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Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

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Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

Old 06-26-2003, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: asheboro, nc
Posts: 384
Default Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

I hear a lot of talk about leaving a deer in the woods overnight after an evening kill. I have never been in the position to make the decision of look for it or leave it for a while. I' m sure oneday i will. I understand the reason for it in making sure that the deer is dead, but my question is about the meat after the recovery.
I know here in North Carolina during bow season it is big time hot, and I figure that if it is left out over night that the meat would be spoiled? is this not the case with most areas? I agree that recovery is still better than leaving it, i guess my question is how often do you recover spoiled meat?
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Old 06-26-2003, 07:58 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 30
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

I hunt in Illinois and most of the time during deer season it gets cool enough at night to keep the meat good. But if you live in NC and it is hot, say over 45 degrees at night, I' m not sure I would eat the meat. It is a tough call to leave it, because like you said, you want to make sure it is dead. But depending on the shot, sometimes it is better to keep it running. If it is a gut shot, then those are the ones you want them to lay down and die, but sometimes for a single lung you might want to keep pushing it. It is obviously a judgment call, but my advice would be, if it is hotter then 45 degrees and it is out all night and morning, I probably wouldn' t eat the meat. But that is just me, other guys may have a different opinion. Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Illinois
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Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

In my areas, if I had to leave the trail of a severely wounded deer that would die thru the night, by the time I returned in the early AM there would not be enough meat left to be concerned about.

My primary area is smack in the middle of 2 different coyote pack territories.

I have helped track wounded deer late into the night for others. If night falls, I stay with the track until dawn, and relief comes. In fact, I have picked up the trail in the dark by hearing the hunting yelp of the ' yotes.

Last season, I had a pack on my heels as I was in between them and a deer I was tracking for a couple of idiots.

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Old 06-26-2003, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: East Yapank NY USA
Posts: 3,457
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

Yotes will throw a whole new twist into what to do[]

But since I don' t have yotes - temp is my only concern.

Iffy shot and its hot - I go home - eat, rest, and come back at 10:00 or 11:00pm with a lantern - and hopefully someone owed me a favor
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:40 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Harford Co Maryland USA
Posts: 4,966
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

If the shot was less-than-perfect or marginal, it' s sometimes best to leave them overnight. I' ve done it (as have a number of hunting friends) on numerous occasions--even early in the season with never a problem due to meat spoilage. I have had other predators get to my deer before I did--on consecutive nights in two different locations. I lost the entire hindquarters of one deer and the tail and a little bit more of the only piebald deer (98% white) deer I' ve ever harvested.
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Old 06-27-2003, 05:42 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NC
Posts: 1,284
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

click....i know what your saying! I too live in NC and leaving a deer overnight here during bow season is like putting a gallon of milk out in the sun all day, it' s gonna spoil. I' ve only had one instance where i shot a doe and made a bad hit on her and couldn' t find her so i went back early the next morning to look and when i found her she had already begun to swell and smell and the flies were all over her and the bobcats had taken their share out of one of the back hams. I just marked it up as a loss and tried to learn from the bad shot that i had made which i have. If i were to shoot one in mid November or December when we had a really cold night then i wouldn' t be afraid to eat the meat from a deer that was shot and lost the previous afternoon.
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Old 06-27-2003, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma USA
Posts: 254
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

I have the same problem as C903, lots of coyotes in my area. Two years ago I shot a very nice 10 point, let him lay for 1 hour. When I got to him, the coyotes had already been on him.

So, I try to recover my deer as soon as possible.
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Old 06-27-2003, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 97
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

I' ve had it happen once, after field dressing didn' t smell too bad, I took him to the packing house and they wouldn' t process him, the owner who has processed a number of deer for me said if one cools without being field dressed the meat is no good.
I think it depends on when the deer dies during the night and not as much on air temperature.
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Old 06-27-2003, 07:48 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Posts: 7,571
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

Rack, I' m not sure about your area of NY, but around here, I believe that it is illegal to be in pursuit of game after sundown. Even if you have no weapon with you.
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Old 06-27-2003, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 86
Default RE: Leaving a deer in the woods overnite?

I have not had that problem YET, maybe someday but hope not. If you have an animal down here in Idaho it is legal to retrieve it even the day after the season closses. Provided you have proof of shot the day before. Heat is a problem over here and I dont hear of many that lost meat due to the heat except for being lazy on getting the meat taken care of soon enough.
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