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Author Topic: Preserving your deer in hot weather  (Read 5163 times)

Online 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.
Zonk Volmer

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.
IBEW 46

Online 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.

Online 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.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

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 »

Online 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:

Online Stalkin Prey

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2017, 05:32:48 PM »
I freeze gallon jugs of water-large frozen mass, least amount of air space and my meat won't be sitting in water if/when they melt. Randy Newberg has a great video on how to keep ice for long periods of time.


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Offline sternwarning

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2017, 11:45:41 AM »
Great thread! We've had to deal with this on long hot high hunts. We bone out, put in Cheyenne soaked game bags, build a grate with sticks in the shade over creek or moving water. The shade, air flow and cool water keeps the meat until we are ready to pack out.

Offline baker5150

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2017, 11:52:08 AM »
My big igloo cooler (others have it as well) has a small ridge around the inside of it about 6" up from the bottom.  I cut a piece of expanded metal that sits on the ridge and seperates the ice in the bottom from the meat on top.  Keeps the meat off the ice and out of the melt, as well as lets it drip if needed.  I also use frozen bottles of water but use the smaller Arizona tea jugs my wife gets, they fit better under the expanded metal.
Works great, I was also recommended dry ice once but haven't tried it yet.  I need to cut a piece for my RTIC cooler, it keeps ice longer than the igloo.

Offline OltHunter

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2017, 12:50:01 PM »
Everyone has great info and ideas here.

I will add as something to try or check out - if you do have a good water source, get some food grade plastic bags so you can stuff the meat in there and just dump it in the creek/lake to cool it down.

Amazon has 5 gallon and 55 gallon ones, i'm sure you could find them elsewhere.  If you bone out, 5 gallons are perfect for the back country, they weigh nothing.  55 would be good for quarters in coolers on the way home. Just be careful not to pop a hole in them.  I'd be careful with quarters dropping them in a bag in a creek, might have to double bag it and make sure to carry the meat on not try to pick it up like you do a garbage bag.

On the way home, in your cooler, you can have the frozen blocks like others have mentioned, put the meat on top in the bags, then just get some bags of ice on the way home, and dump them on top of the meat so you are getting full coverage and just leave where you tie it off above the ice just in case some water wants to try to get in.  Waterproof, safe meat bags.  You can also leave them in there for a couple days in the cooler if you got a good enough one. 

I will note, make sure to keep the drain open on your cooler in any case you have meat and ice.  It's also good to hang meat in the open air to get that crust going so when temperatures drop at night, take them out of the plastic bags to hang and don't transport them in the plastic bags to your truck!

Good luck all, hope you all have this problem in a few days once archery season starts up and you all get it back home in great shape!

Offline NRA4LIFE

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Re: Preserving your deer in hot weather
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2017, 03:08:52 PM »
I've been doing the frozen jug thing for 30+ years.  But do what others have said.  Get it out of the hide, deboned and cooled down in any manner.  I hunted in Missouri for about 10 years on public land and the temps could be in the 80's during gun season.  The black pepper guys went home with some seriously rotten, stinky and dark meat.  Just my observations.
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