Yes, if smoking you will need the cure, so maybe I can help also, are you going to do the whole 25lbs or part??
Next question, is it pure deer meat or is there some mixed in pork butt or some other fat content.
I did a batch for a fellow employee, and it was straight white tail deer and I thought the sticks came out too dry?? But if you add Non fat dry milk (NFDM) to it you may get away with it. At the time I did not know about the NFDM and I know use it in all my recipes. If using NFDM 1 cup per 5lbs of meat.
Here are my steps,
Mix the correct amount of Meat with the correct amount of seasonings and cure as per the package instructions.
Mix a good 5-6 min. till it becomes tacky and sticky - my way to know it is mixed is you should be able to grab about a softball size of meat in you hand and turn your hand upside down and it should not fall - then you know the cure is working.
Then is what I do is stuff it into casings & when done stuffing,,,,put in the fridge overnight, (you can mix, stuff and smoke all is one day if you would like)
Next morning, take sticks out and let sit at room temp for about 1hr on racks or hanging racks what ever you are using, while you get the smoker going.
Start your smoker at about 130*.
smoker is at 130 put in sticks for 1-2hrs NO SMOKE and Dampers full open
then add smoke and bump smoker temp up 10* each hour till smoker temp is at 170* (I smoke the entire time)
keep sticks in smoker till the Internal temp (IT) of the snack sticks gets to 152*
Pull sticks and set on counter (no water bath on small sticks) for approx 2hrs to let them bloom,
after 2hrs or so put sticks in Brown paper bag and back in fridge overnight.
Next day pull from fridge and cut you desired sizes and vac pac
And it's that simple
Good luck and let us know if we can help anymore
Hope this helps you get started
A full smoker is a happy smoker