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I'm not sure if I;m supposeded to be here or in '...the other thread..."...Anyway...I want opinions on the best, easiest way to dress/prepare home-killed deer for the freezer. Thanks. I've heard three (3) ways: 1) Kill it & put it in the freezer. 2) Kill it & let it hang for 4 or 5 days - then put it in the freezer. 3) Kill it & put it on ice for three or four days before putting it in the freezer. I'd like info/opinionons... Thanks.
 

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I'm not sure if I;m supposeded to be here or in '...the other thread..."...Anyway...I want opinions on the best, easiest way to dress/prepare home-killed deer for the freezer. Thanks. I've heard three (3) ways: 1) Kill it & put it in the freezer. 2) Kill it & let it hang for 4 or 5 days - then put it in the freezer. 3) Kill it & put it on ice for three or four days before putting it in the freezer. I'd like info/opinionons... Thanks.
As far as #2: don't do it unless it is COLD out. Unless you want to throw your meat away.
I'd vote #3.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If you have room in your refrigerator, cut the deer up and put it in large pot or pans, cover and allow to age for several days. I have a couple of Lems plastic meat lugs, tote bins, that I use in our refrigerator that is in the garage. Works very well.
 

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I picked this trick from Rantingredneck.

Take a large cooler and put in an area that stays shaded all day. Open the drain and put a board under the opposite end so it will drain. Line the bottom with ice bags. Put down a layer of tin foil. Now qtr your deer and place on the tinfoil. Put another layer of foil on top. Then put ice in gallon zip locks and lay it on top.

Close it up and leave it for 4 or 5 days checking the ice level once a day.

Then finish your butchering.

I did 3 deer this way last year and it made a big difference in the flavor of the meat.
 

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I picked this trick from Rantingredneck.

Take a large cooler and put in an area that stays shaded all day. Open the drain and put a board under the opposite end so it will drain. Line the bottom with ice bags. Put down a layer of tin foil. Now qtr your deer and place on the tinfoil. Put another layer of foil on top. Then put ice in gallon zip locks and lay it on top.

Close it up and leave it for 4 or 5 days checking the ice level once a day.

Then finish your butchering.

I did 3 deer this way last year and it made a big difference in the flavor of the meat.
Sorry to hijack but could this be used with rabbit and/or squirrel too?
 

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Sorry to hijack but could this be used with rabbit and/or squirrel too?
Growing up we always cut up rabbits and squirrels and brined them. Essentially, add a boat load of table salt to some water, cover the game with the brine and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Sometimes we'd add "stuff" to the brine for seasoning. Pepper, herbs, wine, etc.

After the brine, rinse, roll in flour or cornmeal, some pepper, and pan fry. Or, if headed to the freezer, rinse, pat dry and seal n ziplocks with parchment paper between the pieces.
 

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A couple things.

Freezing it and thawing it out later takes the place of some of the aging. The thawing out breaks down the meat. If I don't have time to deal with it I will freeze the deer in quarters. I usually wrap it in a trash bag or two. Then later I will thaw it out and keep it on ice as I butcher it.

What I prefer to do is to skin and quarter the deer. Put it on ice. Over the course of a couple days finish boning, cubing, and cleaning up the kill for processing. Then take a day to grind, cut and wrap. I have a doe in the cooler that has been in there a week and will get ground and wrapped tomorrow. I generally let them stay on ice for a week. Also, I just throw the ice on them and let them sit in the ice and water for most of the week. As I get the meat close to processing, cubed or cut into steaks or whatever; I place them in colanders in the cooler to drain. Today I drained all the water, topped off the ice, put a couple pots in there and raised the colanders away from the water. By the time I get to it tomorrow the meat will be drained and ready to grind.

Both of these have worked well for years.
 

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I picked this trick from Rantingredneck.

Take a large cooler and put in an area that stays shaded all day. Open the drain and put a board under the opposite end so it will drain. Line the bottom with ice bags. Put down a layer of tin foil. Now qtr your deer and place on the tinfoil. Put another layer of foil on top. Then put ice in gallon zip locks and lay it on top.
I did this for the first 10 years of my hunting life. Well similar to this. We used half gallon milk jugs full of frozen water that we cycled in and out of the deep freeze. since a trip to town for ice would have cost money. Pa-Pa was a crappie fisherman and, like me, had a thing for coolers. SO, we had huge ice chests handy.
An important note is to keep the flesh from submerging if you do use ice a few clean bricks in the bottom of the ice chest or some tupperware bowls flipped upside down work good to provide a drain space.
 

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I soak mine in my large cooler in ice water for about 3 days. I check the ice and water twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening, to make sure it's plenty cold. Soaking in that cold water seems to work good for removing a strong game taste, especially if it was a buck during the rut.
 

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the best eliminator of gameyness in venison that I have found is head shots.
#1 no adrenalin
#2 no muscle tension at death
#3 no long trailing job
#4 no bloodshot meat
#5 no chance of torn lower organs
#6 did I mention they fall down?
 

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I would love to hang all deer I shoot for a day, but in NC the temps are hit or miss even late in the season. So, normal job is field dress, pack cavity with ice if it is going to be more than 1 hr till I can skin and Q. After Q, I will put in cool with ice bottles for 2-3 days ( just depends on when I can get to it). I don't like for the meat to soak or touch the frozen bottles, I don't think deer has a "gamey" taste, it is not going to taste like cow, which is fine to me. Kinda like my home raised chicken don't taste like the ones from the store. Neither taste bad just different. Sort of like shrimp does not taste like lobster.

After the 2-3 days, I cut out the roast, steaks, and the rest is cleaned up for grinding ( the job I hate the most. Don't have the $$ for a "good" grinder, small one works, but a pain to use.) This year I plan to cut out chops to practice for some lambs that I will butcher.
 

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Since I was at the end of processing my deer I thought I would snap some pics.

Here is my cooler setup. I'm low on ice from being in and out of it and not worrying as much on the last night. The pots are to raise the colanders out of the water. I had 2 colanders full and one half full of meat.



Here is the style grinder I am using. I love this one!



And here are the results of 10 minutes of grinding. I ground the entire deer except for the inner loins, which were for breakfast this morning. 27.5 lbs of wrapped burger.

 

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Couple things some may not know.
Meat will go into rigor regardless of its condition, on the bone or cubed up its gonna rig out.
Deer Meat can be aged. Since theres not much fat to begin with theres less to cut off as well. PM me and I will give you my prosess.
White vinigar can be applied to the surface of your deer, if hanging (outside or in a cooler) and will prevent the growth of mold if your aging. You must use a clean CLEAN cloth. In fact, even if your only letting one hang a few days wiping it down with distilled white vinigar is a good idea.
Suberging the deer meat directly in ice water doesnt drain MORE blood. It looks like more since theres water.
The best way is to use frozen milk jugs and keep the meat dry while it is in the ice chest. place a towel in the bottom of the cooler to absorb the extra moisture. When your ready to prepare a roast or large cut you should brine it for an hour or so. This will pull that last bit of blood out and allow the seasoning you put into the brine to penetrate the meat.
 

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Ok, funny story that contributes nothing to this blog.

I grew up in upstate NY around the Buffalo area and we have been deer hunting since I was little. The season starts late November and we would be out there the first day right right before dawn waiting.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of Buffalo in late November knows the temps rarely get above 45 inside your garage and any deer we caught we hang from the rafters. I don't remember how long we left them there but it seems like 2-3 weeks to age the meat as we did with the cow we split with my uncle. (Cow was at uncles not our garage, neighbors would be pissed to see that)

Ok, now the funny story. My dad bagged 3 deer in 3 days (double doe permits that year) and hung them to age. Now myself and my 2 brothers thought it was cool to show the neighbor kids the deer. I was showing a couple of the kids from down the street and we started doing our best ROCKY impersonation on one of the deer. We beat the snot out of that deer first with fists and then with hockey sticks and bats. My dad must of heard the ruckus or my mom blew us in but my dad comes into the garage yelling "what are you guys doing!" So here's three boys, 2 with hockey sticks, standing there hiding our grisly hands behind our back and deer slowly swinging back and forth and at the same time we all say "nothing......"

Spoiled that deer we thought we were "tenderizing" with our KOHO's and Louisville sluggers. This was late 70's and I found out why mom and dad was pissed. We supplemented our 1/2 cow with deer to save money and we just wasted a lot of meat with our stupidity. Even to this day we have a good laugh about it, and every time my son replies "nothing" I smile inside..........

John
 
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