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Q:
Hey i shot a 8 point on Saturday and i was wondering how long i can hang it? i was worried about the temperature because its been hanging for two days and its been and average of 40 degrees and it hasn't got above 44 degrees and i was just wondering what is the highest temp you can hang a deer in? should i butcher it tomorrow?

Question by tony167n. Uploaded on November 09, 2009

Answers (13)

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from mihunter wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i have let a deer hang for 5 days, but it was around 32 those days (best meat i ever had), so...i would cut it up either tomorrow or the next day.

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from BioGuy wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

There's no rush as long as you keep it out of the sun and the weather stays below 45 degrees.

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from kolbster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i agree with bioguy, i try and let them hang anywhere from 5-10 days with the temp around 32-38

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Your temps are good, butcher when convenient (as said above keep in shade).

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i agree with above, as long as the weather stays like that you've got a few more days at least, if needed. i'm guessing it's below freezing at night? you could place a bag or two of ice in the chest cavity if needed too, but it doesn't sound like you need to.

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from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The key here is to keep the meat at a temperature of 50 degrees or less. Anything much above 50 and the logs for pathogen and microbial growth begin to increase significantly. If you're ever in a situation where the weather is to hot to let it hang: quarter it up and place on ice in ice chests for a few days. keep draining the water and adding more ice as needed. This allows the blood to drain from the meat, resulting in a tastier product.

The Meat Police

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

You are pushing it with temps above 38-40 degrees. JMHO

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from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter,

You're right on the money, 38-40 degrees is an optimal environment to let the meat hang. This is plenty cold enough to maintain an internal temperature of 50 degrees or less in the meat, while at the same time not being too cold as to restrict fluid drainage.

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from Christian Emter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

That is cold enought to hang a deer. I don'r hang a deer for very long. maybe a couple of days. I know some people who like to hang it for a week if the temps are col enough and that way they can peel the skin right off.

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from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Reasons to hang your deer:

If you cut, package, and freeze the product while the carcass is still hot, before rigor mortis has set in, the meat will stop "breaking down". The problem with this is that once you thaw the meat again, rigor will set in and make it very tough.

The primary reason you want to hang your deer for a few days is to prevent toughness of the meat and increase palatability. Rigor will set in just hours after death, but will actually "pass" after a period of hanging. After the second or third day of hanging, the carcass will limber up a bit, and you can notice the meat won't be nearly as stiff by just poking it with a finger. This is the reason why your local butcher will hang a beef or pork carcass for a few days, usually a minimum of a week. The palatability will increase due to proper fluid drainage, and the product will be more tender.

I prefer to hang my deer a minimum of 3 days, longer if temperatures permit. Like I mentioned in a previous post, you want the meat to have an internal temperature of 50 degrees fahrenheit or less. If temps are getting much above that, use the ice chest method I mentioned earlier.

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from matouse3 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Let it hang. Those temps are great for a week long hang.

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from eddie21 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Thats perfect. It won't freeze and it won't rot. Leave it hanging for a couple weeks and tenderize the meat and your backstraps will be great!

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from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I agree let it hang. At our deer camp we let deer hang for a week with the hide on. We leave the hide on for insulation. As long as it cools off in the night it can get pretty warm during the day. I skin deer with my 4 wheeler so getting the hide off is no problem. We have a professional butcher in our camp and this is what he recommends.

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from mihunter wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i have let a deer hang for 5 days, but it was around 32 those days (best meat i ever had), so...i would cut it up either tomorrow or the next day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BioGuy wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

There's no rush as long as you keep it out of the sun and the weather stays below 45 degrees.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

i agree with bioguy, i try and let them hang anywhere from 5-10 days with the temp around 32-38

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

The key here is to keep the meat at a temperature of 50 degrees or less. Anything much above 50 and the logs for pathogen and microbial growth begin to increase significantly. If you're ever in a situation where the weather is to hot to let it hang: quarter it up and place on ice in ice chests for a few days. keep draining the water and adding more ice as needed. This allows the blood to drain from the meat, resulting in a tastier product.

The Meat Police

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

You are pushing it with temps above 38-40 degrees. JMHO

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter,

You're right on the money, 38-40 degrees is an optimal environment to let the meat hang. This is plenty cold enough to maintain an internal temperature of 50 degrees or less in the meat, while at the same time not being too cold as to restrict fluid drainage.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Reasons to hang your deer:

If you cut, package, and freeze the product while the carcass is still hot, before rigor mortis has set in, the meat will stop "breaking down". The problem with this is that once you thaw the meat again, rigor will set in and make it very tough.

The primary reason you want to hang your deer for a few days is to prevent toughness of the meat and increase palatability. Rigor will set in just hours after death, but will actually "pass" after a period of hanging. After the second or third day of hanging, the carcass will limber up a bit, and you can notice the meat won't be nearly as stiff by just poking it with a finger. This is the reason why your local butcher will hang a beef or pork carcass for a few days, usually a minimum of a week. The palatability will increase due to proper fluid drainage, and the product will be more tender.

I prefer to hang my deer a minimum of 3 days, longer if temperatures permit. Like I mentioned in a previous post, you want the meat to have an internal temperature of 50 degrees fahrenheit or less. If temps are getting much above that, use the ice chest method I mentioned earlier.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I agree let it hang. At our deer camp we let deer hang for a week with the hide on. We leave the hide on for insulation. As long as it cools off in the night it can get pretty warm during the day. I skin deer with my 4 wheeler so getting the hide off is no problem. We have a professional butcher in our camp and this is what he recommends.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Your temps are good, butcher when convenient (as said above keep in shade).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

i agree with above, as long as the weather stays like that you've got a few more days at least, if needed. i'm guessing it's below freezing at night? you could place a bag or two of ice in the chest cavity if needed too, but it doesn't sound like you need to.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Christian Emter wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

That is cold enought to hang a deer. I don'r hang a deer for very long. maybe a couple of days. I know some people who like to hang it for a week if the temps are col enough and that way they can peel the skin right off.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from matouse3 wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Let it hang. Those temps are great for a week long hang.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eddie21 wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

Thats perfect. It won't freeze and it won't rot. Leave it hanging for a couple weeks and tenderize the meat and your backstraps will be great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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