Dec 7, 2010

Weekend Woes

I wish the weekend woes were realted to something that happened in the field but it's not.  It was somewhat related to the field though as it had to do with a series of breakdowns during the processing of the deer we harvested last week on our New Jersey Muzzle loader hunt.

With a truck load of deer to take care of there was plenty of skinning, cutting, grinding, stuffing and sealing going on so it's no surprise that we run into a problem but we didn't expect 3 of them.

The first casualty was my Tila professional II food saver.  At first glance it just wasn't creating an air tight seal and the bags were leaking.   A Little investigation led to something wrong with the sealing strip on the unit.  Seeing it's probably 7 years old and has seen probably 100 deer package through it, not to mention home use and fish, it's probably time to replace the sealing strip and the heating element.  Anyone every have to do it?  If so I could use some links and pointers and if not I will make sure to document my experience for those that need it in the future.

The second casualty of the weekend was the meat mixer.  Either someone has been working out extra hard or one of our hot dog kits got to sticky causing one of the paddles to snap off and without that paddle it just wasn't working correctly and it needed some helping hands to mix things up.  This just slows the process down.  Good thing one of our guys is a fix it specialist so he took it to work and welded it back together and we were up and running again on Monday evening.

Our new Stuffer

The third casualty was the stuffer and it couldn't have gone at a worse time.  We were just into the first batch of snack sticks and the gear was stripped smooth and the stuffer was down and out and we had 75 pounds of product to stuff sitting there. What happened next took on the characteristics of the controlled chaos in an emergency room with Bubba, Hooks and Chuck running around looking for tools, all three of them trying to stick their faces into the stuffer to see and then ripping the thing apart.  The only difference was the stuffer stayed apart.   Once apart it was time for a sit down and brain storming session.  After a thorough but quick discussion which included a check of the internet to see what part we needed, the three of them loaded up and were off to Cabelas which is only about 35 minutes from us.  Now what is the chance that Cabelas would have the part for our stuffer?  Yup, you guessed it  - zero chance, so instead of a replacement part, they walked out with a new 11lb stuffer.  I know you are thinking, well that solved that issue, well you would think right, but what does any man do with something new.  Yup, take it out of the box and throw away the instructions.  It was a little comical and Busch Pilot and I just went about our business of mixing up meat and smiling.  Once the boys got rolling with the new stuffer we were back on track and running like a well oiled machine.

My Daughter on the cutting table
Everyone is excited to help out when you have a deer or two hanging but when you have seven of them the help starts dropping quickly and we had to recruit new help and with the kids around and not smart enough to run when we need help, we gathered them up and put them to work.  It was a great help and a needed break and of course we had plenty of laughs.

All these break downs and long nights should make the fruits of our harvest taste that much better and I know for a fact it did as I enjoyed some fresh made Polish Sausage patties for lunch today.


  1. Looking back i think that the best times i have had was cutting up deer with a bunch of friends on a Sunday. Hope your machinery is back in action soon.

  2. Thats a string of problems coming at the wrong time.
    As you sit down to enjoy some of the sausage with peppers those problems will be forgotten.