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Author Topic: Preserving your deer in hot weather  (Read 2273 times)

Offline Seahawk12

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Preserving your deer in hot weather
« on: August 18, 2017, 11:10:57 PM »
With early archery coming up in just a few weeks I thought it would be good to have a thread for giving advice on Preserving your deer in hot weather.
The way I learned was from reading books and advice from experienced hunters and so I will pass on that info here.
Not having a plan in hot weather can lead to meat spoilage.
You will want to try to protect the meat from the heat and flies/insects.
For the flies/insects I use an acid wash and game bags.
The acid wash is a mix of lemons, lemon concentrate and Tabasco sauce.

Before the hunt while at home take 3 lemons 1 large bottle of lemon juice concentrate and 1 bottle of tabasco sauce and mix them together. soak cheesecloth game bags in the mixture. (Don't use any kind of plastic game bags due to heat and moisture retention.) Hang them out to air dry. Once they are completely air dried put them in a zip lock bag in your pack. Put the rest of the mix in a container. (Or make more if you don't think there is enough left.)

Go hunting.
Be successful.

Once you have gutted, skinned, and quartered the animal, if you are around a water supply use the water to wash off and reduce the temperature of the meat.
Hang the meat in a shady spot preferably with a breeze, and wipe off any moisture with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Now apply the same acid wash lightly over the meat. That glaze is going to create a high acid protective layer while it is drying.  This solution inhibits bacteria growth and the citric acid burns the bugs.
Now place the meat in the prepared game bags and our ready to go.

If you have some other tips or methods for Preserving your deer in hot weather then please share them here.
"I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes."
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Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 02:31:28 AM »
Great read thank you for posting it.  :tup:
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Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 07:39:28 AM »

Go hunting.
Be successful.


The second part is usually the one where I go away!

I've always used a vinegar and water solution instead of the citric acid but soaking the bags is a good idea.

I will add that leaving the gut pile sort of close by seems to keep the wasps busy and off the carcass while you're trying to cut it up and get it out. Nothing worse than s yellow jacket sting to seize up a hand while you're trying to quarter your deer.

Offline wiremonkey

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2017, 07:43:33 AM »
Wow, awesome info. Thanks for posting. Glad I happened across this before it got buried.

Offline Tbar

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2017, 07:51:15 AM »
Getting the meat off of the bone is key in warmer weather also.  Plastic contractor bags submerged in a creek will also cool fast.  Once cooled you can wrap in your sleeping bag in the shade and it will usually hold the cool the entire day. I turn my bag inside out. Best plan is to shoot one next to a road and take it to a cooler asap but I still get the hide off immediately.

Offline Dan-o

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 09:47:08 AM »
Great thread.    Great info.      :tup:


Far too much wastage from lack of preparedness in warm weather.
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Offline Seahawk12

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2017, 01:13:13 PM »
I think the post kill process is something that gets overlooked alot.
Hopefully this is helpful to some people.  :tup:
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Offline PlateauNDN

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 02:46:47 PM »
Getting the meat off of the bone is key in warmer weather also.  Plastic contractor bags submerged in a creek will also cool fast.  Once cooled you can wrap in your sleeping bag in the shade and it will usually hold the cool the entire day. I turn my bag inside out. Best plan is to shoot one next to a road and take it to a cooler asap but I still get the hide off immediately.

You road hunter you. :chuckle:
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Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2017, 04:27:32 PM »
Removing hide and bone as soon as possible is the best way to ensure quality meat. Lean red meat is incredibly hearty and as long is it is cooled, even to air temp it will last a good while. 

I don't do anything fancy really.  Skin, debone, spread out or bag up depending on situation (bugs and shade).  Once the initial cooling has happened it either goes in a garbage bag in a creek, hung in game bags in shade, or loaded in a dry sack in my pack and hauled out to the truck where I ALWAYS have a cooler full of ice. 

If temps are crazy hot like 90+ you better plan on the last route and that is to get it out to ice.  You've got some time if you got that hide and bone out of there though.
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Offline jennabug

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2017, 04:32:49 PM »
I think the post kill process is something that gets overlooked alot.
Hopefully this is helpful to some people.  :tup:

Thank you for posting this! Post kill is one of my biggest concerns.
Also, now I know to bring benedryl in case I get stung by a wasp.

Offline Bill W

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2017, 05:20:41 PM »
we used to strip off the hide, bag it and then sprinkle it with the can of black pepper we'd taken in.

Offline Oh Mah

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 09:05:27 PM »
What does the black pepper do?
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Offline Seahawk12

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 10:28:23 PM »
What does the black pepper do?
Black pepper has antibacterial properties.
"I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes."
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Offline Eric M

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 04:35:12 AM »

Go hunting.
Be successful.


The second part is usually the one where I go away!

I've always used a vinegar and water solution instead of the citric acid but soaking the bags is a good idea.

I will add that leaving the gut pile sort of close by seems to keep the wasps busy and off the carcass while you're trying to cut it up and get it out. Nothing worse than s yellow jacket sting to seize up a hand while you're trying to quarter your deer.
Does the vinegar attract flies or does cutting it with water avoid that?

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 05:13:36 AM »
Theres Several threads out there on this particular topic.



Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2017, 06:40:43 AM »

Go hunting.
Be successful.


The second part is usually the one where I go away!

I've always used a vinegar and water solution instead of the citric acid but soaking the bags is a good idea.

I will add that leaving the gut pile sort of close by seems to keep the wasps busy and off the carcass while you're trying to cut it up and get it out. Nothing worse than s yellow jacket sting to seize up a hand while you're trying to quarter your deer.
Does the vinegar attract flies or does cutting it with water avoid that?

I've never had a problem with flies after the vinegar. I don't know the science or anything just my experience. We always do it as a cleaning thing to keep the meat from going bad but it seems to keep the bugs away too so that's nice.

Offline pcal

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2017, 07:43:32 AM »
What does the black pepper do?
I spread blk pepper it all over the hanging carcass as flies and wasp hate it.I then vinegar prepped bag it.I have never lost any game to maggots but have had to salvage buddies game because those blowflys can hatch and burrow into fresh meat in just a few hours.Once in they can spoil the meat quickly so carry black pepper with you on the hunt and apply it right after the kill if the temps are warm. I have shot deer 2 miles from the road and had maggots hatching on the carcass less than 6 hours on the dragout! Black pepper works but don't forget to pour it down the throut and windpipe as those flies will find those clear areas to lay their eggs were you can't see.

Offline dvolmer

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2017, 08:29:19 AM »
I de-bone everything immediately after the kill weather the truck is 50 yards away or 5 miles away.  I used to bring the whole animal home and deal with that but what a mess. leave it all for the coyotes.  De-bone it all and get into game bags and in the cooler ASAP.  The key is what form of ice you use.  Never use bags of ice or get in a position to get the meat soaked in water as the ice melts.  Even if its cold.  I always have a big cooler and 6 big 1 gallon old Gatorade bottles, 2 liter pop bottles, or old milk jugs that are full of water and frozen solid.  I put the meat in the bottom of the cooler in game bags and put the frozen bottles along the entire top (Cold air drops).  This cools down the meat  and will last close to a week if you need it too and you have a good quality ice chest.  The key is that the meat cools quickly and no excess water and moister gets into the meat.  I do this all the time with the animals I get in Wyoming and Montana and the meat gets home cool and not soaking wet.
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Offline greenhead_killer

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2017, 08:53:07 AM »
This is all great advice. Glad I caught this thread.
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Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2017, 08:57:48 AM »
It is more important to get all meat to drop at least a few degrees ASAP, than to chill the carcass exterior.  This will halt bacterial growth from the animal's own flora.  For me, this means breaking down into boneless muscle groups if hot and still, otherwise skinned quarters.  With elk, I've most commonly seen bone souring occur, even in cold weather, if a front half is not at the very least split into quarters ASAP to let some of the body heat out.  On September backcountry deer hunts, we would skin the carcass and hang, bagged, in the shade day of kill and first night if possible; if not, then on the ground with airflow underneath using rocks and/or brush.  Second day, lay them down on the ground at first light and place sleeping bags over for insulation.  After dark, hang them up again.  We have had excellent results doing this for up to a week when temperatures were in the high 70s dropping to 40s overnight.

I have also found pulling the gut pile up onto a log, bush or other elevating structure and stretching it out increases the attraction for yellowjackets and wasps while boning the carcass; however, if they are intolerable skinned quarters go into bags and are hung in the air until the carcass is boned out, then drag the boned carcass over to the gut pile/away from the bagged meat and pack out ASAP, then bone out at a less buggy location.  I prefer to gut in warm weather just to have the alternate attractant for the stinging jerks, even though I end up doing what is essentially a gutless bone out on a gutted carcass.

I will be bringing a large cooler with at least 20lbs of dry ice on my September archery elk hunt, which will stay in camp, unopened and in the shade until a kill is made.  Boned, bagged meat will go onto the dry ice in the cooler, separated with several layers of crumpled newspaper or brown paper bags (preferred) to keep the meat from contacting the dry ice and freezing.  This will preserve meat in pristine condition until processed.  A buddy and I use this method when we hunt for several animals in Wyoming, it solves the boned out requirement for CWD and allows us to cut and wrap at our leisure once back home in WA.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline OutHouse

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2017, 02:34:20 PM »
Maybe it's already been said but if you don't want to bone it out and have a water source preferably a creek then skin and gut out the body, open the chest all the way to the neck, remove the esophagus, and let the whole carcass sit in the creek a while. I did this on a spike years ago and in about 10 minutes the body was darn near cold! Hung it up in a basement that was not very cool and the meat was perfect.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2017, 02:43:59 PM »
Maybe it's already been said but if you don't want to bone it out and have a water source preferably a creek then skin and gut out the body, open the chest all the way to the neck, remove the esophagus, and let the whole carcass sit in the creek a while. I did this on a spike years ago and in about 10 minutes the body was darn near cold! Hung it up in a basement that was not very cool and the meat was perfect.

All due respects but this is a horrible idea. The spread of ecoli is a real danger. Sucking the blood, and therefore, the moisture out of the meat is a real danger. If there's giardia in the water, the meat is now infected with a parasite. You can cool meat in a stream, but inside plastic bags where it'll stay dry. This is also why it's important to keep it clean, so you don't have to rinse it off. You can also cool it off over the stream or next to it. Boning it out will cool it faster, as well.
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Offline OutHouse

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2017, 02:56:16 PM »
Maybe it's already been said but if you don't want to bone it out and have a water source preferably a creek then skin and gut out the body, open the chest all the way to the neck, remove the esophagus, and let the whole carcass sit in the creek a while. I did this on a spike years ago and in about 10 minutes the body was darn near cold! Hung it up in a basement that was not very cool and the meat was perfect.

All due respects but this is a horrible idea. The spread of ecoli is a real danger. Sucking the blood, and therefore, the moisture out of the meat is a real danger. If there's giardia in the water, the meat is now infected with a parasite. You can cool meat in a stream, but inside plastic bags where it'll stay dry. This is also why it's important to keep it clean, so you don't have to rinse it off. You can also cool it off over the stream or next to it. Boning it out will cool it faster, as well.

Fair points. I never gave it a second thought because it was so hot that year; I'm talking above 80 degrees. I was basically in a panic and said "it's going in the creek". Now that I recall, when I got it back to the the house I hosed it off again but could be risky either way it sounds like.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 03:02:10 PM by OutHouse »

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2017, 03:21:44 PM »
Hosing it off before you process it is fine. The water is clean and you'll be able to get the loose dirt and anything you missed earlier. But putting it in the stream isn't the same. There might be a dead carcass in the water 100 yards upstream. Certainly, animals poop in the stream all the time. And the meat gets punky when you soak it, too.
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Offline Luke77

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2017, 01:51:27 PM »
Another tip that I found useful last fall was, when you're putting the quarters in an ice chest with ice, stock up on cheap dry bags from Walmart...I think the brand is "outdoor products".  Anyway, put your ice inside these dry bags and then pack the meat around the dry bags.  It will keep the meat cold and most importantly DRY even when the ice melts as it stays within the dry bag.   :tup:

 

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