Contributors to this thread:
hanging a deer
got in the stand this evening and was fortunate enough to take a doe. got her taken care of, and headed to the butcher, which is about 15 minutes from the property, and 5 minutes from my parent's house. Got to the butcher, and there was a sign that said, "closed til further notice." no idea why, but it came as a surprise.
next closest butcher is about an hour away, and I can't swing that right now. Its 42 degrees out right now, so i hung her off the neighbor's swingset (they're not here, and they're ok with it) for the night. Starting tonight around 2 am its supposed to be pouring rain and winds to 30 MPH, lasting straight through tomorrow. i hung her by the head, and threaded the rope through a contractor bag that comes down past the ribs to try to provide some protection, although the hide is on so i'm not too worried.
high for tomorrow (saturday) is 55 degrees.
In a perfect world, i'd be able to wait until sunday before bringing her to the butcher that is close to my house, rather than the butcher that is close to my parent's house.
So question - will she be ok hanging out there tomorrow all day if the high is 55 with wind?
or should i just suck it up and head home tomorrow, and bring her to the butcher rather than waiting the extra day (and hunting sunday morning)?
Why not just butcher it yourself? Tons of videos on Youtube. Not too difficult. Just takes some time. Next time will go faster
I’d skin and quarter her out tonight get on ice or in a fridge . rain and the warmer temperatures won’t do it any good
"threaded the rope through a contractor bag that comes down past the ribs to try to provide some protection, although the hide is on so i'm not too worried."
The contractor's bag suppose to "provide some protection" from what? I'm missing something here. Please help me understand. Tks
i have butchered deer in the past - and that is an option for tomorrow. the reality however is that a pro is just better than i am, and i have work to do.
if 55 is too warm, i'll just bring her to the butcher first thing in the morning.
so question - is 55 too warm? i know you mountain hunters leave an elk in the trees for a couple days sometimes... what is the temp cut off?
the plastic contractor bag will only keep heat in. I would have hung her from the back legs and made sure her throat was cut. Hang her over night, get up early skin her and put the quarters in a cooler on ice or in a fridge till you get to a butcher. The higher heat is, the quicker she ages. one day at 55 is probably not the end of the world but what about the flies ? al least hang her in a meat sack.
I'd do it all myself, but at least, skin her and quarter her. Put the quarters in a cooler with ice, tipped up with the drain open. Pull the inside tenders and back straps put those in large zip locks in the fridge. Take the neck meat and rib meat off and put that in the cooler as well. Make sure you pack it with ice.
We often hang deer overnight here, and in temps higher than 55, but I would have had her quartered and in an ice chest by the time you posted this. If I'm more than 30 minutes from a processor, I skin, quarter, and put them on ice.
And yes, I've processed many myself, but that was then, and this is now. Don't want to fart with that myself anymore, and besides that, I have no grinder and I can't make summer sausage. :-)
If you hang it overnight and it cools down....then keep it in a cool shady place out of warmer winds you will be fine until Sunday.
Get the hide off in the am and get her in the shade, minimum. Quarted and on ice, ideal.
Learn to butcher and process your own deer and you will never look back. That was one of my favorite things my dad did with me before he passed away. He taught me how to properly and now I could not imagine sending my venison away. I believe meat quality goes way up too.
What RJ said....
I can typically take a whitetail from hanging to in the freezer, boned, muscle groups broken down, trimmed, de-silver skinned, vacuum wrapped and labeled, in less than 2 hours. My 19 y.o. son now helps and is getting pretty good at it!
Perhaps not for everyone, but there is fulfillment for me as a hunter to stay in the process from kill to freezer to table. Even on my western trips, I butcher my elk, Mulies....I even processed my Yukon Moose. What a cool place to butcher an animal! That took more than 2 hours......lol. Mr. Jameson was my assistant.....
We live in a great time to learn how to process your own animals! You could learn to perform an appendectomy on yourself these days....YouTube is where its at!
"So question - is 55 too warm?"
Not ideal temp but it will cool down from body temp. Quarter it and cover in ice in a cooler, leave drain plug open. Keep adding ice for a few days and ready to cut into bit size portions
Like RJ and ki-ke said. Easy to do. Fulfilling as a hunter. Better quality and cut exactly as you like.
Also, good family activity to share knowledge, tradition and values and responsibility with the kids.
And later, it provides you with an additional smile when you pull a package from the freezer for a meal.
Used to take mine to the butcher until I found out he threw all the deer meat for sausage together from everyone's deer then I decided to do my own I put too much effort into the meat to just mix it with someone else. And I agree 55 is too high a temp
Like some have said the bag will keep heat in. But itvslso keeps cold in.
I was in a similar situation last year. My processor quit accepting deer until he made space. I love aging my meat anyway. So I got several large bags of ice and packed them tighty inside the deer. Wrapped in in a tarp to keep the cold in. Temps were about the same as you are dealing with. I had to wait for a week. I checked the ice a few times only to find the entire deer very cold and the ice was doing VERY well. In fact the carcass and tarp did such a good job it didn’t melt much at all. Meat ended up being some of the best I’ve had. Good luck.
I agree with quarter and cooler.
BTW - hanging with the hide on and putting a contractor bag around the entire thing with no ice in cavity is probably the worst thing you could have done. If you were trying to keep it warm that would have been a good idea.
What you should have done for a temporary fix until you could get to butcher - was filled her cavity with frozen 1/2 gallon or frozen gallon milk jugs or bags of ice. Then if your keeping the hide on, put the contractors bag around it, with hole in bottom to let water out, and again pack with bags of ice or 1/2 or gallon frozen jugs on the outside as well. The bag would have kept the jugs in place and low temps in place.
They actually sell a type of insulated water proof quilt/liner to do this vary thing.
First things first ------ get rid of the plastic bag, that will cause meat spoilage quicker than the warm temps. I agree with others 55 is too warm. Get the hide off - I always like to "age" the meat at least a week, but I have an extra fridge in the basement I put the broken down deer into. Several good suggestions above - Just do what you need to do to keep the meat from spoiling.
Age the meat?? Only under strickly controlled conditions, its not beef or pork after all.. Skin em, quarter down, remove backstraps and on ice or in the fridge ASAP. When I do my own that is the way it goes no one ever turns down meat prepared like that. Hung to age improperly, meat gets skunky or worse...
It's rain. She comes with a waterproof wrap. Won't hurt her a bit in fact might help by cooling her quickly.
You should put a loose tarp over her. Not for the rain but for the sun which will heat her up even when cloudy. Buy one of the cheap silver sided ones and loose hang over the carcass.
LKH, that’s what I was thinking!! She lived in the rain, she can certainly survive death in the rain!! While 55 is a little higher than desired, if the deer is in the shade, it won’t get up to that temp if the overnite temp was in the 40s. You will be fine.
55 in the shade will be fine. Just do not put any plastic over it.
Just skin her out, and hang her in a dry place where the sun never hits.
She'll be just fine, as soon as she "skins over". Meat will be cool to the touch in those temps.
Any temp over 40 degrees is unsafe for meat storage.
I'm a refrigeration tech by trade. Safe refrigerated temps are 33 to 40, safe freezing temps are 0 to -10
Put the deer in a large jet sled with three bags of ice in the cavity. Set the jet on a cement garage floor. Put several other bags of ice on top of the deer and lay a tarp over it. No problem for a couple days until u find a butcher or have time yourself
I call two different butchers before season to make sure:
1) that they will be accepting deer for the season 2) after hours cooler access to put/hang the deer myself.
My back up plan is to process it myself.
Way to hot. Especially if it's a clear day and the sun is out.
In the time it took to get that deer hung up on a swing set, you could have quartered her out and got her in a cooler or hung in a shady spot to stay cool. But you’ll be fine.
My grandpa would hang his deer for weeks in Texas where the average temps would be in the 40’s or even 50. He would hang them in the hand dug well. I remember pulling a deer up and then trimming the mold off before we would butcher. His deer meat was always amazingly good.
We end up killing a lot of deer at my family’s ranch and will break them down into quarters and put in a chest freezer then thaw out later to cut.
I’m a big fan of breaking down a deer or elk in the woods and leaving the majority of the stuff we don’t eat in the field where it can do some good for the critters that use those parts of the animal. Otherwise it is a pain to deal with and ends up getting wasted in a landfill somewhere.
I've hung deer for several days in rain, 40 - 50 degrees, and it is fine. Seems to be a lot of alarm here. If you don't believe me, go jump in a 50 degree lake and stay in for a day or two.
By this point, you have certainly taken care of the deer one way or another and are probably still not searching for any info. But, just to add my 2 cents, I was once told by a butcher that as long as the flies don't get to it, anything under 52 degrees is fine if not in sunlight. It obviously is going to cool over night and then the core of the meat isn't going to get back up to the air temps around it. That being said, I bought a b-deer fridge that doesn't have a freezer so I can hang quarters off the rack and lay the other stuff on the rack at temps around 34. It works great because usually when I gotta make room for the deer, I enjoy having a few of what I'm emptying from the fridge to make that room ;>) But I never had any issue hanging in temps around 50 or below when kept out of sunlight. I always cut into the hams tho to expose the leg bone a bit, make sure it cools down nicely. I agree, there does seem to be a lot of alarm here though I guess safe is better than sorry...
Yeah, seems to be a lot of differing opinions here! ;-)
But one thing I don't think was mentioned(unless I missed something) is how well did you take care of field dressing? IF you gut shot the deer or were sloppy in field dressing and got urine, feces or stomach contents on the meat you probably want to keep it as cold as you can(after washing out the inside cavity as best you can) to inhibit bacterial growth. IF you did a good, clean job field dressing and are confident there will be no bacterial contamination, then I would do as Mule Power and others have stated- fill the cavity with ice.
I did this years ago with a deer I shot early season in mid 60's weather. Was 90 min from home and had to leave in the truck all day while hunting and did not get back home to skin and quarter til after 11pm.(15 hrs after I shot it) Fortunately it was overcast all day, so sun was not an issue. Got ice in it by 11am. When I got to skinning it 12 hrs later, my hands were freezing from the cold temp of the meat.(had to stop skinning many times and warm my hands up!) That deer hide does an amazing job of insulating that meat. Not only from the outside in, but once you get the inside cool, it (hide)insulates it and holds IN the cold! I always heard to fill the cavity with ice, but to be honest I was a little skeptical until I tried it. After that, I was a believer! ;-) I have no doubt you could keep a deer cold that way for many days.