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Old October 17, 2005, 11:18 PM   #1
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warm weather butchering?

Just spent a day butchering a doe I shot this afternoon. Thing is, I've never butchered one in a 58-60 degree environment before and it did take me a while. I'd say from time of kill to the last piece going in my fridge or freezer was about 12 hours--counting field dress, drag home, hang and butcher. Do you think I'm still good to eat it or did I take to stinking long for all of the meet to still be good?
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Old October 18, 2005, 01:25 AM   #2
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Shouldn't be any problem with your venison. Enjoy, and congratulations.
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Old October 18, 2005, 06:59 AM   #3
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Down here most of our butching is done in 50 - 60 weather. You should be fine.
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Old October 18, 2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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You'll be fine. Congrats.
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Old October 18, 2005, 09:08 AM   #5
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I did a calf once at 80F. We had no choice but it was ok. The most important thing is to dress it out immediately !! Meat that has cooled to ~40F firms up and is easier to handle. But your venison will be ok.
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Old October 18, 2005, 09:52 AM   #6
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This time of year here it's still in the high 80's. We just have to get it done a quickly as possible. Your meat is still good.
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Old October 18, 2005, 10:21 AM   #7
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Cant imagine it being a problem. Central TX bow season, its commonly still 90ish. Ive cleaned them while sweating...many times. Feral hogs above 100 degrees. It it is that hot, we often clean then in knee deep water, cools them down and helps with the fleas. Just as normal...cook completely.
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Old October 18, 2005, 10:31 AM   #8
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Next time take out some insurance, get a couple large coolers and field dress and quarter (Removing the loins seperately) and then pack ice over it. Let it get nice and cold then do your butchering. Butchering is much easier when the meat has firmed up some, at least for portioning into smaller portions than the large primal cuts.
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Old October 18, 2005, 10:39 AM   #9
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Skin it out, early on.

The meat cools faster.

This is especially important with Elk because they retain heat and the meat spoils much faster.

Also, be sure to open the arm pits up and lay back the forelegs to let the heat out of that part of the shoulder area.

50-60 degree weather is not a problem.

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Old October 18, 2005, 11:24 AM   #10
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At 60 degrees you should be fine.

Years back when I hunted in hot weather we would have a hour or so drive back home. We would gut the deer, put on the fly bag, throw it on the back of the pick-up, stop at the gas station throw a couple bags of ice inside the carcass, take it home and process it that afternoon, put in the the old refrig on the carport to age, grab some more beer and head back to the deer camp.

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Old October 19, 2005, 06:31 PM   #11
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Here in Texas 60 degrees is like the dead of winter. I always feel like its a race against the clock when I shoot a deer. Thats why I quit taking them to the processor. I think theres a good chance they will give you someone elses meat that hasn't taken the care that you have. My last doe I shot was mid december last year. Killed her at 7:30 am 50 degrees. I got her home at 11:30 am 85 degrees . Meat turned out tasting very very good.
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Old October 20, 2005, 09:06 AM   #12
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The only problem you might run into is if you pack all the wrapped meat too tightly together when you put it into your freezer. If the meat isn't already well cooled when packaged, it can spoil even after it's in the freezer if the cold can't get to all sides of all the packages. Pork seems to be more sensitive than venison or beef. When pork goes bad, it is all bad. When beef and venison go bad is begins on the surface and progresses inward. Trimming off the outside of those will often salvage most of the meat. The steak you pay big bucks for at the fancy steakhouse is just half a notch from going bad. Sounds gross but that's how we like them. Venison with some "age" on it tastes better, too.
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Old October 20, 2005, 09:37 PM   #13
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Always try the smell test when you thaw it out and then make sure its properly cooked just in case.

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Old October 20, 2005, 11:49 PM   #14
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Some folks around here who can't get a carcass cut up right away will pack the cavity with ice. That'll buy a couple extra hours.

Even with that, get the hide off right away - it retains most of the heat as it was designed to.
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Old October 21, 2005, 05:52 AM   #15
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Thanks guys. Ate the tenderloins and some stuff I ground so far. Very good indeed. What surprised me the most is how little fat there was on this one. When I butchered one last year she had between half and inch and an inch of fat on her back. This one didn't have that problem so I found the job easier--little less meat too though...not a yearling by any means, just not as big as she initially looked in the field.
Still very good meat, though

Thanks again,
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