Jump to content


Recommended Posts

This year I am going to try dry-aging and butchering my deer. I just bought a big freezerless fridge to use to age it. The plan is to put the whole, field-dressed deer in the fridge, skin on, for a week. then butcher.

My question is this, I've read a lot of posts about bleeding out deer, in ice chests, by quartering and skinning them and hanging them in the fridge, etc. If I'm not going to skin my deer (which is what the farmer that usually butchers my deer for me recommends) is there some way to drain out the blood? Also, should I hang it head up or head down?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of the blood can be drained by gravity, hang it head down, that's how it's done with animal's in the slaughter house, they don't soak the meat to remove the blood. If you ever skinned a deer that's layed over night, you'll notice the blood pools in the meat on the bottom, it has no where else to go but to the lowest point.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rinse the inside cavity well with cold water (garden hose works best). Flip the deer over so the back is facing up with legs spread to allow the cavity to drain for an hour or two (all done outside your house or garage, obviously). I don't think hanging head facing up or down will make much difference, but slaughter houses hang meat by the back legs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one week won't make much difference in hanging. 14-21 days is what you need. With the hide on, you must really work hard to cool that deer asap. If you pull the hide, it cools MUCH faster but........when you hang a deer for more than a few hours without a hide you have more trimming/waste to do and after 7-21 days you have LOTS of trimming to do and plenty of waste.

How do you plan on hanging it in that fridge?

Nothing like well aged venison. I've done 14-21 days before but always in a cooler, on a hook, hide on. Scrape away the moldy stuff and you have a winner.

I don't do as much aging as I used to as it is just too hard without a constant temerature. Day and night tems change so much I can't/won't fight it.

One time we aged pheasants with the guts in them for a month in the fridge before dressing and eating.......I'm still kicking!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slaughterhouses hand with head down because they slice the jugular and let most of the blood drain through there. The only part that isn't drain would be the section below the cut which would be the head and so unless you're in the practice of eating head cheese, then not much is wasted.

Edited by Elmo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting that someone would go as far as buying another fridge to age venison. Frankly, I think it will be more trouble than it's worth. I have eaten venison from a deer I shot same day without complaints. Couldn't imagine going thru all the trouble of aging it for days and weeks. It can age in my stomach after I eat it. LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a big proponent of aging. I know that's what the butchers do in slaughter houses, but there are two at work for them. They have extremely accurate and constant storage conditions, and second they know what they're doing. Not only that, but any beef that I have seen aging didn't have any hide on them. I really don't think that storing a deer for a week with that rank tallow laying up against the skin does anything wonderful for the flavor of the meat.

I generally have them critters in packages and in the freezer before I go to bed the night that I get them. I'll be honest with you, I have never had any better venison including that that was supposedly aged. In fact some of foulest, nastiest tasting, deer meat I have ever tried to swallow was somebody's home version of aging for a week. It used to be a very common practice and I remember you would always see these deer hanging in people's front yards, first with the sun beating on them and then frozen stiff each night. Yuck! Just hack it up and freeze it ..... you'll never be able to tell the difference anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had it aged and have had very aged beef. There is a definite 'taste' to the aged stuff. Personally I am not fond of it but I know others that like it. I find if it is a tenderness issue just shoot the ones with spots on them...lol. Seriously though most people that tell me they don't like the taste of venison or it is tough....when I ask them how they order their steak they say 'well'. ------medium...medium rare is where it is at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it is just a tad on the warm side, 45 or higher, you better get that hide off asap, IMO.

I've had some meat that was pretty stanky next to the bone in the HQ's. Back straps, shoulders etc are all fine its just the stuff that takes the longest to cool that can get a bit foul............

If you can dress it off, stash it in the shade, maybe get some big ice blocks stuffed in the cavity it will help.

The thing is too, if you take that questionable "aged" deer to a butcher, you don't know if they trimmed out the gray stuff or not. They may not take the time to slice & dice the rank pieces. Hell, they'll probably grind it up in the big community grind and spread the wealth, so to speak. Gross.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an old frig for my bow deer to age in...I just skinned and quartered it and stood it up to drain...only thing in liquid was leg bone...Now I do that but put it on a grate in a huge chest cooler...then pack with frozen milk jugs and bags of ice.... we hang our deer when the weather is below 40...skin off in a deer bag...but the back straps are eaten right away...mmmnnn garlic butter and just brown..dang that made me hungry

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By RPI Bush Hunter
      Hey all,
      I’m wondering if anybody uses any local butchers to process their meat for them? If so, I was wondering if I could get a gauge on prices and/or overall experience? In years past I have just driven my deer up to my home in Northern Washington County but with my schedule this semester of school it looks like doing so will be tough. Thanks in advance and good luck in the woods! 
    • By Butcherbrad
      Hey guys, I’m brand new to the forum and I like it already. Good to read updates on all the topics! 
      I have decided to leave the processor I have worked for within the past 9 years and go on my own. I found out quickly that it takes time to find customers. Well, I’m putting it out there for anyone around the Syracuse area that wants a clean friendly, fast turnaround for deer processing can contact me.
      I have a large walk in cooler to store up to 20 deer and new equipment. I make sausage and vacuum seal everything with a commercial unit. Cube steaks year round and anything else custom. Basic cut is $85. EVERY DEER IS DONE INDIVIDUALLY AND YOU GET YOUR DEER BACK! 
      Any help would be appreciated. Hopefully I can get the word out enough to keep me busy. As of now I have one deer to process and it will be done tonight. Your deer will not lay on the floor in a pile!
      Thanks guys. Good luck hunting to all!! My email is [email protected] thanks!! 

    • By Jcurtis
      Anyone know of a good place to have a deer processed in dutchess county? It is my first year in the area and Am planning my hunt for the fall and want to find somewhere to go if I am successful this year. 
    • By CuseHunter
      There was a buy 1, get 3 free Kielbasa at the local grocery store so I decided to do my first ever batch of canning. Nothing reminds me of hunting camp like some pickled kielbasa or eggs, and a cold Yuengling brew. Like I said, this is my first ever time making pickled kielbasa, let alone being the first time canning in general. I already ate one of the jars worth a few days ago (1 week after canning), and am still alive and it tasted great so I think it was a successful first canning experience.
      What I used:
      Pickling Spice pack (pre-made mixture of spices)
      Dried Chili Pods
      Bay Leaves
      Cayanne Pepper
      Fresh Garlic
      White Onion
      Smoked and Regular Kielbasa (Hilshire Farm)
      Bring to a boil of a large sauce/stew pot of...
      -Viniger and Water 1:1 ratio (1gal Viniger, 1 gal water)
      -Bay leaves (4)
      -2 packs of Pickling Spice
      -Half pack of Peppercorns
      -Chili pods (10) -For added spice
      -Cayanne Pepper (1Tbs)
      Disinfect (Handwash)  and boil canning jars for 5 min
      Place Canning lids in simmering water in a wide sauce pan
      Cut onions into slices (size is preferentail)
      Prepare garlic cloves, gently break clove with knife to open them up a bit.
      Next, I filled the jars one at a time. I used a baking dish to fill them in to avoid spilling the hot canning liquid all over the counter.
      You can see the video how I did this process. -Mind you, it was kind of hard to film with one hand and use only one hand with handling jars and adding ingredients.
      -I didn't cook the Kielbasa since it comes pre-cooked
      -I didn't cook the onions or garlic in the seasoning mixture because I thought it would be hard to make sure a clove and onion in the jar when they were already in the pickling mixture.
      -Chili Pods were a non-essentail item I got from my work (we use them with asian cooking), I just like my pickled kielbasa spicy if possible.
      -I didn't have proper canning racks to heat the jars in, So i just improvised by using tongs and boiling water in a pot.
      What I'd do different next time:
      -Buy a canning rack for the water.
      -Read Bell's blue canning book
      -Add more spice (cayanne pepper)
      -Possibly try cooking the kielbasa in boiling water or in a pan to get rid of some of the fat. When I poured the boiling water in the jars, the fat kind of came out of the kielbasa and just didn't look real "appitizing" in the jar.
      *This is my first canning experience with no knowledge besides some reading before doing it and watching videos. I'm sure there is more "correct" ways to do it, or this might be completely wrong in some of your opinions. I Just wanted to share my experience and maybe spark someone to try doing somehting similar to bring to hunting camp next year.*

    • By goodfight81
      I just moved to the suffolk area and am trying to find any groups/individuals/butchers etc. that sell wild hunted/caught game. Any information would be great, thanks.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...