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  #1  
Old 11/10/07, 07:27 AM
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How long to hang a deer?

We have been having a friendly "disagreement" with the next door neighbor here and I'd like some expert opinions on this one.

The neighbor's son got a doe on Youth Day here in Vermont. He got it one morning, and the next morning they cut it up and froze it. The deer only hung for 18 hours, because "thats what it said to do in the book we used".

Won't that meat be tough? Isn't 18 hours too short to hang a deer? The temps have been below 40 but not below freezing so temperature wasn't an issue here. I would think after 18 hours it would still be in rigor?

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  #2  
Old 11/10/07, 07:50 AM
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I like to age mine at least a week, but I usually have to do it in a cooler since its usually pretty warm here for a large part of the season.

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  #3  
Old 11/10/07, 09:31 AM
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I have never "aged" a deer carcass. Processing starts within 12 hours of the harvest. Our venison has never been tough or gamey. You can hardly tell it from beef.

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  #4  
Old 11/10/07, 09:37 AM
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I used to be a meat wrapper for a farm butcher and his opinion (thirty plus years in the business) is that game does not need to be aged, just completely cooled down. The same with hogs. He said the only meat that needs to be hung and "aged" is beef.

Janis

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  #5  
Old 11/10/07, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janis Sauncy
I used to be a meat wrapper for a farm butcher and his opinion (thirty plus years in the business) is that game does not need to be aged, just completely cooled down. The same with hogs. He said the only meat that needs to be hung and "aged" is beef.

Janis
I'll second this!
Once its cooled, into the freezer and yum later!
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  #6  
Old 11/10/07, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree with Janice too.
The weather here is sometimes too warm to let deer hang very long, we just cut it and chill, then wrap and freeze or can. Same with hogs.....now beef is a different story.

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  #7  
Old 11/10/07, 10:47 AM
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I have cut up a big buck with in 1 day of harvest, and have hung them as long as a week, (cold out, not near any where to put in freezer), and had good luck both ways.

You need to be careful when you field dress, so as to not get meat dirty, be it glands, urine, poop, shot up meat, (sorta brown and muddy looking) etc.
Wash out as best you can, and cool down as fast as you can.
Never had a bad steak yet.

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  #8  
Old 11/10/07, 01:51 PM
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Reading the goat forum about butchering might help too... since goat are related to deer... I know it's not the same, but a relation.

Cricket

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  #9  
Old 11/10/07, 02:15 PM
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Well you learn something new every day I've always been told you need to hang it for days in order to get tender meat, thanks everyone

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  #10  
Old 11/10/07, 03:20 PM
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DH shot his deer this afternoon. I'll take it to the butcher tomorrow. We don't age anything but beef.

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  #11  
Old 11/10/07, 04:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineFarmMom
DH shot his deer this afternoon. I'll take it to the butcher tomorrow. We don't age anything but beef.
Congrats! No deer for us yet but 3 doe tags for China/Whitefield...

We also butcher deer quickly and moose too (we got a 450# cow last month in Lexington)

Our beef critter was aged 1 week, 10 days would have been better but moose hunt was crowding us.

Poultry should sit in the fridge for a couple days after butchering before cooking or freezing.
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  #12  
Old 11/10/07, 06:18 PM
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Steve had a doe tag in Castine but took the buck. I'm jealous over your moose. I want to go so badly!

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  #13  
Old 11/10/07, 06:41 PM
 
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i like to skin mine the same day i get them , then the next day i cut them up. cooling in my opinion is more important than the hanging time . thats why i like to skin them while their still warm as the hide pulls off so easy and you'd be surprised how much longer a carcass stays warm with that hide on .....mink

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  #14  
Old 11/10/07, 07:00 PM
 
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Yep, the skinning is so easy if you can do it while the deer is still warm. Then let it cool down overnight or the next day and have at it. No need to let them hang and the meat dry out. I think it is much better than any stinky beef.... and is to superior to even compare.

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  #15  
Old 11/12/07, 06:49 AM
 
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We cool our deer down ASAP. While cooling we hang it from the back legs as opposed to head first like everyone else. Helps drain all remaining blood from the better cuts. I think it makes a difference.

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  #16  
Old 11/12/07, 09:46 AM
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I THIRD ,FOURTH ,FIFTH deer do not need to hang any longer than to get them down to temp and if it is not 40 or below then skin and quarter them as soon as possable and get them on ice

the gamie taste people associate with venison is rot from hanging to long.

also we take a hose and flush the inside as soon as we get them back to the house
this makes them much more pleasant when you are cutting later
if the hose has been put away for the year alreay then a few buckets to flush them just toss it up and step back while they hang.

the best i ever hear it described is that aging is somthing that needs be done at such tight teprature controls +- a few degrees with a set humidity that unless you have a cooler to do this that will hold your deer don't bother just cut as soon as you can.

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  #17  
Old 11/12/07, 04:40 PM
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Depending on the outside temperature, I let it hand for a week or less. If it's too warm, then I quarter it and freeze it right away and cut it up later a quarter at a time.

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  #18  
Old 11/12/07, 08:58 PM
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I cut mine up pretty much the same day.Debone it all,I feel Bone Marrow gives it an off taste.I'll wash the inside out soon as it is hung.

My DW said she was talking with a Guy.He shot a Deer on Sunday did't find it until Monday afternoon.This was a week ago,he just worked it up today.The temps have been in the 60's and 70's.And people wonder why they don't like Deer meat.

big rockpile

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  #19  
Old 11/13/07, 12:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big rockpile
I cut mine up pretty much the same day.Debone it all,I feel Bone Marrow gives it an off taste.I'll wash the inside out soon as it is hung.

My DW said she was talking with a Guy.He shot a Deer on Sunday did't find it until Monday afternoon.This was a week ago,he just worked it up today.The temps have been in the 60's and 70's.And people wonder why they don't like Deer meat.

big rockpile
OH MAN THATS NASTY! your right, it just sat there and fermented!! it's been so warm here i'm suprised he didn't gag when skinning it! I like to take the whole deer home with out feild dressing it(unless it's too enormus) skin it and gut it at home, it's cleaner and you can get the hose out to chill it down faster then cut it up the same day. I like to run ours thru the tenderizer, and before cooking we soak the blood out. and i always like to get a neck shot so no good meat is wasted!
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  #20  
Old 11/16/07, 07:18 PM
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DH got his doe at 7:15 am, she was hung for a few hours/skinned too.. and then we had her all deboned and in "ice water" by 1 pm! Then the next day (or two) I cut, and prepare, and grind and package and freeze all meats.

He does rinse out with the hose and hangs from back legs also! The longest we have "hung" a deer is over night (when temps arent high) but thats cause he bagged it late in the evening (before sunset) and I said NO WAY am i diggin in this late!

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  #21  
Old 10/10/10, 07:38 PM
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Just thought I'd bump this thread up. I had done a search for how long you can hang a deer and this one popped up. We were given our first deer of the season tonight and will start processing it tomorrow morning. It is hanging in our barn for the night and should be chilled nicely for the morning.

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  #22  
Old 10/10/10, 08:59 PM
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ask a dozen hunters and you will get a dozen different answers.

there are a lot of variables as to when to skin and when to butcher. the hide does peel easier when warm. then again, sometimes tallow a=on a fat deer is easier to remove in chunks when it dries a bit. the hide can insulate body heat in or cold or hot weather out. when to skin depends on a lot of things and common sense is the best guide. if the deer was killed and chilled on a cold day, you cannot butcher for another day and it will get up to 70 degrees F, perhaps it is a good idea to leave the hide on. if it is hanging at camp and the sun shines on it, perhaps it is better to leave the hide on. if it is warm enough for flies to be buzzing around, perhaps leaving the hide on is a good idea. if you pick up a road kill in the summer, by all means...get the hide off asap and get the meat away from the flies.

everyone i know in this area has always hung deer by the hind quarters. the only down side i can see is when you try to get a nice, big neck roast and the rest of the hide is in the way. the brisket and neck is the toughest part to skin and it is right at the end with the rest of the hide in your way.

i think the longest i have ever let a deer hang was 6-7 days and only because i had to. there is nothing wrong with aging the meat by letting it hang. it will change the flavor and possibly tenderize the meat, but i don't feel it to be necessary. i normally let the deer hang for a day after i take the hide off (with the head) to let it drain and to let the tallow firm up. since i often can much of my meat, having the tallow and outer membranes firm up makes it much easier to work with as they peel away so much easier when they dry out. it wouldn't really matter if you are cutting steaks or roasts.

as to gamey tastes...IMHO that has more to do with what the animal has eaten and if it has been field dressed properly or gut shot. busted guts and busted bladders ruin the taste of meat more than anything i know of. some folks will tell you to take the hide and glands off of a deer that will hang as the glands can impart a gamey flavor to the meat. that can be difficult if you hang from the hind legs as the glands are right by the tendons that allow you to hang the deer and if you cut the tendons, you cannot hang the deer. those deer "knees" are hard to skin.

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  #23  
Old 10/10/10, 10:21 PM
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Here in my part of Texas, during deer season, it sometimes wont get very cold. If it does and I shoot a deer in the evening, we gut it, wash it out and hang (in the shade with good air flow & breeze) until the next morning where its skinned and at least put in a cooler with ice. Then we can cut the steaks & grinding meat as we please. We have NEVER taken the hide off then leave it to hang, THAT makes the meat dry out bad and then it toughens it.

I have never heard about hanging related to toughness. That usually relates to the state of the animal when shot or the age.

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  #24  
Old 10/10/10, 11:26 PM
 
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The reason to hang meat is to let the fat(marbling) in the meat start to break down. ISU meat lab says the skin deer as soon as posiable and to cut up as soon as cool. Deer do not have marbling in their meat.
Steve

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  #25  
Old 10/11/10, 06:34 AM
 
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You should at least hang them until they're dead.

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  #26  
Old 10/11/10, 03:32 PM
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yup...its deer not beef so no real need to hang very long

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  #27  
Old 10/11/10, 03:44 PM
 
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Weve done close to 12 deer already since October 1st. Temperature is the big thing and 50 is the cutoff, over 50 and it gets cut up or put in the cooler. Aging will help somewhat with older deer/bucks but most of our antlered bucks are loin and burger now days. Fawns and younger does aging will do nothing for the meat as far as tenderness etc, its already tender. Good clean kill, proper field dressing and gettign the meat skinned and cooled are your biggest players in getting good meat or gamey meat. If we're hunting hard and got deer on the meat pole we'll let them hang til lwe get time to work them up IF it stays below 50 and I prefer 40. Ive hung OLD bucks in the cooler years ago to age them and there is a difference after a week or two but with so many doe tags and younger deer now days we dont worry about it. We just process the old bucks into loin and jerky/summer sausage/snack sticks. If you cancontrol the temp on 2 1/2+ yr old deer then you will see some improvement of meat quality but really its not enough to worry about most times. We debone all our meat too and sometimes it will sit in the meat fridge for a few days to a week till we get time to work it up with no ill effects and the older ones you can tell a differecne in meat texture. Button buck was taken this morning and within 1 hour of field dressing it was cut up and freezing with the burger trim in the meat fridge. Also cut and discard all sinew/silver skin, fat, connective tissue. As a butcher I admire says "if its white it aint right".

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  #28  
Old 10/11/10, 05:46 PM
 
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We go both ways. Our 'gang' usually uses a local butcher who retired from a local chain store. He and his grown sons do deer at his country shop. After supper we drive the deer down to him and it is skinned and hung in his cooler. He prefers to hang them for 2 - 3 days and we stop in and he cuts our deer in front of us...

When I'm w/ my one former neighbor we've hung deer by lunch @ camp and skinned them that afternoon and started cutting & wrapping saving a few gal zip locks for mom to grind w/ her Kitchen Aid mixer...

You can't taste the difference.

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  #29  
Old 10/11/10, 06:18 PM
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Ours are skinned, quartered and put on ice the same day, and I work mine through the night and into the morning, mostly canning but some vacuum packing. Had 3 last year and all the meat is tender and delicious. As for the gamey taste, that has to do with how you cut and prepare the meat in my opinion and I take a long time to make sure it is good.

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  #30  
Old 10/11/10, 08:44 PM
 
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If the temperature is below freezing you can hang one as long as you like. It will be hard as a rock. When the animal thaws out then you can cut it up. This works well if you are short of freezer space.

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