recovering deer in hot weather

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Matthewkatz
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recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Matthewkatz » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:19 am

this will be my first early season hunt. Our season opens the 4th saturday of september and usually the first 3 weeks of season are in the 90s with heat indexs in the 100s. How long do I have to get a deer recovered and butchered before the meat spoils? What do you guys do to help preserve the deer and if you make a bad shot can you even leave them overnight or will the meat spoil by morning?


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VaBowKill5
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby VaBowKill5 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:49 am

I try to be very shot selective in hot early season hunts to make a good quick kill. I usually carry a big cooler in n my truck and if it’s really hot I’ll just quarter them up right there and throw them on ice. Makes it nice because you don’t have to work it up right away. I shot a doe on opening day and liver shot her years ago. I left her over night and the meat was a little too stank for my liking so I’ve really changed how I go about it since then.
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Andyschulte
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Andyschulte » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:50 am

I think it all depends.

I hit a deer last season early in the morning. Knowing it was going to be hot, like in the 90s, I didn’t want to let her sit long, so I started tracking. Unfortunately, I bumped her and she ran half way to Egypt. I was looking for the rest of the day, but had to leave in the afternoon because I coach football and had to run to practice.

I was bummed because I knew she was going to die. Anyway, I got out there the next morning and basically grid searched, in hopes that she was in the shade and some would be salvageable.

By dumb luck, I saw her ear sticking out of the water in the creek. She was submerged in the shade, and the water was nice and cool. The meat smelled good and looked good, so I was actually able to keep all of her.

I was slightly hesitant at first with the meat, but after speaking to a guy who’d spent some time as a butcher, he assured me that I’d “know” if there was something wrong with the meat. He said it’d be discolored(like brownish) and would have off putting smell.


In a normal situation where the deer passes on the side of a hill, I’d say you probably have a few hours maybe.

Learn from my mistake and let the thing die, but I wouldn’t want it laying there in the sun.

In regard to starting the track, you can get a feel about how quickly the deer will die right after the hit. Sometimes you see it mule kick and pour blood, and you know it’ll likely be down in seconds. If I don’t see that, I’ll give it more time.
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:07 am

Unless it is a big buck I wouldn't shoot it early season too high of a chance of meat spoilage.

I wouldn't even attempt to eat a deer that was left overnight in 90 degree heat. I take the side of caution if its questionable risk it.

Most of my spots are deep and even if I shot it , recovered ,quartered and carried too car near 3 hours will have passed at minimum.

I Keep a cooler full of ice and hope it doesnt go bad. Try to get the deer out fast as I can.

If it's a bad archery hit deer is going to spoil by recovery. This is why I think alot of people complain venison taste bad or blaim the processor. Remove the cape or antlers and let mother nature eat.
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Dewey
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:48 am

Leaving overnight in temps above 60 ungutted would be a big no-no and the meat would likely go bad. It's imperative that you get the guts out and cool the cavity and hind quarters as soon as possible. Once you do that your in real good shape. That's the key to good tasting venison. The longer you wait the worst the meat will taste or may not be edible at all. If I'm hunting away from home in real warm weather I bring large coolers and jugs of ice along to throw a skinned and quartered deer in to quickly chill the meat if needed. Years back I killed a mule deer out west in 95 degrees. I had it skinned/quartered within an hour then threw in a chest freezer we brought along in an enclosed trailer. Butchered the rest when I got home and was good eatin' regardless of the temps hunted in. You just need to have a plan going into it and be prepared for it.
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Andyschulte
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Andyschulte » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:35 am

I’ll second and third what Dewey and Tennhunter said. Quarter and get the meat on ice as soon as you can.
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Matthewkatz » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:53 am

thanks guys I appreciate the advice
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Cvanheel » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:01 am

I've found that a cooler with a couple bags of ice in it is a blessing. I generally won't quarter them right in the field, but i will stuff the chest cavity full of ice, then cover it with a tarp. most of my hunting spots are at least an hour away from home, and i've never had an issue with meat spoilage so i think it works pretty well. lol
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Tribute80 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:09 am

I have killed a lot of deer in Florida. Prior to hunting up north we never gutted a deer. After we drug it out and got it to the house, We would skin then cut off the shoulders, Hams, Backstrap and cut out loins. We Didnt worry to much about the rib meat. Even when I killed deer early season in Georgia we did similar after skinning we would gut then hang them in a walk in. We would haul the guts off to the gut pile to bait up the coyotes. With that said I try to get them cleaned within a few hours of shooting them. I would say not more then 6ish but less is better
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Bio1 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:05 am

Hunted in the south most of my life with an earlier season in GA (early September) and 90’s are the norm. In fact if I didn’t hunt in hot weather in southeast GA I wouldn’t have been able to hunt the first couple months! Really not a big deal to shoot them when it is hot - just be prepared to deal with them once you have them killed. I always quartered them and put them in ice for a week with the drain plug open and the cooler tilted so it can drain and the meat won’t stand in water. Basically aging them for a week.

As far as leaving one overnight - early season it gets dark fairly late. If I ever had to leave one I’d give them 6 to 8 hours and go trailing - I never lost one to spoilage that I recovered. You have to figure it’s going to take them 6 to 8 hours to actually die so they haven’t been dead too long once you find them. Just don’t leave them until daylight where it might be 8 or 9 a.m. when you find them and now they’ve been dead for 6 hours.

Summer in SE GA is my favorite time to hunt hogs. I used to catch grief about shooting them when it was so hot out because guys thought they’d spoil almost immediately. I’d just laugh and ask them if they skipped the deer opener! Just as hot then but they’d be at it. You can’t beat getting on hogs when no one else is messing with them.

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JakeB
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby JakeB » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:38 am

Bio1 wrote:Hunted in the south most of my life with an earlier season in GA (early September) and 90’s are the norm. In fact if I didn’t hunt in hot weather in southeast GA I wouldn’t have been able to hunt the first couple months! Really not a big deal to shoot them when it is hot - just be prepared to deal with them once you have them killed. I always quartered them and put them in ice for a week with the drain plug open and the cooler tilted so it can drain and the meat won’t stand in water. Basically aging them for a week.

As far as leaving one overnight - early season it gets dark fairly late. If I ever had to leave one I’d give them 6 to 8 hours and go trailing - I never lost one to spoilage that I recovered. You have to figure it’s going to take them 6 to 8 hours to actually die so they haven’t been dead too long once you find them. Just don’t leave them until daylight where it might be 8 or 9 a.m. when you find them and now they’ve been dead for 6 hours.

Summer in SE GA is my favorite time to hunt hogs. I used to catch grief about shooting them when it was so hot out because guys thought they’d spoil almost immediately. I’d just laugh and ask them if they skipped the deer opener! Just as hot then but they’d be at it. You can’t beat getting on hogs when no one else is messing with them.

Bio1


This.

Just get it on ice as soon as you can. It’ll stay good longer then most people think. Try to have a plan before you go hunting Incase you do kill so you aren’t fumbling around looking for ice chest or a place to skin it. Use the smell test and look for any discoloration. If it passes that I’m eating it.

If I gut shoot one, I’ll give it time but I’m not waiting until the next day, you don’t want that sun beating down on it.

Lots of people leave them on ice for a week around here. I’ve done it. I really can’t notice any better or worse taste from it so I generally don’t do it nowadays. Wouldn’t be worried about it if I had to though. Just keep the ice on it.

It’s kind of funny how guys from the north and south treat deer meat so differently. Guys up north won’t even spray the meat off with a hose and down here guys soak them in coolers for a week :lol: :lol: guys from the south don’t gut deer until they hang them and guys up north won’t move a deer with guts in it.

Maybe it’s cause we can cook better? :D
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Tribute80
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Tribute80 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:12 am

JakeB wrote:Maybe it’s cause we can cook better? :D

:o
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Prairie Sasquatch » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:16 am

Buddy shot an elk at 7:30 am in the morning when it was 70 degrees. We had it quartered and packed out to the truck at 1:00 pm and it was 98 degrees. Put it in the cooler on ice. No issues at all. An elk is a big animal. If you get them broken down you have more time than you think with smaller animals like deer.
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby <DK> » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:19 am

Matthewkatz wrote:90s with heat indexs in the 100s. How long do I have to get a deer recovered and butchered before the meat spoils?


Thats part of the game early season. Pick your days better if its a major concern, wait for a cool front. Be aware of which side of the deer is laying on the ground when you find it and check that meat. Process it in the field, pack it out, throw it in a cooler w ice or take the cooler with you on a deer cart. If youre taking the whole deer home then buy ice bags at the gas station and put it in the chest cavity.
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Re: recovering deer in hot weather

Unread postby Dewey » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:31 am

<DK> wrote:
Matthewkatz wrote:90s with heat indexs in the 100s. How long do I have to get a deer recovered and butchered before the meat spoils?


Thats part of the game early season. Pick your days better if its a major concern, wait for a cool front. Be aware of which side of the deer is laying on the ground when you find it and check that meat. Process it in the field, pack it out, throw it in a cooler w ice or take the cooler with you on a deer cart. If youre taking the whole deer home then buy ice bags at the gas station and put it in the chest cavity.

I also strap a bag of ice between the hind legs and at the top of the hind quarter. The meat deep in the hind quarter around the leg joint is usually the first to go bad since it retains heat so long. Get that chilled quickly is really important since that’s where a majority of your meat comes from. Skin and quarter is still by far the best option.


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