cynthiafu

Hang ? Or butcher right away?

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If it’s under 45 degrees I’ll hang for a week


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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If it's cold enough, I'll let them hang four or five days. Anything above 50 degrees gets cut up asap.

Edited by grampy
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I have deer fridge to hang quarters at a consistent temp. This year I am going to try 4-7 day hang times

7a48212dc99293d30ba1511798302b37.jpg


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Venison, like any red-meat, is subjected to rigor mortis.  That is what causes the muscle fibers to stiffen after death, and is the reason you often see road kill with four legs sticking straight out.   The stiffening starts when the blood stops pumping.  The tissue reaches its maximum stiffness about 8 hours after death.  If you freeze it at that stage, the meat will be tough.  Even ground meat is tough and chewy if not properly aged.

How long the carcass should be aged (at 33 to 45 deg F) depends primarily on the age of the deer.  6 month deer are tender without any aging, and may be processed immediately.  1.5 year deer are ready in 5 days, 2.5 in 10 days.   Older deer may take up to two weeks before all the rigor-mortis has broken down.  

When you age your deer, an easy way to tell if it has hung long enough is to feel the meat.  It is ready when the feel is similar to how it felt when freshly killed.  If it is rubbery, like a pencil eraser, then it needs to be hung longer.  An old refrigerator (like Crapynice shows above) works perfect for this, if conditions are too warm for hanging.  I skin the deer and cut the hind quarters off.  I hang the back half by the tendons, from hooks attached to the top of my deer-fridge, and rest the front half on the neck at the bottom.  I use an old, non-frost free fridge, and it keeps the carcass moist and at just the right temperature, for up to two weeks, no mater how warm the outside temps are.  

I prefer to hang the carcasses skin-on, in my insulated garage, but climate change has made conditions tough for that until late gun season for quite some time now.   Leaving the hide on keeps the meat from drying out too much, and insulates against day-time high temps and night-time low temps.     

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i use to cut mine up the same day all the time. mostly made ground and sausage. 


I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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14 hours ago, crappyice said:

I have deer fridge to hang quarters at a consistent temp. This year I am going to try 4-7 day hang times

7a48212dc99293d30ba1511798302b37.jpg


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nice damn setup!  

now just need a tap in the front door for summer use

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We typically cut them up soon as we can get to them with no hang time, maybe a day or 2 at most. Only because we need the room. And deer are usually being processed on a daily basis. If i could find an extra fridge id love to let them hang for some time. Anything to try and get my wife to enjoy venison like she used to lol.  

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I like to let them hang when temps are below 44 consistently. That doesn't happen often during bow. If i have to i will cut the meat f the bone and keep it in the fridge for a few.

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I skin and quarter usually same day. Then leave them in an cooler packed with ice. Ice on the bottom, two by fours across the bottom, racks on two by fours and meat on top of the racks so they are not getting wet. Check temp on it couple times a day. Drain water/blood and replenish ice if needed. Leave in there until ready for boning, butchering and packing for freezer.

I am probably doing something wrong, but it has worked for me so far. Tender, no gaminess and delicious.

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I've let em hang in a walk in cooler for 7 days before processing.  I've processed em after hanging in the walk in overnight, and everywhere in between.  If cooled off completely, I see no difference in tenderness or quality of the meat.  

Age of the deer, if it was killed quickly and gutted and cooled as fast as possible, have a much greater effect on the quality of the meat then hanging for a certain time. 

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16 hours ago, crappyice said:

I have deer fridge to hang quarters at a consistent temp. This year I am going to try 4-7 day hang times

7a48212dc99293d30ba1511798302b37.jpg


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Just curious, because I've always wondered this. Does removing the hide and then keeping it like this dry the meat out at all, or toughen up the outer layers?

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"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

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My routine has always been to let it hang overnight. Sometimes 2 if the temps are cool and I'm busy. But I tend to skin and bone the next day followed by ground the day after.

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"Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching, even when the wrong thing is legal"

-Aldo Leopold 

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1 hour ago, Belo said:

Just curious, because I've always wondered this. Does removing the hide and then keeping it like this dry the meat out at all, or toughen up the outer layers?

Short answer yes, exposed surfaces lead to some dry layer, how much depends on time. More surface, more loss.

Thats the reason 30 day old aged steaks cost more than standard hung animals; cutting loss and meat shrinkage due to moisture loss reduce yield.

 

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Give it a name, apply human sentiment, and its no longer a wild animal its a Disney character.

 

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If we take a deer to my son's home , we butcher the deer that day . I f I take it home , i hang it and usually cut it up the next day . We put the meat in totes and put them in a fridge . The meat gets processed within the next two days .

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As many 33-45 degree days as I get, up to 14 on the quarters.

pretty happy with the past 48 hangin hours got about 24 good temp hours left before the quarters hit the fridge to get cut up ASAP...I don't have a deer fridge...yet.

 

IMG_6013.PNG

Edited by OtiscoPaul
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On 10/29/2018 at 8:28 AM, moog5050 said:

I have always butchered same day if possible or next.  Never had tough or bad tasting venison.

I think this is true but I like to hang in "fridge like" conditions because I can take my time and I do prefer fileting off the dried outer layer it's easier than fresh connective tissue, etc.

Edited by OtiscoPaul
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Just now, OtiscoPaul said:

I think this is true but I like to hang in "fridge like" conditions because I can take my time and I do prefer fileting off the dried outer layer it's easier than fresh connective tissue, et al.

You probably make a great point.  I have never hung and cut off the dried crust, but it may be easier.  Never thought about it.  Might give that a try.  I do have an extra fridge.

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5 minutes ago, GreeneHunter said:

My deer go straight to the butcher .... I'm lucky to get time in the woods to hunt !

If I get a good doe this season I'm gonna get a recommendation from someone here and get some exotic or deli processes done...

But I really do enjoy taking a few days off from the stand and listening to music, sharpening my knife skills and savoring the harvest...beats the drag but I kinda like that part too.

Edited by OtiscoPaul
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