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Location: New Hampshire
Joined: 11/16/2008
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when to process deer?

When do you guys process your deer, do you do it right away, let it hang for a day or two. And what role does air tempeture play in it?

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
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when to process deer?

I process a lot of deer, both my own and other peoples. Most of them are processed within a day of harvest. If the weather is warm, as in early seasons, I try to process a quick as possible. I do not have a cooler to hang deer during warm weather. I hate dealing with a frozen deer, especially with the hide frozen on! When deer are brought in late in the day or evening, they are skinned and hung to cool overnight and processed the next day.

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Location: Antelope, Ore
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when to process deer?

Welcome to BGH Sparky!

I used to have an old refridgerator out in the barn. I'd bone out animals then put the meat in it for several days. Then when you do cut it it is nice and firm making it easier to cut and aged a bit.

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Location: Western Colorado
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when to process deer?

Now if you were my dad 60 years ago you would process it when the mold started to grow on the ribs. He would hang a deer in the garage wrapped in heavy blankets during the day and then unwrap the deer during the night and then before breakfast he would go out and cover him back up for the day. That is if it was getting warm. If it was cool he would just let it hang for at least 2 to 3 weeks. I never did notice him loosing any meat this way. Mom use to even take the blood shot meat and clean it up and put it into a pot with home made BBQ sauce. That was some of the best eating that I have ever done. Now for myself and usually on the run and hunting multiple states will usually do it within a week.

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when to process deer?

In California, I do it in one day. You can't hang it, as it may be 85-90 degrees. However, we've let them hang 5 or 6 days back in Vermont. If it stays cool, there is no rush to do it........

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Location: Florida,USA
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when to process deer?

Welcome ro BGH sparky19.

I will skin and quarter the deer(or hog), put half in 1 cooler and the other half in another cooler, add enough water to half cover the meat and fill the coolers with ice. After a few hours I will add more ice. You want to have a slushy consistancy and keep it that way thru the whole process.
The next day drain water until it covers half the meat again and repack with ice. Repeat this until the meat has a sort of translucent (no blood in the meat)look to it, usually about a week and then cut, wrap and freeze.

If you don't like the "gamey" taste or it is an old buck, and anytime it is a hog, then you can add about a half a cup of vinegar to the mix when you first fill coolers with water and ice.
You can also drain coolers and pack tightly with crushed ice for a day or two just before cutting to make the meat firmer for the cutting process.

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Location: Kingston, MI
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when to process deer?

If the weather is cool, I let the deer hang for a few days. If the weather is too hot or too cold, I de-bone the deer and put it in the refridgerator for a few days prior to packaging and freezing it.

The refridgerator method keeps deer from spoiling during warm weather and keeps me from skinng frozen deer when it's too cold. Skinning and boning out a frozen deer is a rather unpleasant task.

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Location: New Hampshire
Joined: 11/16/2008
Posts: 2
when to process deer?

Thanks for all the advice guys.
This will be my first year bow hunting and the season opens in Sep. and it can still be kinda warm here. So From what I'm reading It seams most say I should skin and quater it right away , maybe debone, and stick it in the fridge for a few days to age then cut it up and pack it?

What about the cooler with water and ice methold do many people do this? I would just be concerned about the water with meat.

Location: Ohio
Joined: 08/25/2009
Posts: 4
when to process deer?
Old Professor wrote:
Most of them are processed within a day of harvest. If the weather is warm, as in early seasons, I try to process a quick as possible. When deer are brought in late in the day or evening, they are skinned and hung to cool overnight and processed the next day.

I would agree with Old Professor on this one smile

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As for the cooler and ice

As for the cooler and ice method, that works very well and we do it when we're out of state with no fridge.  Can be expensive replenishing the ice daily, but what are you gonna do when you're on the road?  We hunted in Kentucky this year and it was our only course of action...until we met a great man named Bill.  He saw us hanging a deer and came over to have a look.  He found out we weren't local and staying a few more days, so he let us quarter it and refridgerate at his home a mile down the road.  It is great to have the comraderie amongst hunters like that! 

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  An old string but a good

 

An old string but a good one to be brought back to life!  I read somewhere that your animal should hang for 4 to 5 days in a cooler (if you have that ability) at about 40 degrees.  This allows the rigamortis to run its course and the meat tenderizes afterwards.  Now I have butchered my own deer before - immediately after the harvest and also that 4 to 5 days later and only tasted a slight difference - but the "aged" one was more tender.  But if you don't have access to that cooler then you either butcher right away or use the small cooler method.

 

 

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