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Ufatz

Hanging Deer (or other large animals)

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I notice something new to me and that is the apparent process of killing a deer at 0800 and having it in the freezer or locker plant by noon. All my life we have let meat hang for at least a couple days before butchering it.  We even hang ducks for a day. For that matter a halibut that has hung for a day is better eating than one "fried up fresh". I don't hunt any more so it matters not to me so much but I am curious why nobody down here in this part of the world hangs game animals.

The guys in your locker plant will hang that steer you eat a steak from ya know.

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Time and ability. 

If you live in town depending on where that is you might not get a positive response from your neighborhood. 

Also temps. If the temps are too warm that's really not an option either. 

 

If all you are doing is making sausage,jerky and snack sticks then you don't benefit from hanging either.

Basically you just need to let it hang long enough for the muscles to relax after the rigor mortis sets in. Anything else is personal preference.

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I’ve cut em quick and let em hang.  Aside from the skinning, I prefer to get at least a couple days on em before the cut.

For people who have their deer processed it’s most likely just a matter of getting things done.  My bet is even those deer get a couple days on them before being sliced at the rate they’re dropped off.

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I generally cut them up either the same day or next, and let the meat sit in the garage fridge until I can work through it all over the next few days.   

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I usually cut them up the night they were killed or if its warm out and I need more time I'll quarter it up and get it into coolers.  Then I'll finish cutting as soon as I can after that.  Really its all dictated by air temp and what time I have.  Most of my hunts tend to be short and quick with kids at home.  I'll make a quick 1 or 2 day run up and when I get back home I'm back on kid duty so its easier if I cut them up before I bring them home. 

Although I have promised to bring the next one home whole with the skin on for my daughter, she really wants to see the real deer not just the quarters. 

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We never start processing for at least 24 hours after the kill to allow rigor to settle out. I always age my venison for at least a week before final processing. Since I don't have a cooler large enough I quarter it and put it in an old refrigerator that we have for beer, bait, and game. Ideally for aging the meat should be able to breath with some exposure to air but too much and it will dry out. Also good to set it up so the blood can drain off. 

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Have done it both ways and I prefer to butcher as fast as I can which is usually with in a day or 2. Steaks are always nice and tender cuz I cook em right. :)  For sure it comes down to personal preference. I don't see any advantage personally in letting it hang a while. Steaks and trim works for us, don't do any roasts. Trim is for grinding here or left in pieces and froze for sausage at the locker depending on quantity. 

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My son and I are muzzleloader hunting a state park hunt this weekend. It is an earn a buck so we an harvest 4 deer. The temps are forecasted in the low fifties for highs in southern Mn. I think this is too warm to hang deer. Other than cutting them up every night if we shoot some, what recommendations do you guys think as an alternative? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

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23 minutes ago, Rip_Some_Lip said:

My son and I are muzzleloader hunting a state park hunt this weekend. It is an earn a buck so we an harvest 4 deer. The temps are forecasted in the low fifties for highs in southern Mn. I think this is too warm to hang deer. Other than cutting them up every night if we shoot some, what recommendations do you guys think as an alternative? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

So you have to shot 3 Does before going after a buck?  Don't you have any relatives or someone that could use a Deer to gift them or find a food shelf that could use them? Or do you need-want them all?  If so keep cutting and wrapping. ;)

Edited by leech~~

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No we only have to shoot one doe and then we can shoot a buck. We can shoot two does and two bucks or four does. I plan on cutting them up myself and we want the venison. The question I have is it looks too warm to hang them for two or three days. I’m looking for ways to keep them cool during the warm afternoon temps until we can cut them up. I am thinking we might have to cut them up at night after the days hunt but it can be long days doing that. 

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57 minutes ago, Rip_Some_Lip said:

My son and I are muzzleloader hunting a state park hunt this weekend. It is an earn a buck so we an harvest 4 deer. The temps are forecasted in the low fifties for highs in southern Mn. I think this is too warm to hang deer. Other than cutting them up every night if we shoot some, what recommendations do you guys think as an alternative? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

Check the predicted temps for the entire day.  Odds are it won't be in the low 50's for more than a couple hours in the afternoon.  What are the overnight lows?    You've got a few options.  Hang them up in the shade and skin them right away to start cooling them off.  Hang them head down so the heat isn't trapped in the chest cavity.  From there you can either quarter them and get them into coolers.  You could also put bags of ice in the chest cavity, that will buy you some time but it doesn't cool the entire animal. Or you could bring them into a processor at the end of each day. 

Personally when I'm bow hunting in warmer temps I always bring empty coolers and bags with me and quarter the deer and get it on ice.  Doesn't take long to skin and quarter a deer.

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3 hours ago, Rip_Some_Lip said:

No we only have to shoot one doe and then we can shoot a buck. We can shoot two does and two bucks or four does. 

As written, I am just asking, you EACH can take 2 deer? 1 buck & 1doe or 2 does?  you each have to shot a doe first before you can take a buck right?

The WE can take two bucks comment makes me ask the question. 

As far as 50° degree highs, IMO you will be fine hanging those deer for a day or 2 in the shade in the temps fall to near freezing or below at night.  

 

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8 hours ago, Rip_Some_Lip said:

My son and I are muzzleloader hunting a state park hunt this weekend. It is an earn a buck so we an harvest 4 deer. The temps are forecasted in the low fifties for highs in southern Mn. I think this is too warm to hang deer. Other than cutting them up every night if we shoot some, what recommendations do you guys think as an alternative? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.

Good luck!

If you can find a shed or someplace out of the sun it's going to be OK to hang them. During slug season it was pretty warm during the day but cooled off at night. We hung ours in a pole shed and cut up after the second weekend with no issues.

Edited by PurpleFloyd

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We also spray the chest cavities out with cold water right away and put a stick across the inside of the ribs to hold the cavity open.
If you need a help cutting them up at night I might have time to give you a hand.

 

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With a good meat saw and a good knife you can skin quarter up and take out the back straps in a short time. Lots of videos on the internet on how to do it right. Having a good way to hang the animal also makes it a lot easier.

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5 hours ago, ANYFISH2 said:

 you each have to shot a doe first before you can take a buck right?

The way I was explained by the park manager running the hunt was we have to harvest and tag an antlerless deer before we can harvest a buck. Whoever tags the antlerless deer must tag the buck. We applied as a group so party hunting rules apply. 

I plan on hanging it in a friends quonset in the shade if we are lucky enough to harvest some. Thanks for the replies! 

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I plan on hanging it in a friends quonset in the shade if we are lucky enough to harvest some. Thanks for the replies! 

 

We we did pretty good. My son shot his first deer and I got a nice 8 pointer! We ended up with two does and a buck!!

 

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EA2CD3C1-4F2B-4C77-A296-BEB4D7B091E1.jpeg

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