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Thread: Buck hanging in garage - how long have I got?

  1. #1

    Buck hanging in garage - how long have I got?

    As a result of a generous offer to get out last night I now have a buck hanging in the garage and can get some venison back in the freezer.

    Was wondering how long I have before I need to skin and butcher.

    Looking at the forecast it's staying pretty cool - max 7 today, and might go 2 degrees higher Friday.

    Am I OK for a day or two or should I get it sorted tonight?



  2. #2

  3. #3

    In a chiller at 4 degrees you are good for a week and must admit that length of time the meat really does improve. It sort of firms up and tenderises at the same time and they become easier to skin as well.

    In the current temps 2 or 3 days you should be fine - make sure it has some air moving though. I shot one on Monday evening late and butchered in yesterday evening. It would I think been better to leave it till this evening. But then it has been cold - 5 degrees max and colder at night, and the shed is out of the sun.

    I reckon on about an hour to an hour and half to have it butchered. If you have room in the fridge I would leave the haunches whole and leave them for a few more days covered loosely with a bit of grease proof paper to age a bit more.
    Last edited by Heym SR20; 28-04-2016 at 10:46.

  4. #4
    I hang mine in the shed in a muslin tube to keep off insects, but deal with them as soon as I have the opportunity. I have to plan in the time to process the carcass when planning my rare stalking outings too so for example, I avoid Sunday evening stalks as I won't have time to deal with the deer on a Monday morning. It would be different if I had a chiller but then it's so rare that I'd need it that I can't justify using up the space. When I have the chance, I avail myself of my various hosts' better lardering facilities and bring the deer home skinned and quartered.
    Last edited by Pine Marten; 28-04-2016 at 11:23.

  5. #5
    The 3 deer I've done at home I hung overnight in my cellar, then skin and part-butcher the following morning. Like PM I plan around my work pattern so I know I'll have some time. I take the loins/backstraps off whole and lay them in my spare fridge on a tray, and the two launches I keep whole and hang in the fridge below, it's a standard size fridge and there is just enough space to hang fallow haunches whole.
    The shoulders, etc I don't worry about chilling, because I use it all for dice/mince and stick it straight in the freezer. It's not ideal as the meat is still a bit "slimy" for cutting, but it tastes fine wheb cooked.
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
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  6. #6
    As I have a fridge I usually hang mine for a week, give or take, depending on time available. At the suggestion of my local butcher, who said hang for eleven days, I hung for ten last time. The improvement to the meet was very noticeable. Especially the mince which was dryer and full of flavour rather than mush.
    As the meat drys the texture improves across the board.

  7. #7
    I'd agree with Heym.
    If your garage is as cool as the outside air at the moment (4C at present with snow showers not too far north of you), your garage is vermin free, clean and dark and temperatures stay low you could leave it as long as you would in a fridge. The meat will dry out less than it would in a fridge. Hanging time depends on where the shot was, extent of meat damage, skin on or off, humidity etc.. Trust your instincts and your nose. I'd probably leave it till the weekend.

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I'll hang mine in the chiller for a few days if I can, but I've also butchered them the same day and not noticed any appreciable difference.

    I have a day job that takes priority so I fit in the butchering around that as necessary.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  9. #9
    2 to 3 days for Roe at 5 degrees in a chiller, then the skin is whipped off and the carcass is delivered privately to a chef.
    For guided stalking opportunities here in Devon and Dorset including Red, Sika, Fallow and Roe deer + deer related training including skinning, butchery and trophy preparation. All abilities welcome.
    Email your enquirers to
    Facebook users are encouraged to join our local community page "Devon Stalking".

  10. #10
    Do both. Skin and breakdown into major sections and then fridge it for a few days.
    That is what I do with all of mine, although I have a very large fridge in the garage which is purely for overspill from the one in the house, so loads of space.

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