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They all eat good....


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…if you let them age. There is some conjecture here that young doe eat better than a large buck.  After this weekend’s experience, that theory is laid to rest for me.  I opened two packs of backstraps and cut them into cubes for an appetizer I make on the grill.  One was from a small doe I took earlier this season.  After a two year dry spell, I wasn’t picky about what I shot.  But my cooler wouldn’t start.  I panicked and processed her immediately as the temps got into the 60s that day.  
 

The other was from a nice buck I took about 2 weeks later.  By then I had cleared the mud dauber nests hanging up the blower on my cooler, and I let him hang for one week.  I remember when I cut out the backstraps, they felt so tender they practically fell apart in my hands. I didn’t recall noting this on the doe.  The ham steaks and all the other meat was almost as soft.
 

This was again obvious Saturday as I cut them up into cubes, the buck’s backstraps were notably softer and easier to cut than the young doe’s even after shrink wrap and freezing.  So to further my experiment, I kept them separate throughout the identical cooking and serving process.  The meat from the buck melted in your mouth, much more tender and juicy than the doe, which made for a more enjoyable dining experience.  Everyone agreed, all the leftovers were from the doe.  Don’t get me wrong, the doe backstrap was not chewy or tough, just clearly not as melt in your mouth good.  

 

If you’ve read the “Forced to hunt” thread you know I took a big doe Saturday.  My nephew took a buck later in the day and both are in my cooler now.  He’s off Christmas Eve and wants to have a processing party.  I told him no way was I cutting my deer up before at least a week passed, maybe more.  My family in KY lets theirs hang for 3 weeks, now I know why.  
 

I’m not making any argument for “dry aging” vs “wet aging” that’s another controlled experiment.  But I’m here to say, even more than before, if I have any opportunity to let deer hang longer vs quick processing, I will always let it hang.  And yes, nice size bucks can eat as good or better than young doe.

 

The young doe I took first this season.

 

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This buck eats better than above doe. 

 

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My weekend doe on right, nephew’s buck on left. He can process his when he wants but mine’s waiting a week at least. 

 

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…if you let them age. There is some conjecture here that young doe eat better than a large buck.  After this weekend’s experience, that theory is laid to rest for me.  I opened two packs of backstraps

I really think a simple answer to the hanging (which I totally agree with, the longer the better) is how you hang it.  Needs to be head down... period.  The blood in the body, and yes there will be bl

4x8x8 construction to minimize cutting and waste. The plans I saw called for two sheets thick of 2’ insulation, but after putting one in, I had a hunch it would be enough, and it easily is. Two would

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1 hour ago, Willicd76 said:

Tell us how you built your cold storage. Are you using a window unit? What temp will it hold?


4x8x8 construction to minimize cutting and waste. The plans I saw called for two sheets thick of 2’ insulation, but after putting one in, I had a hunch it would be enough, and it easily is. Two would only be needed if you used it year round and wanted energy efficiency when it is 90. I taped all the seams to make it air tight. It used an LG window unit, and a “Cool Bot” to trick the AC into cooler temps. I assume I could go below freezing if I want, but keep it set at 38. It runs about 30 seconds every 10 minutes or so to maintain that in the early season if temps in the 60s. I put a lightbulb in it to warm if it gets real cold like later this week. 
 

It works great as long as you plug it in every now and then to knock the mud dauber nests off the fan, which I didn’t do this summer.  We also use it short term in the summer if we are hosting a big family gathering (those were the days 😕) and need extra cold storage.  All it took to fix was to manually spin the fan to get it broke free. It’s behind my shelter house but not attached, so I can move it if I ever want to.  I’ll see if I can find some more pics. 
 

Edit: If anyone in the NW Ohio area wants to build one, I have the 4x8 unused insulation sheets, half cost. 
 

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Edit: I guess 34 is min temp the Bot goes to. Otherwise the AC freezes up. The Bots are even more $ now. 
 

 

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  • topdog1961 changed the title to They all eat good....

Never shot a deer not worth eating from big bucks to weeny button bucks to yearling does.

 

I had to put down a button buck that got hit by a car close by late last winter. The wives tale up here is that winter deer taste like crap because they haven’t been eating any good stuff. I think I hung it for a day or two but it started to freeze so I processed what I could. Same hanging deal with doe. That conjecture was put to rest upon eating that “road kill” compared to a mature doe I had shot that late November. Both outstanding but the button buck had lighter colored meat and was more tender.

 

 

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Nice on the cooler box ! Anyone else build one ? Years ago a group of us had talked of building one for the early archery season in NY ( Oct 15th at that time) But still warmer temps in the southern NY/NJ part of the state could cause concern for hang-time. Someone had a refer unit from a truck lined up  and we were tradesmen but we never did do it. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

The wives tale up here is that winter deer taste like crap because they haven’t been eating any good stuff.

 

 GA has given up on the ethics and gone over to whole State unlimited deer baiting.  The Dec. and Jan. deer down here are as well fattened as any beef on an Omaha feed lot...SelbyLowndes

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Just now, SelbyLowndes said:

 

 GA has given up on the ethics and gone over to whole State unlimited baiting.  The Dec. and Jan. deer down here are as well fattened as any beef on an Omaha feed lot...SelbyLowndes

Baiting/feeding isn’t allowed in Maine well before and during all deer hunting seasons. But feeding deer is allowed sometime before and after. If state biologists had their way all feeding would be illegal. 
 

I was talking about winter deer not having acorns and apples and ample browse like they do in late summer and fall.

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4 hours ago, max2 said:

Nice on the cooler box ! Anyone else build one ? Years ago a group of us had talked of building one for the early archery season in NY ( Oct 15th at that time) But still warmer temps in the southern NY/NJ part of the state could cause concern for hang-time. Someone had a refer unit from a truck lined up  and we were tradesmen but we never did do it. 

 

 

My BIL upgraded his beer making equipment from analog to digital about 3 years ago.  I got his analog controller and bought an old chest freezer off CL for $50.  It isn't "hanging" deer but I've got it set to 38 or so degrees and that thing can fit at least 3 whole deer in it. 

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This is the set up I had before building the walk in cooler. This is a large refrigerator without a freezer. I still have it. I drilled a hole through the top and passed a nylon rope through it from a hoist. Most normal size deer fit in it easily. But this doe is enormous. I had to cut her head and legs off to fit her in. She weighed 165 after hanging a week and with no head or lower legs. After this, I decided I needed a bigger cooler. 
 

 

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Cool....see what I did there....I had my carpenter friend help me with a modest kitchen renovation last year. (He lets me hand him tools, mostly...) New countertop, double farm sink, fixtures and finally a stainless dishwasher. We keep planning on finishing it off with a new stainless stove/oven and a new stainless fridge, but the funds keep getting diverted. We call one side of the kitchen the redneck side with the cheap white coil top stove and white basic fridge that came with the house.....Anyhow, when we finally get a new fridge I’m gonna put the current one in garage or in basement, remove racks and set it up to hang and cool front quarters, rear quarters, and misc meat before getting cut etc. Right now I hang and skin and quarter etc in the garage and then process on a table I built just for that, in basement. I have had occasion when I had to fill deer with ice bags and literally hang bags of ice over rear end and backstraps and shoulders because I didn’t have time to skin etc with warming weather happening. 


I don’t expect to hang a whole deer in the fridge, just the meat after quartering. This one above was this years 140 lb doe. She wouldn’t have come close to fitting in a fridge whole and barely with legs and head hacked off I didn’t think. And yes, she was absolutely packed with fat.

 

 

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12 hours ago, max2 said:

Nice on the cooler box ! Anyone else build one ? Years ago a group of us had talked of building one for the early archery season in NY ( Oct 15th at that time) But still warmer temps in the southern NY/NJ part of the state could cause concern for hang-time. Someone had a refer unit from a truck lined up  and we were tradesmen but we never did do it. 

 

 

We have built a couple.   4x8 with, I think 8"of insulation.   We have two window mount AC units and we played with the wires so that they will go cold.  We have them alternate off and on, so that they don't freeze up. 

 

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I have been told this is an old wives tale as deer do not carry the bacteria that beef do so hanging them really has no affect on breaking down tissue. 

I have no dog in the fight. I processed this years buck the day after he was shot. I really don't notice any difference over past years venison. 

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The mule deer I shot in MT, I boned out in the field and cut it up the day after getting back home. It is some of the tastiest deer meat I've eaten. I've shot big whitetail bucks in rut that are barely edible after hanging 4-5 days in cooler temps. I shot a forked horn a few years back during the rut that I figured would be a good eater but it was a bit strong in flavor, which surprised me!

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