collapse
Double U Hunting Supply Be a more successful hunter!

Author Topic: How long to let a deer hang?  (Read 4154 times)

Offline New England Native

  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2008
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: Napavine
How long to let a deer hang?
« on: November 23, 2009, 11:04:39 AM »
I was having a discussion with some guys at work about letting your deer hang.  There was several thoughts on how long to wait to butcher it although some could not give me an answer why. For example one guy says he always lets a deer/elk hang for at least a week but couldn't answer why other than that was what his dad tought him. So instantly I knew where to ask the question next.
One shot One kill

Offline Schmalzfam

  • Scout
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2008
  • Posts: 422
  • Location: Skagit valley
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 11:12:50 AM »
We let ours hang over night. Or we get it to a butcher who can't cut/wrap it by the next day or 2. We have let deer hang before and I think it is WAY better cut within 72 hours. Just our opinion. We have had the luxury before to a butcher right behind our cabin, in our favorite hunting town. My son & hubby have got deer there. My son got one in the evening hung it that night and by 5AM in the morning, the butcher had already grabbed it and started cutting it. My hubby got one in the morning, hung it over night and same thing. I have heard that deer don't have that same enzyme that beef have and hanging them doesn't do anything. I believe that the blood gets tainted when hung too long. Just our opinion. I've heard of some guys who put their deer in creeks and let stay there for their trip. Everyone has their own ideas.
The most important thing is hanging it where it is cold and it's best to have air circulation.
You obviously got one..pics? Congrads!!

Online bearpaw

  • Family, Friends, Outdoors
  • Administrator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Apr 2009
  • Posts: 21236
  • Location: Colville
  • "Rather Be Cougar Huntin"
    • http://www.facebook.com/DaleDenney
    • Bearpaw Outfitters
  • Groups: WFW, WSTA, WSB, WPHA, FWM, NRA, SCI, NAHC, IOGA, MOGA, BBB
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 11:15:47 AM »
What I have been told is that the extra time allows the meat to begin breaking down and you get more tender meat as a result. We usually try to let meat age. I have had meat that was butchered the same evening it was killed and it was good too though. :dunno:
http://trophymaps.com "Do-It-Yourself Maps"    http://bearpawoutfitters.com "Leases, Camps, Cabins, Hunts"    http://graywolfnews.com "Wolf News"
Americans are systematically advocating, legislating, and voting away each others rights. Support all user groups and quit losing opportunity.

Offline turkeydancer

  • Off-Topics
  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2009
  • Posts: 1597
  • Location: Gig Harbor, Wa
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 12:23:16 PM »
I also heard the same thing about the lack of the enzymes to break the meat down. So in 44 years of hunting, I have always taken it right in as soon as possible after it was dressed out, skinned, and cleaned up.  Never had any bad deer meat as a result.
 :twocents:

Offline carpsniperg2

  • Site Sponsor
  • Global Moderator
  • Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2009
  • Posts: 22416
  • Location: Goldendale,WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 12:35:22 PM »
i have always cut mine at 2-3 days it needs at least 24 hours or rigomortis" how ever you spell it" :chuckle: can still be set in and you get very tough meat i have never seen any advantages to hanging them longer it is supposed to make them more tender due to the meat breaking down but with our beef we have never seen much difference between 5-6 days hanging or 7-10 days so it might make a bit of difference but not a whole buch to me :twocents:
http://www.splitdiamondoutfitters.com/
Owner: SPLIT DIAMOND OUTFITTERS
Owner: SPLIT DIAMOND TACTICAL
FFL-Outfitter-Guide-Booking Agent
2011 HW Head Competition Winner

Offline Dadbear

  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 195
  • Location: Lewis County, WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 12:41:02 PM »
Don't over think it... hang it 5 days and cut it up for the freezer. It'll taste great.  :twocents:

Offline Curly

  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2007
  • Posts: 11531
  • Location: Littlerock
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 12:47:06 PM »
Hang it as long as it takes to get the hide off.
May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.

><((((>` ><((((>. ><((((>.><((((>

Offline bear

  • Off-Topics
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2008
  • Posts: 792
  • CAUTION: RIGHT WING WACKO
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 12:55:12 PM »
It depends on the temperature that you can keep it.  If you can keep it below 40 degrees, I'd let it hang for a week or so.  If it's gonna be kept at 60 degrees, then I don't think that I would wait more then a day or so.   :twocents:  Bear

Offline remington300mag

  • Site Sponsor
  • Off-Topics
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 727
  • Location: Cashmere
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2009, 01:13:05 PM »
My family and I all hang our deer 6 to 7 days.....makes for a more flavorful meat due to the water leaving (just like aged beef) We also hang our elk no less then 21 days for the same reason! Never had a problem with them spoiling as long as they are hanging in a cooler.
"It's not how hard you hit that matters....It's how hard you can get hit and keep coming forward!"

Offline Houndhunter

  • Off-Topics
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 2679
  • Location: Continental Divide
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009, 01:17:39 PM »
we hang ours a few days, usually wait till the outside of the meat is tacky. but when we have to bone out a somethin we butcher it when we get back

Offline HunterJim

  • Tracker
  • **
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 73
  • Location: Port Orchard / Gig Harbor
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 01:33:06 PM »
In 27 years of hunting I've always butchered the animal myself as soon as possible, or taken it to a butcher to get it done in a day or two.  We've been lucky in that we have a great deer hunting area in Pend Oreille County, running water at our meat pole to wash all of the hair and blood (and occassionally some gut :bash:) off the carcass and then we have a great relationship with a butcher there near Diamond Lake.  We take them in and they are cut, wrapped and frozen ready to go home the next day.  Never had any bad tasting deer meat doing it this way.

I have had some bad deer meat shot by other folks who have let them hang for up to two weeks.  Worst tasting stuff I've ever had.

Long story short: clean butcher as soon as possible and don't let it hang.
"A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct.  Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than that of onlookers.  It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact"
- Aldo Leopold

Offline byrdman

  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 231
  • Location: Middleton, ID
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2009, 02:00:48 PM »
Here is an article I just happened across. It is a couple years old, but the author sure sounds like they know what they are talking about.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/other/recipes/2006/01/deer-hang-time

Offline workstohunt

  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2007
  • Posts: 213
  • Location: Chehalis,WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2009, 02:04:15 PM »
No need to hang more than a day or two., anything after a day is convenience.
This is not to say I have not let it go longer.

Offline bow4elk

  • FreshTRAX Outdoors
  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 3386
  • Location: Olympia, WA
  • Contact me at: tom@freshtraxoutdoors.com
    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/FreshTRAX-Outdoors/102960399791982#!/pages/FreshTRAX-Outdoors/102960399791982
    • FreshTRAX Outdoors
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2009, 02:21:47 PM »
Personally, I don't age or hang my big game and have only enjoyed great tasting, tender meat.  I cut and wrap immediately upon getting home.  It may be on ice for a day or two but I don't purposely hang it to age.

Years ago I heard hunter and master chef, Milos Cihelka, talk about game processing and aging.  In an article he wrote for Bowhunter Magazine, he says you should age a deer up to 2 weeks.

"To cool a deer in warm weather, you may place bags of ice in the body cavity, but do not let the ice or run-off water contact the meat".

"In warm weather, the carcass will attract a lot of flies. An application of "hot oil" will help. To make hot oil, put two cups of vegetable oil into a saucepan on the stove. Add a handful of crushed red pepper. When it begins to sizzle, remove it from the stove to cool, and then store it in a jar".

"To use the hot oil, make sure the deer cavity is dry; otherwise, wipe it dry with paper towels. Spill a little oil on the palm of your hand and smear it over all exposed flesh, including the nose, mouth, vent, and shot holes. Do NOT coat the pelt. The oil will not affect the taste of the venison".

He further states that "Deer and other game, if frozen fresh, will be tough and strong-tasting. The rigor mortis needs to relax. During aging, the enzymes naturally present in all meat gradually breaks down fibers. As in wine, which is not fit to drink when first made, aging also mellows the flavor of game".

"The optimum temperature for aging is 38-40o F. Higher temperature speeds up aging; lower temperature slows it down. Without refrigeration, deer harvested in early bow season are often difficult to keep safely much longer than 3 weeks. On the other hand, we may have a problem keeping a deer shot in December from freezing".

"I age my deer in the garage. It is important to have some ventilation. Hang the deer head down, placing a stack of newspapers under it to collect drainage. Put a stick in the body cavity to keep it open. Note: Check the cavity every day or two to make sure it remains dry. If any slime develops, wipe it off with a towel soaked in vinegar. It should dry again in one day".

"If the daytime temperature rises to 50o F, or drops at night to 28o F, there is nothing to be concerned about. However, if it gets over 50 or below 28, then we have to make some changes. If you see fly eggs on the carcass (in moist places such as the neck opening), you will have to skin and butcher the deer soon. In freezing weather, I have placed a small electric heater close to the deer and wrapped a tarp around it to make a kind of tent".

"During the firearms season, when there is no more problem with flies, I hang a young deer for 3 to 4 weeks. During the second week, small white specks of mold will appear on the exposed surfaces. This is a natural occurence and nothing to be concerned with, as long as the surface stays dry to the touch".
Official Measurer: Pope and Young Club, NW Big Game Inc., National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, Oregon Shed Hunters

FreshTRAX Outdoors Blog: http://www.freshtraxoutdoors.com/blog/

Offline whacker1

  • Off-Topics
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 4776
  • Location: Spokane
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2009, 03:56:25 PM »
great article byrdman - this was a more eloquent way of stating what I intended.  If you can age it, the muscles set up better and steaks are more tender.  Walk In Coolers are worth it if you intend on aging game.  I was spoiled when younger as I have always had access to one.  Now that I don't live in those parts, and have to keep a much more watchful eye on the animal and butchering if the weather changes vs. when I would like to.

Pondering the idea of setting up my one car garage with a window style air conditioner for the earlier seasons to help control the environment

Offline DeKuma

  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 2001
  • Location: Burlington, WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2009, 04:23:11 PM »
I was just digging in my magazine pile for that very same article  Bow4elk.
I let my wifes deer hang for about a week and a half this year and it seems to be fine.  The best deer I have ever had was one I boned out in the snow and packed in ice immediately.  Not sure which is best, but I do whatever I can at the moment.
- Scott

Offline Buckmark

  • Washington For Wildlife
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2008
  • Posts: 3011
  • Location: GPS is searching
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2009, 04:27:53 PM »
I hang mine till they stop kicking.. :chuckle:
To hunt and butcher an animal is to recognize that meat is not some abstract form of protein that springs into existence tightly wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam.

Offline whacker1

  • Off-Topics
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 4776
  • Location: Spokane
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2009, 04:31:00 PM »
The best deer I ever had, was a young mule deer I shot in Montana when it was 0 degrees out.  We had it to the truck whole in about 2 hours, gutted it in the headlights, and then got it back to the cabin.  The animal was already starting to freeze when we were skinning it 4 -5 hours after I shot it.  I let it hang for 1 week in freezing conditions and another week in thawing conditions.  When I finally butchered it - we were pushing 3 weeks, and it was the best deer I ever have eaten to date.  

I thinking getting the body cooling quickly helps get the rigormortis going quickly.  

The elk we have quartered in the woods always seem to be good, but we get them open and the hide off quickly and then let them hang.  

This is all making me hungry.  Why can't wednesday be here already

« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 04:45:12 PM by whacker1 »

Offline DeKuma

  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2007
  • Posts: 2001
  • Location: Burlington, WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2009, 04:35:30 PM »
"The best elk I ever had, was a young mule deer I shot in Montana....."

The best elk I ever had was umm..... an elk :chuckle: :chuckle:
- Scott

Offline Axle

  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 1297
  • Location: Issaquah
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2009, 04:36:21 PM »
My response to the question - if you have to ask, then don't let it age. Work it up immediately. If you are new to processing game animals you are better off not risking the aging process. I have processed deer and elk since 1975. On my buck this year, the steaks and roasts were in the freezer within 4 hours of the kill. Burger took a bit longer.

Too often a hunter will get one, let it age in an environment that is not friendly to the meat. Then they take it to a butcher and the butcher will often refuse it due to the meat being spoiled. I've seen this happen over and over. Then the hunter cuts it up himself, tries to eat it, and you know what happens with the rest of the meat.

Often a hunter gets busy afterwards and puts it off too long. All the more reason to tell them to cut it up asap.

Here on the wet side it is different than the dry east side, or Colorado, or Montana. Bacteria sets up very fast here and the meat can stink within a couple days in rainy weather. Don't risk it. I have lived in wet and dry climates and it really varies.

And for those of you who are experienced, you should advise newbies to get it in the freezer quickly. They can learn aging when they get more experience. Responsibility for proper care of the meat is the most important issue here.

Again, if you have to ask, then you shouldn't be aging meat. Good rule to go by.
Everyone lives off the land. Some of us simply have more fun at it.
THERE'S AN ANIMAL NOW! SHOOT IT!!! Quote from the movie: Almost Heroes

Offline Axle

  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 1297
  • Location: Issaquah
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2009, 04:38:30 PM »
Quote
The best elk I ever had, was a young mule deer I shot in Montana

oh boy, here comes trouble!
Everyone lives off the land. Some of us simply have more fun at it.
THERE'S AN ANIMAL NOW! SHOOT IT!!! Quote from the movie: Almost Heroes

Offline weathergirl

  • Site Sponsor
  • Scout
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2009
  • Posts: 451
  • Location: Decatur Island, WA
    • Kelli Fisher (Kelli Fry Lynch)
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2009, 04:52:49 PM »
I think this year was the quickest my husband ever butchered our deer and so far they seem to be the best tasting...not sure if that is why, but it makes you wonder.  Our (his) problem with waiting longer is that "things" always come up and it ends up taking longer than planned--just getting it done ASAP (like the next day or two) seems like the best way to go. 




Offline New England Native

  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2008
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: Napavine
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2009, 05:29:19 PM »
Thanks for all the input. I myself don't "age" the meat, the deer I shot friday is all ready been butchered on Saturday. The only time I let it sit is when I am hunting out of town and don't have the means to get it done till I get home. I never noticed a difference between the two. Mainly I just wanted to know the reasons why someone would let it age.
One shot One kill

Offline Axle

  • Sourdough
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 1297
  • Location: Issaquah
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2009, 09:34:07 PM »
There is an old saying:

'God made man - Smith and Wesson made them equal!'.

I would like to add one more to the ages:

God made deer and elk steaks - Jaacard makes them tender!

Quick processing protects them from the bacteria which can give them a bad taste. :drool:
Everyone lives off the land. Some of us simply have more fun at it.
THERE'S AN ANIMAL NOW! SHOOT IT!!! Quote from the movie: Almost Heroes

Offline Dipsnort

  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2009
  • Posts: 568
  • Location: Auburn, WA
Re: How long to let a deer hang?
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2009, 10:42:37 AM »
There are times when, no matter how carefully I handle the animal, portions of meat that have come in contact with my knife begin to spoil soon after the kill and some amount of trimming becomes necessary.

What is the prevailing wisdom of using a water/vinegar (or some such) mixture to wipe down the meat of a hanging animal in order to slow bacterial growth? :dunno:

 



Quick Links


* Random Photo New

Snow

Views: 157
Posted by: Ray
in: Ray's Gallery

* Recent Topics

Are wave machines legal? by Curly
[Today at 07:51:49 AM]


what waders do you have? by scottcrb
[Today at 07:47:35 AM]


Button bucks by DIYARCHERYJUNKIE
[Today at 07:45:49 AM]


Custom Build - what am I missing? by b23
[Today at 07:45:40 AM]


Squid by magnanimous_j
[Today at 07:45:33 AM]


Shot the big buck I was after. (The rest of the story & pictures added) by elkoholic1
[Today at 07:43:08 AM]


anything come out of teanaway yet ? by BONE-SEEKER
[Today at 07:41:53 AM]


anyone on here a timber faller? by Idabooner
[Today at 07:40:48 AM]


first hunting dog. need advice and supplies by scottcrb
[Today at 07:39:01 AM]


I hate to open this can again but..... by bobcat
[Today at 07:38:58 AM]


SLAYFEST 2014!!!!!! by buglebuster
[Today at 07:36:07 AM]


FT: Springfield XD-S .45ACP BiTone by h20hunter
[Today at 07:34:38 AM]


Identity Crisis by buglebuster
[Today at 07:31:55 AM]


WTB cheap beater duck gun - 12ga by EWUeagles
[Today at 07:24:33 AM]


Accubond performance? by RadSav
[Today at 07:20:22 AM]


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal