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After the kill timeline

Old 01-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,425

During bow season with temps in the 80s and 90s I give the deer 30 minutes and I start tracking...I carry a cooler with me and clean and butcher in the woods and come out with the deer in the cooler and drop ice on within 20 minutes of leaving the farm...

During early gun season, I usually wait until dark if the deer is killed in the afternoon, in the morning, I come down within 30 minutes...Most of the time I have my deer meat cut up and on ice within 2 hours of the kill...I'll soak for a few days and then pack and freeze...

If it's an old buck and I'm worried about it being tough then I'll grind into hamburger or can...
nchawkeye is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 03:39 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Pulaskiville
Posts: 3,533

I generally gut the instantly...then get them skinned ASAP.

Then I'll wait for the meat to cool (if possible) until hardened enough to cut.

Then I'll cut/grind/smoke/can or whatever I'm doing.

I have let them hang for a week and I've had them in the freezer within an hour of when they were walking...and I've not noticed a change in taste or tenderness.
Pro-Line is offline  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: cazenovia, NY USA
Posts: 2,973

Deer isn't beef - and any aging past 3 days is probably not helping the meat quality any. I field dress right away and usually skin and quarter the next day - unless temps are 50 or above - then I do it right away (usually <50s is not a problem for me). For me ANY meat compromised by a gut shot gets tossed. We usually have more meat than we know what to do with and a water rinse isnt enough to ensure cleanliness for meat in contact with the body cavity. That said - even a gut shot deer - 95%+ of the meat never in contact with the inside of a deer. Just be consistent and smart - and the meat is fine.

If feel that if you like to age your meat - age it after you take it out of the freezer - I usually have sub 32 degrees when I butcher -so i take my time and may take 4-5 days to process - but I have no problem butchering the same day and aging after it comes out of the freezer for choice cuts.

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