2 deer this season. 1 taste terrible

tt_johnsclist

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May 25, 2018
Messages
319
I hunt in cold climates and always leave the hide on until processing, but wouldn’t do that in warm climates. If your deer was gut shot at all that could explain it, but I’m going with the added fat and/or the butcher not getting you your deer. Both have caused me problems in the past.
 

Little Joe

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Apr 12, 2021
Messages
13
2 deer this season. 1 archery, taste horrific. 1 rifle, outstanding.. Both does.

The doe that tasted terrible was probably still lactating. Early season does usually taste good, even when still lactating some. Sometimes you get a bad one. The bad ones I've seen all still had plenty of milk. Just observation over the years. Never bothered to see if their was any scientific evidence to support my observations. If I had to guess, and it is just a guess, I would bet it has something to do with the hormones they are still producing related to lactation.
 

Team4LongGun

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Aug 4, 2019
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470
I hunt in cold climates and always leave the hide on until processing, but wouldn’t do that in warm climates. If your deer was gut shot at all that could explain it, but I’m going with the added fat and/or the butcher not getting you your deer. Both have caused me problems in the past.

I also leave the hide on, but I put in my deer cooler within minutes of gutting and prop open cavity and blower is on and it's 38 degrees. I can't stand the tedious job of slicing off all the exterior meat/dried grizzle crap when hung with hide off. I'm not grinding that up and feeding it to the kids so this method works for me. Never had an issue with meat cooling down or taste.
 

camping1601

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Nov 13, 2014
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For the most part archery season temps are just too warm IMO to leave the skin on for any length of time. If it's cold enough it is perfectly fine to leave the hide on. In the end it all comes down to cooling the meat in an appropriate amount of time and maintaining a cool-stable enough temp during aging.
 

manitou1

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Mar 29, 2017
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670
Location
Wyoming
I have had to throw away entire deer done by "processors" due to being inedible. The reason we invested in a good grinder and we process ALL our own game... ourselves. Have processed our own for 15 years now and have not had a bad one: Mule deer, whitetail, and antelope.
 

Little Joe

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Apr 12, 2021
Messages
13
My experience is leaving the skin on negatively affects the taste.
Never ever leave the skin on. The fat under it will get rancid and taint the meat.
Like others have said. The faster you get the hide off and get the meat cool the better it will taste.
I have never found the above quotes to be accurate concerning leaving the skin on. When I was growing up, all the old timers, weather permitting, hung their deer with the skin on for several days to a week or more. When I say old-timers, I am talking about men who came of age from about WW1 to around WW2. The deer were almost always hung outside in a tree. Didn’t matter much if the days were a little warmer as long as the nights were cooler. This was done to age the meat. We ate a lot of deer meat and I can’t ever remember getting a spoiled piece or anyone having a deer go bad. If fact, if memory serves me, the meat tasted better, being more tender, than the quickly processed meat of today.

My view on the whole thing is that the old-timers lived a lot closer to the land than we do today. They hunted for food, not for horns, and couldn’t afford to let meat go to waste. Everything they did was for a practical reason, for a specific purpose, based on experience, not because they read it in a magazine.

I am not saying getting the hide off and cooling the meat quickly is a bad thing. I am saying there is a lot of bad data out there about meat spoilage due to leaving the hide on, or having to get the meat cooled immediately. Personally, based on actual experience, and I am talking truckloads of deer over multiple decades. Leaving the deer hang for a week with the hide on is certainly not going to hurt the meat, and will likely improve texture and taste.
 

87TT

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Mar 13, 2019
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2,057
Location
Idaho
Maybe they liked their meat "gamey". I don't care for it. I also remove as much of the fat as possible. And no cutting through or cooking with bones attached. The only deer or elk I ever had taste bad was my first that was processed at a local butcher. It had bone in steaks and chops (backstraps). Couldn't sneak up on that stuff with a bottle of catsup. almost quit hunting it was so gamey. been doing my own since for almost 50 years. So I guess I'm not quite as much of an old timer.
 

wyodan

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Jan 11, 2013
Messages
551
Location
Pinedale, WY
I have never found the above quotes to be accurate concerning leaving the skin on. When I was growing up, all the old timers, weather permitting, hung their deer with the skin on for several days to a week or more. When I say old-timers, I am talking about men who came of age from about WW1 to around WW2. The deer were almost always hung outside in a tree. Didn’t matter much if the days were a little warmer as long as the nights were cooler. This was done to age the meat. We ate a lot of deer meat and I can’t ever remember getting a spoiled piece or anyone having a deer go bad. If fact, if memory serves me, the meat tasted better, being more tender, than the quickly processed meat of today.

My view on the whole thing is that the old-timers lived a lot closer to the land than we do today. They hunted for food, not for horns, and couldn’t afford to let meat go to waste. Everything they did was for a practical reason, for a specific purpose, based on experience, not because they read it in a magazine.

I am not saying getting the hide off and cooling the meat quickly is a bad thing. I am saying there is a lot of bad data out there about meat spoilage due to leaving the hide on, or having to get the meat cooled immediately. Personally, based on actual experience, and I am talking truckloads of deer over multiple decades. Leaving the deer hang for a week with the hide on is certainly not going to hurt the meat, and will likely improve texture and taste.
Shoot 2 antelope, and leave the skin on one an see. I've never had a bad one with the skin off, always have a gamey taste with the skin left on. My thoughts have nothing to do with spoilage, it has to do with personal experience with the taste. Plus the old timers were a lot less likely to throw the meat away due to some gamey taste, they dealt with it.

It can age with the skin off. The downside is getting rid of the rand that develops.
 

Little Joe

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2021
Messages
13
I found, based on my experience, leaving the hide on, in and itself does not make the meat go bad. I have never encountered a problem with the meat by leaving the hide on, allowing the carcass to cool naturally, weather permitting. This contradicts the mantra of others.

Leaving the hide on for a week is one method that is very workable. The preferred method of many hunters I knew. Leaving the hide on was effective for what they wished to accomplish, higher quality meat in their estimation. They could have easily hung the carcass with the hide off. I usually hang with the hide on, weather permitting, and have not found an increase in how gamey the meat is. I also hang at times with the hide off. Not trimming the fat while processing, or failing to properly cleaning/washing out the body cavity after harvest, does negatively affect the taste.

Now 87TT, I have used you method multiple times in warmer weather. Immediately get the hide off, debone and trim the fat off the meat… Your method works and works well. I am not knocking it or trying to discredit your method, but it is not the only effective method out there.

I am trying to point out that leaving the hide on, as some in the thread have suggested, is not the reason the original poster’s deer went bad. Other factors were most likely involved.
 
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