How long does it take for meat to spoil?


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    N. Alabama

    How long does it take for meat to spoil?

    In lets say 60 degree weather. How long do you think it takes before the meat will start to spoil on an elk or deer.

    Couple places i hunt takes an hour or so to get out. I cannot use an ATV so i have to drag or use a cart. It's probably 3/4 of a mile in with no trails.

    I also read about out West people packing the meat out and it seems if you were miles out and the weather wasnt cool it would ruin.How is it done? Especially if it takes more than one trip.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tampa, FL
    if it is at a temperature between 40 degrees and 140 degrees for 2 hours, its considered spoiled... in resaurants.

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  5. #3
    Especially out west, the main thing to do is cool the meat as soon as possible. Hunting for elk out west can take place in 90 degree heat. If you are 5 miles deep, then you have to get creative. The first thing is to take the guts out and the hide off to get the meat as cool as possible as soon as possible. Then, you have to pack out as much as you can depending on where you are. One guy that I know, was about 8 miles deep and shot a huge bull. He was by himself and a long way away from the truck. Granted, he was an ex logger and in better shape hiking the mountains than darn near anybody else. He packed out as much as he could and hiked towards his truck. He stopped at the first creek, as it was cold glacier water and very clean. He put the meat sacks in the water and covered it with pine bows to keep the sun off and the animals out. then he went back out for more meat. He basically leap frogged his way back to his truck and got the entire elk out. took him forever, but the meat stayed cool enough to where he didnt lose any. What a stud to be able to do that!

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    UP of Michigan
    It kind of depends on the size of the critter I'm thinking. An elk in 60 degrees is going to start spoiling inside of a few hours if you don't get it quartered, skinned, and cooled down somehow. issues if you can get it gutted and skinned in a couple hours.

    If you can use a cart, then by all means bring the deer out in one piece. Elk, you still have to quarter them and bag the quarters. I personally always skin them also.

    If you cannot use a cart, then why not skin and bag (or not skin), the quarters and pack them out on your back. Beats the heck out of dragging a deer anything past a couple hundred yards and it's my preferred way to bring them out of the woods, leaves all the "stuff" out there for the scavengers. I bone elk most of thetime also, why bring those heavy bones out on your back?

    Hope this helps

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    SC Kansas
    I was hunting in KY about 3 years ago. Day time temps were in the low 60's but at night it was in the low 40's so the ground stayed cold, I think around 45 or so. I shot a doe about 4 miles from the truck and didn't have a pack big enough to get all the meat out. I always carry a small shovel with me when I am that far out. So I found some soft ground dug a stip about 3 feet long, put the meet in bags and then burried it. I stuck one of my arrows in the ground over it to mark the spot. The meat was nice and cool when I got back to get it.
    Last edited by atkins72; June 17th, 2008 at 05:36 PM.

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