Hanging deer


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Old 10-20-11, 01:15 PM
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Hanging deer

Is there any benefit to hanging a deer. My neighbor is a hunter, and when he gets a deer, he hangs it at least one day. And if it is cooler out he lets it hang a few days. I asked him why he hangs the deer up, and he told me he really didn't know why, but his father did it, so he does it.
 
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Old 10-20-11, 02:00 PM
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I believe it has something to do with drainage and aging the meat somewhat. It allows the tissues to break down.

The best steaks in the world are dry aged for 60 days or so. Yes, there is some waste that needs to be removed...but the meat is like butter.
 
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Old 10-20-11, 02:22 PM
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I agree with the aging since it always works as long as the critter does not freeze. Restaurants age beef steaks for a long time at 38F.

On the other hand, the best venison I had was less than a full day old that was a tenderloin, soaked in milk and then grilled rare on the grill. This was prepared by people that hunted almost weekly and knew how to handle the meat. The sausage was good when they had the money to buy some pork and very little beef.

Dick
 
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Old 10-20-11, 03:01 PM
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Initial, it helps to drain the blood from the meat and bring down the body temperature. Hind legs up and you can also finish the field dressing to get at those tenderloins and clean out the chest cavity. Getting a bit detailed, but it is important, field dressing rarely removes the trakia or cleans out the lower area (you know). But leave the hide on, this protects the outer meat layer from drying out and your meat loss will be minimal.

How long is entirely weather and temperature dependent. If the coldest you get at night is mid 40's, cut it the next day. If your temps are 20's to 40's night to day then several days is fine. Trying to age venison in your garage or back yard is very difficult so I recommend no more than waiting for the weekend to get the time to process everything and move it to the freezer.

There are many more details to cover here, but it is worth learning how to do properly.

Dick, fresh loins, in the days gone by I would strike up a small fire and enjoy them before heading home.

Bud
 
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Old 10-20-11, 03:05 PM
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I have found that venison is not tough enough to need aging.
In fact, when I grind it the meat tends to be a bit on the soft side.
 
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Old 10-20-11, 04:24 PM
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I hang my deer from the hind legs to drain the blood. I have always assumed that you hang meat for the same reason buchers hang meat. It firms up the meat and makes it easier to cut if it's cured for a few days, provided that it's been hung in a cool place (but not frozen).
 
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Old 10-20-11, 05:24 PM
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We hang our field dressed deer head up to drain and cool off. While hanging, cut out the tenderloins, wash them off and toss them in the fridge so they do not dry out. I don't purposely age the deer before butchering (which I do as well) but I normal don't get to it until the day after I get home from hunting. IMO aging is not as important as a good field dressing and getting the meat cooled down ASAP.
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Old 10-21-11, 04:04 AM
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I'll have to toss my hat in with Scott. Ever tried to field dress a deer hanging by its hind legs? Like scooping out a septic tank, Puke city. With the head up, all the etrails fall out without getting trapped in cavities, and they bleed out well, too.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 05:25 AM
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I have to chuckle Larry, the difference is what you do in the field vs what you do after they are home or back at camp. Most of the yucky stuff should have rolled out in the field before they see a rope. Once you finally hang them, feet first allows the blood to drain towards the heart, but you must complete the process by opening the chest cavity down to their chin and remove the wind pipe. That allows any drainage to exit without accumulating. With everything open from tail to nose they drain well and with the legs mounted on a gimble stick they are in position for skinning and processing. Some like head up, but heat tends to collect in the chest cavity and the deer should be flipped for cutting, which is difficult once they firm up.

If you can pull them up for field dressing, heads up is certainly the only way to go. But when you are ready to finish the job and let them firm up, flip them over.

Bud
 
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Old 10-21-11, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
I have to chuckle Larry, the difference is what you do in the field vs what you do after they are home or back at camp.

If you can pull them up for field dressing, heads up is certainly the only way to go. But when you are ready to finish the job and let them firm up, flip them over.
Exactly!!! That's why they call it FIELD dressing. I do it as soon as I get to the deer.

A noose hitch just above the back leg "elbow" are what I use. The weight of the deer cinches them tighter.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 06:14 AM
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Uh, Sorry Larry, I field dress in the field at the kill site.

At "camp" we hang them from the neck/antlers so all the blood falls out of the chest cavity. We also hold the cavity open with a stick. When skining/butchering at home, I hang them tail up.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 07:27 AM
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Larry - Dressing a hanging deer must be a Georgia thing. I have field dressed dozens of deer, including some while holding a flashlight in my teeth. It's done immediately after the kill. Field dressing while the entrails are still warm is preferable to cutting into a body cavity of a deer that's been dead for a couple of hours - maybe that's the puke reference.

For me hanging probably has more to do with weather than anything else. In cool dry weather I always hung deer head down from a gambrel stick. In cool wet weather I hung them head up from the antlers. A chest stick is used to hold the chest cavity open to aid cooling. In warm weather (a rarity where I hunted) I would skin the animal quickly and quarter the carcass. Normally, I might let it hang a week with the hide on.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Dressing a hanging deer must be a Georgia thing.
Maybe they are tiny. LOL... (jk) The last deer I helped a buddy with was so big the 2 of us could hardly get it into the pickup bed, and that was AFTER he field dressed it. The thing was about like a small cow! A good corn-fed deer. We'll put a stick in the rib cage too, besides cooling it down faster, it makes it easier to rinse off with a hose.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 10:16 AM
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Just a bit off subject...but how many of you guys will take a road killed deer home?

Had a guy that worked for me back in my Navy days...and one Monday morning he called and said he would be late cause he found a doe on the road still kicking a bit on his way back from his cabin. As I remember he said he put her down and since she was still alive when he found her, he hated to waste anything.

This was a guy who took 3 weeks leave every fall and holed up in his cabin in PA, just chopping wood and hunting. Don't think he ever bought any store meat.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 10:30 AM
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Not me! I don't "usually" carry a bowie knife with me, unless I am working in a rough neighborhood... LOL Besides, the car impact will usually ruin half the meat with bruising. You'd have to be pretty prepared to field dress it right away, get the permission of the local sheriff/game warden, be in a vehicle where you could load it, be dressed appropriately, etc. Too many factors to make it realistic. And if it's been laying there for long, I'm not into eating meat that isn't properly dressed and bled. If all the factors were right, then maybe.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 10:49 AM
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Several yrs ago my BiL hit a doe. He went ahead, shot it and took it home in his station wagon. I can't attest to all the meat but what he gave me was might good
When anyone asked - I told them I was eating road kill

That said, I wouldn't want one that was just found dead along side the road not knowing for how long.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 10:57 AM
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Most road kill is just tossed away because of the damage and number

I had a neighbor that tried to claim "road kill" for the deer he had.

On opening day, he got one more than he had tags for and hung it up overnight because it was very cool.

The next day was Sunday, so they got on the "Sunday best" and he and his wife went out of town to pick it up illegally and stuffed it into the trunk to drive home. The DNR had a check point they thought they could just pass trough because they were going to church. - Unfortunately, the DNR had the right to search and found an illegal field dressed deer with a spare shoe lace tied off to close off the vitals. Being in the Sunday best, they had not excuse and a day or so later the DNR searched the garage and freezer for any other illegalities. - The area is known for over hunting i conditions are right.

Where I am now, in an outer MSP suburb, the inner cities and some suburbs hire professional hunters (bow mainly because the deer just wander on predictable routes) to control the deer population and turn the meat over to approved processors for shelters.

My deer wander through the back yard at about 4 hours after sunrise.


Dick
 
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Old 10-21-11, 11:21 AM
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Well..my guy was a Bosuns Mate and habitually wore coveralls....so I'm sure he had a knife and didn't mind getting messy. IIRC he was only about 10 miles away from his cabin, so he just loaded in the back of his Dodge Colt and took it home.

Seems like he said he cut her open to feel the temps and said she was still good. Mountains of PA in fall...figure it was pretty cold.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 01:00 PM
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I have a couple of road kill sea stories. One was in South Carolina when I was in the Navy. We were having a Division pig roast and one of the guys hit a deer on the way to the BBQ. He dressed it right there where he hit it and we split it and threw it on the pig cooker a half at a time. My first BBQ venison and it was pretty tasty.

I was on my way to work one morning and the guy in front of me hit a deer. I stopped and we found the deer haunch down in the woods a few yards away. While we were figuring out how to put it out of it's misery a female cop showed up. We asked her to shoot the deer (it's back was broken and it was bleating in pain) and she wouldn't do it. She said it was too beautiful. She wouldn't let us use her gun so I ended up killing it with a big stick. I was so po'd I could barely see straight.
 
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Old 10-21-11, 04:10 PM
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Thanks guys. Yes, I field dress in the field. It is just easier with the head up slightly. I understand that you were talking about final dressing of the animal as opposed to field, and do that hind legs up on a gambrel.
Nothing better, no cholesterol, no fat, just good meat.
 
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Old 10-27-11, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. I am sorry, It looks like my post opened a can of worms.
 
 

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