"Let It All Hang Out"

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by SWO1, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    No....You're not on the wrong site or thread. This does pretain to Deer Hunting.

    After Shooting, Field Dressing and transporting your Deer home.......NOW WHAT ?

    The majority of people believe, me included, that venison should be AGED just like good beef. This involves letting the carcus hang to let the natural enzymes work on the meat. But some guidelins should be followed.

    Tempeture is a major factor for me. General Rule of thumb is if the outside tempature is going to get above 55 during the day for 2 days in a row....I dont do it. I work up the meat right away, at least in small enough pieces to store in a refrigator until final processing.

    I pay close attention to the weather forcast for the following 7 days after taking a deer. If its forcasted to be below 50 day/night I hang the deer in my barn. I use a Body-Bag made to cover deer (again sold in sporting good sections/stores) In this tempature range I remove the hide right away.

    If its going to be above 50 I will leave the hide on. this helps to keep the carcus cooler. But still enclose in the body-bag.

    The bag helps keep off flys, other incects and dirt and other stuff.

    Length of hanging time, if the weather is right, varies with personnel preferance. I like between 3-5 days. Some go as long as 7-10 days

    Good beef is aged 14 days.....so your decision.

    I always hang in the barn or under cover. You dont want it to get wet. Moisture promotes bacterica growth....KEEP IT DRY !!

    Now if take your deer to a processor, he will hang and age it for you. Other than volume during deer season thats why you dont get it back right away. Some processors will even rent you space in there cold room to hang your deer for processing by you later.
  2. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member



  3. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    Oh my. Should I pass this one by or comment. Under no circumstances would I want to offend. We are among friends so let me respectfully disagree. I'll explain my position and the reasons. Then you descide.
    I was a firm believer in the process that you described for many years. After all, my first 2 jobs out of high school were as a Meat Cutter and the process that you speak of is exactly how beef is processed. They age the meat to make it tender. Another reason for hanging meat is to let the blood drain.
    However; A few years back, I shot a medium doe and the weather was too warm to let it hang any more than over night. First thing the next morning, I began the processing. I noticed an unusual amount of blood all over the processing table. The blood had not stood long enough to solidify and soak into the meat so as I cut the roast and steaks, the blood flowed out onto the table. However, she had drained all night and was done dripping. Keeping this in mind, I payed particular attention to the taste of the meat. Because I believe that the wild taste comes from the blood, fat and bone marrow, I was curious what difference the processing had made. Maybe just in my head but I swear the meat taste better.
    Also, when I field dress the deer, I remove as much as I can from end to end. As soon as I get it home (if not before) I rinse out the inside of the carcass with cold water. As soon as I hang the deer, I find a stick that will hold the rib cage open to allow for better cooling. As soon as possible, I remove the Tenderloin from inside the ribs and fry them up as a victory treat. I don't remove the hide until just before I process.
    This subject came up on another Hunting Forum where there are 2 Pro Hunting Guides. Both agreed that getting as much of the blood out, as soon as possible is the best route to take. That confirmed my thoughts, at least in my mind.
    I might agree that the meat will be more tended if left to hang but my solution is to cook it a little longer (about 30%-40% longer than beef) at a slightly lower heat. And as with any meat, cut it across the grain and with deer, cut it into smaller bite size pieces.
    Now we have 2 separate methods. Neither are wrong. Try both and see which one works the best for you.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  4. Rich1028

    Rich1028 Well-Known Member

    thank guys!!
    3 ways...no wrong way!!
  5. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    Great Post greyhawk.......A couple years ago the weather was extreamaly warm. Never got below 60 even at night. The large buck my grandson shot at 8:30 in the morning was totally worked up by noon. And to be honest was no real difference. Probley a lot of it is in our HEADS...from being drilled in for so many years and thats the way we were taught.......
  6. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

    I hunt with a guy who's Dad was a butcher. I don't think aging meat is effective unless you can go at least 7 days and below 40 degrees. Beef is aged at 38 degrees for 10 to 14 days, but beef also has a much higher fat content.

    I am in the middle of the road on this topic. If the outside temps allow it I let it hang as long as possible. If not, I quarter the deer and get in on ice.