Deer. Hang vs butcher after rigor Mortis? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Deer. Hang vs butcher after rigor Mortis?

I used to let them hang but now butcher them as soon as possible.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 07:23 PM
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I've always aged them, anywhere from 4 days to around 10 days or so.

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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 07:44 PM
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I used to butcher them, but then again it is always kinda warm here in Alabama. The last few that I killed went straight to the processor.

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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 08:12 PM
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Man I hunted with was particular and if it got 33, 34 degrees he was nervous and we cut up deer for the fridge.
Aging with beef improves the flavor as the moisture leaves concentrating that fine flavor, I believe deer can as well.
I have heard the aging of beef produces a mold on the surface so a lot of trimming slightly is done.
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 03:55 AM
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"Hanging" and "aging" a deer, in a refrigerated COOLER, is preferred by the butcher. Bacteria of decomposition is suppressed, but not stopped, while the muscle groups "stiffen". Drying of the interstitial mesentery and fluids pulls muscle groups together making cutting them apart easier. Flavor is said to improve from "aging".

Hotter climates demand quicker turn around between harvest, gutting, and refrigeration as the onset of bacteria (and the deleterious formation of their gasses and waste byproducts) is immediate and not suppressed except by rapid cooling. You decide how fast is "fast enough" getting venison into a refrigerator...
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 07:27 AM
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Shoot them bring them home. Don't get home till around 10pm or id butcher then right then. So I hang them overnight and there in the freezer my 10am. Never was one that believed in control ROT. I chuckle at guys who say venison taste gammy and then find out they age it. I sure see why. VENISON IS NOT BEEF! Funny thing is I never get gammy tasting meat or tough meat. In my whole life ive never had ONE person complain when eating venison I put up. Not one! But heck if you like it that way come on up. I can set you up with road kill that's a couple days old about every trip to the farm.

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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 07:52 AM
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I butcher mine on the tailgate in the woods and put it in a cooler before I leave the woods. The deer is still steaming when I quarter it out. Then I keep it on ice and drain daily for 1-2 weeks before de-boning and grinding or putting up in freezer. If I have room in the garage fridge, I may just put it in pans in there and keep covered to do the aging. If taking to processor to have sausage made, I just take the quartered out deer straight to the processor. They will usually age it a few days in their cooler.


Mine is never gamey either. I have read that deer should be aged up to I think it was 18 days, said beef at 21 or so. Aging is supposed to make the meat more tender. Makes me wonder what causes the "gamey" taste. Lloyd says his isn't gamey and he puts it up right away, I age mine and mine isn't either.



I wonder if "gamey" is a result of those folks that ride around with the deer in the back of their truck for hours showing it off to their friends before dropping off at the processor....


I do not gut mine either. I split the hide down the spine, pull it off the quarters, cut out the back strap, quarters, neck etc then toss the carcass in the woods usually to be gone in 3-4 days. I don't eat the ribs and the tenderloin is too insignificant to warrant handling guts IMHO. Vultures gotta eat too...



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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 08:53 AM
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Fresh dear liver, mmmm..... heart and tongue too.
Hide makes a beautiful leather coat from deer you have harvested for the bride, makes the bride happy.

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 10:32 AM
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Rosewood, I always gut deer unless they are gut shot in which case getting that grit out of the inner loins isn't worth the effort.

In Iowa the DNR says leaving any meat is wanton waste of the animal and they will ticket you if you are getting rid of a carcass with the rib meat still in tact. So I comply. I cut the rib meat into small chunks along with the other scraps and boil it in a big pot. Then I put it in gallon freezer bags and feed it to my bird dogs during hunting season when they need the extra protein and calories. The ones that are bad gut shot go to the big ditch with the inards still in them and to heck with the rib meat and inner loins....I'll take my chances with the DNR!

I do 90% of my deer hunting during early muzzy season in October. I shot two deer this year on a day where the temps reached 68 degrees. Those deer were boned out and in the cooler on ice within a couple of hours after shooting them. They were in the freezer by night fall. I never leave them hang more than overnight and then it has to be 35sih or below.

My meat never tastes gamey but I have had some from other that was awful. I always bleed them out(knife to the jugglers and then prop them with head downhill) before putting the tag on them. Then I blanch the meat in hot water to remove as much blood as possible before packaging.
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 11:03 AM
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I have never heard the term "wanton waste" used in my neck of the woods. I however, have heard it on various game warden type TV shows. I don't think they write tickets for it in GA, or at least, it would probably have to be where you shot it and walked away. The Regs say that you should make the best reasonable effort to recover the game. I guess I am lazy, cutting rib meat off is too much extra work. If I am a betting man, I would say the processor doesn't cut it all off either. Cut the big chunks and leave the scraps.

I don't consider it a waste when I cut off what I want and feed the rest to the buzzards, hawks, coyotes, foxes and 'possums. They gotta eat too.

I do wonder, just how much meat do you have to leave to be considered wanton waste? Reckon it depends on the GW?

I will have to make it a point to know the rules for "wanton waste" if I ever do a hunt out of state to make sure I stay within the local regs.



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