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Q:
how long can u wait after a deer is killed to field dress it and then process it with out refridgeration on a day in the 70's, temp wise.

Question by capodastro. Uploaded on September 01, 2011

Answers (18)

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from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I field dress the deer pretty quick, within 5-10 minutes. I've stuffed deer with block ice and kept them wrapped for a few days in that kind of temp. Wrapping them helps keep the bugs off which is the real problem in that temp. The meat has always turned out fine though.

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from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i was just wondering how long u have until its time to toss it in the dumpster or give it back to nature so to speak.

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from prairieghost wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i'd get it gutted asap and get the body cavity filled with ice. then, if available i get it quartered and into a fridge.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ASAP!!!

In temps below 60, you may have a bit more time.
I'm a real advocate of field dressing as soon as possible. I try to remove the animal from my "hunting" area, but even if I'll be home in less that 30 minutes, I'll field dress before leaving.
First off, I don't have to haul off entrails.
Second, the quicker you get it refridgerated, the better the quality of the meat.
Good luck, good hunting.

Bubba

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from country road wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

You would probably be O.K. for a couple or three hours with meat from the hams and backstrap, but you need to get it into a cooler with some ice ASAP.

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from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I always field dress immediatly after locateing the deer( 70 or -10) your going to want to get that meat cooling and it just wont do that with the insides in. plus who wants to drag out all that extra weight? as others have stated if its really warm stop by a gas station on the way home and buy bagged ice and put the bags in the body cavity.

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from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i was just wondering cause i saw a deer dead on the side of the road and it was a faun and I had not seen it 5 hours earlier, I also wanted to get some practice in dressing and skinning, and in the future harvesting some large game that way, any suggestions or should i just leave it be? its a lot of meat....

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from Greenhead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When I used to work in a slaughter house, the USDA gave us 1 hour. Considering that the rest of their regulations were pretty conservative, I would think 2 hours would be safe, not ideal, but safe. Of course, if you have a busted gut or something, you can be in trouble almost immediately.

With your road kill, I would be hesitant, but consider it. I would look really closely at the animal and see if I could get any indication of how long it had been there. If the blood is flowing or clotted, I would consider it. If the exposed blood is dried, I would pass. If there is any sign of rigor mortis, I would pass. If the eyes are clear, wet and shiny, I would consider it, if they are dry and dull or cloudy no thanks.

Obviously, proceed at your own risk! I do admire the frugality.

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from RES1956 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have killed a doe early in the hunt and waited on a buck until dark, then recovered the first deer. That's what 2-3 hours. I will gut the deer immediately then get it in the cooler ASAP. Never had any problems.

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a rancher friend in Texas who hunts on his own place. He field-dresses the deer immediately, and hauls it off to one of his outbuildings, where he skins it while the carcass is still warm. He peels the skin off like it was a banana.
Then the butchering begins, and the packaged parts are immediately put in the freezer with labels showing the contents and the date, with his initials. I never asked, but he may have eaten some before the barrel on his rifle had cooled down.

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from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I agree with the others ASAP, the meat wil start to turn pretty fast at 70+ degrees and it is vital to get it prepared right for safety and for taste.

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from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

And as for the roadkill I would leave it be depending on where you are. In Montana it is illegal to take game animals without a tag, even if they were hit buy a vehicle. The state workers will remove them from the side of the road if they need to be moved, but others are to not touch them.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Field dress and skin immediately, then quarter and get on ice ASAP!

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

This is why I want to hunt up North, not for bigger antlers, but because of warm early season temperatures. No problem though, I take 60lbs of ice and 3 ice chest one very large one medium size and one that will hold 8-12 oz cans all with ice and frozen recycled milk containers.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"...from capodastro wrote 13 hours 58 min ago
i was just wondering how long u have until its time to toss it in the dumpster or give it back to nature so to speak...."

After reading the above post and thinking about it a bit:

"If there is any inkling of a doubt that I will not be able to dress out a deer before it spoils, I WILL NOT shoot it!"
To allow "harvested" game literally, "go to waste" is a travesty!

Bubba

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from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

first bubba, i so completely agree, and live by that kind of philosophy for every aspect of life, no waste and complete respect for nature from trees to wildlife and everything in between!! but i was only asking because the deer was killed already by someone driving and i was just wondering if i could make use of it, so it did not die for nothing, but it sounds too risky both spoil wise and that the state of ct owns the wildlife unless u have a specific permit for the area and type of game, i dont want to risk my own hunting permit and lottery permit etc. but thanks to everyone for great advice as usual. love this website.

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from Patrick117 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

For taste the quicker the better. A friend of mine has hung a deer in 70 degree weather for 2 days inside a barn, it was field dressed quickly after shooting it, he claims it did not affect the flavor. I've helped a friend find and clean a deer the day after, and it was very gamey. You could still eat the meat of any rotting animal if it's cooked enough but it won't taste good at all, people did it all the time before refrigeration.

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from Jonathan Massung wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I realize this was a bit ago. But for others searching...and find this. It was mentioned

"from capodastro wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

i was just wondering cause i saw a deer dead on the side of the road and it was a faun...

at least where I live in Michigan and I think almost everywhere else, Fawns are off limits unless your DNR and have special collection permits.

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from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I field dress the deer pretty quick, within 5-10 minutes. I've stuffed deer with block ice and kept them wrapped for a few days in that kind of temp. Wrapping them helps keep the bugs off which is the real problem in that temp. The meat has always turned out fine though.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i'd get it gutted asap and get the body cavity filled with ice. then, if available i get it quartered and into a fridge.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ASAP!!!

In temps below 60, you may have a bit more time.
I'm a real advocate of field dressing as soon as possible. I try to remove the animal from my "hunting" area, but even if I'll be home in less that 30 minutes, I'll field dress before leaving.
First off, I don't have to haul off entrails.
Second, the quicker you get it refridgerated, the better the quality of the meat.
Good luck, good hunting.

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When I used to work in a slaughter house, the USDA gave us 1 hour. Considering that the rest of their regulations were pretty conservative, I would think 2 hours would be safe, not ideal, but safe. Of course, if you have a busted gut or something, you can be in trouble almost immediately.

With your road kill, I would be hesitant, but consider it. I would look really closely at the animal and see if I could get any indication of how long it had been there. If the blood is flowing or clotted, I would consider it. If the exposed blood is dried, I would pass. If there is any sign of rigor mortis, I would pass. If the eyes are clear, wet and shiny, I would consider it, if they are dry and dull or cloudy no thanks.

Obviously, proceed at your own risk! I do admire the frugality.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have killed a doe early in the hunt and waited on a buck until dark, then recovered the first deer. That's what 2-3 hours. I will gut the deer immediately then get it in the cooler ASAP. Never had any problems.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

first bubba, i so completely agree, and live by that kind of philosophy for every aspect of life, no waste and complete respect for nature from trees to wildlife and everything in between!! but i was only asking because the deer was killed already by someone driving and i was just wondering if i could make use of it, so it did not die for nothing, but it sounds too risky both spoil wise and that the state of ct owns the wildlife unless u have a specific permit for the area and type of game, i dont want to risk my own hunting permit and lottery permit etc. but thanks to everyone for great advice as usual. love this website.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i was just wondering how long u have until its time to toss it in the dumpster or give it back to nature so to speak.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

You would probably be O.K. for a couple or three hours with meat from the hams and backstrap, but you need to get it into a cooler with some ice ASAP.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I always field dress immediatly after locateing the deer( 70 or -10) your going to want to get that meat cooling and it just wont do that with the insides in. plus who wants to drag out all that extra weight? as others have stated if its really warm stop by a gas station on the way home and buy bagged ice and put the bags in the body cavity.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from capodastro wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

i was just wondering cause i saw a deer dead on the side of the road and it was a faun and I had not seen it 5 hours earlier, I also wanted to get some practice in dressing and skinning, and in the future harvesting some large game that way, any suggestions or should i just leave it be? its a lot of meat....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a rancher friend in Texas who hunts on his own place. He field-dresses the deer immediately, and hauls it off to one of his outbuildings, where he skins it while the carcass is still warm. He peels the skin off like it was a banana.
Then the butchering begins, and the packaged parts are immediately put in the freezer with labels showing the contents and the date, with his initials. I never asked, but he may have eaten some before the barrel on his rifle had cooled down.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I agree with the others ASAP, the meat wil start to turn pretty fast at 70+ degrees and it is vital to get it prepared right for safety and for taste.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tneal1987 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

And as for the roadkill I would leave it be depending on where you are. In Montana it is illegal to take game animals without a tag, even if they were hit buy a vehicle. The state workers will remove them from the side of the road if they need to be moved, but others are to not touch them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Field dress and skin immediately, then quarter and get on ice ASAP!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

This is why I want to hunt up North, not for bigger antlers, but because of warm early season temperatures. No problem though, I take 60lbs of ice and 3 ice chest one very large one medium size and one that will hold 8-12 oz cans all with ice and frozen recycled milk containers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"...from capodastro wrote 13 hours 58 min ago
i was just wondering how long u have until its time to toss it in the dumpster or give it back to nature so to speak...."

After reading the above post and thinking about it a bit:

"If there is any inkling of a doubt that I will not be able to dress out a deer before it spoils, I WILL NOT shoot it!"
To allow "harvested" game literally, "go to waste" is a travesty!

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Patrick117 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

For taste the quicker the better. A friend of mine has hung a deer in 70 degree weather for 2 days inside a barn, it was field dressed quickly after shooting it, he claims it did not affect the flavor. I've helped a friend find and clean a deer the day after, and it was very gamey. You could still eat the meat of any rotting animal if it's cooked enough but it won't taste good at all, people did it all the time before refrigeration.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jonathan Massung wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

I realize this was a bit ago. But for others searching...and find this. It was mentioned

"from capodastro wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

i was just wondering cause i saw a deer dead on the side of the road and it was a faun...

at least where I live in Michigan and I think almost everywhere else, Fawns are off limits unless your DNR and have special collection permits.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer