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How long do you let your deer hang before process?

Old 11-03-2002, 06:30 PM
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Location: Hodgdon Maine USA
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Default How long do you let your deer hang before process?

i will having my deer hung for 4 days in cold weather? i don't think so but is that too long? i'm a junior hunter and it's my first deer. I don't want to take too many chances.

thanks boys.
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Old 11-03-2002, 07:10 PM
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Location: Adirondack Moutains USA Member since sept/02
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

The faster you can get it in the frez. the better. I usally have mine in the frez. a few hours after its been shot. I do everything myself and I hunt on my own property. Sometimes you cant get it cut up that quik if you're at a camp etc... As long as its been cold you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 11-03-2002, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

I don't hang for a period, just skin and butcher(usually)...then right to the freezer. I use to let them hang, thinking it did something....it doesn't.

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Old 11-03-2002, 09:34 PM
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

I think the main thing is to keep it cold as soon as possible, if wherever you are the high temps are near or below freezing, I dont see a problem letting it hang. Letting it hang doesn't do anything to help the deer, but if its cold enough, you can take a nap before cutting it up. (where i hunt the temperatures are almost always too hot by mid afternoon, so I try to get them in the ice chest before then) hot meat = rotten nasty buggy meat.

On a side note, I have this theory about why people think that bucks taste wild or gamey... People shoot a big buck. They want to show it off, so they gut it, but then they tie it on the the hood of their car, or back of their truck, take it to the processor or taxidermist with the skin still on. It gets hot. Meat thats not Frozen or Smoked tends to start to rot, and it spoils a little bit. And thats the gamey taste people talk about. Now, I have NEVER had a gamey tasting animal, buck or doe. Then again, ive never let the meat get hot or stay hot long after ive killed the deer. Is my theory, that wild or gamey taste is a direct result of poor care of the deer carcass after kill, correct?

thanks for your input
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:09 PM
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

Bambikiller, I concur. When I use to take my game to a butcher for processing, I would see some nasty looking animals(deer that looked like they hung in a garage for weeks(skinned and dark red), loads of fat and hairs still on the carcass, some had guts, esophagus or scat on the meat...just gross) What I did then and still do is first off, field dress it properly and quickly. Make sure that no waste comes in contact with the meat, if it does, I remove it and leave it for the yotes to chew on. Since we usually have snow I will pack the deer with fresh snow...not dirty snow and then drag and dump...cools and cleans. I always carry clean water and place the animal on the tail gate and pour the H20 into the cavity and let it drain. I cut of the skin flaps around the brisket to allow further cooling. I always skin it as soon as possible, when I skin it I remove all the excess fat and wipe down with clothes to remove hair from skinning process. Finally I flush the body cavity thoroughly with water and let drain. Then to the butchering table and freezer.

My butcher used to marvel at how immaculate my deer carcass were when I arrived, I would rap them in a no scent game bag to make sure no dust etc would get on the meat in transit. He always stated many guys don't get that the field dress and skinning process is what will result in poor quality meat. Also mentioned how the deer arrives is how it gets processed!!!!! So if you let a butcher do all your work, make sure the animals is ready for the way you want it packaged, it will go a long way in the taste department. If your butcher skins, take in consideration they work on time and time is money so they won't, nor are as picky as you might be.

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Old 11-04-2002, 08:44 AM
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Location: Adirondack Moutains USA Member since sept/02
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

bambikiller223 That is a good point that you brought up about the deer meat getting warm. I always get mine in the frez. as soon as posible. I did have some meat from a friend once. He had let the thing hang in his yard for 3 days one of those days the temp got over 65. We'll like you said that meat had a real bad game taste.
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Old 11-06-2002, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

I like to hang my deer for about 5-6 days. I have my
meat locker which will keep the deer about 38 degrees.
I beleive it make it better. Beef is usually hung for
10-14 days at the processor down the road. I do not
beleive it hurts the deer as long as the temp. stays below
50 degrees. I do think it helps. I also process my own.
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Old 11-07-2002, 06:07 AM
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Default RE: How long do you let your deer hang before process?

Man this is a topic that goes way back. I go to my Uncles house every year to see his deer that he always get and man, I see his deer that he hangs in this certain tree, and every year I see the deer looks black inside and all crusted up with weird looking stuff on it and I always asked him, Uncle when are you going to butcher it, he replys "Its not redy yet". I say what are you waiting for, your going to die if you eat this deer, he says "I can tell when itys ready". He says it is tenderizing, I say OK call me when you need a ride too the hospital. Me I let it hang a week.
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