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expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Warm Weather Hunting

I'm a native Yankee temporarily down here in central Alabama, and am contemplating whether to give the local whitetails a run for their money. Problem is that almost all of my experience has been in cold weather climates where I could let a deer hang for a few days before butchering it. How do you warm weather guys do it? How long can you safely hang a deer in 60 degree temps before you have to worry about the safety of your meat? My gut tells me to just take it from the field to the meat saw, but I'd like to let it age some, if it's safe. Any thoughts?

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Joined: 09/09/2002
Posts: 34
Warm Weather Hunting

I usually throw it into the truck and IMMEDIATLEY put a bunch of icebags on it, and in it. Then I take it straight to the butcher and let him decide what should be done.

One butcher I went to said that his freezer was especially made for this purpose, and he let it "Bleed" for a few days in the freezer.

Leaving a deer to hang ANYWHERE gives it the chance to be tainted in several different ways. I don't wish to learn all the ins and outs, but rather let the butcher take care of it.

The last deer I took to him, incidentally my first, was very good meat. In fact, I asked people why in the world they complained of venison tasting funny. They replied it was natural. But after they tasted MY deer, they wondered why it was so good? Maybe that butcher DID know what he was doing?

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Warm Weather Hunting

Chuck:
Thanks. I hadn't thought about the ice idea. As I said, I've always hunted where outside temps were in the refrigerator or freezer range.

I was shopping for a house in Southern Idaho once and a realtor showed me a place where a guy had built a walk-in cooler in the garage, complete with countertops, meathooks, and floor decking. At that point, I became a babbling idiot that would've signed my soul over to Satan if I'd had a pen in my hand. Thankfully my wife wasn't affected and saved me from buying a house that would've been a big mistake otherwise.

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Joined: 09/09/2002
Posts: 34
Warm Weather Hunting

Yeah, I agree, us men would sometimes do things that we would regret later if it weren't for our women.

Yeah I've had to ice down a couple deer. I like the early season here in Ohio, I don't like the gun season, so I get all of mine with a bow.

maineguide's picture
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Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
Warm Weather Hunting

I agree with Chuck put the ice to it ASAP.
I have shot deer herein Maine and had to skin and quater it and put it into the freezer that night.
Then cut and wrap it the next day.

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Location: jacksonville,nc
Joined: 08/02/2003
Posts: 2
Warm Weather Hunting

I live in southeastern north carolina where it stays warm all the way through october. I have a method i have been using that seems to work quite well. I typically field dress my deer as soon as possible to allow the carcass to cool. Then its out of the woods and straight home where i quarter the deer up and clean well. I then put the meat sections in a clear trash bag and into my shop refrigerator where i will let it age for 3 or 4 days before final processing and freezing. I have also used a large cooler filled with ice to age the meat as well, draining and replacing with clean ice daily. However the refrigerator method works very well. Hope this helps.

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