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Let em hang ?

Old 11-03-2010, 08:51 AM
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Default Let em hang ?

I remember when I first started hunting during rifle season, we'd get 4 or 5 deer on opening day, and let em hang (always head down) sometimes for 3 or 4 days. Granted is seemed like it was cold, but when warm, we'd put ice bags in the cavity, then finally take it to the chop house. Nowadays, everybody takes it right to the butcher, no hanging, or cuts it up themselves that day. Can deer meat age if left with the skin on/off like beef can. With beef, (I imagine), that by leaving all the fat on and aging the meat, it turns black, (how long I have no idea), cut off the black, and then can become the best piece of meat on the slab. Since there's not much fat on a deer, does it matter at all ?

Last edited by accman; 11-03-2010 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:59 AM
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If it doesn't get much above 40, I'd let 'em hang for a week before quartering and butchering. But it's rare for it not to get above 40 in VA, especially this time of year. If I have to butcher right away, I just go ahead and seal the butchered meat in vacuum bags and put it in the freezer (except for the stuff that will be eaten that week, which stays fresh). You have to plan your meals well if you do this, but I then take whatever meat I'm going to eat out of the freezer and let it thaw in the bottom drawer of the fridge. That takes about 2-3 days, and then after that, I leave it down there for another 5-7 days to age the meat. Seems to work really well.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:02 AM
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We let them hang if it's cold enough. It probably doesn't matter too much around the rifle opener, though, if you take your deer to the butcher. He'll probably hang there for a while, too

Head down or up depends. If it's a nice buck and there are a lot of bears around, I go head up.

I don't know how much it matters. By the time the deer is hanging, any blood that is left in the blood vessels is probably congealed enough that it's not going to drain out by hanging.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: ohio
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I do processing with a friend and we like to skin them when they come in. A large buck getting caped out especially. To age the meat we have two large coolers we keep temp. just above freezing, and leave meat in cooler from one to two weeks. A 1.5 to 2.5 year old is ok in a week but you take an older buck we leave the meat in two weeks. Wev'e had meat from an older buck taken out of the cooler after aging and sometimes it smells just as sweet as can be, makes all the difference when it gets to the table.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:35 AM
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Location: North Carolina
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when we take ours to the deer hanger we like to hang them with skin on head down for 4 days. we also gut skin quarter and debone ourself..... hell i know hunters that dont even know how?
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:10 PM
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We always leave them hang for at least 3-4 days. And if the high's are only in the low 40's we will let them hang for a week or more before we cut it up.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Frederick Maryland
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I have been hanging and processing friends, family and of course my own deer for years. What I have found is hanging the deer head down protects the deer from unwanted body fluids from marinating the hind quarters. Any fliuds running down to the head can exit the mouth. The ribs protect fliuds from touching the front quarters. Good hunting!!!
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:08 PM
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NY we let them hang for 10 days, head down before butchering. Deer that have had time to hand always taste better IMO.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:17 AM
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Hang 'em! Keep them out of the sun. When it stays around 40 for the high of the day and gets down into the low 30's you can hang them for a week easy. It does affect the flavor and tenderizes the meat too.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:40 AM
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Thanks guys, appreciate the feedback. Will have to bring back the philosophy of Eastwood, "Hang em high" at our camp. Sometimes, we didn't even see the deer that someone shot if they bring it down during the afternoon. We made it a rule that all deer taken off the mountain had to be brought to camp for everyone to see that night. We have a 3 on one side rule, but most of us stick to the 6 or better mode. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and stay cold.
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