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I have started leaving my deer in an ice chest covered with ice direct contact with the meat for 5 days, draining water and adding ice as I go. You haven't tasted nasty till you eat a deer that's been feeding on cedar berrys. Lerned that from a friend

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On 12/26/2020 at 10:07 AM, ScottGrush said:

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. 


The deer my family in KY let hang for 3 weeks have mold growing on the exposed flesh. They cut it away. What’s left is the tenderest, tastiest whitetail I’ve eaten. So there is something that starts feeding on/breaking down hanging deer. I just can’t get over cutting mold away, and after I cut up a deer, it could be another week before I’m done processing the many things I make of it. That would be a month from hoof to freezer if I let them hang that long. 

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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 blood in the body/meat will flow down due to lividity.  Its that blood that can ruin the taste.  Hang em head down and let em be for as long as you can. 

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11 hours ago, Huntschool said:

 Its that blood that can ruin the taste.  Hang em head down and let em be for as long as you can. 

When you hang them head down the blood pools in the chest  cavity. I am guilty of hanging them head down sometimes also . The gambrel is what most use because I think more so it look's "politicaly correct"   I like to use a dog collar around the neck when hanging by the head . Now - food for thought - hanging by the back legs also will get most of the blood draining away from prime cuts. Soooooooooooooooo 🙂 it's really what ever you feel works best for you .

Given the choice I like hanging from the head best and as always - JMHO I find it easier to skin also hanging from the head. When I start to process one it's always hung from the head. 

I do agree on the blood ruining taste.

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IMG_0517.JPG

 

I’ve always hung mine head down with a gambrel. I’ve never noticed any compromise in the shoulder or neck meat as a result.  I know it’s silly and ridiculous but I can’t stomach seeing a deer hanging by the head. It’s macabre (looking) and seems disrespectful to me. Not passing judgment just a visceral thing. Weather permitting I age for a few days to a week before skinning, quartering etc. Before I started processing my own (again) my butcher would quarter and hang in his walk in cooler for the same amount of time since he had a backlog. 

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I don't know that I have really noticed a qualitative difference in taste from aging or not.   I have eaten them day of kill and also after hanging for three weeks.  In father in laws meat plant, how long they age is dependant on how fast they are coming in and how fast we can cut them up. 

For beef, we always age at least a week. 

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5 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

IMG_0517.JPG

 

I’ve always hung mine head down with a gambrel. I’ve never noticed any compromise in the shoulder or neck meat as a result.  I know it’s silly and ridiculous but I can’t stomach seeing a deer hanging by the head. It’s macabre (looking) and seems disrespectful to me. Not passing judgment just a visceral thing. Weather permitting I age for a few days to a week before skinning, quartering etc. Before I started processing my own (again) my butcher would quarter and hang in his walk in cooler for the same amount of time since he had a backlog. 

 

 

I agree.....  " I know it’s silly and ridiculous but I can’t stomach seeing a deer hanging by the head. It’s macabre (looking) and seems disrespectful to me. "

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Probably and old wives tale (or Granny tale).  My dad's parents raised angus for years and fattened them up with corn and other things before butchering.   Granny always told me "Get them Kilt and then skun and then hang em for two weeks".  PS.  Never argued with Granny.  When she was growing up during the Depression she had the farm dogs run a deer into a big pond.  She called the dogs off and locked them up and grabbed and Axe.  Waited until the exhausted deer hit the shoreline and killed him right there and then with the Axe blow to the top of the head.  Lack of food was real in the Depression and fresh meat was scarce.  You did what you did.  Fresh garden veggies and deer meat was yummy.

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I hang by the head, well actually the antlers.  I think it is easier to cape...and easier to skin and also way easier to hang up.....simple as pie....

 

I do it this way, because it is the way that I learned it in Michigan from the guys a hunted with there.

 

My sons however seem to have learned the Maine-way and they go with the gambrel and the rear legs....just like in the books....

 

I can't say I notice any difference in taste.

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Brother I've got a damn near new Large portable air conditioner unit, twin hose (intake/output) that automatically empties condensate in an ultra fine mist with the warm air exhaust. Way more than enough cooling capacity but the only problem would be it's inability to auto restart if power supply is interrupted. Then again you can easily set up a power out alert light and I'm sure there are more sophisticated and better ways around that. But now that I think about it 60 F is the lowest setting if I remember correctly.

NUTS.

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Check the high end processors and butchers....  They all hang even halves upside down.  The most least desirable cut is the neck and thats where the blood ends up.   

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19 hours ago, Huntschool said:

 

 

I agree.....  " I know it’s silly and ridiculous but I can’t stomach seeing a deer hanging by the head. It’s macabre (looking) and seems disrespectful to me. "

Definitely agree.  It look's more respectful hung from the rear legs .

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Tip for skinning- Buy or build an apparatus that has a split top. Sort of a sawbuck with a gapped flat top. This B&D workbench is representative of what I'm describing. 

 

Lay the deer's spine in the gap and skin working from the leg joint down to the belly & back. No need to skin all the way to the spine if used in conjunction with a gambrel/hoist. Once skinned to the top of the hams- hang back up, cut the tail and strip the remaining attached hide to the head. It's a lot easier than trying to skin a swinging deer. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Personally, I shoot em, gut em, skin em, and  quarter em, about that fast. They then get put in a refrigerator to cool and drain any extra blood. Skinning a fresh deer is easy as pulling off a sock. Skinning a week old frozen, stiff deer is much more work. I also like being able to remove the excess fat off the hams and back while it is still pliable. After the meat is in the fridge, it may take me a few days to get it all processed. Admittedly, some cuts are tougher than others, but I’ve never had a piece of back strap that needed to be aged or tenderized. If there is a piece that needs to be made tender, I use the marinade and give it few days before cooking. Anything that goes into the grind is fresh and has a clean smell; no blood sour. Different strokes, but that’s how I do it. Oh, hung by the hocks on a gambrel, head down. Skinned to the back of the ears, and esophagus removed. No blood pools in chest with the windpipe removed where it entered the chest. 

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