News/Culture >> Browse Articles >> Food News


Are You Game Enough to Watch Sausage Being Made And Then Eat it?

Are You Game Enough to Watch Sausage Being Made And Then Eat it?

Rob Kasper | The Baltimore Sun

The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night."

I agree and disagree with that remark, which is attributed to Otto von Bismarck, founder and chancellor of the German Empire in the 19th century.

While I accept that watching the legislative process can be unsettling, I have to say that after seeing Sam Poole make deer sausage, I had an untroubled night.

Poole operates Sam’s Deer Processing, a spare, health department-approved operation set up in buildings behind Poole’s Carroll County home.

Poole’s full name is Charles Samuel Poole Sr., but most folks in Finksburg know him simply as Sam. A native of Carroll County, he began cutting meat at the age of 16 and has been at it for 45 years since. He works part-time as a butcher at Bullock’s Country Meats in Westminster. But this time of year, from November to January, he is busy processing deer, transforming carcasses into meals.

His is a family-run operation. His nephews, Morris, Jason and Todd Poole, skin the deer. His sister Wanda Smith telephones the customers – sometimes reaching hunters as they take whispered phone calls in tree stands – notifying them that their meat is ready for pick up. His wife, Brenda, does the paperwork, packages the meat and sometimes assists Poole in the sausage making.

Like other deer processors in Maryland, Poole does not sell his products to the public; rather, he charges hunters a fee for carving up their meat. A regular cut of a deer carcass, which yields steaks, roasts and ground meat, costs $55 to $70, depending on the size of the animal. Extra steps, such as making sausage with the meat, incur additional fees. Just as beef processors make their money getting hamburger from cattle, deer processors make their profit by converting lesser cuts into sausage, bologna, “hams,” franks or scrapple, he said.