Next day if it is warm
One week if it is cold
I did freeze a couple solid one late season. Let them hang to long. Had to drag them into the kitchen over night to thaw enough to cut up. I am a lucky guy to have a real understanding wife. I came down the next morning and there she was making coffee, stradling a 6 point.
After skinning the deer, I quarter it, and take the meat and place it in a cooler (or two if necessary). I keep frozen 2 liter bottles handy and place them in the cooler on the bottom and top, separating the meat from the bottles with butcher paper. Essentially it's like a big deer sandwich where the bottles are the bread, paper is the lettuce and the meat is the meat. I let it sit for app. 6-8 days and then process the meat, wrap and freeze. I have found that letting the meat age inside the cooler works very well. If I still lived in upstate NY I would hang it outside the local tavern like my buddies..
Winter is tough on whitetails, that is an accepted fact.
You can help the quality of your herd by providing winter plots - that are not necessarily designed as kill plots.
Having what I call green plots - that the deer can browse in when most of the other food is gone, can greatly benefit the deer herd when they need it most.
Come December - at least in our area of the south - most of the mast is gone, all of the crops were long harvested and this green browse can really make the difference for...