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How long to hang a deer?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
    I've even heard that's true with beef. My dad and granddad would fatten up a steer for slaughter and dad said they were super careful to not make the catching and loading stressful for the cow. It's something about the adrenaline?

    I'm amazed at this thread. I guess being in the south with higher temperatures (high of 56* today and a warm front coming tomorrow) we just never hung our deer out for days. The one I killed on Thanksgiving was in the processor's cooler within 2 hours of dying.
    Stress definitely isn't good for meat, but an animal that has been exerting itself is particularly problematic. One of the butchering books I own claims that this is because an animal that has been running is likely to have depleted its glycogen stores, and that without them the meat does not undergo the proper PH shift/enzymatic reactions, increasing the chances of spoilage and off flavors. I haven't read any scientific studies to back this up, but it seems plausible.

    Aging meat is definitely worth it if you can figure out a way to keep it in the optimum temperature range, though once again, if you're aging deer for a long time, it's a good idea to leave the skin on - they don't have nearly the same sort of protective fat layer that a cow does, and thus are prone to drying out if skinned.

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    • #17
      I've heard it's horribly difficult to skin a deer if not done while they are still warm---true? We always skin warm and the skin practically peels off...super easy.
      Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
      http://thewoodsygal.com/

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      • #18
        Originally posted by solstice View Post
        I've heard it's horribly difficult to skin a deer if not done while they are still warm---true? We always skin warm and the skin practically peels off...super easy.
        i always skin after the deer hangs. not terrible difficult with a good knife and good technique. its definitely way easier to skin while still warm though

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        • #19
          This is a magnificent thread!

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          • #20
            1) It is way easier to skin a deer while it is still warm, if you are in a freezing environment, the sooner the better. You will have your work cut out for you (pun intended) if you happen to shoot a dear at sunset and find the animal frozen at noon the next day.

            2) From my experience and from what I have heard from others in my hunting community is that 3 days in temps between 33 and 40 is optimal. After that you don't really see much change in taste and consistancy in the meat.

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