View Full Version : Tips on aging deer meat

October 18, 2001, 07:18 AM
Generally during the winter, I will hang and 'age' my deer (after field dressing) for 2 days with a clean bed sheet wrapped around it. However, during archery season, the weather is much warmer. Do you guys do anything special to prepare your venison?

I ended up hanging my deer with clean bed sheet overnight. By the time I shot it, field dressed it, wrapped it and hanged it, it was already past dark and cold. Temperature was in the mid 30's all night with a wind chill of 20 some degrees.

I'm going back out today to butcher it.

October 18, 2001, 12:02 PM
Last deer I shot was during firearms season. Temperature was 70degrees. I bagged, tagged,sliced, diced and froze the venison ASAP. What I wouldn't give for a smokehouse though!
A bed sheet? You're not married are you Son? :D

October 18, 2001, 12:21 PM
Yep, I do about the same and it all depends on the weather, but I've invested in a canvas reusable deer sack instead of the bedsheet - the missus was not goingto let me use a good sheet.

I'll cut the deer up the next day if it's any kind of fly weather. (above 60 degrees) If it is good and cold, snow on the ground, etc. I'll even let it hang for upto a week, but at least four days.

Yummy Venison! :)

Larry Ashcraft
October 18, 2001, 05:31 PM
Best aging is done at about 32-35 degrees and 7-10 days. At 2 days it is just "cooled". I live in an area where there is a lot of truck farming (peppers, tomatoes etc.). Usually deer or pronghorn season coincides with the end of harvest season. I have had farmer friends let me use their walk-in coolers to hang carcasses in, just give them a few bucks to leave the power on for a few extra days (and be sure to repay the favor in some way, such as buying a couple bushels of chiles).

October 18, 2001, 09:25 PM
Aging can benefit the meat but not all meat needs it and aging under the wrong conditions is worse than no aging.
I've long since lost the details but U of Missouri (I think) did a study on venison quality and aging. IIRC 30-40 degrees was ideal temp range. Yearling need no aging (cooling only) and you can roughly add 1-2 days aging for each year of age of the animal.

October 18, 2001, 09:31 PM
"However, during archery season, the weather is much warmer. Do you guys do anything special to prepare your venison? "

No, but I've called the local processor at home so that the could meet me at the plant. I'm just lazy I guess.

October 18, 2001, 11:09 PM
Went back out and finished the butcher job. Here's the kicker! My buddy (owner of the farm) and I went out again just for kicks. I figured, worse case scenerio, I see nutt'n. Best case scenerio, I see a doe.

Well, the scenerio was ABSOLUTELY amazing! I saw 8 doe's walk by my stand lol! The one I shot weighed 122 lbs. In some areas of the US, doe's get much bigger but here in Pennsylvania, that's a monster doe.

I have some pics of the beauty I'll post tomorrow (too tired to compress and upload the pics).

.... and yet, another deer hanging tonight and another butcher job tomorrow.

I limit out with both my tags in two days :D

October 18, 2001, 11:59 PM
Forgot to add, I skin em too while they're hanging :) I butcher my own deer coz I don't care for the way the processors treat my prize!

Imagine piles of deer laying at the butcher's shop. Most of them are still warm. What do you think of the chances of you getting the deer you killed?

Imagine if you dressed your deer immediately and took all precautions in prepping it for the butcher shop to only end up with the deer that was on the bottom of that pile! No thanks!

Call me paranoid but I know enough butcher shops around here to get the skinny. I'll hack... errr butcher my own :)

October 19, 2001, 05:59 AM
Congrats on your success.
I also insist on processing my own game. I've seen deer at the locker that I dodn't even want mine next to. The job goes easier if you got a buddy or 2 that will help.

October 19, 2001, 02:18 PM
Deer #2 is butchered and in the freezer. I just made a tenderloin and onion sandwich. YUM! :)

October 19, 2001, 06:55 PM
Son: So you took two deer, in two days, with a Bow? We're not worthy..we're not worthy...we're not worthy. You da man!

October 20, 2001, 06:16 AM
It's not too tough where I hunt ;)

Look at the attached pic and you'll see what I mean.

My good buddy owns this property and only allows his brother and I to hunt it.

October 20, 2001, 06:19 AM
and here's the fat doe shot on the second day

October 20, 2001, 11:15 AM
Thats a nice one!

I get sick and tired of hearing people try to make jokes because their deer field dressed at 50 pounds.

October 20, 2001, 12:55 PM
Is that the derr outweigh's ArmySon by a good 30 lbs in that picture.... :)

Nice shooting, in BC here we have deer of various sizes from fallow deer up to monster whitetail and Blacktail. It is not the size of the Monster you slay but how you cook the meat.....

October 24, 2001, 08:31 PM
Seems like here in Kansas (knzn=Kansan,) it is either to warm out, or freezing cold, neither of wich is good for aging.

To make life simpler, I get it cut up and in the freezer as fast a possible, same day if I can. Then when I want to fix some for supper, I take a package out a couple of days or so before I intend to fix it, put it in the refridge, and let it thaw and age in there.

October 25, 2001, 10:06 PM
I wacked a 5 point buck this morn with my muzzleloader and he is in the freezer tonight. Only "aged" one deer in my many years of hunting and didn't like the results, so now it gets boned out a.s.a.p. then vac-sealed and froze the same day. The heart and tenderloins get eaten the day of the kill.