Spoiled deer

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Dewey
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Dewey » Wed May 24, 2017 5:46 am

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?? :think: 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? :think:

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.


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Lockdown
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Lockdown » Wed May 24, 2017 5:54 am

Dewey wrote:
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?? :think: 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? :think:

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.


I like the Saran Wrap idea. What I did last year was open the drain and tilt my cooler (a lot) so melted ice wouldn't sit on the quarters. I lost maybe a pound of meat from water logging.

I was surprised how much blood seeped out of the quarters.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby IkemanTx » Wed May 24, 2017 6:20 am

Lockdown wrote:
Dewey wrote:
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?? :think: 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? :think:

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.


I like the Saran Wrap idea. What I did last year was open the drain and tilt my cooler (a lot) so melted ice wouldn't sit on the quarters. I lost maybe a pound of meat from water logging.

I was surprised how much blood seeped out of the quarters.

I have seen guys do a false bottom in a cooler with wire racks to keep the meet off the bottom of the cooler. Then, keep adding ice to the top. Mostly this is done boar pigs to sweeten up the meat.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Rich M » Wed May 24, 2017 7:44 am

Folks always debate the wet aging vs dry aging - I find that aging venison in a cooler works fine, when I can put it in a tub and leave the drain open I do, otherwise I drag it outside in the am before work and sometime after work and before bed. Meat does lose a bit of blood int he first couple of days.

I've never had any water logged meat - typically age the quarters and not boned-out meat. Less cuts on the quarters...
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby JakeB » Wed May 24, 2017 8:40 am

I've left quartered up meat in an ice chest for up to 7 days, only draining the water and blood every other day or so and adding ice as needed. Can't say I could ever tell any difference from the meat I was able to debone and package the same day or day after. I do the same with hogs and haven't came across a bad one yet either.

I think the biggest factor with the gamey taste is in getting all/most of the silver skin off.

When you guys say your meat is spoiling is it actually turning brown and smelling bad?
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Dewey » Wed May 24, 2017 9:11 am

JakeB wrote:I've left quartered up meat in an ice chest for up to 7 days, only draining the water and blood every other day or so and adding ice as needed. Can't say I could ever tell any difference from the meat I was able to debone and package the same day or day after. I do the same with hogs and haven't came across a bad one yet either.

I think the biggest factor with the gamey taste is in getting all/most of the silver skin off.

When you guys say your meat is spoiling is it actually turning brown and smelling bad?

Smell is a huge indicator for me. Any off smell and that portion gets trimmed and thrown out. It will start smelling bad well before turning bad visually. Most important thing is before you pack in a cooler or fridge trim off damaged or bloodshot meat because more often than not that area is the first to have high levels of bacteria that will rapidly spread into good meat resulting in the rancid smell. Also deep in the hindquarter at the hip joint is another area to watch out for. That is the hardest part to cool down fast because it's so deep in the muscles and retains heat for a long time. When I hang one for too long in warmer temps that is where I find the sour smelling meat.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby rizzo999 » Wed May 24, 2017 9:54 am

The only deer that I have killed that tasted "gamey" were a couple I took about a decade ago in northern WI. They both hung on the "buck pole" for 3-4 days and then attempted to butcher. It was really cold and during gun season. One of the deer I brought back to Racine whole with me cause it was still too frozen to cut up easily. Not sure why they were so "gamey". Possibly cause they have been my only 2 northern forest deer. Possibly cause they have been the only 2 deer I have aged. Just like life, everyone likes something different!
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby UofLbowhunter » Wed May 24, 2017 2:40 pm

JakeB wrote:I've left quartered up meat in an ice chest for up to 7 days, only draining the water and blood every other day or so and adding ice as needed. Can't say I could ever tell any difference from the meat I was able to debone and package the same day or day after. I do the same with hogs and haven't came across a bad one yet either.

I think the biggest factor with the gamey taste is in getting all/most of the silver skin off.

When you guys say your meat is spoiling is it actually turning brown and smelling bad?



I remove very piece of that silverish skin I can and remove any of the white tendens as possible, that removes a lot of the extra cheweyness, to me anyways. I do think that where the meat has some of the extra game taste is from poor blood drainage, but that's where I like to age the meat to help there, when I can!!
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Rich M » Wed May 24, 2017 2:50 pm

I second the blood causing the gamey taste thought.

Never had an issue with silver skin - I'm too lazy to trim it all - just take the bulk of it and grind the rest up in my burger. Doesn't taste gamey.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Kraftd » Wed May 24, 2017 3:08 pm

I usually try to skin and break down fairly quickly. If the temp is over 50 I'll try to get it done the same day then in the fridge until I can get to it.

As for aging, I don't have a great set-up for it currently (will eventually convert the old fridge to a full-on aging chamber, but now it usually has too much other game and goodies going through it in fall for a dedicated aging unit), and usually just want to be done and get back to hunting! Usually just get to the freezer as fast as possible, and when well prepared have never had any issues at all with flavor or tenderness, including mature bucks. I have dry aged after defrosting many times for 5-14 days, and that is a practical alternative in smaller cuts to have less risk of spoiling larger quantities if you don't have good temperature control for larger sections of meat.

My understanding on aging is also that anything less than a solid week isn't really doing a whole lot. Also temp range needs to be very well controlled. Under 35-36 and not much happening, over low 40s and the risk of spoiling is there, or at least developing some off flavor from higher bacteria counts. It's much harder to do right than most people think....imo.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby JoeRE » Thu May 25, 2017 3:48 am

I am not going to get into the aging debate but I will say the last couple seasons I have focused on letting the deer hang 24 hours, until rigor mortis is gone, and that definitely helps with tenderness as others have mentioned....wish I had realized that years ago.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Redman232 » Thu May 25, 2017 4:05 am

From my personal experience, I've found there to be a significant difference in taste and tenderness after 24-36 hours and then again at the 7-10 day mark if you can let it hang that long. I think (I have no evidence other than observing others) most bad tasting venison come from poor field dressing practices and not allowing the meat to bleed out to some extent. I've said it on here before, but the best venison I've ever eaten was an old run down buck that I was able to hang for about 12 days if I remember correctly.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby briar » Thu May 25, 2017 4:12 am

I usually just take mine to the butcher, but after the last 2 ive had ill likely start donating the meat. I simply cannot stomach venison anymore
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Jonny » Thu May 25, 2017 4:57 am

JoeRE wrote:I am not going to get into the aging debate but I will say the last couple seasons I have focused on letting the deer hang 24 hours, until rigor mortis is gone, and that definitely helps with tenderness as others have mentioned....wish I had realized that years ago.


Do you skin it and hang it? I'm assuming you don't leave the hide on, but some people swear by it.

My grandpa gets all fussy over deer meat, its usually skinned, quartered and deboned within an hour of bringing it back to camp. My buck I shot this last year was skinned, quartered and deboned within 4 hours of me shooting it. And I sat in my stand and let the deer lay for 2 hours. Can't say it was a tender deer, and it wasn't an old buck either.
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Re: Spoiled deer

Unread postby Lockdown » Thu May 25, 2017 5:13 am

Jonny wrote:
JoeRE wrote:I am not going to get into the aging debate but I will say the last couple seasons I have focused on letting the deer hang 24 hours, until rigor mortis is gone, and that definitely helps with tenderness as others have mentioned....wish I had realized that years ago.


Do you skin it and hang it? I'm assuming you don't leave the hide on, but some people swear by it.

My grandpa gets all fussy over deer meat, its usually skinned, quartered and deboned within an hour of bringing it back to camp. My buck I shot this last year was skinned, quartered and deboned within 4 hours of me shooting it. And I sat in my stand and let the deer lay for 2 hours. Can't say it was a tender deer, and it wasn't an old buck either.


Years ago I got a doe home and pulled the tenderloins and fried them up for supper. Deer was only dead for a couple hours and they were almost rubbery. Normally can cut them with a fork.


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