How long can a deer last before gutting it?

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by kath2003, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if someone could tell me how long a deer, shot, not gutted yet, could last outside, in 20* and lower temps, under some snow, and laying in water, most likely frozen over now, before he is no good for the freezer? If it isn't gone bad already. He was shot yesterday at 8:30 am.
     
  2. mink

    mink Well-Known Member

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    id say it would be good for at least a day maybe more.....lots of deer arent recovered til the next day and the temps here in ny have been really cold.
     

  3. tarbe

    tarbe Volvo With a Gun Rack

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    There are a lot of variables in this, not the least of which is where in the body was the animal shot?

    If the stomach, intestines or bladder were hit, your window shrinks. A clean lung or heart shot helps your cause.

    If you hit the body cavity and are willing to let the tenders and ribs go (assuming the body cavity has blood and or other "stuff" loose in it), the backstraps, neck and quarters should be good for quite some time given the temps you are talking about (below freezing).

    I think you should be able to salvage a good bit of the animal even if it is out for days in sub-freezing weather. This assumes you didn't shoot it up and also assumes the critters haven't been gnawing on it.

    Good luck!

    Tim

    edit: don't let my Houston location scare you...I grew up hunting in Wisconsin...
     
  4. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much. He was shot in the neck and head by the police. He was hit by a car first in the back end and both his back legs were broken in half. He managed to drag himself to the field before the cops got there. The cop was a really bad shot, it took 4 shots to kill it. :flame:
     
  5. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not to discourage you from trying if you want ( I hate to see an animal go to waste like this), but if the deer was hit by a car hard enough to break both back legs, most of the good meat has probably been ruined already. You might get the heart and liver and some stew meat or hamburg from the front half though.
     
  6. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i would forget about it. maybe the backstraps would be ok, but i bet the whole thing stinks by now. drag it out and let the animals have it.
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    You'll never find out what the meat looks like until you get into it. If the deer was able to crawl off and still die hard, he was just about safe when clipped in the hind legs by a front corner of a vehicle. Also, 24 hours at that low temp wouldn't even begin to start spoiling anything. I'd almost doubt if any stomach smells/tastes would transfer to the belly meat. Only reason why I'm glad that it ain't me is that a frozen deer is so hard so skin!

    Martin
     
  8. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    I posted the whole story in the "Wheres the deer stories" thread.
    Looks like he is just gonna go to the scavengers, can't find enough people at the same time to help me move it, and get it cleaned.
     
  9. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Unless I hit the deer, I don't think I would go thru the trouble of picking up a road kill, lot of damage that you can't see, till you get the hide off.

    Old Dodge "Power wagon, 4 X 4 w/ winch in the bed, 32" "Buck Shot" tires, 14" chain saw, veg oil for the bar oil, set of knives, makes a good "shopping" vehicle.
     
  10. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    hunter63 is right about the damage caused by vehicles. i skinned and quartered a roadkill for a guy last year and it was busted up in both hind quarters really bad. he had 3 broken legs and a broken pelvis. the hind quarters had a whole lot of nasty, bloody meat that had to be cut away. the longer they live after injury, the worse that hemoraging will be.
     
  11. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Meloc & Hunter, read the rest of the story and why the "normal" carkill things DO NOT apply to the specific deer in this thread. Would quite probably be no different then shooting a deer through both legs. (Didn't PA used to have a special "cripple" season just to finish off such deer?) Kathy's deer could merely have had both of the legs snapped. The deer would have only taken a good tumble after that before crawling off. No matter how one looks at it in comparison with normal hunting, there's a lot of potential good venison for the coyotes. If there's any consolation, the meat would no doubt have been better if it were a doe.

    Martin
     
  12. Raptor

    Raptor Well-Known Member

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    The most important thing in preserving game meat is to get the hide off fast.The hide insulates the animal and after death that same retained heat starts working on the meat,not to mention the blood damaged meat from being hit by a vehicle. I think I'd have to pass on that one. Let the yotes have it,it won't go to waste.
     
  13. alabamared

    alabamared Well-Known Member

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    Where the car hit the animal, there will be deep bruising. That meat will have to be thrown away. After the animal was hit, the body released chemicals into the blood stream due to stress. That will give the meat some flavor. The stomach, kidney, bladder, or intestines could've been ruptured. That'll add some flavor too. But some of the meat might still be good. You could split the skin down the backbone and take the backstraps. You don't need any help to do that. Around here, if a deer had been out for that long the buzzards would be eating on that.
     
  14. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i was just stating that matter of factly. sorry i interjected. i'll go back to killing everything i plant here in PA.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    kath2003
    Take a sharp knife and go to where the animal is and slit the skin lengthwise at the centerline of the back and peel the skin aside and remove the back straps. Leave the rest since you have no assistance.
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Read Kathy's story and why this is probably not a smack-down crash with ruptured organs and venisonburger held together by skin. Every situation is different and I've seen them all! We just had a thread where many considered it to be such a waste because of the deer along the Interstate in Wisconsin. Some are meant to stay there as scavenger food, some are wasted venison. If one took the attitude that every deer killed by a car is instantly worthless, the car is simply one of many methods used to obtain venison. In fact, there are a great many times when there's less spoilage with a car-kill deer than 7mm or .30-06!

    We're going to have to remember this thread again when bow season starts next September. Deer stuck at last minute of hunting, 60º temperature, found sometime the next morning, body full of blood and other fluids and everyone will say it's just fine! Somehow, we manage to accept that.

    Here we have a deer whose only proven damage is 2 broken legs and ruined neck roasts, and temperatures so low that the skin was probably frozen to the meat within a couple hours. If just one of those legs were broken, this thread would never have been started since the deer would still be warm and walking around. Personally, I'd prefer that deer over the one shot with the arrow!

    Now if it were an obvious case of wondering which won, car or deer, there is no possible option. I know where there is a deer right now that pretty much destroyed the grill, hood, fender, and windshield of a car Monday night. (My son was next on the scene and called for help.) Were it not for the meat damage, that deer would still possibly be OK a month ago. 4º right now as I type and that deer is a frozen blob of frozen meat, bones, and blood held together by equally frozen skin. In that case, there would be no time limit between death and butchering since there is no salvage.

    And, I did have something happen very similar to Kathy's case. Doe was alive and down but would not get up. State patrol had to shoot her and helped load it into my car. Had I been allowed to open her up immediately after being shot, I could have saved two fawn that she would have dropped that night. All we found was a bruised hip and a gravel burn on her shoulder.

    Martin
     
  17. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Meloc, you're forgiven! You know me, if one asks a specific question of me, they are going to get a specific answer specifically pertaining to the question. General questions receive general answers. It would have been easier for all had Kathy not split up all of the facts between two threads. Under those circumstances, it was difficult for any to give an accurate response to the question.

    Martin
     
  18. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    one would certainly not feel that any deer hit by a car is instantly worthless. like anything else, each situation is different. i have certainly filled my freezer a time or twenty with roadkill. the last one was last thanksgiving. it had a broken leg and back, but generally speaking, the meat was mostly ok. the back was broken right at the hip and the leg was broken below the meat. another one was crippled in my neighbors front yard at 2 am. i had to dispatch that one quietly. i had no tools or knives, so i broke it's neck. that took one and a half turns FYI and future reference. the most memorable was a deer i saw hit. the assailant car drove away and i got my cousin next door to help out. not wanting a bloody mess all through the car, i asked my cousin not to cut it's throat. sadly, he chose to use a slag hammer to dispatch the poor thing. i thought the deer was dead when i loaded it into the trunk of my 1972 skylark. well...not dead enough as it was kicking the carp outta my trunk. i think that that deer only had some bruising on the rear shanks from the broken legs, so not much meat lost there either. another one happened on my way home from work. i saw a deer flying through the air above the car in front of me. it died pretty much right away and since i was driving a pickup truck... :)

    i have no problems eating roadkill...so long as i know it is fresh. the real turn-off is the amount of work it takes to clean bloody slime off of busted up meat. sometimes it just doesn't seem worth the time one invests.

    how does this relate to the OP linked story? i have no clue, lol.
     
  19. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    paquabot,
    I'm sorry, I thought I was pretty clear in both stories on the amount of damage to the buck! I said "he crawled, with two broken BACK legs to the field". That would mean alive, and not road KILL!!!!!
     
  20. kath2003

    kath2003 Well-Known Member

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    Looks to me like you understood it just fine here!!!