BLEEDING A DEER

Deer, Elk, Moose, Bear, Hog

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BLEEDING A DEER

Postby steelslinger » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:54 pm

My buddy and I are having a debate, he thinks that a deer should go immediately to a processer so that the meat doesn't go bad. I like to keep it quartered in a cooler full of ice for about a week, draining the water off it every day until most of the blood is out of the meat. Seems to make the meat taste a little better to me. What is your opinion on this?

keep in mind that it is not cold enough here to leave it hanging in a tree for a few days
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby OrangeLake » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:37 pm

I've always done the same as you. I believe aging the meat is good for the taste and texture. Besides, why do some top slaughterhouse/processing plants do it too? Meat is allowed to hang in walk in coolers. As long as meat is kept cold and doesn't get wet it's fine. To each his own though.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby andymac32 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:03 pm

I agree also, we always let our deer or elk hang and sit in the cold while were still hunting. If its hot we'll quarter it and pack it away and keep it cool. I think cooling the meat down and getting as much of the blood out as possible is very important to the quality of the meat. just my 2 cents
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:36 am

If you have a cool clean place to hang a deer, I would hang it for several days. Often early in the season, this is hard to do, unless you own a walk-in cooler, so during those times I'll put my deer in an ice chest, like you do, for 3 days to a week.

Please explain to your friend that most beef is aged before processed.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby bgoldhunter » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:02 am

When you drop one off to a processor, he isn't going to have time to do anything then.

It's gonna sit in his cooler for 3-4 days before he can get to it anyways.....
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby GroundSwatter » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:16 am

bgoldhunter wrote:When you drop one off to a processor, he isn't going to have time to do anything then.

It's gonna sit in his cooler for 3-4 days before he can get to it anyways.....


Probably true. I process my own deer, so the delay in time is all on me.

here is a good article on hanging deer. http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/other/recipes/2006/01/deer-hang-time

Here is another article about aging and preparation, in an ice chest. http://www.outdooralabama.com/oaonline/venison07.cfm

Both seem to concur a week is about as long as you want to age it, which is more or less what I understood. So if you do take it to a processor, keeping it on ice for 3-4 days won't hurt anything.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby cjg » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:35 pm

I used to butcher mine up right away , just to get it over with. Then a few years ago I got a nice buck that just looked like he was going to be tough, it was late in the year, he was all scared up from fighting, only had half a tail from being shot at I'd assume, he just looked tough. I didn't leave camp with him for a week and it was a couple days hanging at home before I got to butcher him. He was one of the best tasting deer I've had, not tender like a small deer, but not tough either. Since then as long as my garage is cool enough I'll let them hang at least a week.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby Sagebrush » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:25 pm

As long as you gut any animal and let the heat out it will have good chance of being good on the table.

Keeping the hair off the meat and not hitting the gut sack is always a plus!!

Some go as far as cutting the sent glands off, but this is not needed.

Some even go as far as putting pepper (etc) in the nose and throat to keep the flys from "Blowing" the meat.

If you do "Split a gut", wash down the animal and them wipe dry with rags to dry the meat so a glaze will protect the outside if the meat from flys and insect.

When cleaned...............place the "Meat" into a game bag and store in a cool area. The head can be put, where ever, just remember, no hair, near the meat !!

If clean (no blood clots ) the meat can hang up to a week in a cold area under 40 degrees to "Age" which will make the meat very tender, in Calif. one old trick is to place the meat between bed mattresses during the day ,when temperatures rise, which keeps the meat cool, if you don't have a cooler.

Otherwise, you can get some BIG coolers and $100 of "Dry Ice" that will last a week ,in the Summer time at 90 degrees!!

Good hunting.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby cjg » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:15 pm

Sagebrush wrote: in Calif. one old trick is to place the meat between bed mattresses during the day ,when temperatures rise, which keeps the meat cool, if you don't have a cooler.



Now that is HARD CORE. :bow: My wife lets me get away with a lot of crap during hunting season, but I think she'd draw the line at storing meat between the mattresses. :yes:
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby Sagebrush » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:20 pm

Actually it was a deer club in northen Calif that had a room with four old mattresses piled up, which worked out great for the little costal blacktails that we hunted. The deer were taken outside to hang if the temperatures got low enough in the evening
and brought back in around 8 or 9am, before the heat arrived.

Once a deer has gotten a "Hard shell" or glaze over the soft meat, it is safe from flys and it is just a matter of aging, depending
on the temperatures outside and just has to be kept cool, any way possible .

Some say don't use water and just use a rag to rub down the meat, others use vinegar however I have never had a deer go bad
washing off a deer that has dust,dirt, sage,weeds, intestines, etc. as long as I cut off the bad meat areas,get as much hair off
the carcase, cut off excese fat and dry with rags and bag , before any flys ,yellow jackets or critters can get to the meat.

When "Boning out" animals in the field, we lay the meat on top of rocks or any tree limbs , til we can place the meat into a game bag and get it back to camp. There it is seperated to air dry and cool to get the heat out , and checked for hair.
Then it can be put into a container with "Ice" for the remainder of the trip, or at least kept cool as the last resort.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby joshco84 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:32 pm

we load ours up and take them back to the house as soon as we shoot them. We hang them on the bale bed of the pickup and gut and skin them. Then we wash them down with the garden hose and hang them in the garage to cool.

We try to let them go at least two days unless there is a time restraint. Usually 3 to 6 days in the garage.

However one time we let a doe go for about four days and then tried to cut her up. It had been cold as hell for a few days and she froze solid. We had to take her to the locker so they could do something with her. We always do our own processing otherwise though.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby don taylor » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:04 am

I sometimes freeze mine solid then take the band saw outside and cut it up. This is after I age it for 3-5. The closer to freezing you are, the longer it takes to age. Aging is really just the cells starting to decay and rot. If its below freezing outside your not aging your deer at all. You only have a few degree window to work with. This wasn't meant to respond to anyones post.

I also rinse my deers chest cavity out with a hose but would never soak it in ice and water. Unless you plan on using 4 rolls of paper towels to dry it before butchering, I'd say any left over water would speed freezer burn up.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby daffy... » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:10 pm

im native american, and a certified chef: i have a long blood line of white tail hunters. the butchering and leav in a ice chest is gross to me. you shouldnt have to bleed the blood out of your deer. infact if it doesnt come out on its own then it should stay. thats flavor and introducing water to the meat will make it go bad quicker and render any fat that may be in the meat. said simply your meat will be card board


if possible hang your deer from its head so the cavity can drain. wash the cavity with a hose, not! a stream. hang for 7 days if possible. if it gets above 45 deg you should butcher it and freeze it if its about 45 degs when you shoot it and that night its not going to reach 45 butcher it right away. cut any of the meat that had come in contact with the guys and cavity. we like to cut the lions out and eat those instead of freezing them (just not the same). freezing the rest. make sauage and jerky with the front shanks. steaks from the rounds and butt. lower rear quarters are also great for jerk and sauage. **** eat the heart right away!*****

i have a great sauage recipe if anyone is interested
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby oneshot-duckdown » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:09 pm

Regardless of what anyone else says. you win the argument. Leave it in the ice chest with ice and water for 3-5 days before you take it to the processor. I hang mine in my walk in cooler until I am ready to leave my property. may be a day or may be a week, then it is into the ice chest for 3-5 days on ice and water..........skin it when it's warm, quarter it when it's cold, bleed it till you take it to the processor
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby gregwile » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:35 am

Hang it to age it but keep it out of water. Getting the meat wet and leaving it that way will rob it of flavor and the water soaked into the meat will promote freezer burn if you freeze it , and spoilage if you don't, ie. smoke, can, etc...
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby devildog28 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:05 pm

I used to use water to soak the meat, but it turned it really gray.

If I'm just going to use it for cuts do I just keep it in ice 3-5 days and then just cook it or freeze it?
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby don taylor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:35 am

I've been butchering deer for over 25 years. I learned how from my father who was a butcher during the winter, when he was laid off from road crew.

The reason it turned gray is because you drew all of the blood from the meat. That's gross.

If you put it on ice, your probably keeping it too cold to age.

Would you soak a T bone in a bowl of water before you freeze it or cook it?

No, of course not. If you read about aged beef, like Kobe, its dry aged. No butcher shops or plants soak animals in huge vats of water.

I know that not everyone has space in their fridge to store a whole quartered deer, but unless you do, your not doing yourself any favors by aging it in any other way.

This seems to be a subject that's up for debate. I'm not doubting that some guys may have eaten a great meal from water soaked meat, but its just not the way its done.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby devildog28 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:28 pm

I said I USED to soak it in water. I changed my techniques with a hog a I shot last weekend and it came out much better.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby daffy... » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:55 pm

not only is it a great way to get a food born illness, it would taste terrible.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby Rick Hall » Mon May 17, 2010 4:44 pm

Never mind the ideal. I thought it pretty gross when I moved to the sunny South, too, but likely 9/10ths or more of Southern deer do time in ice water and taste just fine if handled with care before hand. Doubt the water gets far enough into the meat to have much effect on flavor, and know I've never heard of anyone getting sick on it.

(We've eaten three or four a year processed that way since the mid '80s.)
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby daffy... » Tue May 18, 2010 3:19 pm

Rick Hall wrote:Never mind the ideal. I thought it pretty gross when I moved to the sunny South, too, but likely 9/10ths or more of Southern deer do time in ice water and taste just fine if handled with care before hand. Doubt the water gets far enough into the meat to have much effect on flavor, and know I've never heard of anyone getting sick on it.

(We've eaten three or four a year processed that way since the mid '80s.)




to each their own; im not a certified chef or anything. may you have great health in your future
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby Rick Hall » Wed May 19, 2010 3:56 am

You forgot to throw in the native American part this time. But thanks for your concern.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby don taylor » Wed May 19, 2010 5:00 am

I knew a german family that ate raw ground meat. A big, uncooked meatloaf was a common meal and I literally vomitted when I watched them eat it and I was the only one who had any ill effects from it.

Just because you get away with doing it doesn't make it the safest or most appetizing way to eat something.

I also wouldn't turn to the south for deer processing tips, just as I wouldn't look to Maine or Pennsylvania for Crawfish cooking tips.

Soaking meat in chlorine enriched tap water is gross. That's just my opinion, but its damn near fact.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby Rick Hall » Wed May 19, 2010 5:35 am

Psst...Don, venison is a Southern staple with most states having limits most Northern deer hunters can only dream of.
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Re: BLEEDING A DEER

Postby don taylor » Wed May 19, 2010 6:21 am

Rick, do I have to dig up harvest reports? Last time I checked, we shot a quarter million deer in my state alone last year. We have no limit on purchasing doe tags in many parts of the state and have DMAP which allows farmers to shoot them at will.

You aren't killing more deer in the south, period. I'll give you ducks, but I'm from the wrong state to discuss deer harvests with a southerner who wants to talk volume.
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