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Old August 1, 2011, 09:43 PM   #1
bullethole1
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Deer Meat?

What is the maximum time limit you should use for putting a deer in the freezer/cooler once you kill it? Ive only shot deer for other people and they came and picked it up right away. I ate deer twice and it wasnt my cup of tea I guess you could call it!
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Old August 1, 2011, 09:53 PM   #2
Rembrandt
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Depends on weather temperature.....have hung them up overnight to cool in warmer temps (60's-to70's), have left them hanging in the garage for upwards of a week in frigid temps.
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Old August 1, 2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Lessee: Shoot a deer in the morning, gut it out, hang it at camp with the chest spread open to cool down. I'd get it to a freezer or do butchering no later than the next mid-morning, if the high temperature hadn't been above around sixty degrees and the night temperature had gone down toward freezing.

With warmer conditions, I'd either have it hanging in a freezer locker or all butchered out by that afternoon.

Skinning is bunches easier when done soon after field-dressing.
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Old August 1, 2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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I typically do it ASAP. I find the longer I wait the worse it tastes. I find that if I clean it with water very quickly it helps a lot.

I don't necessarily think you have to do it as fast as I do but it wont hurt to get it done quickly.
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Old August 1, 2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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As has been said it all depends on the weather. I have shot them during bow season when it was 85 degrees. I don't mess around much at that temperature. But, if it's refridgerator temperature the meat is better if you let it hang for a few days.
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Old August 2, 2011, 02:45 AM   #6
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Quicker the better, depends on the weather as everyone else said. I shoot mine and take them directly to the processor or immediately process it myself.
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Old August 2, 2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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well this is just me but our deer season is usually very late and short so it runs from mid october to mid november. during day time it can vary from 60-40 degrees and night usually dips from 40-30 so if we do get a deer I gut it on the spot, and hang it in the garage during depending on daytime-night time temps I feel comfortable leaving it hanging in the garage for no more than 4 days usually I skin it out the next day and start cutting it up and a full grown 200-250 pound deer can usually be dealt with in 1-2 days

I dont know about how the deer seasons run in san antone but if if doesn't get much lower than 50 at night and gets above 65 in the day I'd suggest next day butchering 2 days after might push it
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Old August 2, 2011, 11:28 AM   #8
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Temperatures can be a problem.

I'm trying to relate to the temperture conditions in your area and I'd say that unless you have a cooler that you can store your venison for a few days, hanging, then you better get it into a freezer. I know it's not a logical step from the field to the freezer as there is a whole bunch of other stuff that has to happen, in between. .....

I remember an Alabama hunt where we shot some deer in the morning, dressed and skinned mid day and hung them in a shed. By late afternoon, the blow-flies got to some of the meat. ....
Keep in mind that you can get cheese cloth sack to put the deer in.

I now mostly hunt Midwest seasons and high heat is usually not a problem. We like to let the deer hang for a few days before cutting up and there have been times that the hanging deer have frozen. That presents us with another set of problems.

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Old August 2, 2011, 11:37 AM   #9
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Lol I live in lower alabama and when we kill a deer we go back to camp and skin/ dress the deer and clean it and process it and bag it all in the same day, normally within a hour or so, we never let the deer sit out or stuff like that, as soon as we load the deer in the truck we head home
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Old August 2, 2011, 11:47 AM   #10
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If it get any hotter then about 40 degrees f the we put them in the walk in or cut them up.
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Old August 2, 2011, 02:30 PM   #11
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I tend to be paranoid about getting meat below 45 degrees asap.
Most of the original risk comes from improper cleaning and handling. If you take care of that then you have several hours up to a day.
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Old August 2, 2011, 02:33 PM   #12
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Here in hot, humid Louisiana, it's easy for deer meat to spoil on the trip between the hunting are and the freezer. When I kill a deer I want to get it field dressed as quickly as possible so the meat will start cooling. I'll haul it to the camp and field dress it while I enjoy a cup of coffee, then load it into the pickup truck for the ride into town. I'll normally have it at the processor within an hour or so of the shot.
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Old August 2, 2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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If it is anything above 40 F I would do it right away. If you want to age it and the outside temps are higher, de-bone it and put the meat in the refrigerator.
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Old August 4, 2011, 12:05 AM   #14
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I've field dressed and then shoved a big bag of ice inside the cavity before, since the processing station is a good 40 minute drive from the hunting property.
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:03 AM   #15
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Venison is best iced quickly, unless you’re in the frozen north. If you see buzzards circling overhead you’ve waited too long.
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Old August 4, 2011, 09:08 AM   #16
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Aging deer meat

Your deer meat will taste better if you can hang it in a cooler for a couple of days before final processing. Now if you don't have a cooler large enough to hang it, there are a couple of options.

You can quarter it and place it in a refrigerator or in my case I was taught to quarter it and age it in ice chests. That means putting it on ice and leaving it for a couple days. You need to drain the water off and add more ice every day. Now for the cuts that are in the icey water, they will get a grayish color. The change in color doesn't affect the taste at all.

Also when you bone it out to make sausage or burger, be sure to remove the fat and sinew to improve the taste.
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Old August 7, 2011, 10:27 PM   #17
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Temperature is the key. Above 40 degrees f the bacteria that are in the bones will move outward from the bone causing a sour taste. Also any other bacteria in the meat will multiply and cause spoilage. When I kill something big in warm weather it gets packed in ice within the first hour. Usually just after skinning. It stays in ice until it goes into a cooler at the butcher shop or I process it. Usually within 5 days. Between 35 and 40 degrees f the bacteria that are in the meat will slowly break down the tough meat and make it more tender. The beef industry ages for up to 2 weeks for the tenderizing and flavor that it allows. Aging is not necessary but it helps. Flavor will be better if the skin is off asap, in warm weather at least. Keep it clean as you can and wash it after it is skinned. My father in law likes to wipe them down with a sponge with water and vinegar.(1 cup vinegar to 2 quarts water or there abouts) Most important is to remove the loose hair that inevitably gets on the meat. It has countless bacteria that can affect flavor and cause spoiling. Get it to 40 degrees as soon as you possibly can.
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Old August 7, 2011, 11:35 PM   #18
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Depends on temp,years ago I shot a moose right at tree line ,it was snowing pretty hard. We cut it up putting it in game bags on a bed of willows to keep it off the ground, tented over with a willow frame and the hide to keep it dry.We packed the first load out, with the intention of bringing out a second load that day and finishing up the next day, but as luck would have it, lower down it was raining hard, the small stream we had crossed on the way in was raising, by the time we made it to the truck and back the little stream was a mass of white water that would have been chest deep,and probably 75 ft wide. t was three days before we could get back, but the ground was snow covered and the meat was nearly frozen ,we lost no meat at all. Then a few years ago I shot one with the bow in early Aug, the temp was in the 70's. but the moose was close enough to a trail we dragged it out whole with ATV's loaded it on a trailer and hauled it to where we could process it more easily, that moose was in a walk in cooler with in 4 hours and wrapped and frozen by the next day.
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Old August 14, 2011, 02:16 PM   #19
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We have a walk in cooler so we field dress asap the get the deer in the cooler (ususlly within the hour) and let it hang for a week or so with the hide on before we skin them out and process them or I skin, trim and quarter the deer out and take it to a processor to be ground into burger. I usually grind at least 1 a year one goes to a processor who wants it hide on so he can age it and make it into link sausage. The rest I process myself into roasts and stew meat.
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Old August 14, 2011, 06:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Lol I live in lower Alabama and when we kill a deer we go back to camp and skin/ dress the deer and clean it and process it and bag it all in the same day, normally within a hour or so, we never let the deer sit out or stuff like that, as soon as we load the deer in the truck we head home
I live in lower Alabama too and we do the same. It can still be pretty warm down here even into gun season and especially when bow season first comes in Oct 15th. I always like to get one cleaned and into the freezer ASAP.
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Old August 14, 2011, 06:50 PM   #21
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If it's below 40 degrees and it's going to remain there or colder for a few days, we would hang them in a tree for a few days, to let the tissues in the meat break down, but if there was a slightest chance of warmer weather we always take them to the packing house and let them do their jobs.


Anybody else notice that after 253 posts, Bullethole1 is still a junior member!
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Old August 14, 2011, 08:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
I live in lower Alabama too and we do the same. It can still be pretty warm down here even into gun season and especially when bow season first comes in Oct 15th. I always like to get one cleaned and into the freezer ASAP.
I live in south Alabama also, and we immediately skin and quarter the meat. Next we put the meat in a large metal tub of water, and place plenty of ice in the tub. We let it soak in the water/ice for a day or two. Then we take the tenderloins, backstraps, and some roast meat home, and send the rest to the processor to be mixed with ground chuck and turned into hamburger meat.
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Old August 15, 2011, 07:20 AM   #23
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In places like Alabama, you want to get the meat into the locker asap. High heat and humidity are not good for game meat. If you are in the High Sierras and the day temp is 75 to 80 and lower humidity, plus the temp drops to near freezing at night. Your deer can hang for a week or so.
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Old August 15, 2011, 03:57 PM   #24
markj
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Quote:
What is the maximum time limit you should use for putting a deer in the freezer/cooler once you kill it?
20 min, best work fast get the meat cooled down is key after the shot so open it up, scoop out the stuff inside it isnt stuffing, then remove the hide if possible. Hang it in like 35 degrees if you wish but I usually dont age deer there just isnt enough fat to start the breakdown process like a cow has.

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Old August 15, 2011, 04:59 PM   #25
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In the awful heat of bowseason in the South, I get the deer in the truck as soon as I can find it and go directly to the skinning rack and someone goes to the store for ice while I skin and quarter. Put it directly on ice and off to the butcher within a few days. My little brother and his bowhunting buddy can have a deer quartered and in a cooler in less than 10 minutes. It's nuts to watch. In the winter we usually go as a group to pick up downed deer after the hunt and go to the skinning rack and sometimes quarter and ice, sometimes just gut and if under 40 degrees may leave on the skinning rack for a week or put in a walk-in for up to 10 days. Basically, if it's hot, it's a mad dash. If it's cold i take my time and go to the butcher when it's convenient.
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