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Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game [Paperback]

John J. Mettler
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 10, 1986
This is the book for anyone who hunts, farms, or buys large quantities of meat. The author takes the mystery out of slaughtering and butchering everything from beef and veal, to venison, pork, and lamb. The text is clear and easy-to-follow. Combined with 130 detailed illustrations by Elayne Sears, the reader is provided with complete, step-by-step instructions.
Here is everything you need to know:
  • At what age to butcher an animal
  • How to kill, skin, slaughter, and butcher
  • How to dress out game in a field
  • Salting, smoking, and preserving
  • Tools, equipment, the setup
  • More than thirty recipes using all kinds of meat

Frequently Bought Together

Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game + A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game + Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
Price for all three: $34.22

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"With this book in hand, you should be able to take just about any animal from pen to freezer."


"Provides clear, concise, and step-by-step information for people who want to slaughter their own meat."

From the Publisher

An Outdoor Life Book Club Selection

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 10, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882663917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882663913
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
274 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all here September 3, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Put bluntly; killing and butchering animals is not a pleasant business. Anyone who has hunted or helped slaughter on a farm can attest to this. You just have to jump in and do it.
Ironically, or perhaps most fittingly, this book was written by a veterinarian. I had a couple of chuckles about that fact.
This is a very "how to" book, so is really not meant to be casually read. The information provided is practical and well presented to make the process easier.
The author handles what some may consider a sensitive subject with honesty and straight-forward thinking. He also provides numerous tips and how-tos when it comes to handling and butchering several different kinds of animals.
While every hunter may not need this book, it sure provides a lot of help and suggestions. If you are going to be butchering a wide variety of animals (pigs, cows, deer, etc.), this is definitely the book for you.
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157 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is the button for 10 stars? April 17, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every now and then you come across a book which is right on the spot. It's written by someone who is willing and capable to share his/her wealth of knowledge in a CLEAR way. This is one of those few books. From beef to rabbit, from pork to deer it teaches how to butcher. I read it a few times, I bought a whole lamb (with hide and guts) and I butchered it. I wouldn't say I made a work of art but all the cuts are there: back legs roasts. racks, riblets, roasts, trimmings. Don't expect instruction on fancy cuts: it's not the purpose of this book. The need of a power saw is slightly understated, though. If you butcher a large animal and you are not Hulk-sized, you may want to get one ... Absolutely recommended.
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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very beneficial for the self suficiency minded person! August 10, 1999
Format:Paperback
It helped me expand my knowlege of butchering wild game, namely venison! I could recommend this to the somewhat seasoned butcher as well as the novice! He also included some great idea's I can't wait to try for preserving different meats! My only complaint would be that the author did not explain the different quality of the cuts of meat(ie. tenderness) as well on the wild game as he did with the domestic animals. However, overall this book is well worth the cost and should be in any self-suficiency minded person's library!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information - not outdated at all. August 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
For any person living off the grid or desiring to do so, this book will provide invaluable information on how to slaughter when you can't just drive to the market or drag it to a processing house. I would have liked to have seen more information on "Walton" preserving, as I like to be able to live without all of the conveniences of city life. I like the idea of being able to fend for myself, and I would not hesitate to use this as a guide for my first steer. His rabbit method is quite similar to mine (I use two pegs).
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice November 6, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here's the thing - trying to learn how to butcher animals entirely from a book is kind of like trying to learn how to fly an airplane entirely from a book: the book's alright, but most of your understanding will come from being taught or mentored personally.

Anyway, this is about as good as you could hope for in a book. I bought it a couple of years ago when I kept sheep, and it did come in handy sometimes. But if you are serious about learning how to slaughter/butcher, my advice is to seek out a local guy who can show you personally how to do it. You'll learn way more that way, and far more quickly.

Best of luck.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book March 29, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Coming from a family of hunters, fisherman, as well as a family that has always grown much of their own food, be it a vegetable garden, or hens for eggs, angus for beef, the occasional pig, sheep, I firmly believe that women (I am one) should know as much about self sufficiency living as possible. This includes knowing how to raise healthy meat animals and how to slaughter them in the most humane and sanitary way possible. I like this book because its easy to read and follow and cover just about every domestic animal I have ever raised for meat, as well as most of the wild game I have had.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have For Hunters December 15, 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book. This should be a required purchase for everyone who takes to the woods in pursuit of wild game for the table.
No more wasting meat or spending big money by taking your wild game to a professional meat processor, all you need to know is right here.
I highly recommend this book, especially to hunters and outdoorsmen.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Grizzly Adams thinks It is one of the best. June 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I used this book to teach myself the basics of butchering many years ago and find it is a ready resource today. I butcher on a regular basis and would recommend this book to any man who has never put the knife to his own livestock before.
One thing to remember about butchering is this, no book will ever give you the skills, you have to kill and cut to learn them.
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More About the Author

John J. Mettler, Jr., D.V.M., is a retired large-animal veterinarian in upstate New York and has written several books on animals, including Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game and Horse Sense. An avid sportsman, his appreciation of the noble turkey was the inspiration for his most recent book, Wild Turkeys.

John has written on a broad range of veterinary topics for various magazines and has written a veterinary column for American Agriculturist for over 20 years. He has professional memberships that include the New York State Veterinary Medical Society (past chairman), the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Society for Theriogenology, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. John lives in Copake Falls, New York, with his wife, Elinor.

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