Lockdown wrote:Interesting article Dewey thanks for posting that. The statement that jumped out at me was 3-5 hours to recover your deer in 50 degree weather?? how many of us hit a buck an give him 3 hours to lay, then it's another couple by the time you find him, then how long till he's home with hide off?
I can honestly say I've never felt any of my kills have ever tasted any different. Aside from tenderness of a doe vs old buck.
I've had several comments over the years about leaving them hang too long because of temps in the 40s or 50s. I think the article's facts and figures are geared toward "perfect" care of the meat. The taste can't deteriorate as fast as they claim. Just my opinion I guess.
I do agree with getting them cooled ASAP that's just a given for taking care of your deer. It only makes sense. I got a big 5 day cooler for my birthday last year which I plan on using a lot. 1 deer easily fits in it with lots of ice... Why not keep them ice cold for a week if the option is there, right?
I have an extra refrigerator just for cooling deer. The temp is set at 37-38 degrees. My goal is to get my deer in there within 24 hrs or sooner if it's very warm. I wrap the quarters and other trimmings in saran wrap to prevent drying. Once I get this accomplished I can relax and take my time butchering. Some age the meat by hanging with the hide on and this is fine if you have a huge walk in cooler but the refrigerator method works best for me. I usually let it "age" for 3-4 days in the fridge and then finish cutting and packing. I have noticed a big difference in tenderness doing this compared to butchering right away while rigor mortis is basically still set in. Following this I have never had a tough or bad tasting deer even old rutting bucks.
Cooling with ice in a cooler can work short term but you really have to be careful of letting the meat sit in excess water and blood. I let the drain open or even set the meat up on a platform like an old grill grate up on blocks so everything can drain under the meat. The most important thing is keep a thermometer in the cooler to closely monitor the temperature. Even in a cooler meat can rapidly spoil due to warm pockets where ice is not distributed evenly.