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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys is there any reasons why a deer must be hang for 1 or 2 days before butchering?
 

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tenderize the meat
 

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Generally I prefer to hang for 7-10 days to allow the meat to age which increases tenderness. If temps don't get above 45 and don't fall much below 32 I will hang outside. Otherwise I quarter and hang in a converted icebox set up to age meat at about 34 degrees for 7-10 days.
 

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My boyfriend and I normally quarter it up the same night. Then we let it sit in the fridge for 3-5 days before I really clean it all up and package it away.
 

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Not too sure about tenderization. A nice young deer is tender from the get-go.

My reason is to let them drain completely. I butchered a doe right from dragging her in this year and though the meat tasted fine, it had a very funky texture. She was still warm when I cut her up. I've since decided and practiced that every deer I get will hang for at least 24 hours with its throat cut to drain completely out. Not sure it's the right theory or not, but it's worked on the deer I've gotten since that doe.

Also, hanging them for me depends on the weather. If the weather is above 50 degrees, he's not gonna hang too long.
 

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I took my doe to the processor two weeks ago after letting it hang for about an hour. The temps were pretty warm here at the time. It is very tender and tastes delicious.
 

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Ice for a week, drain daily.

If you plan to hang it, it needs to be a few days...2-3 won't help much from what I've read.

As has been said, young does not so much of an issue, older bucks should hang or chill.
 

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iy's called aging

Aging meat tenderizes it. The microbial action breaks down the tissue structure and gives a more tender flavorful meat. In custom butchering we age beef 3 weeks before we cut and wrap. 34-38 degrees is the normal range.
 

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The logic behind letting a deer hang for several days or longer is that the meat will begin to break down which in turn makes in more tender. In truth, it depends on what you want. I've let deer hang from 1 day to 1 week and I could honestly taste the difference between them. For me, I try to butcher them up as fast as I can get to it. Of course if it's warm, you must butcher it sooner.

David
 

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There are 100 ways to skin a cat!

....and I heard 10,000 ways on what to do with a deer from the time you gut it to the time you butcher it :)
 

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Because you're too lazy to cut the thing up already! Seriously though you'll get a million answers. I usually just get the thing in the fridge within a day or two. With the weather the past couple years though we've pretty much always had to cut deer up and get them in the fridge the same day as we shot them.
 

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hanging deer

I've heard from no time to 10 days. The guy who used to butcher my deer (a retired meat cutter) told me that with deer hanging it doesn't do too much to tenderize it. Unlike beef, venision has no intramuscular fat (marbleing) so the aging process has much less effect on the meat itself.

I have noticed that regardless of how long I hang a deer, the meat always seeps blood after its cut and even after its been frozen and thawed. While I have no scientific proof of it, I believe that its the blood that gives the meat the strong gamey flavor. So, here is what I do:

(Note: I seldom have time to to butcher my deer the same day I kill it; its usually a couple of days later.)

1.) I debone the meat and put it in several large new clean trash bags. I then put it either in a fridge or a cooler (with frozen 1/2 gallon jugs, not ice that will melt and make water) and I puncture holes in the bags to let the blood drain out. If I'm using a cooler I put an old refriderator grate in the bottom to keep the bags from sitting int he blood. I put a couple short 1x2s in the bottom to keep the grate up out of the blood.

If I'm using the fridge, then I just let the meat sit on the wire shelves and drain into a pan in the bottom of the fridge.

2.) I take the meat we plan to eat, be it burger, steaks, backstrap, roast etc; out of the freezer a couple days ahead of time and let it thaw in the fridge. I partially unwrap the meat to let the blood drain out. I put the meat on a grate in the bottom of an old roasting pan, again to keep it up out of the blood.

Sometimes we let that meat sit in the fridge for 4-5 days before we eat it. I guess it could be ageing after its been butchered.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys for all the good anwers, now I know why we must hang them before butchering them. Appreciated...

3Dlord
 

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I let mine hang for a day or so before I used to take it to the processors, where it would hang for another day. Now that I am butchering my own, Ill let them hang for a few days before I cut them up as long as the temps allow it. You want to allow the rigor mortis to go away before you cut up the meat. IMO, aging for a long period of time does nothing as Venison does not contain much fat. Beef and other meat is aged to allow the fat to work its way into the rest of the meat a bit. At least, that is what I have been told by butchers.
 

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I've heard that you should wait at least 36 hours because rigor mortis sets in and then clears up around 36 hours, allowing the muscles to relax.
 

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Generally I prefer to hang for 7-10 days to allow the meat to age which increases tenderness. If temps don't get above 45 and don't fall much below 32 I will hang outside. Otherwise I quarter and hang in a converted icebox set up to age meat at about 34 degrees for 7-10 days.
Same here. A 5 1/2 year old buck will taste the same as a 1 1/2 year old doe.
 

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Back in 2001 I shot a doe at 8:30am. Field dressed it, drug it back to camp and hung it up. At 10:30am we were hanging around on the porch. My dad went over and cut out the tenderloins, we fired up the grill, threw some seasoning on them and cooked them.

The only thing I can recall from that morning was how delicious they tasted.

A few weeks ago my dad butchered a deer in the garage that hung for a few days. I told him to keep some meat out for dinner. He pulled out a tenderloin and a backstrap, I seasoned them up (some may have seen the pic I posted here ;) ) and grilled them up that night. I would say these were better than the two hour old deer. Maybe it was the fact that we were at a dinner table in a warm house with a bottle of vino and a baked potato instead of standing outside in 22°F snow with some Irish coffee but, there was considerable difference in tenderness.

We don't cut them up the same day, they hang for at least 2-3 days.

Also of note, my first archery deer was shot on opening day in 1994. I remember this day not just because of the obvious reason but also because it was 90° that day and low 80°'s the rest of the week. We completely pulled the esophagus out and put the deer in the shade during the day and hung it at night. It was that way for about 4 days. The meat was fine when we got home and butchered him.
 

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To drain, I think that is about it. They don't always hang meat in the slaughter house.
 
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