How Long Have You Let a Deer Hang??

How Many Days

  • Cut up immediately

    Votes: 9 12.7%
  • 24 hr hang

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • 1-7 days

    Votes: 29 40.8%
  • 7-14 days

    Votes: 23 32.4%
  • 14+ days

    Votes: 9 12.7%

  • Total voters
    71

Bulldawg

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I have a deer hanging right now and was kind of wondering how long some of you guys have let a deer (or any big game a reckon) hang prior to cutting up? I can't remember what my longest has been but I think that it was around 7-10 days. This deer I have right now has been up for 7 days now and I think it is going to make it to 12, probably going to have to take it down to have some for thanksgiving.
 

go4thegusto

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I fridge age the quarters and back straps 7-10 days in pillow cases and rotate occasionally so no moisture gathering in one area. Been doing that for 25 years and works great...yum!
 

UtahJimmy

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I prefer at least 10 days for deer and 14 for elk. I do take the inside tenders out within a day, and sometimes the backstraps within a week. Depends on the animal and whether or not it's hide is still on.

Stuff that was deboned in the field does not get this luxury. Too much meat lost to exposed surfaces drying out.

Only bone in or hide on hang for extended periods in my walk-in.

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Bulldawg

Bulldawg

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Dang 28! I guess I should also ask if you guys do skin on or skin off? I have done both, I prefer skin on if I'm in a spot where I can get a deer out whole, heck one time we hung a whole elk off the back of my buddies deck in college, the downstairs neighbors weren't too impressed. I like skin on because of the fact that less meat dries out and it's easier.

I like to go 21 to 28 days, as long as I can keep it between 33 and 40°. Degrees


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robby denning

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Dang 28! I guess I should also ask if you guys do skin on or skin off? I have done both, I prefer skin on if I'm in a spot where I can get a deer out whole, heck one time we hung a whole elk off the back of my buddies deck in college, the downstairs neighbors weren't too impressed. I like skin on because of the fact that less meat dries out and it's easier.
Skin on saves some drying. Chef John Mcganon (sp?) has done seminars on aging game at Western Expo and recommends the long aging times. His website was called wildeats.com and has a bunch of info on there. I had him on the Rok Blog years back. Guy knows his stuff and follow info his advice made my bucks taste so much better.


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Te Hopo

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If I have access to a chiller, I'll let it hang in there up to 14 days with the skin on.
But most of the time I have to hang it in my shed so I can only give it two days max, then I'll age the legs in the fridge for how ever long.
 

tymdodge98

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A friend of mine has a cooler setup specifically for hanging big game, we hung are deer this fall for 7 days, at 35 degrees. Turned out great!


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5MilesBack

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I like to go 21 to 28 days, as long as I can keep it between 33 and 40°. Degrees
Wow. No wonder I'm not a fan of deer meat......I've never let them hang long enough.

heck one time we hung a whole elk off the back of my buddies deck in college, the downstairs neighbors weren't too impressed
One year in college a couple buddies and I were going deer hunting. Beforehand I asked a girl I know......if we could hang our deer in her garage from the rafters when we got back. She said "sure". She comes home from work one day, opens the garage door, and freaks out from the three deer hanging there. She later tells me she didn't think we'd get anything. Duh.
 

WhiteOak

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Back in NJ I cut up white tails as soon as I could as I had nowhere to hang them. I was able to get my first mule deer out whole this season(last time I do that) and hung him in my pole barn with smoke wafting off my smoker over him for 2 days while I was still off work. I ended up leaving work a couple hours early my first day back because I was panicking that all the dirt, animals, and bacteria in the world were trying to get to my deer lol. He was just fine. This was the best deer meat I've ever had and I believe aging for just those few days was the cause. My bag of trim smelled like mesquite smoke. There is no "gamey taste" and the steaks are nice and tender. It wasn't much but he was still slowly dripping blood even the 3rd day. We grilled the tenderloins as soon as we hung it up and the meat tasted fantastic but had a super fresh blood pungent sent to it that disappeared when you popped it in your mouth.
 

Azone

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1 to 3 weeks, it depends on work schedule and when I will have time in the evenings to process. When hanging for the long haul it has always been very important to me to get ALL BLOODSHOT OFF the meat. Blood will end up slowly rotting and creating a awful smell in the walk in cooler and make meat taste horrible. Rubbing the carcass down in a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar has seemed to help also, then patting dry with a clean towel. As far as crust forming on the meat a real light breathable game bag saves some trimming on that part. If meat is mis handled in the field or while being transported no amount of aging or even the worlds best sausage recipe will save it.
 
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juan trueno

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That’s interesting, You notice an improvement specifically in flavor since you’ve adopted the longer aging period? I don’t ever have the opportunity to go that long as the animals I can get out whole I can’t hang whole so they get quartered up first anyway and moisture loss can become an issue. I generally feel ok with no less than 4-5 days to at least get through rigor and prefer going towards 10 and will often refrigerate cuts that are cut and packed prior to 10 days for an additional 5 days or a week prior to freezing in order to keep the enzymatic activity working- but this is all in the name of texture/ tenderness on my end and definitely makes a difference over eating one that just died. I wish I could go towards a month- I’ve eaten beef that had been hanging a week and it’s nowhere near the product shoppers are accustomed too
 
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When I have access to a hanging cooler to hang one I hang them skin on for @14 days. If no cooler then I wet age in a cooler with ice draining for 5-7 days. Deer aged in a hanging cooler at 36-38 degrees for a couple of weeks makes the best meat by far. I try to be super careful gutting a deer to hang so as to not contaminate any meat. I use no water and dry and clean the cavity with paper towels if I’m going to hang it. Really ! No water if you’re hanging it ! Blasting it out with a hose will spread bacteria and make it rot !
 
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Bulldawg

Bulldawg

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Update,

I let my buck hang for 28 days before I cut him up, skin on, in the garage. Meat was hanging around 36-38 degrees during that time frame. At around day 16-18 I started seeing some mold start to form on the cavity of the deer where the insides was exposed to the air. At day 28, there was a lot of mold haha. When I cut the the deer up I didn’t lose much because I left the skin on there wasn’t much dried up and no rind on the outside of the meat. I cut up the deer a little different than I have in the past by keeping the hams whole because I am going to smoke them, and I kept one shoulder blade whole for braising, and I also kept the backstraps on the bone as well, this left me with only 8 pounds of hamburger meat, that’s ok I have a lot from my elk.

When I first ate some of my backstraps I wasn’t completely sold on the 28 days, and really didn’t like dealing with the mold that was present. The taste was pretty good but nothing special, I did lose some of the flanks and paunch because they dried up on the inside and wasn’t left with much to salvage.

But the other night I cooked up some loin that was on the bone on the traeger and good googli moogli was it good, best steak I’ve ever had. At that point I knew that the aging had done something for that meat. I am not sure if I’ll go for 28 days again, I think between 14-21 would be sufficient. If I kill a deer and I can hang it whole I’ll continue to do so with the skin on.

Also, cooking in a Dutch oven with meat on the bone is my go to these days. Cooking the shoulder blade on the bone is fantastic way of doing it and is a great alternative to making burger out of the whole dang thing.


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robby denning

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Update,

I let my buck hang for 28 days before I cut him up, skin on, in the garage...

When I first ate some of my backstraps I wasn’t completely sold on the 28 days, and really didn’t like dealing with the mold that was present. The taste was pretty good but nothing special



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Glad you gave it a try. A few things I’d offer

1) the mold is what you’re looking for and will really accumulate sometime after two weeks.

2). You’re right about the backstraps, they don’t really benefit from aging more than about a week (or before they dry up) as they are already pretty tender. With skin on like you did, after a week you could skin down from the spine just far enough to remove them and let the other tougher cuts continue to age. As you found with the loins, aging drastically improves the taste

As far as the waste, chef McGannon told me, I’d rather have 50 lbs of premium meat than 60 of not-so-good





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