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Thread: Hang & Age Your Deer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default Hang & Age Your Deer

    Hi everyone, very new here, but not to new to deer hunting, both bow & centerfire, but I'm far from being an expert.

    Had an ok season so far, one doe and a spike buck for me and one late day big boy 8 pointer for my hunting buddy, got him deep in the swamp, never again!

    We've been taking great care of what we harvest, with careful field dressing, cleaning and icing them down. Ate one back strap so far, wow! The best in a long time.

    Anyway, the spike buck I got with my bow early today, and we did the usual care, then brought it back to our man cave butcher shop and hung it up to age for 3-4 days. Now usually we, but me in particular I like to hang and leave the skin on during the aging process.
    But this time my partner said it's better and/or easier to remove the skin now, then age, then butcher.

    What are your thoughts on hanging a clean field dressed deer for 3-4 days..... Skin on? ...or Skin off?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    S.E.Connecticut
    Posts
    5,206

    Default

    If it's cold enuf ,mid 30's or colder , 5-7 days skin on. Hung an 8 pt. in the barn tonite , but it's supposed to be 40-50's next few days so mite have to go in the cooler.
    Fly and light tackle fishing with Captain Steve Burnett....
    www.fishwatchhill.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    266

    Default

    It's true that it's much easier to skin right away, but I wouldn't let it age that way. I think the outside layer of your meat will dry out. Like what happens to the exposed meat in the chest cavity when you let it hang.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks guys I appreciate your input,very helpful.

    Yes the weather is gonna climb I bit, so I'm gonna keep an eye on things and maybe start butchering it.
    I guess Im sold now on skinning first, then hang to age...

    Believe it or not was watching on youtube, a DIY walk in cooler using a standard AC and a unit called COOLBOT. Think I may go for it and start building one early spring, then I won't have anything to worry about early on in bow season when temps are warm.

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi Boltman,
    I used to butcher deer for hunters for many years. My opinion(and there are many on here) is to hang the deer, skin it and cover the carcass with cheesecloth. Hang where the temperature is constant, 35-40. Let hang for about 4-5 days. The deer's own weight will stretch the muscles and loosen the tendons and cartilage. Its like ageing a hanger steak.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northeast Kingdom, VT
    Posts
    3,829

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    We hang for a week if the weather is right, usually skin on. Take the tenderloins out immediately and eat- they dry out fast.
    I think we'd skin early if we had a cool room that could be temp and humidity controlled.
    Not all those who wander are lost. -Tolkien

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    North Jersey Woods ( NJW)
    Posts
    4,515

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    I take the skin off as soon as I get it home. The hotter it is the easier it comes off. Practically falls off. Then I immediately debone, package and freeze the steak meat. The meat to be ground goes on a board and into the chest freezer to firm up before grinding. (8 hours or so). I do about 10-15 a year for my family and sometimes more for friends.
    Last edited by longbow; 12-02-2018 at 08:19 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    I do about 10-15 a year for my family and sometimes more for friends.
    Wow 10-15, I see your in Jersey, I got a friend down there, If I remember correctly, he said you have lots of deer and no bag limit on one of the sexes ????

    AS far as the skinning goes from now on I will hang and skin my harvest as soon as I get it home.



    One last thing.... you all got some good size bucks down there ?
    I'm in Ct

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    S.E.Connecticut
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    5,206

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    The cooler I use belongs to a friend.He uses a 12000 btu air conditioner that has a thermostat modified to lower the temp. Might be the kit that was mentioned. Going to hang the deer in the cooler today.
    Fly and light tackle fishing with Captain Steve Burnett....
    www.fishwatchhill.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    North Jersey Woods ( NJW)
    Posts
    4,515

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boltman View Post
    Wow 10-15, I see your in Jersey, I got a friend down there, If I remember correctly, he said you have lots of deer and no bag limit on one of the sexes ????

    AS far as the skinning goes from now on I will hang and skin my harvest as soon as I get it home.



    One last thing.... you all got some good size bucks down there ?
    I'm in Ct
    I would skin it right away when it is warm, very easy. Then you can still age the meat for a few days like others have said if you wish.

    Limits are basically 6 total bucks and 9 does per season, shotgun, bow etc., which comes out to about 45 does. It used to be unlimited.

    There are some nice ones. They don't average as heavy as up in Maine, but some nice racks. Son got this one on youth day, which is about typical for a 2.5 or 3.5 buck.
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