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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother de-bones the deer and cleans the meat, and strait to the freezer it goes. But a lot of people i've been talking to say to quarter it and put the meat in a cooler of ice for a few days constantly adding ice, and leave it there till the water runs out clear. Just wondering what the best way to do it is.:confused:
 
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when i get a deer at home i take it right to the processer. there it may hang a day or so. years ago when i did it myself i'd let it hang for 3 days depending on the weather.
 

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I always say no need to hang it at home at all just, take it to the local butcher and ask him to hang it for at least 3 days before processing.
Unless the butcher is closed.
In that case just hang it till morning and take it right in, if it's extremely warm out be sure to pack the cavity with ice over-night.

The butcher will most likely be busy during hunting season but in most cases a deer will hang in his walk-in cooler long enough
to complete the rigor mortise process (a 72 hour process) (3 days)
If he isn't busy just ask him to let the deer hang for at least 72 hours
(3 days) before butchering.

I've heard so many stories on why hunters hang their deer and the reasons why you should hang them that long but the real fact is,
The only reason a deer should be hung is for the rigor mortis process,
Rigor mortis is very important in meat technology. The onset of rigor mortis and its resolution partially determines the tenderness of meat.

So to keep your meat safe for consumption and help it reach it's best meat quality, (tenderness, taste & vitamin/nutrient capacity)
let it hang in the butchers cooler.
 

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This post kinda got me thinking. It usually doesn't get to extremely cold here in NC until late Nov or Dec. I was wondering, if I shot a deer in the afternoon and didn't recover it until morning, what would be a safe temperature outside for me to salvage the meat?
 

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You want the Temperature to be around 40 degrees or Colder, the colder the better.
As soon as the animal expires Bacteria begins to develop, So as soon as you recover and dress out the animal,
you need to get it to a butcher immediately, One, so he can inspect the meat and two, so he can get it Refrigerated ASAP
"IF" the meat is still good.
 

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i have been told by quite a few people that ice is bad. because of the parecites. (i know i probably spelled that wrong.) once it melts it will ruin the meat. maybe its true? but thats just what im told.
 

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i had a butcher tell me to get it to him asap. not to hang it and the guy dose a great job so i personaly trust his judgment.
 

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i had a butcher tell me to get it to him asap. not to hang it and the guy dose a great job so i personaly trust his judgment.
If your butcher tells you to get it to him asap, take advantage of his offer because
that's the very best way to do it even the guys that like it to hang have to realize
the butchers hangs it in his cooler and that's the ideal place for your meat to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice, the butcher sounds like a good plan to me, beats the heck out of doing the work yourself.
 

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If your butcher tells you to get it to him asap, take advantage of his offer because
that's the very best way to do it even the guys that like it to hang have to realize
the butchers hangs it in his cooler and that's the ideal place for your meat to be.

Just my two coppers.

Any good salesman will tell you the benefits of his wares and to call as soon as you need him. Hunting lic...$35, Lease...$225, Not paying $300+ to procress the 4 deers I will kill in the next month...Priceless.

My goal is to take the deer from the woods to the quartered on ice in 45 minutes, and I know I have all the meat when I am done. Processing is something that I am teaching my daughter. If she wants to pay for meat she can go the the grocery store that is much easier
 

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Just my two coppers.

Any good salesman will tell you the benefits of his wares and to call as soon as you need him. Hunting lic...$35, Lease...$225, Not paying $300+ to procress the 4 deers I will kill in the next month...Priceless.

My goal is to take the deer from the woods to the quartered on ice in 45 minutes, and I know I have all the meat when I am done. Processing is something that I am teaching my daughter. If she wants to pay for meat she can go the the grocery store that is much easier
Not all hunters care to or know how to process their own.
 

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I know. It is a dying art. But most people know someone that does it and they will share the techneques.

I couldn't afford to make hunting a family event if I had to process my deer, the wife's and the daughter's.... If i don't teach them the value of hunting from the feild to the table. I think I have shortchanged them. Teaching them to just carry them to the choppin block is like teaching them to speed in a car. It is fast and easy but it gets aweful expensive real quick.

Granted everyone hunts for different reasons. Your circumstances are no doubt different than mine.
 

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I have butchered 4 deer in the last 10 days. It takes me about 5 hours/deer. I will be forth right and honest...I am far too cheap to pay a butcher. I usually tag 3-4 a year and the butchering costs would add up quickly. Around here the rate is around $60 per deer. I hang them overnight, skin and quarter the next morning and put in a cooler with mega bagged ice for 24 hours to get the meat to a cool temp to cut. It's work but well worth it.
 

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I butchered my first deer when I was 16 and didn't have a clue as to what I was doing but I got the job done
Now 34 years later I choose to let a Butcher do it for me but If I harvest one during our rifle season
which starts tomorrow I may opt to process it myself this year..

the thread isnt about whether you can or can't process your own deer it was about "Time" and each person reflected on
hanging times during poor conditions Which meant if hot weather threatened your deer the best thing to do would be
to get it into a walk in cooler ASAP. hence the Butcher or Process it yourself without hanging it at all.
It never hurts to support the local butchers now and then.
 

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I'm going to buck the trend here some. I process my deer for several reasons: First and foremost I know its my deer. Most comercial operations grind burger into a large vat, speed is of essence. So who's deer are you getting, most likely a mix. This could be different in a small town operation. Secondly, a really good steak in a restaurant is aged for 30 days why, because of the bacterial breakdown of the muscle fibers. I like to quarter my deer, place the quarters in the garage fridge for 7 days counting the shot time. Third, cost has risen sharply over the years to have it processed, our area of Ohio its now $85-$100 if they pull the hide and process it. I'll do it myself and have great tasting meat. Here is my best wraping proceedure. I plastic rap squeezing all the air out and wrap several times then double rap with freezer paper sealing it with tape. This will still be red in color two years later. I also de-bone everything except the neck roast.
 

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Bruce, This is nit picking but the OP was straight processing versus putting it on Ice. The hanging came about later.

It hit a vain with me bacause everyone was saying just carry it to the butcher. I know when and how my deer was killed. I don't know about the guy that brought in the gutshot deer right before me. Or the one that was in the woods a little too long behind me (read the mix that HM was talking bout). Processing gives you control of how your meat turns out. If you have a guy you trust go ahead. if my Father-In-Law said kick back and watch the game, I'll handle this one I would let him, but he like to supervise. I degress

Back to the original post. I find it is easier to cut the meat if it is chilled. And giving the meat time to drain blood takes out some of the wild.
 

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The subject matter lends itself to a rather broad related discussion. You will get 100 diff opinions on to self butcher or not, hang times, handling practices,etc. I backup HM's statements. One thing I can count on. The deer I shoot is the deer in my freezer. We all work hard for the harvest and the last thing we need is someone's careless handled meat mixed in due to a butcher batch processing. The small garage butchers are less apt to do this.

Back to the original post. It is OK to put meat on bagged ice in a cooler. I have put direct on ice and the meat turns brown and gets water logged so I avoid direct contact. Sending direct to a butcher post rigor mortise is also ok. As mentioned keeping the meat cold/clean is key IMHO.
 
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