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When is the best time to skin and butcher

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When is the best time to skin and butcher

Old 05-20-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default When is the best time to skin and butcher

I've found that the faster you process your deer, the better it tastes. But I know a number of hunters that believe you should let it "age" then cut it up. I can tell you with the warm falls we've been haveing letting it hang will result in rotten venison. Whats your opinon?
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:28 AM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

I like to let them hang for about a week with skin on. I say that because where I hunt the weather is usually cold enough to prevent spoilage in all seasons other than early bow season. Early bow season I let it hang at camp where it is high on a hill and gets the breezes. I have a game pole in the spruce and cedar that keeps the sun out and keeps it cool enough to age for at least 3 days.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

Skin it first - then hang it in game bags.

Leaving the skin on keeps the meat warm, so it can't cool down properly, and it defeats some of the purpose of "hanging the meat" which is to break down the tough fibers of the muscle.

The following is form this website: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...on/DJ5968.html

What Aging Does
Cooked, unaged beef has been described as "metallic" and lacking in typical beef flavor. Aging gives beef a flavor that has been described as "gamy." True beef flavor is fully developed after about 11 days of aging. The aged beef flavor increases with increasing aging time.

Aging also increases tenderness. It has been shown that during the aging process certain changes take place in portions of the structure of collagen and muscle fibers. Currently, it is thought that enzymatic-caused changes in the structure of muscle fibers are largely responsible for the increase in tenderness. It is known that tenderness decreases immediately after slaughter while rigor mortis takes place (taking 6 to 12 hours to complete); then tenderness increases gradually. Tenderness continues to increase up to 11 days, after which there is no increase in tenderness.

One study showed that maximum tenderness and progress of tenderization during aging varies among muscles and is associated with the color of the carcass lean. (See Animal Science folder F0-0688 for a discussion of "Dark-Cutting Beef.") In general, aging dark-cutting beef beyond seven days did little to increase tenderness. However, in carcasses where lean was lighter in color, tenderness continued to improve during up to 16 days of aging.

The tenderness effects of aging are more evident in carcasses from older animals than in the usually more tender lean from younger animals' carcasses.

Aging also decreases the shelf life of fresh meat products. Ground beef made from trimmings from aged beef carcasses usually has a shorter shelf life in the retail case and in your refrigerator, primarily because of increased microbial growth that occurs on certain parts of the carcass during the aging process.

Some research has demonstrated that as fresh meat ages, the activity of the various enzymes decreases and protective action against oxidation declines, thus increasing susceptibility to oxidation. This suggests that oxidation of fresh raw meat becomes increasingly important the more meat is aged.

During the aging process, one can also expect a loss of weight of the product. Because the lean (exclusive of trimmable fat and bone) is approximately 70 percent water, it's easy to see why there is a weight loss. The weight loss is caused by dehydration of the lean and fat. The weight loss occasionally occurs at tremendous proportions depending on relative humidity, amount of air flow and temperature of the aging cooler. During chilling of the hot carcass immediately after slaughter, the carcass will lose 2 to 3 percent of its weight because of moisture loss. Aging the carcass beyond this time will result in additional tissue shrinkage of 1 to 1.5 percent for each seven days. Carcasses with a thin external fat cover will lose more moisture than carcasses with a heavy fat cover. One study observed an 18 percent trim and shrink loss from loins aged 14 days in a 36 degrees F cooler.

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:55 AM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

It all depends on the weather. I don't have a freezer to hang it in so if the weather is around 40 I'll let it hang for a few days. If its too hot I'll quarter it and throw it in a cooler for a couple days. I hunt far from home so skinning and butchering immediately isn't an option. Usually Id say I leta deer hand from 3 to 5 days and I've never had any complaints! I can't answer the poll question though because there's too many variables on how I treat my deer.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

We kill 40-50 deer a year on our farms, most are butchered within 2-3 hours of the kill...Down here in the South during bow season it can be 90 degrees in September...We have very few days even in December where it's cool enough to hang for a few days...I do soak for 3-5 days before putting into freezer and I drain the water and add more ice each day...
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:20 PM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

First off guts out and skinned asap. It is essential to cool the carcass down to prevent green rot (starts at the bone), the best way is hide off. Sometimes 1/4ing is required to allow adequate cooling, especially onlarger then deer game (all depends on the situation - hanging/storage/weather/etc). If hanging whole I split the pelvis to insure the hams don't touch &also prop or tie the front legs out tomin. touching (I will often release the fronts with my knifesome to make this easier/effective). Allows for airflow around the entire carcass & cooling of theinner and outer portions of meat.

I do not believe in "aging" venison, however I do believe in the benefits of "relaxing" the meat. This is the period of rigormortise - lactic acid turns to sugar. The process happens within 24 hours post mortise. So if possible i will hang the animal for 24 hours then process. If not possible to hang the carcass or 1/4'sI either pack the quarters infrozen milk jugs/bags (ICE)or place the meat in a fridge(s) for 24hours - be it boned or deboned. I don't use loose ice when packing meat as this can introduce bacteria due to melting of ice (water) mixing with blood, tissue, etc.

Last resort is hot boning and freezing. WhenI do this I simply pull my choice cuts of meat out of the freezer a couple of days before preparing themfor the grill. I cut slits in the bottom edges of the brown wrap (freezer paper) and place them on a plate lined with paper towel in the fridge to "age". I change the paper towel twice a day or as required - soaked in blood. Ground I don't worry about just process as usual.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:40 PM
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Location: Ohio and Indiana
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

I hang my deer in my cousin's walk-in cooler. It stays at 37-38 deg. Usually a week. As long as three weeks

When its early bow season on those hot October days, we get bags of ice inside the deer right away.
(my little bro's first bowkill)

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: When is the best time to skin and butcher

Don't you already have this exact poll about 5 threads down?
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