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???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

Old 05-23-2006, 10:02 PM
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Default ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

One thing I've always wondered, should you hang game and age it like they do beef? If so, for how long? Most everything I've harvested was pretty much in the freezer within' 24 hours of taking it down.
What do you guys think? Or do?
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:37 PM
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I hang the meat from 1 day to 2 weeks. It all depends on the temp the meat stays cause if it is too warm the meat will spoil so in the case u cut it up right away.If it stays cold enough though we will hand it for up to 2 weeks to let the meat tenderize. If you shot an animal and it doesnt die right away the animal will build up lactic acid in its muscles (same thing happens to us when we get really scared your muscles kind of go stiff which is due to the release of lactic acid) which makes the muscles go tense and therefore a tough meat. So to let it tenderize you let if hang which gives the meat time to loosen up and the lactic acid dissolve which makes it become tender. The same thing with animals in rut they have lots of lactic acid in there muscles that time of year so try to let them hang as well.If an animals is dropped right away there should be little to no acid in the muscles but we still let them hang just for the hell of it just as long as the meat stays at a reasonable temp. I know that all guys dont believe in the whole lactic acid thing and thats fine its just thats what i was taught and i hope this info helps u out in the long run. Good Luck

Lethal


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Old 05-23-2006, 11:28 PM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME


No need to age venison, but it doesn't hurt if you can control the temperature of the carcass. Unfortunately for the majority a locker isn't a luxury we all enjoy! I say hang it for 1 day to allow the meat to cool (easier to cut) and rigor mortise to run its course then whack and stack. I have done it every way from tuesday and the biggest things to quality IME are clean kill, clean carcass, cooling of the carcass ASAP, removal of fat/talc/silver skin/hair, bone out vs saw and proper cuts in the first place. I now hang for 24 hours and process. If to warm either Ice down the carcass/quarters or fridge age prior to cutting and wrapping. Never let your meat sit in water if you 1/4 and put on ice in the coolers - I suggest cleaned plastic milk/ juice jugs frozen with water and capped vs loose ice.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:12 AM
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I have seen a noticable difference in tenderness (not flavor) by letting my deer age. I try and let it hang for 3-4 days. Beyond that, I have not seen any gain in tenderness but you do lose more to drying. And I have not seen that big a difference in whether you let the meat hang or quarter and cool it. Just so you don't kill it, skin, quarter, and FREEZE it all in one day. For instance, if I kill one on a warm day, I will skin it just long enough to let it start to get evaporative cooling (maybe only an hour or soo). Then I quarter it and put it in ice chests and let it age there for several days.

The most tender elk I have had was a bull I killed that I let age 4 days before it was cut and frozen. The toughest elk was a cow I killed and was cut up and frozen in less than 24 hours.

Howeve, I know a guy who says he ages his venison in the fridge just before he eats it. He cuts up and freezes the animal as soon as he can after the kill. When he is ready to eat a package, hedefrosts it in the fridge for 4-5 days and then cooks it. Says it is as tender as if it was aged before freezing. May have to try that one someday.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:15 AM
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You will here different answers on this subject. My locker friend tells me that venison is so lean that it doesn't benefit from aging.I take my venison and soak it in salt water for 3-5 days dumping the salty, bloody water off each day and replacing with fresh salt water. I do all this in the refrigerator.The salt draws the blood out and this is what gives game a gamey taste. This method makes your venison and other game delicious.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:20 PM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

We butcher and freeze as soon as possible, usuallly within 1 to 2 days by the time we pack them out and get the butchering crew together. Lean wild meat is said to NOT benefit from the aging process due to lack of fat compared to Prime beef, plus most folks cannot/will not appropriately control temperature during the aging process which I am told is absolutely key.

We butcher right in elk camp, package the meat, freeze it, and divide it evenly according to how many licenses where in camp. Record so far is that we butchered 6 elk in one day --- it takes a lot of beer to butcher that much meat.... about 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ---eight of us.

Field Dressing -- Making Little Parts Out Of Big Parts:



It can be tiring work. Notice the "guard" in case they attack again.



It is enough to make you want to cool your heels.


Since we are back in a ways, some time is lost overnight in spike camp --- off load.... all meat is either hung again or laid on logs. Then we just reload the panniers in the morning and head out....


Packed up and heading thru the timber on the way to main camp.


Getting back to the trail head is always nice --- show off time!


A cold snowy night at Main Camp helps keep the meat that came out last (the rest was in the freezers, coolers really since with that much warm elk meat a freezer won't freeze it right away). Anyway, some nice help from mother nature for the quarters that were hanging back in the shade from the tail end of the day before.


The butchering starts at about 9:00 a.m. --- ahhh sleeping in....



Steaks, Roasts, Jerky Meat, and lastly, the hamburger.... (Note the 12 gauge camp slug gun).


Wrapping up our "six elk day" at about 10:00 p.m.



That some of my thoughts (and pictures) relative to elk meat....
Field Dressing and Packing Them Out and Processing Them.... the best part of elk hunting!
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:53 PM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

I normally have them in the freezer with in a day or so of getting back from the hunt so any hang time they get is at camp. one thing I was told by a coroner is to leave the meat on carcas for at least 3 hours before you bone them out, according to him this way the animal will have time for rigor mortis to set in and the tissue will start to relaxs. I cann't say this is 100% true but everything I've done this with has not been tough.
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:12 AM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

ORIGINAL: hardcorehunter

My locker friend tells me that venison is so lean that it doesn't benefit from aging.
I would agree with this statement about the FLAVOR of meat. However, fat has nothing to do with tenderness, and I still contend that hanging/aging will increase tenderness

ELKampMaster said: " Lean wild meat is said to NOT benefit from the aging process due to lack of fat compared to Prime beef, plus most folks cannot/will not appropriately control temperature during the aging process which I am told is absolutely key."

I would absolutely agree that tempearature control is the key to everything when handling meat!
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

If you do end up hanging your meat do try to leave as much fat on it as it hangs because it actually helps keep the moisture in. Also by reading what some of you have had to say i would say that i guess it depends on where the deer is from because up here in Alberta there is lots of fat on and in the animals like beef but it might be different in the south
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:32 PM
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Default RE: ???'s ABOUT PROCESSING YOUR GAME

ORIGINAL: lethalconnection

If you do end up hanging your meat do try to leave as much fat on it as it hangs because it actually helps keep the moisture in. Also by reading what some of you have had to say i would say that i guess it depends on where the deer is from because up here in Alberta there is lots of fat on and in the animals like beef but it might be different in the south
Deer store their fat under the skin and not in the meat no matter where at in the country. It gets cold here and deer put on a lot of fat under the skin.
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