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Old 12-03-2009, 10:34 AM
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Default How long is too long for an ungutted deer?



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I have gone 4 hours before being able to clean a deer in very warm weather. I would say thats getting close to the limit. The meat was fine and no one got sick. I know some who have ate deer they didnt find till the next day but the temps were below 50. Why push it if you dont have too I know. But why waste it if its not turned yet. 4 hours is kinda my rule of thumb since I and others I know have had to wait that long for one reason or another and these are temps in the 80's during bow season. Anyone ever take the chance and get sick? There are no hard rules on the subject and Im not sure if theres a way to tell if its turned or soured other than it really stinking. FWIW I clean mine as soon as possible but was wondering if anyone has further experience with ungutted deer.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:54 AM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
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i think as long as its reasonably fresh kill you should be fine i dont like hunting when its warm just cause fighting all the flies is a pain in the ass but you can eat eaven rancid meat if you parboil it doesnt help the tast tho
Old 12-03-2009, 12:13 PM
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I'd say there is hard rules about leaving the blood in it, the organs etc. and depends on how it was killed. If the guts were punctured, the bile sack, the liver, intestines, etc. that speeds up the process. Can't imagine killing anything in 80 deg weather, except fish.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
I'd say there is hard rules about leaving the blood in it, the organs etc. and depends on how it was killed. If the guts were punctured, the bile sack, the liver, intestines, etc. that speeds up the process. Can't imagine killing anything in 80 deg weather, except fish.
Thats the temperature if you bowhunt. Ive seen it in the 80's in December.
Old 12-03-2009, 02:10 PM
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I'd say there is hard rules about leaving the blood in it, the organs etc. and depends on how it was killed. If the guts were punctured, the bile sack, the liver, intestines, etc. that speeds up the process. Can't imagine killing anything in 80 deg weather, except fish.
This is the main thing to consider. Were the "guts" hit or was it a lung/heart area shot. Bullets can also separate/fragment inside the animal and do damage you can't see. I always try to field dress within one hour and have never had a problem doing so.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:34 PM
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In general, I like to field dress within 2 hours. Gutting cools down the body temp quickly, thus preserving the meat. In hot weather, I'd be very careful, period. I can't hunt at 80 degrees. Just doesn't feel right. Then again it's probably a function of growing up in a cold climate- New England.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:38 PM
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Thats the temperature if you bowhunt. Ive seen it in the 80's in December.
Hmmm, I'm in Florida, it's in the 50's now, getting down to the 30's tonite....with rain. Are you saying it's unseasonably cold?
Old 12-03-2009, 06:43 PM
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We let one go for about 24 hours before gutting (weather in the 50s). It was for the dogs anyway. The meat didn't smell too pretty and I wouldn't have eaten it myself, but they didn't get sick from it. I gut my deer as soon as I find it after shooting, so no chance of spoilage.
Old 12-04-2009, 11:11 PM
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Hmmm, I'm in Florida, it's in the 50's now, getting down to the 30's tonite....with rain. Are you saying it's unseasonably cold?
Not at all, but bow season is over too. We do have unseasonably warm days occationally.
Old 12-04-2009, 11:19 PM
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Jeff I wouldnt have ate it either, especially if it had a sour smell to it. Once the guts which will surely stink is out of the picture, and the meat is washed of and then still smells bad then what you have now is carrion. Which is edible if thoughly cooked and consumed immediately, however trying to freeze this and eat it later wouldnt be a good idea. There is a fine line between soured and rancid, and most really wouldnt bother with either one but this being a survival site, carrion is sometimes a possibility.
Old 12-04-2009, 11:37 PM
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I shot an elk through the liver while bow hunting years ago. I shot him around 6 in the evening, the first of September. It was warm. I didn't find him until 10 the next morning. We had one roast that tasted off. The rest was fine. That was by far an away an exception to the rules. Any nine other elk killed and recovered in like manner would've probably been ruined.

To give you an idea of heat retention: A friend of mine shot a bull with his bow up a steep canyon one evening. He field dressed it and left it. It rained part of the night and snowed the rest. We hiked up with packs while it was snowing. When we got to the elk about 9:30 the next morning, it was covered with a couple inches of snow. We started boning it out. I cut through and separated a hind quarter at the hip. The meat was still hot to the touch. It was good meat, but that gives you an idea on a large bodied animal how long it can take them to cool through if not dressed right.

Get them field dressed as quickly as you can. On larger animals, get them quartered, in the shade, and off the ground so the air can circulate around them. On smaller animals like average deer, still get them off the ground, even if not quartering. I've carried elk quarters into small drainages and seeps when I couldn't get them out until the next day. An area with moisture and shade may be significantly cooler than surrounding areas.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:36 PM
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The same thing is like this you cant refreeze meat thats thawed out.. now goto a bucture and they will tell you this what was my grandfather.. well he cut meat up.. and he was like ya you can it will be fine because the cold should kill most of the germs that start on the meat same with the heat when cooking it.. just dont do it to much because it will add some freezer burn taste to the meat
Old 12-16-2009, 12:48 AM
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In Montana, there are public announcements on the radio do not hunt unless less than 40 F because the meat will spoil.

The hunters "for-the-table" field dress their wild game: if not bleed out, bleed out, gut, remove the hide taking care not to have the hair or and dirt on knife or gloves touch the meat, quarter, and then, use a muslin bag/s and pack it out.

Next, the white fascia is removed, remove excess fat and the meat is "aged" 28-35 F, I understand, until after rigor.

I think those are the basics.

There are a lot more experienced here in the forum, than me.
Old 12-19-2009, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwb View Post
I shot an elk through the liver while bow hunting years ago. I shot him around 6 in the evening, the first of September. It was warm. I didn't find him until 10 the next morning. We had one roast that tasted off. The rest was fine. That was by far an away an exception to the rules. Any nine other elk killed and recovered in like manner would've probably been ruined.

To give you an idea of heat retention: A friend of mine shot a bull with his bow up a steep canyon one evening. He field dressed it and left it. It rained part of the night and snowed the rest. We hiked up with packs while it was snowing. When we got to the elk about 9:30 the next morning, it was covered with a couple inches of snow. We started boning it out. I cut through and separated a hind quarter at the hip. The meat was still hot to the touch. It was good meat, but that gives you an idea on a large bodied animal how long it can take them to cool through if not dressed right.

Get them field dressed as quickly as you can. On larger animals, get them quartered, in the shade, and off the ground so the air can circulate around them. On smaller animals like average deer, still get them off the ground, even if not quartering. I've carried elk quarters into small drainages and seeps when I couldn't get them out until the next day. An area with moisture and shade may be significantly cooler than surrounding areas.
Good post. Removing the skin is more critical for heat release than gutting. In fact, we don't gut elk anymore, we use the gutless method and strip in the field. Getting the skin off, quarters cut and hung is imperative. We have taken up to three days to get a bull out w/o any meat spoilage. When an animal is down too many think they have to get it out quickly, in fact, getting it cooled quickly is more important. In the areas we back pack into, there is no getting it out quickly. We throw logs over a stream and load the meat unto the logs, then leap frog it back to the truck. No need to gut elk or deer anymore with the gutless method, just remove skin, quarter, backstrips, and rib meat, bag and cool. If nothing else, get that critter on some logs so air can flow underneath it.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Patriot View Post
Good post. Removing the skin is more critical for heat release than gutting. In fact, we don't gut elk anymore, we use the gutless method and strip in the field. Getting the skin off, quarters cut and hung is imperative. We have taken up to three days to get a bull out w/o any meat spoilage. When an animal is down too many think they have to get it out quickly, in fact, getting it cooled quickly is more important. In the areas we back pack into, there is no getting it out quickly. We throw logs over a stream and load the meat unto the logs, then leap frog it back to the truck. No need to gut elk or deer anymore with the gutless method, just remove skin, quarter, backstrips, and rib meat, bag and cool. If nothing else, get that critter on some logs so air can flow underneath it.
Don't you have to gut it anyway to get to the tenderloin ?
Maybe I am not understanding the gutless method.
Old 12-19-2009, 06:34 PM
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Don't you have to gut it anyway to get to the tenderloin ?
Maybe I am not understanding the gutless method.
It's rather cumbersome to explain, but if you google "gutless method", you can have it explained much better than I can do here. There might even be a video or two out there, if not, let me know and I'll make one next fall!
Old 12-20-2009, 12:03 PM
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Here in Germany we hunters had to do a course about that.
Did you know, that the intestine bacteria get to the meat after 30 minutes?
Then the natural lock between gut and the meat breaks slowly so the animal is starting to digest himself. Of course this shouldn't be a big problem after 3 or 4 hours, even with warm temperatures. But I think you're gonna still taste it.

Here we had this discussion very often. The best example is that one:
The French hangs their rabbits for around 1 week in a warm room, with all the guts inside. After one week, when the stomach begins to color green :D, they still eat it. But remember - France is different to rest of the world ;-)
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:39 PM
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We dress goats at 40C to 50 C, the temperature isn't a problem. Deer its the same.

Gut your animal straight away, skin it and hang it, and wrap it in cheese cloth, to keep the flies off.
You can keep a carcass for 2 to 3 days at room temperature quite easily.

Infact allowing the meat to set will give you the best flavor.

If you do have refrigeration hang your carcass for 7 days at 3 degrees C, and you will have very high quality meat.

Most people don't realize that meat thats hung up a while is far superior to anything fresher. Beef and goat, lamb and venison develop a crust over the meat when its properly matured.

People ask me why the roasts and steaks I cook are better than anything they have tasted in their lives, its simple. Hang up the meat awhile, don't get all girlish about the meat spoiling. So long as its bled, gutted, and skinned, you are fine for 2 days at any temperature.

Put a cheese cloth around it if flies are a problem.
Old 12-25-2009, 02:35 AM
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cool tread :-)

edit : just think of it this way : freezers only existed in the last 50 or so years so ther is a way to keep it fresh
Old 12-26-2009, 07:00 PM
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Field dress them ASAP. Makes them easier to drag. Around here its about 30 or colder when we go deer hunting so we don't have to worry about cutting them up. We let them hang for a week or 2 in a machine shed. Soon as you hang it skin it. If you don't it will freeze and its a !@#%$ to skin then. Atleast when its 0 degrees like it does around here.
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