._