How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

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Panman1949
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby Panman1949 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:58 pm

I will be doing my own this year.  Bought a Kitchen Aid mixer with a grinder and stuffer.  Friend does it this way and will be helping with my first.  Thanks for the tips guys.  Pan
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howhill1
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby howhill1 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:14 pm

having killed a few deer in warmer than ideal temps ive had to cut up a few the day they were killed. after reading an article in d&dh(go figure) ive found that the same tenderizing can be done in the fridge in a few days. even meat that has been frozen.
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JPH
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby JPH » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:28 pm

Well here we are. The ol' "to hang or not to hang" debate. [:D]
 
Guys, I have too much respect for you (and you have handled too may deer) for me to try to change your mind. I've handled a few myself and I am too happy with the results I am getting to change either. But for the sake of those who are not so set in their ways, I'll offer the case for boning a deer immediately, and I expect nothing less from you. Again, all due respect, and I'd eat at your table any day that you'd have me.
 
"Tasty Myths" by Richard Wulterkens appeared in the Sept. '96 issue of D&DH, and it can be found on p. 143 of the book "25 Years of D&DH". I consider this to be a landmark article for me. Prior to reading it, I allowed my deer to age outside for several days in cool weather. No more.
 
While it is an excellent article overall, I will stick to the points that effect the question at hand. He explains that in order for venison to be properly aged it must be stored under a CONSTANT 40 degrees. If it is warmer, the meat will spoil and if it drops below freezing, ice crystals will form in the tissue and burst cells. We cannot produce a constant 40 degrees outside of a walk in fridge.
 
Furthermore, beyond the article, I have found the issue of toughness to be far more about preparation. Overcooking on the grill, or undercooking in the crock pot, can/will result in toughness.
 
My system is to hang a deer and pull the hide off ASAP. I have a cooler, ice, and a clean bags standing by. I try to bone with a razor sharp knife. Choice cuts (loins, backstraps, and roasts) go in one bag. Stew and grind meet go in another. From there I can pack these in the cooler where the temp will remain more constant for a few days, until I can get to some serious trimming and packaging.
 
I am far from a master chef, but I've never had anyone turn their nose up at the venision that I have handled.

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howhill1
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby howhill1 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:44 pm

having attended my first family cattle & hog slaughter at the age of 4 i agree with jph. the meat we aged whether it was deer , pork ,or beef was done in a walk in. since ive started cutting my own here at the house i dont have that luxury any more. the most a deer has hung here is 24 hrs only if it was below 50 and above freezing. the steaks chops and roasts we enjoy are as succulent and tender as any ive had. just my 2 cents from what ive experienced.
"please join the N.R.A. as well as your state rifle association! these are critical times for ALL gun owners. Be informed, be active and stay vigilant"

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Goose
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby Goose » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:25 pm

Interesting post jph as always, you may have changed my mind, makes sense, dont now if the meat spoils or cells burst but it makes me think I am not losing anything by getting all the work done before I enjoy my old fashion and reflect on the hunt!
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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Patriot
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby Patriot » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:26 pm

ORIGINAL: JPH

Well here we are. The ol' "to hang or not to hang" debate. [:D]

Guys, I have too much respect for you (and you have handled too may deer) for me to try to change your mind. I've handled a few myself and I am too happy with the results I am getting to change either. But for the sake of those who are not so set in their ways, I'll offer the case for boning a deer immediately, and I expect nothing less from you. Again, all due respect, and I'd eat at your table any day that you'd have me.

"Tasty Myths" by Richard Wulterkens appeared in the Sept. '96 issue of D&DH, and it can be found on p. 143 of the book "25 Years of D&DH". I consider this to be a landmark article for me. Prior to reading it, I allowed my deer to age outside for several days in cool weather. No more.

While it is an excellent article overall, I will stick to the points that effect the question at hand. He explains that in order for venison to be properly aged it must be stored under a CONSTANT 40 degrees. If it is warmer, the meat will spoil and if it drops below freezing, ice crystals will form in the tissue and burst cells. We cannot produce a constant 40 degrees outside of a walk in fridge.

Furthermore, beyond the article, I have found the issue of toughness to be far more about preparation. Overcooking on the grill, or undercooking in the crock pot, can/will result in toughness.

My system is to hang a deer and pull the hide off ASAP. I have a cooler, ice, and a clean bags standing by. I try to bone with a razor sharp knife. Choice cuts (loins, backstraps, and roasts) go in one bag. Stew and grind meet go in another. From there I can pack these in the cooler where the temp will remain more constant for a few days, until I can get to some serious trimming and packaging.

I am far from a master chef, but I've never had anyone turn their nose up at the venision that I have handled.

 
As usual, I agree with JPH here.  Unless you have a walk in cooler, you can't guarantee what will happen.
 
I love teaching my friends how to process their own deer.  It's also nice to get their help with my deer too!
 
I debone everything and take the trimmings to my smalltown butcher.  He only charges me 50 cents a pound to grind / wrap it.  I make sure to get my own meat back.
Paul K. "aim small, miss small"
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Squirrelhawker
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby Squirrelhawker » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:39 pm

The constant 40 degrees makes sense. I have done it both ways and what we do is usually dependent on the weather,with 40 degrees average being the magic number. I can't say either way makes better or worse table fare. I believe other factors in handling need more attention. Things like prompt and thorough field dressing and immediate cooling of the carcass as much as possible. Also a thorough flushing with a hose not only helps clean but cool the carcass through evaporation and draining.

One thing I will say and the folks who bone out immediately will most likely back me up here is that the hide comes off way easier right away rather than later.

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bigwisconsinbucks
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby bigwisconsinbucks » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:37 pm

I have to agree with JPH and Squirrelhawker also. We usually skin our deer the night we shoot it and cut up the meat either that night or the next day. The hide comes off a lot easier when the deer is still warm and it allows the meat to cool over night. Normally if we get one opening morning, we'll let it hang all day, skin it that night, and cut it up that night or the next day.            Also, on my 5 pointer I shot the 14th we put the meat in salt water in the refrigerator right away to allow the meat to cool off over night and to draw most of the blood out.
Kyle

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:56 pm

If the weather is permitting and it's cool enough we'll skin the deer that day and then cut it up either that night or the next day.  If the weather is a little warmer we'll bring it down to the locker.

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shaman
 
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RE: How Many Here Butcher Their Own Deer?

Postby shaman » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:19 am

As a guy who used to work for a company that made frozen meat products, the idea of aging deer is useless, probably counter-productive, and possibly dangerous.  Remember that "aging" in beef production is done to meat that is not going to frozen.  Freezing in this case is all the "aging" you need to bring venison to proper flavor and consistency.  Remember that your slaughter operation is done in the open woods, away from modern hygiene.  The safe way to do it is to get the venison out of the woods, refrigerated until it can be processed and then deep frozen as soon as possible.

The only thing that "ages" when you age beef is the fat.  Fat is nearly non-existent on a deer. If you age a deer carcass, all you are doing is drying out the meat and giving harmful bacteria a chance to grow.  Aging is done to beef that is never going to be frozen.

If you package and freeze venison immediately, the fibers of the meat will be broken down. When it thaws, the venison will be properly relaxed and flavorful.  In this case freezing actually replaces the aging process, and in venison, it does a better job.

My advice to all hunters who do their own:  get your venison into a freezer as soon as possible.
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