I have been busy so it took a while but this week I pulled all the bear quarters and loins from both bears I shot in August out of the freezer. It took two days for it all to thaw out and then on Thursday afternoon it took me three hours to trim it all, weigh it and mix in the bacon for making sausage. I put 25% bacon in with the meat for fat, and this time it took nearly a 5-gallon pail of bacon. Luckily my sweet wife came home from work just as I was about to start grinding the meat. It took us three more hours to grind it and mix it, then stuff sausage casings and wrap it.
I have about 20 pounds of lean meat sliced and ready to make jerky, and about 50 pounds of breakfast sausage all packaged and wrapped and in the freezer. The summer sausage is best if you let it sit in the fridge overnight before you smoke it.
I spent Friday keeping an eye on the smoker from time to time as I smoked 33 pounds of summer sausage. I smoked it for three hours at 180 degrees. Man is it delicious! It turned out fantastic. This morning, Cheri made up a big batch of biscuits and gravy out of some breakfast sausage and I feasted on it until I am stuffed and need to take a nap. Life is sure good for this bear hunter. Nothing like the good feeling of having a freezer full of meat. Now I just need to fill a couple deer tags and we will be set for several months.