Years ago I decided it was getting pretty pricey just to have a deer cut up so I started doing my own. Started with canned venison,pastrami and basic cuts like steaks. Now I have a stuffer, smoker, grinder, vacuum sealer, pressure canner, and electric winch. I didn't buy it all at once. If you have the time to do your own it has benefits that I feel make it worth it. You know what's in all of your products, you get to try new things without driving it an hour to a locker, no wait time, and after doing just a few seasons worth of processing everything is paid for and you've got the equipment.
Pre kids I was a burger, roasts, and steak guy. The family required me to start making more processed type items like sticks,dried venison, etc. I haven't even tried brats or breakfast sausage yet but it's on the future list to do.
I'm usually hurting on the time area so I just get the venison deboned and work with smaller portions pulled from the freezer at a later date depending on what I'm making.
My girls love sampling the snack sticks when I'm packaging them up. They also love canned venison and its a great feeling to see them enjoy the end products after the work I've put into it from harvest to the table.
Plus a lot of the tools I listed get used for many other foods especially the pressure canner,vacuum sealer, and smoker. The smoking meat forums (SMF) and Internet in general has sections on wild game recipes and that really got me going on some of the items I've made. The SMF has a ton of information and you don't have to mess up a bunch of things by trial and error if you do a little research. It seems like a lot at first to take in but before you know it you'll have a ton of knowledge about doing it.
Great advice Ted. I plan on getting into it once my wife and I get a house in the next year. We're in a condo right now so I'm not sure how the association would like a deer carcass hanging off the deck!