At What Tempratures do Deer Begin To Spoil

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by ky.longbeard, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. ky.longbeard

    ky.longbeard 10 pointer

    May 15, 2010
    Will a deer hanging at say 55 degrees last very long? The overnight temps are supposed to be down in the mid 40's. If you shot a deer at say 58 degrees and you skinned the deer as soon as you got home and let it hang overnight in the mid 40's would it be OK?
  2. Bubbles

    Bubbles Banned

    Oct 25, 2016
    I would trust 40's. Always heard 50's for a day would be fine but dont know if I trust that
    bearleft and bgkyarcher like this.
  3. Ben Allgood

    Ben Allgood Fawn

    Jun 17, 2017
    40 - 140 is the danger zone for meat. I'd keep it below 40.
  4. Drahts

    Drahts 12 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    I wouldn't go any longer than the morning. I'd either break it down and get in fridge, or cut it up.
  5. barney

    barney 12 pointer

    Oct 11, 2005
    If the cavity and weather is dry and no flies blowing it, a whole deer will keep longer than most think. If the cavity never dried and the air is damp it needs to be worked up ASAP.
    Munson and Dark Cloud like this.
  6. Dark Cloud

    Dark Cloud 12 pointer

    Aug 14, 2009
    Lawrence Co.
    I agree with Barney, keep the flies off of it
    barney likes this.
  7. 1wildcat1

    1wildcat1 Fawn

    Aug 4, 2018
    As stated keep it below 40 and dry to prevent bacterial growth. You want enzymatic action that occurs between 33-40 to tenderize the meat not bacterial growth. While you may get away with some higher temps than 40, I cannot in good conscience take a chance on allowing an animal I took spoil.
  8. ribsplitter

    ribsplitter Cyber-Hunter

    Jan 19, 2004
    Greenup, ky, USA.
    Below 50 daytime temps and leave the hide on and it will be fine for a long time . Leave the fat inside the cavity also until process time . If you remove the hide or internal fat it will dry out the meat and pretty much ruin it . Deer meat aged 4 weeks is so much better it's just very hard to do most times in KY without a walk in cooler.
    Winchester94 and Nock like this.
  9. Ben Allgood

    Ben Allgood Fawn

    Jun 17, 2017
    From the USDA:

    "Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures
    between 40 ° and 140 °F, doubling in number in as
    little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often
    called the “Danger Zone.” That’s why the Meat and
    Poultry Hotline advises consumers to never leave food
    out of refrigeration over 2 hours. If the temperature is
    above 90 °F, food should not be left out more than 1

    I'm not going to knowingly put my family, or anyone for that matter, at risk of becoming sick or worse.
  10. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

    Jan 2, 2009
    raised n Bullitt Co.
    Its a wonder daniel boone, Lewis and Clark, and all the settlers survived. Must have been vegetarians.
  11. WildmanWilson

    WildmanWilson 12 pointer

    Dec 26, 2004
    Western Ky.
    Many didn’t. They died early.
  12. WildmanWilson

    WildmanWilson 12 pointer

    Dec 26, 2004
    Western Ky.
    I don’t let my deer hang if it’s above 40ish. Sure if you cook spoiled meat at the proper temperature you will probably be ok.

    Just ask yourself, if you went to a processing plant and they had a cow you bought hanging outside in 50 degrees all day would you be happy? Or you went to the grocery store and they had steaks setting outside on a table at 50 all day would you buy it? Not me.
  13. Ben Allgood

    Ben Allgood Fawn

    Jun 17, 2017
    Read the Lewis and Clark journals. They brined and inspected a lot of meat, and otherwise, preserved it in some fashion. They also had it inspected and threw out anything spoiled. The health of their men was of utmost importance. Otherwise, they would not have succeeded.
  14. barney

    barney 12 pointer

    Oct 11, 2005
    There's a lot of difference in the handling of month old meat from a store and meat you just killed.
  15. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

    Nov 10, 2004
    The OC
    So while that temperature range is for bacteria growth, it doesn't specify if that's for spoilage organisms or pathogens, or harmless bacteria. The optimum temp range for Lactobacillus, the primary concern for spoilage, is like 85-105F. And the optimum temp range for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the primary concerns for pathogenic bacteria is 95-100F. The vast majority of bacteria that is currently on you, in you, and in and on the foods you'll eat tonight, are harmless bacteria that will have zero effect on anything.

    The other thing that is misleading with that information about the wide range of temps for bacterial growth is that they leave out the fact that these bacteria are not just floating around in the air waiting to contaminate anything and everything. The meat would have to be inoculated with the bacteria in the first place. It would have to be contaminated from some source--dirty hands, dirty knife, deer poop, etc.

    So if one were to hang a dead deer in a sterile environment, you could leave it hanging for a long time in a wide range of temps. However, realizing that's not very practical, as long as you don't contaminate the meat, the less than idea cool temps we have ahead of us should be fine--as long as you're not hanging it in direct sunlight. Basically, make sure you wash your hands before touching it and you should be fine. But you can also wipe down the exposed parts with Everclear or some other consumable alcohol and kill off whats on the meat. If you can find sanitizing wipes or spray that is quaternary ammonia, that would be good too and is actually rated for direct food contact.

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