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if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

Old 09-10-2006, 04:22 PM
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Default if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

does the meat spoil in warm early seasons? Excellent post by Rob up top about tracking...if you don't have a perfect shot or shoot too far back and you need to let your animal go overnight before finding it, I'm curious if the meat will be okay...Much of the country still has temps in the 80's into early, mid Oct with night temps in the 60's...how will a deer that has been sitting for 15 hours, in these temps,without being field dressed fare? Thanks for the help
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:35 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

i let one go over night last year since we couldnt find any blood but i know i had hit it. The overnight temps were in the lows 50's i would like to say. We did end up finding him, and the meat was still ok. Now im not sure about leaving the deer overnight in 60 degree temp for so long. I would say if you leave it over night, and you skin it the next day and the meet doesnt smell or look bad i say it would be fine to process it that same day. But i wouldnt let it go another day IMO.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:36 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

That's actually a good question. Hopefully Rob can expound on it more, but like anything else, it varies from situation to situation. A lot of factors figure in....how long did it take the deer to die after the shot, humidity, lots of things. Yes, it's possible your deer will be spoiled by then, but you've still recovered it.
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Old 09-10-2006, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

I think mobow touched on a good point here. When you are letting a deer set overnight, it is normally because the shot wasn't immediately fatal, and you are giving theanimal time to die before you begin to track it. These are estimates here, but consider this: You hit a deer (lets say gut shot) at 730pm. This deer takes 8 hours to die. Let me know if this is unreasonable...I think it's not too far fetched though. Anyways, you begin tracking this deer at 700am the next morning, and due to you leaving the deer alone the night before, you find it within 200 yds, and less that an hour later. Say 800am. So....even though you didn't recover the deer until 12.5 hours after the shot, it has really only been dead for 4.5 hours. I would think the meat is still ok.

Granted, this is just one senario with some made up numbers, but do you see how the time between when you shoot the deer and when you recover it isn't nessessarily the time the meat was laying out, unprotected.

This is just a rough example. Every senario is different, every outcome is different. I don't know for sure if the meat will be ok, I don't think anyone will be able to give you a solid answer. I would think in general if you recover the meat before the following afternoon sun hits it...it should be ok. But thats just a guess.


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Old 09-10-2006, 06:03 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

The only other issue to worry about is a wild dog,racoon or some other varmit finding the deerduring the night and feeding on the carcass.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:18 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

When deer lay overnite, the gas in the stomach will cause some bloating.

So,when you go to gut it, it is quite easy to accidently cut open the gut because of it being swelled up. When most guys get a whiff of this, they assume that the deer is spoiled and won't take it. Some won't even gut it because it is bloated and they say it is spoiled.


I've had to finish a tracking job in the morning on a few occasions. The weather was quite warm. And yes the deer had a smell to it when I gutted it. Friends that were with me those times, said it was spoiled and I was nuts for taking it. I'd take them anyway and they tasted fine.


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Old 09-10-2006, 08:49 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

Lost the meat to one last year. I butchered it so I can say for sure the meat was bad. The shot was thought to be bad because you could see a hit too far back on the deer as it went off. After letting it go over night and finding it in theAM the hit was good but deflected of a rib bone and it was the exit wound that was seen. It was warm for Ohio. I won'tadvocate waitinganymore unless it's cold. We also had a heck of a time getting it out. Ohio thinks it's regs. a best making guys check the whole deer in, but I wish they would rethink it. We could have easily packed it out as it was we had a new cart break in less than a 100 yrds with a 2 mile hike ahead of us. The day was also warm. In contrast I had a deer in my truck with it's cavity packed with ice for 2 days and it suffered no spoilage.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:09 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

ORIGINAL: Windwalker7

When deer lay overnite, the gas in the stomach will cause some bloating.

So,when you go to gut it, it is quite easy to accidently cut open the gut because of it being swelled up. When most guys get a whiff of this, they assume that the deer is spoiled and won't take it. Some won't even gut it because it is bloated and they say it is spoiled.

I've had to finish a tracking job in the morning on a few occasions. The weather was quite warm. And yes the deer had a smell to it when I gutted it. Friends that were with me those times, said it was spoiled and I was nuts for taking it. I'd take them anyway and they tasted fine.
That speaks volumes and I highly doubt unless extreme temperatures are taken into considerations that the meat will be spoiled, tenderized yes, spoiled, no.

I've read where top chefs will claim that venison is not even ready to be cooked until it ages, aging venison they will let it hang until the green mold starts on the outside, wipe it down with vineger and cook it, now even for me that is extreme. Unless your deer lays in the extreme heat and in the sun where insects play a role, overnight cooler temperatures won't spoil your meat.




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Old 09-10-2006, 10:02 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

Last season there was this guy that hunts the same public landmy friends andIdo and most of usdon't like the way he hunts , he very unethical .
Anyway back to the story he shot a young button buck in the paunch and could not track it down so he left it overnight.
The next day one of my friend went out to hunt his spot and came across a young buck and it was blowted big time.
When my friend told this guy about the deer he claimed itwas the one he shot the night before so my friendshowed him where his deer was and when hedressed it out itwas stinking to high heaven.
Then when he looked inside you could see that the meat was ready a greenish brown color. The temps. had been in the upper 70's and the lower 60's at night so the answer to your question would be yes the meat will go bad and be gamey.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:39 PM
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Default RE: if you have to let one go overnight before tracking...

My thoughts are if you have to let one go overnight, the shot was less than perfect therefore when you return in the morning and find the deer, the animal may have just expired. Or perhaps only expired a few hours ago.
In September here in NC it is usually in the 80's or 90's during the day and 60's or 70's at night. Letting one go overnight and retreiving it the next day, I would not be afraid to consume the meat.
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