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  #1  
Old 04-05-2001, 07:03 AM
Bill Lester's Avatar
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My father-in-law and I had a bit of disagreement last deer season after his son took his first whitetail. He said it should be skinned immediately and taken to the processor while still warm. I had been told it best to leave the hide on the carcass and let it "season" for at least a couple days if weather conditions permit. What has been your experience?
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(Edited by Bill Lester at 10<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->6 am on April 5, 2001)
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Old 04-05-2001, 09:01 AM
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Hello Bill; It all depends on the weather conditions like you mention, also work schedale. My wife and I cut up our own deer. If we have time we like to get the hide off, it comes off easier when it's still warm. Then we quarter it up, and chill it untill we have time to cut it up. If we don't have time and weather is right, we hang it in the barn. My opinion is the way you cut it up will reflect on its taste, gamy or not. &nbsp;Take Care
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2001, 04:10 PM
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Bill,

As Mr. Foley said, it's a good idea to skin it as soon as you can but you can &quot;age&quot; the meat after that to firm it up for easier cutting.

Having said that, it's hard to predict the weather and if it goes above 40 to 45 degrees I get nervous about spoilage. That's why quartering is a better option in my opinion also as it can be cooled properly in a spare refigerator with much better temp control. Ideally a meat locker with large gravity coils up on the ceiling is ideal for this. You have a small temp differential over the coils with no forced air to dry the meat out.

Sorry, my refrigeration experience is causing me to go off on a tangent here.

Now if I can just get a wife to cut up my deer too. :biggrin:

Regards



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  #4  
Old 04-13-2001, 07:54 AM
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Bill, I take the hide off right away when i get the deer home.That way the meat will rine up and seal it .Just like they do on beef,The longer you can hang that meat the better its going to be.Look at how long they hang fine beef.up to 20 days.I have a game cooler and i hang my deer for at least 10 days if it gets a little mold on it thats great., That means your getting it tender. Ive never had a bad piece of meat doing it that way. Here in idaho the weather is pretty cold by deer season and you can do the same thing hanging it in your garage.I age the meat at 35F in my cooler.The difference between meat that has been aged and a piece of green none aged meat is night and day. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;your friend scott
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2001, 12:37 PM
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About the mold... yes it is common when hanging and aging both elk and deer. &nbsp; Something my grandfather taught me long ago was to wipe down any big game carcass after skinning, both inside and out with a solution of 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar. &nbsp;

The solution will not only somewhat neutralize anything on the carcase from tarsal glands and perhaps leaked paunch juices, but will also act as a natural anti-bacterial agent, greatly reducing spoilage possibility. &nbsp;The vinegar/water solution also inhibits mold groth.

If you get mold on the carcass. simply wipe off with the vinegar/water solution prior to butchering for the freezer.

Bon Appetite'

Marshall
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Old 05-04-2001, 05:10 PM
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Here in Florida, you can just about forget hanging a deer. Even in the dead of winter the temp is too high! We keep an old fridge in the barn, with no shelves. After skinning anf quartering the deer we stand the quarters in the fridge. When the blood turns black in the bottom of the fridge, we process the meat. It takes about 4 to 6 days. I've compared this with meat hung in cooler and seems about the same.
Best Regards, James


(Edited by James Gates at 8:49 pm on May 4, 2001)
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2001, 07:18 PM
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Mr. Gates, like you I hunt where it is commonly warm (south and central Texas). &nbsp;We hunt hogs whenever we can... have shot a few in July / August... definitely don't 'hang' those!! &nbsp;If it's not gutted in an hour in those conditions... forget about it!

Anyway on our trips we always have several large coolers with plenty of ice. &nbsp;The critters are immediately field-dressed, skinned, and cut up enough to get into the coolers and covered with plenty of ice.

One thing that I learned as a kid was to use salt water to soak blood out of meat (ie rabbits or birds shot with a shotgun). &nbsp;Thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that if it worked for small game, it should work for larger game too. &nbsp;So now I carry several pounds of salt on all trips. &nbsp;In the cooler goes several inches of water, then plenty of salt (usually the entire container), then the critter pieces, then the ice on top. &nbsp;With the salt the water gets real cold!

As long as we are in the field the meat is kept covered with ice. &nbsp;When I get home the water is changed (still with plenty of ice). &nbsp;Lots of blood is soaked out - the water drains out very dark. &nbsp;I put fresh water in for a half a day or so, more ice as necessary, then drain that and do the rest of my butchering.

The meat, especially hogs, will get noticeably lighter.

Anyway, the reason for posting all this is not to suggest that this is the best method or anthing like that, but to solicit opinions. &nbsp;Not having an good place to hang meat this is all I can come up with. &nbsp;What do you all think of this method? &nbsp;Can you think of any drawbacks? &nbsp;Can you think of any improvements? &nbsp;One thing that came to mind was adding a little vinegar to the water to give it more anti-bacterial quality (haven't tried it yet though). &nbsp; I believe that if you get the salt content up high enough that it should also help in this respect.

OK... what do you all think?

Mike
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2001, 09:13 PM
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Good to hear from you, Mike...You are so correct that in the southern tier of states, meat butchering and preparation has to be quick!!! As you have noticed from my posts. we hunt big hogs year around. The old way was to scald and scrap, be we now skin. We also have big coolers that can be moved from the boats to trucks, etc. For pork and big lizards, we ice down and pour rock salt in. This, as you say, draws blood and musk on the hogs. However we try to keep the water drained so it will not pout the meat. We never let it sit in water long. As you say, hog and LeZard is cut up and wrapped quick. When I was in Italy and Austria, I learned that by drawing the boar hog meat with salt and mustard directly in ice was best. Then before it's put one the fire it is washed down with boiling water with mustard in it. We do the same here. As for deer..we never put the deer directly in the ice water. We put the quarters in large plastic bags, then iced down. Then into the fridges dry and wait till the blood turns black, as I said before. I have seen deer spoil in the fridge if the meat was pouted with water.After the blood breaks down there is no gamey taste, even with a buck in rut. I also feel that alott of the so called gamey taste comes from not getting the guts out, belly junk blown into the meat,busted pee bags, and musk off the hide. I feed my dogs meat that some people keep and to to eat. We try to kill our frezzer hogs when they have been on oak acorns or swamp fern at least a month.Our best deer are ones that are browsing on citrus trees.
Well, I didn't mean to get long winded!
Best Regards, James
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2001, 11:29 AM
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Thanks Mr. Gates, that was the kind of information that I was looking for.

If you don't mind I have a few more questions. &nbsp;First, what does 'pout' mean? &nbsp;Is there something detrimentatl to the meat to let it soak in water? &nbsp;I'd like to understand what this does to the meat. &nbsp;I'm going to try just salt and ice on the next hog I get. &nbsp;The Mustard sounds interesting too... I assume dry mustard powder. &nbsp;Do you know what that does to the meat?

Since I don't have a facility to hang deer meat, would you suggest the same salt/ice treatment for deer meat? &nbsp;Or would it be better to put in the bag dry, with salt, then ice outside the bag? &nbsp;Or just in the bag dry, then in the freezer? &nbsp;If I get a chance to pick up a refrigerator cheap, I will certainly do so. &nbsp;Sounds like a very good way to go, taking out the shelves and so on as you've described. &nbsp;One of these days I would like to go elk hunting and sure would not want to mess up fine meat like that.

Thanks for the information so far... it has been very helpful.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2001, 12:37 PM
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Back to you, Mike...&quot;Pouted&quot; meat is an old method of tenderizing tough birds, etc and simply means soaking them in water that has some kind of seasoning in it. You can even make &quot;town&quot; pigeons, etc. good that way. However, we never want venison or beef to &quot;pout&quot;(water to soak into the meat) as it will cause spoilage during aging. The deer quarters are placed &quot;naked&quot; in the fridge the age.
The deer quarters are put into large plastic &quot;leaf&quot; bags and then into the ice and salt. Mash as much air as possible out of the bag. Pork and lizard is put directly into the ice and salt. We do drain excess water out.
Here's a recipe for you fellows....Mustard Fried Venison...Take the steaks and lay then out on a wood cutting board...sprinkle with garlic powder...with the edge of a saucer pound cuts all in the meat...you want it to look like cubed steak...dump a large jar of cheap wet mustard in a large stainless bowl and mix with water, keeping it rather thick...push steaks down in this, making sure meat is covered...you might have to add some water...let this soak for 24 hours in the fridge...pull meat out wet and flour at once with plain flour...let it stay on the cutting board until the flour has become soaked and gummy....heat peanut or soybean oil to 350 degrees..toss in meat and fry only until the flour is brown...eat!
Best Regards, James &nbsp;
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2001, 08:57 PM
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Bill and everyone,
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I have had good luck skinning deer, cutting it up and putting it in the freezer the same day it was shot! Believe it or not, it works. &nbsp;I have also hung deer to age back when I lived in Delaware and had an Amish friend who was a butcher and he would let me hang them in his cooler. Honestly I think they are good both ways. I agree with those that say that improper field dressing is what causes most meat to taste bad.
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; On another note, I STRONGLY feel that antelope should be skinned, cooled and cut up in the freezer ASAP. Pronghorn is one of my favorite game meats, but I once tried hanging one to age (it had been immediately skinned) for just a few days, against my father-in-law's urging, and it was the worst meat I have ever tasted. When they are cut up right away they are delicious!! &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;ID
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2001, 03:19 PM
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I'll have to second that motion on the pronghorn. *When hunting these, we actually carry a setup that cantilevers off of the ladder rack on the pickup, so that we can hang and skin our pronghorn literally within minutes of them hitting the ground. *In fact, we jerk the hide so quickly, that we wait to gut them until the hide is pulled off, then open them up and let the intrails fall right on the ground, never the chance of a broken paunch or bladder, no neat little pellets deposited in the carcase either!

Not only does this system allow the hide to come off quickly to cool the carcase, but the tailgate of the truck acts as a great work-table *as well. *Once skinned and gutted, we quarter them and pop into well filled ice chests in the back of the truck for immediate chilling! *Once back where more ice is available, we pull the quarters from the ice chests, empty them and reload with fresh ice, on and around the now firmed up meat which we place into garbage bags before icing down.

Never have had a bad piece of pronghorn when taken care of this way. *

Blessings,

Marshall
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2001, 11:20 AM
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Hey James: Well like you im in the south (you know where) without any faculity to hang meat. Personally I think Weather it's pork or venison it's better after aged. With hog's or deer I clean and skin them right away quartering them or completely butchering them. I take a large garbage bag filled with ice and line the bottom of a big cooler. Drying off the meat I lay it on top of the iced bags keeping off any moisture. Leave open the cooler drain and keep the ice on it which will last 4 or 5 day's. that's the only way I have to age meat here in Florida and it work's pretty well. Large boar's are sometime's pretty nasty to eat, doing this seem's to take out the gamey smell as well. As we speek I have to small hog's chilling out right now to head to the hunting camp in november( Ill pick you up on the way James)
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Old 11-02-2001, 12:36 PM
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Well I guess you guys have come up with some things I really don't agree with. &nbsp;First off I really don't know a lot about dressing hogs or saving the meat other than curing hams and bacon, making sausage and such I was raised on a farm and we harvested &nbsp;4 to 6 hogs a year, but thats another story!
Now as for deer. I forgot who said it about cutting the hind quarters into different muscle groups and then cutting them up with a knife and &quot;NOT&quot; a saw, is &quot;EXACTLY&quot; right!! &nbsp;Boning is very easy, just give it a try, exactly as he said. The question also asked about hanging deer to age the meat. &nbsp;Rigamortise sets in on a carcase &nbsp;after killing. It intensifies for approximately 24 to 48 hours and then the tissue starts to relax &nbsp;and continues to relax/tenderise for about a week. Then the process slows way down untill there is very little benefit (left hanging). &nbsp;I have never seen any benefit past a week, Usually about 4 or 5 days is fine.
THE ABOVE IS ONLY IF YOU ARE IN A CONTROLLED TEPERATURE INVIORMENT OR AN AREA WITH TEMPERATURES THAT ARE LOW ENOUGH FOR AGEING MEAT!
I have aged many deer in my barn (Darkened) when outside temperatures &nbsp;went &nbsp;to 40 or 45 degrees (day) &nbsp;and night &nbsp;down to 20 or so.

Now, on the cooking side, I believe wild taste comes from the &nbsp;hair, twigs, intestinal fluid,crud, and &quot;velum&quot; left on the meat while ageing. Whenever I hang a deer the first thing I do after skinning is hose him/her down and scrub him with a big brush (floor type). &nbsp;pick off any thing that wants to cling. The main point is to make the carcase as clean as you can!!!!

Recipe, this will &nbsp;cause your tastebuds to force you to hunt more often, &quot;DONT&quot; modify!
Take some round staeks (a pound or two), remove velum, pound in the following mixture. &nbsp; 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, &nbsp;1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and the &quot;MAGIC&quot;, 1 to 1 1/2 &nbsp;tablespoons McCormic Original Chicken seasoning. &nbsp;I have cooked this in various versions/recipes for 15 years. There is nothing that will beat this for country fried venison.
To do it right you need to cook it in a cast iron pan heated up till it starts to smoke. Use your instincts for cooking time or let your wife do it right. Just remember, this is venesin, never overcook!!!!
Changeling
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2004, 12:32 PM
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3 days in early fall to two weeks in late fall, depending on the weather and how cold it gets at night. the longer you can get away with it, the more tender your meat will be. some say that the flavor is also enhanced, and that could be true.
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:53 AM
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Mike G. I also hunt in Texas and I use a method similar to yours except that I don't put any water in the cooler with the meat and ice. I used to do that but noticed that some of the meat would get ruined around the edges so tried going to the "dry method" and I have found this to work fairly well with no loss to water damage. I quarter the meat and put it in the cooler and cover it with ice. Every day, I drain the blood and run some water in and drain it also and then put new ice on top. I do this for about 4 days and then finish cutting up the meat. The meat seems to not have any gamey taste and I have never had any complaints from people who have tried venison before that was not prepared right. Good luck on trying this method, I think you will like it.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2004, 09:10 AM
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The first thing I do after field dressing is bye some bags of ice and fill the cavity till I can get it home to hang,The trick is keep the meat cold, if the weather is too warm, I like to hang the deer in a walk in freezer area, till I make the cut, I prefer to cut the deer slightly on the frozen side, if not the blood will run out of the cuts, not good, this is the meats flavor. I like to Kryovac all the cuts to insure there can be not freezer burned during storing, if you don't use this method, wrap the meat in waxed paper and then use freezer zip locks,make sure to get out the air before sealing the bag, this method also works well. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.

Last edited by Rmouleart; 04-27-2004 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 04-27-2004, 06:02 AM
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How long do you hang a deer? 'Till that rascal's dead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Lester
My father-in-law and I had a bit of disagreement last deer season after his son took his first whitetail. He said it should be skinned immediately and taken to the processor while still warm. I had been told it best to leave the hide on the carcass and let it "season" for at least a couple days if weather conditions permit. What has been your experience?




(Edited by Bill Lester at 106 am on April 5, 2001)
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:11 PM
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One way to get people all upset is to ask how long to hang the deer. Unlike a cow, deer have very little fat. Hanging allows the enzymes to break down the cells in the meat making it more tender. The preferred term is aging, actually it is controlled rot. Most game should be hung long enough for the meat to be (1) cooled, (2) rigor mortis has passed - 24 hours, and (3) cleaned. Anything longer than a couple of days is unnecessary and a waste of good meat as the outside dries.
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Old 06-03-2004, 09:57 PM
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Talking Hanging Mr. Deer

I skin mine as soon as I can, the hides come off so much better while there still warm. I like to hang them for 4-7 days if the weather is cool enough. In easten washington thats not a real big deal in Oct. an Nov. .
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