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Author Topic: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk  (Read 1845 times)

Offline IslandStorm62

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Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« on: September 30, 2019, 02:38:01 PM »
HI All,
   Is there any meat processing buisness that would store our Deer / Elk  (quarters) to allow them to cool and dry for a few days.  I live in Lacey, WA and unfotunately, I do not have my personal walk-in cooler / refrigerator.

The best I am able to do is empty my "garage" refrigerator and stand my "Deer Quarters" up and allow them to dry / cool for a few days to a week.  Haven't shot an Elk yet, but when I do, I could use a place to hang the quarters.  My guess is that the temperature in the garage fluctuates from 50 - 70 during the fall months, so that obviously will not work.

Back in 1983 when I first started hunting I was stationed on Fort Bragg, NC.  In the past, there was a Rod and Gun Club and they had a large walk-in cooler that hunters could use to hang and cool their game, for a small fee.  It was actually very resonable, if I remeber correctly they only allowed three days, in order to ensure other hunters would have an opportunity to use the space.

Does anyone know of a place that offers this service.   By the way, I enjoy butchering and grinding my own game.

Offline BeerBugler

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 04:36:22 PM »
Gut your garage refrigerator and install some poles and or hangers. Buy a cheap battery operated fan and digital thermometer. This will store an elk no problem, just set the fridge to the highest setting (lowest temp) well before putting the meat in then adjust as needed (about 36 degrees). Some guys add a humidifier and humidity sensor also. Hangers for quarters, wire racks for boned meat, cool temps and circulating air, a little tight but it works.

Offline carvermoe

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 04:40:38 PM »
My house

Offline Platensek-po

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 04:43:09 PM »
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Offline IslandStorm62

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 05:39:23 PM »
Gut your garage refrigerator and install some poles and or hangers. Buy a cheap battery operated fan and digital thermometer. This will store an elk no problem, just set the fridge to the highest setting (lowest temp) well before putting the meat in then adjust as needed (about 36 degrees). Some guys add a humidifier and humidity sensor also. Hangers for quarters, wire racks for boned meat, cool temps and circulating air, a little tight but it works.

Thanks, but even gutted, I dont think my fridge could hold more than than one front and one rear Elk quarter.

Offline dutchmanaz

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 11:04:22 AM »
Lots of religion on both sides of this argument, but I personally see no need to age wild game at all.  Just cool it very well and cut process it the next day.  I've done both methods, and I didn't see the benefit of aging...just made the processing that much more difficult.
Will need a good freezer to freeze it as quick as you can though, or you may have some blood leakage from the packages.

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2019, 11:43:34 AM »
Most processors will charge a per hook/per day fee.  I think Olson's in Enumclaw charges $5/10 per hook/per day.  So you could probably get a whole deer on one hook if you do it right... But that could get spendy with an elk.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2019, 11:49:55 AM »
If now I am saying if it stays cool you should have no problem at all hanging the deer in your garage for a few days to age. Done it many times without any problems and in considerably warmer weather.

Offline Curly

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2019, 12:37:37 PM »
It's pretty cool these days with lows around 40 and highs around 60. Should be okay to hang outside for a few days.  But that said, I'd just process ASAP and not try to age.   :twocents:
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Offline IslandStorm62

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2019, 02:26:25 PM »
Thanks for the input.  I'll start monitoring the temp in garage...If the temps are low enough, I think hanging it in the garage just to cool it down and not having to rush with the butchering should work.  Heck, I plan on keeping the house at 62 degrees (gas is expensive). Maybe I'll just hang it in the dining room and slice a steak of it every day. :EAT:

Offline IslandStorm62

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2019, 02:35:03 PM »
Sounds like you guys aren't necessarily aging your venison as much as you are cooling it.  I hang venison to ripen and age for as much as ten days at ambient temperature.  No refrigeration or cooling required.  The result breaks down the fats and tougher connecting tissues and makes for a stronger flavor, less game like more beef like.

Thanks Macs B, I am sure this works, if the temperature remains constant.  Fluctuations must be an issue.
What do you consider ambient temps? 50's?

Offline The Weazle

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2019, 09:09:40 PM »
I’ve shot a lot of elk and deer, and I never age either of them.  As soon as they are hung, or the next day, I start cutting.  I trim well and use that for dog food, and I make my steak, roast, grind piles.  I then grind what gets ground in 1 and 5 pound bags for ground or sausage respectively, and vacuum seal all steaks and roasts and into the freezer.  I’ve had people who swore they’d never eat game again try mine and beg for more. 
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Offline X-Force

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2019, 09:42:36 PM »
I’ve shot a lot of elk and deer, and I never age either of them.  As soon as they are hung, or the next day, I start cutting.  I trim well and use that for dog food, and I make my steak, roast, grind piles.  I then grind what gets ground in 1 and 5 pound bags for ground or sausage respectively, and vacuum seal all steaks and roasts and into the freezer.  I’ve had people who swore they’d never eat game again try mine and beg for more.

For ground meat aging is a waste of time and trimmings. However, age roasts and steak cuts before cutting and wrapping and you’ll have a marked difference in texture of cuts. After aging a deer a couple years ago I won’t go back.  :twocents:
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Offline jagermiester

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 09:54:22 AM »
I made a meat locker this year with three walls and an old air conditioner (already had the roof floor and one wall) The rest of the year it will be a nice lockup for storing things. I bought a refrigerator thermostat at Johnstone Supply. The AC compressor turns on at 41 degrees and turns off at 31 degrees or 15 degrees depending on where I put the dial. Everything seems to be working great lots of air flow and the cow I shot last weekend is ageing. There is science behind aging meat my belief  is that it has to be done right and then it is very beneficial.
 
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Offline scrapperdude

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2019, 04:15:44 PM »
I don't see much benefit if any to hanging wild game, quarter it up and start processing away, use extra fridge in garage till you get it done :IBCOOL:

Offline PolarBear

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2019, 06:57:00 PM »
I don't see much benefit if any to hanging wild game, quarter it up and start processing away, use extra fridge in garage till you get it done :IBCOOL:
:yeah:
I hang it in my barn overnight with a fan on it to cool down then bright and early the next morning it gets broken down and put in my beer fridge while I cut it all up.  No need to hang to age, deer and elk are not beef.  Now, all my beef steers hand for 14-20 days.  :chuckle:

Offline hal

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2019, 09:16:10 AM »
the no age theory is correct. Most butchers will agree. Wild game is very lean with little grain to break down. Butcher soonest.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2019, 10:00:55 AM »
Mine ages from the rockpile to the game bag to the backpack to the truck to home, then processed immediately.   :chuckle:

Offline Gobble

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2019, 11:47:34 AM »
Mine ages from the rockpile to the game bag to the backpack to the truck to home, then processed immediately.   :chuckle:

Mine too, I bone my out and put on ice within a hour or two of the kill

Offline jagermiester

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2019, 01:41:40 PM »
I would never butcher and freeze an animal that I have shot within the first 48 hours. You may be freezing in Rigor mortise. I killed a cow this year and we had some that night it was delicious but tough. We had the exact same cut (top round) off of the other leg 5 days later and the difference was very noticeable. Say whatever you guys want I will continue to hang my harvest for 3 to 5 days before butchering.
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Offline Wetwoodshunter

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 03:51:50 PM »
I think Neah Bay has the cheapest place to hang ever. It costs $1 for each hanging hook per day. So for an elk 4 quarters = 4 hooks, five days hanging is $20 out the door.

I thought about building a walk in and realized I would be throwing away my money.

Offline Buckjunkie

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2019, 04:42:32 PM »
IMO...aged improves taste and texture. Getting them cool as quick as possible is important also...with antelope it’s mandatory.

The problem is finding a spot to keep them while they turn colors. I just bought a 41 CU’ commercial refrigerator off Craigslist to solve that issue. I like keeping the quarters at 38 degrees until they turn dark red. Cool and dry!


Offline Naches Sportsman

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2019, 05:16:28 PM »
Killed an elk at 5:30 on Sunday evening and put the last of him in the Freezer Tuesday night. No hanging here unless you don't have time to cut it up immediately.

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Offline PolarBear

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2019, 07:02:22 PM »
Two of the biggest myths in hunting:
1.  Cutting the throat of a dead animal will help it bleed out. (Once the pump is shut off, so is the pressure) 🤣
2. Aging deer and elk makes it more tender. ( You actually lose more meat by having to trim it off)

Offline Axle

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2019, 07:44:15 PM »
Aging it in my freezer will be the best. Really! I mean it!  :tup:
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Offline Deerklr

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2019, 03:59:27 PM »
I see a lot of "opinions" on here.  First, I worked at a wild game processing business (aka Butcher).  It is an old wives tale to age deer and elk.  Deer and elk do not have the same kind of fat and enzymes that beef does.  Aging deer and elk does NOTHING for the meat.  The only thing you need to do for deer and elk is have them cool down.  Never take warm meat and package for the freezer.  If it is warm (60s), slice the meat down to the bone to open it up so it does not bone sour.  If you have to bone it out, then get it in a cooler in plastic bag and use ice blocks.  Do not let the meat get wet. Hanging meat cools from the outside in.  If you do not cool it down in a timely manner, the bone is the last to cool and it will ruin the meat.  If it is cool outside, let it hang in a dry cool place OUT OF THE WIND.  Then process the meat.  If the garage is cool, let it hang and bone it out when you can.  I have processed a lot of meat. Here is the mistakes:
1. Aging a deer/elk and then taking to a butcher. You will lose meat in the processing.  They cut the animals up in the order received.  We used to get to an animal that the hunter brought in after they "aged" is for a few days.  It then hung in the business cooler for a few more.  By the time we got to it, the meat was like jerky and had white "fuzz" growing on it. If you are not cutting it up, bring it to the butcher as soon as you can. (By the way...you will not get just your meat back...only time that happens, is if it is well after the season).  You should get your steaks and roasts back, but the grind products will be a mix of other customers.
2. Don't take it to a butcher, learn to do it yourself.  Not everyone is careful in the handling of the meat...drag it the entire way to the rig, hair all over it, gut shot and not cleaned properly...list goes on.
3.  Bring your trim/grind to the butcher for pepperoni, burger etc...a couple months after the season.  Call the butcher to see what the minimum is for their products they make.  This way you get your own meat back!
4.  Grinders...buy a 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 horse grinders.  Cabelas has a lifetime warranty, and the grinders are quiet compared to a LEM.

If you are in the Kitsap County area, message me and I will try and assist you.  Life is better processing an animal without having to pay an ass ton to the butcher.  As for deer and elk roasts/stew...add a few tablespoons of vinegar when cooking, it will make it fall apart.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 04:16:15 PM by Deerklr »

Offline Axle

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2019, 05:41:13 PM »
 :yeah: Totally!
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Offline Bucks2Ducks

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2019, 06:12:15 PM »
Vinegar huh, never tried it. But I have been struggling on trying to find a way to make my deer and elk roasts more tender. I'll give it a shot, Thanks!
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Offline jrebel

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2019, 06:27:08 PM »
Vinegar huh, never tried it. But I have been struggling on trying to find a way to make my deer and elk roasts more tender. I'll give it a shot, Thanks!

Cut it up and can it.......seriously!!!!!  it is like pot roast in a jar and is moist, tender and just plain delicious.    :tup: :tup:

Offline Deerklr

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Re: Where Can I (WE) HANG / AGE our Deer or Elk
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2019, 10:48:32 AM »
Vinegar huh, never tried it. But I have been struggling on trying to find a way to make my deer and elk roasts more tender. I'll give it a shot, Thanks!

-Thaw the roast to room temp
-Salt/Pepper/Minced Garlic to taste
-Brown all sides in either oil or bacon grease
-Place roast in crock pot, with two cups of beef broth and my wife says a two tablespoons of vinegar (I always add 1/4 cup).  Apple vinegar is ok to use too.
-Cook on high for two hours and low for six hours or UNTIL it is fork tender.

This works overtime for Moose, deer (Blacktail, Whitetail, Muley), elk etc...

 


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