how long before gralloch

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Fursty Ferret

Well-Known Member
Lets say you were in a fairly busy high seat. You shoot a beast but dont want to make a disturbance cleaning out the deer as you may ruin the chance of another shot. What is the maximum amount of time you could leave a dead beast before gralloching? Assuming the meat would enter the food chain.
Based on a good heart lung shot if that makes any difference
You may or may not retrieve the beast depending on its location
 

Naseby

Well-Known Member
Lets say you were in a fairly busy high seat. You shoot a beast but dont want to make a disturbance cleaning out the deer as you may ruin the chance of another shot. What is the maximum amount of time you could leave a dead beast before gralloching? Assuming the meat would enter the food chain.
Based on a good heart lung shot if that makes any difference
You may or may not retrieve the beast depending on its location

I would be interested to hear what the experts think, but I always gralloch straight away.
I would not think the risk of the meat spoiling is worth the possibility of a second shot.
I would rather leave them be and return another day. Just my personal view though
 

Klenchblaize

Well-Known Member
Perceived Best Practice aside the choice remains that of the risk of gassing or fly contamination from an open carcass if left unattended.

I've always thought there is a judgement call to be made in the hotter months that will be greatly influenced by experience, location and equipment.

Not specific to the question but if you have no choice but to drag a carcass over Highland ground including bog or burn which approach would result in less contamination? Of course in the so-called bad old days you simply hung the carcass in the FC larder and gave it a thorough blasting with a hose to get the crud out.

K
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
If you're in a fairly busy high seat I think the shot, retrieval and gralloch won't make too much difference and certainly not worth pushing any limits just for another shot unless you are talking about such quantity of deer that more than one shot can be taken within minutes.

You are always risking the second shot to be a runner which might take an hour or more of tracking. What do you do? You should go and find the wounded animal of course but at the expense of leaving the first one to spoil?

Take one thing at a time. Have respect for the dead animal, go and get it make sure it's dead and treat it properly. Hang it under your highseat in a fly net and get back up there for the next one if you choose. If there are deer in the vicinity they will return.

Others may disagree but I know what I'm more comfortable with.
 

ruby tuesday

Well-Known Member
If I could see the beast was dead from my position I would leave if for about 20 minutes maximum if I couldnt see the animal I would follow it up straight away,its no good leaving it for 20 minutes only to find it takes another thirty to find it by which time the gas has built up and the gralloch becomes a lot more interesting.while its alive its deer when its dead its venison.
 

howa243

Well-Known Member
Personally I see no immediate rush. You would wait for a while anyway to ensure the animal has expired properly and the carcass would only spoil badly if you had struck it too far back.
 

Mulac

Well-Known Member
I think it is about treating the deer with respect and therefore you should follow up immediately if you can see it is definitely dead or after 10 minutes if it needs time to succumb. You have already disturbed the area by your shot anyway. Waiting 30 minutes then going would probably re-disturb the area just when the deer are starting to move about again.

The old adage 'a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush' or something like that....

​Mulac
 

arron

Well-Known Member
If you're in a fairly busy high seat I think the shot, retrieval and gralloch won't make too much difference and certainly not worth pushing any limits just for another shot unless you are talking about such quantity of deer that more than one shot can be taken within minutes.

You are always risking the second shot to be a runner which might take an hour or more of tracking. What do you do? You should go and find the wounded animal of course but at the expense of leaving the first one to spoil?

Take one thing at a time. Have respect for the dead animal, go and get it make sure it's dead and treat it properly. Hang it under your highseat in a fly net and get back up there for the next one if you choose. If there are deer in the vicinity they will return.

Others may disagree but I know what I'm more comfortable with.

Well put , i have quete often given it 30 mins then get down and deal with your animal , a simple fly net is a good investment for the summer also
 

6pointer

Well-Known Member
I would say best practice is a very good guide here 10 minutes to make sure the animal is completely dead keep looking for signs of life during this time. Then go and make your deer ready for the food chain.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
30 minutes max, less in hot weather.

I agree, under the present weather conditions (expected 29'c today in SE England) 30 mins would be pushing it to the limit as fly strike wouldn't take long to occur, however in cold and dry weather it is not so urgent. Getting it back and into the chiller as quick as possible is vitally important in this heat and letting the carcase cool down to the required temp.

Fly nets are ok in the very short term to protect the carcase from fly strike, but just make sure the carcase does not touch the sides as flies will still lay their eggs on the outside against the net, especially where blood has collected. Personally if you have a deer down in hot weather it is best to get on with it and get it in the chiller in my opinion.
 
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jdevers

Member
personally if i know the deer is down and dead i would gralloch straight away first cut the jouglar vein and let the animal bleed out properly for a min or two this stops the meat becoming to bloody
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
I agree, under the present weather conditions (expected 29'c today in SE England) 30 mins would be pushing it to the limit as fly strike wouldn't take long to occur, however in cold and dry weather it is not so urgent. Getting it back and into the chiller as quick as possible is vitally important in this heat and letting the carcase cool down to the required temp.

Fly nets are ok in the very short term to protect the carcase from fly strike, but just make sure the carcase does not touch the sides as flies will still lay their eggs on the outside against the net, especially where blood has collected. Personally if you have a deer down in hot weather it is best to get on with it and get it in the chiller in my opinion.

Precisely:thumb:
 

Buchan

Well-Known Member
Agreed 30 min max or less if hotter. I've not been able to find any decent references (quiet day and ****ing down) although I have seen some that no bacterial growth from muscle has been shown up to 24hours after death and with no evisceration. I'm not sure I believe that. I've been presented with dead sheep around 6 hours dead that stink - although I suspect most have died from Clostridial infection, so the meat is already contaminated.
Your biggest risk from leaving the carcass is that the you get gas build up very rapidly (within 10 minutes) and this stretches the gut wall. It makes the risk of puncturing the gut higher and that is when you can get spectacular carcass contamination.
To answer the OP, I'd get it gralloched ASAP in summer or winter!
 

1st Pattern Paul

Well-Known Member
All depends on the weather. As said in this heat then as soon as possible, but in the winter months when it's struggling to get above freezing then literally hours, well 1 or 2, but only if you can be sure the gut hasn't been ruptured, i.e. head shot. My biggest problem is that if I leave them too long the the carrion crows will eat the arse end out of them.
 
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bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Sorry but I will stand by the 30 minutes maximum,1 or 2 hours is far to long even in winter, even after death the stomach contents will keep on fermenting and produce gases which will cause the abdomen to distend, this will make removal of the rumen more difficult to do without causing spillage and contamination.

Also fermentation of the stomach causes heat to build up in the carcase this will happen regardless of the outside temperature though it will have a greater effect in warm weather.

This heat caused by fermentation can cause the carcase to go off, this will normally be seen a day or two later,this is what is known as a fired carcase and will result in it being condemned by the game dealer.

Also after a period of two hours it would be virtually impossible to bleed a carcase.
 

Mungo

Well-Known Member
I've once left one for about 45 min in exactly this situation. Air temp was about 10C.

Based on that, I'd say 45 min was too long - the abdomen had really blown up, and I did puncture the gut when gralloching. However, the meat was fine.

If faced with a similar situation, I think I'd stop at 30 min at the very most.
 

badbob

Well-Known Member
As soon as possible, or 15-30 mins

The body temperature will stay around blood heat temp
for a long time, even in winter
​ opening the body and removing the viscera allows the core ( and meat) temperature to cool quicker
( even in the summer)
 

1st Pattern Paul

Well-Known Member
Sorry but I will stand by the 30 minutes maximum,1 or 2 hours is far to long even in winter, even after death the stomach contents will keep on fermenting and produce gases which will cause the abdomen to distend, this will make removal of the rumen more difficult to do without causing spillage and contamination.

Also fermentation of the stomach causes heat to build up in the carcase this will happen regardless of the outside temperature though it will have a greater effect in warm weather.

This heat caused by fermentation can cause the carcase to go off, this will normally be seen a day or two later,this is what is known as a fired carcase and will result in it being condemned by the game dealer.

Also after a period of two hours it would be virtually impossible to bleed a carcase.


In ten years of culling about 150ish animals per year (park deer), this is on top of my wild deer, I have never had a single carcass rejected. So like yourslf I'll stand by what I say and that's based on a fair bit of experiance. I agree that in warmer weather they need doing asap, but in cold weather you do have time on your side. I wouldn't leave one of two hours through choice of course but sometimes the terrain leaves you no option. It is possible to get a very blown stomach out without bursting it easily if you are experianced at it and know how to do it.
BUT that said of course you're right and it should be done ASAP just because of best practice.
Thanks
Paul
 
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