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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14334618 12/03/19
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If in an area where temps are usually high, it is pretty easy to make a walk in cooler.

Build a room or shed out of OSB or? the size you think you will need.Usually about 6 X 8 feet, 7 ft tall and insulate with 2"of foam board. You will need 120V power to it. Equip it with a standard sized room air conditioner which are about $300. Then order a KoolBot system to control the air conditioner. About $300.
For less than $1000 you can have a great little walk in cooler that will keep the temp 36-38 degrees to age meat in.

Get 3 hunting buddies to chip in and you get one for less than $250 each


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: 1minute] #14334826 12/03/19
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1minute,

Yep, there is plenty of information in what is commonly called "meat science," but relatively few hunters ever read it, instead relying on hearsay from other hunters. I have heard from quite a few hunters that aging/hanging game doesn't do anything to the meat, because "deer and elk don't have the same chemicals" as beef. Which is BS.

In fact rigor mortis and aging also apply to gamebirds--which is why I eventually became puzzled about why so many Montana upland game hunters tore apart birds at the end of the day (which which had obviously gone into rigor by then), fried them up, and bitched about how tough they were. We take the innards out of both upland birds and waterfowl, then age them at least a week in a refrigerator (we have an extra in the garage).It makes a huge difference.

Perhaps the very best source for meat science on wild game is the Uniiversity of Wyoming:
https://www.uwyo.edu/anisci/facilities/meat-lab.html

I learned about thaw-shortening 40 years ago, back when I was a wildlife biology student at the U. of Montana, when it was called "cold-shortening"--and you actually had read stuff in UM's "paper library", instead of surfing the Internet.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: Mule Deer] #14334936 12/03/19
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer

In fact rigor mortis and aging also apply to gamebirds...



Good point.. I've heard far too many say they hated the taste/texture of game birds.


Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: saddlesore] #14334967 12/03/19
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rost495 Offline
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Originally Posted by saddlesore
If in an area where temps are usually high, it is pretty easy to make a walk in cooler.

Build a room or shed out of OSB or? the size you think you will need.Usually about 6 X 8 feet, 7 ft tall and insulate with 2"of foam board. You will need 120V power to it. Equip it with a standard sized room air conditioner which are about $300. Then order a KoolBot system to control the air conditioner. About $300.
For less than $1000 you can have a great little walk in cooler that will keep the temp 36-38 degrees to age meat in.

Get 3 hunting buddies to chip in and you get one for less than $250 each

Last time I ran mine my deer was covered in green growth by the time we got back on the weekend... I'll run a dehumidifier next time I do it. Ours is 6 inch walls, concrete floor with drain, R38 wall insulation IIRC, and OSB inside painted to be sealed and the 10x10 is WELL sealed.


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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: BobbyTomek] #14335038 12/03/19
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Originally Posted by BobbyTomek
Originally Posted by Mule Deer

In fact rigor mortis and aging also apply to gamebirds...



Good point.. I've heard far too many say they hated the taste/texture of game birds.


Most of the guys I know clean birds, from grouse to turkeys, at the end of the day (or end of the morning.) "Cleaning" them usually means breasting them out and throwing the rest away "because they're too tough." I gut my birds right off, then hang them till they come out of rigor. Spring turkeys, warm weather, I hang them in the garage, out of the sun, with a plastic grocery bag full of ice cubes in the body cavity, the handles of the bag pulled up through the gullet and hung around the bird's neck. When the legs wiggle freely again, I pluck them. I'll brine them overnight, then smoke roast them in the Weber charcoal grill. People can't believe it's wild turkey.



Mathew 22: 37-39

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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14335978 12/04/19
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I have read this, twice actually and am still not sure how to apply the information in the deep south.

I am going to kill a deer in the morning in 30-40 degree temps with afternoon temps in the 50-60 range or I am going to kill one in the afternoon with temps in the 50-60s and night time temps in the 30-40s.

It sounds like it would be best for me to get the meat off the bone immediately. Is that correct?

If I don't do that, I don't have a cooler to hang a deer in. I could probably quarter it out and get the quarters on the bone in large ice chests and keep those ice chests cool for a while. Would that work?

If not that, what's the best route.

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: PaulBarnard] #14336453 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by PaulBarnard
I have read this, twice actually and am still not sure how to apply the information in the deep south.

I am going to kill a deer in the morning in 30-40 degree temps with afternoon temps in the 50-60 range or I am going to kill one in the afternoon with temps in the 50-60s and night time temps in the 30-40s.

It sounds like it would be best for me to get the meat off the bone immediately. Is that correct?

If I don't do that, I don't have a cooler to hang a deer in. I could probably quarter it out and get the quarters on the bone in large ice chests and keep those ice chests cool for a while. Would that work?

If not that, what's the best route.



I usually hunt Se Texas so similar temps and humidity to you. I gut and skin asap, break it down to legs and torso and keep it in an ice chest for about a week. Will drain the water and add ice every day. Seems to work fine.

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14336479 12/04/19
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Thinking back to the time I spent in Kodiak. The Blacktails I killed there were the best wild game I have ever eaten. They were mild and tender. I always had them boned out and in the backpack immediately though. I wonder if that has anything to do with it or if they are just much better table fare.

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: rost495] #14336600 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by rost495
[/quote]
Last time I ran mine my deer was covered in green growth by the time we got back on the weekend... I'll run a dehumidifier next time I do it. Ours is 6 inch walls, concrete floor with drain, R38 wall insulation IIRC, and OSB inside painted to be sealed and the 10x10 is WELL sealed.


If this is only on the surface it can be removed with white vinegar and usually the meat is fine. Don't know if there is any truth to this but have heard white or green fungus/mold is not harmful but black colored ones can be, an actual growth not the usual discoloration of drying.. If it is below the surface and into the meat then it can only be cut off to salvage the meat. If there is a strong odor I give up, mild odor I will cook a test piece to see if it is salvageable. The French and other lovers of "high game" age their meat to this point intentionally.

It also sounds like your storage unit needs either some ventilation or combo dehumidifier air conditioner.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: PaulBarnard] #14336806 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by PaulBarnard
Thinking back to the time I spent in Kodiak. The Blacktails I killed there were the best wild game I have ever eaten. They were mild and tender. I always had them boned out and in the backpack immediately though. I wonder if that has anything to do with it or if they are just much better table fare.



I think it has lots more to do with your method than the species. We've been de-boning whitetail right after the kill and have done so for a number of years now, and the outcome has always been superb. The meat is tender and tasty.

I honestly feel many people just don't know how to handle meat properly. A relative once gave us a few packages of venison, and I threw it out. It had a distinct gamy odor to it, and cooking did not help at all. On another occasion, when one of our kids shot his first buck, the taxidermist processed the deer for us as I was having a rough day with my health issues. When I picked it up, I opened the ice chest and was hit with a pungent/musky smell. I am not sure if he contaminated the knife with the tarsals or what happened, but it was NOT fit for human consumption. That was the last time I ever had anyone other than ourselves tend to a deer. Incidents like this make me wonder how many folks don't like wild game because of similar experiences -- and perhaps think that is how wild game actually smells/tastes.


Bravo

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: BobbyTomek] #14337032 12/04/19
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Bobby,

The majority of hunters don't have much clue about how to take care of game.

One of the pieces of evidence we've run across over the years came from one of the members of Ducks Unlimited's Culinary Council, which was made up of professional game cooks of one sort or another. My wife Eileen was a member (primarily because she wrote both a waterfowl cookbook and upland cookbook for DU), but one of the others was a chef in California. He held game-cooking demonstrations in various venues throughout the state, where hunters could bring in their deer (or pigs, or whatever) and he'd use it for a dish. He rejected 80% of the game brought in as too ruined by field "care" to even be considered.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: PaulBarnard] #14337931 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by PaulBarnard
I have read this, twice actually and am still not sure how to apply the information in the deep south.

I am going to kill a deer in the morning in 30-40 degree temps with afternoon temps in the 50-60 range or I am going to kill one in the afternoon with temps in the 50-60s and night time temps in the 30-40s.

It sounds like it would be best for me to get the meat off the bone immediately. Is that correct?

If I don't do that, I don't have a cooler to hang a deer in. I could probably quarter it out and get the quarters on the bone in large ice chests and keep those ice chests cool for a while. Would that work?

If not that, what's the best route.



We moved from the Canadian border of NYS to South Carolina Low Country in July of this year. I have 5 deer tags in front of me right now. Other than the fact that our lives have been pretty busy adjusting to my wife's new job, my new job a new home, a new church and getting our younger kid through his last year of HS and into a good college, I haven't been pursuing it like I'd like to because I'm still a little uncertain as to what do do when I shoot a deer in the morning with temps in the mid 30's to high 40's and low 60's by noon. I've heard deer and hogs can be boned out, thrown on ice in a cooler, drain the water and put in new ice as necessary for a few days....guess I'll just have to jump off the deep end and give it a try.



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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: Mule Deer] #14338121 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
Bobby,

The majority of hunters don't have much clue about how to take care of game.

One of the pieces of evidence we've run across over the years came from one of the members of Ducks Unlimited's Culinary Council, which was made up of professional game cooks of one sort or another. My wife Eileen was a member (primarily because she wrote both a waterfowl cookbook and upland cookbook for DU), but one of the others was a chef in California. He held game-cooking demonstrations in various venues throughout the state, where hunters could bring in their deer (or pigs, or whatever) and he'd use it for a dish. He rejected 80% of the game brought in as too ruined by field "care" to even be considered.



I'd put myself in the category of those that don't have much of a clue. I do it like I was shown by others. That may or may not be the right way. What do you consider to be the best source for information on how to process my game meat given the climate I am in.

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: PaulBarnard] #14338204 12/04/19
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My wife's cookbook, SLICE OF THE WILD, is all about big game from field to table, including taking care of game in widely varying conditions. Quite a few experienced big game hunters have said they wish it had been published when they started out. It's available on our website, www.riflesandrecipes.com, and Eileen just started a sale that begins tomorrow, with 15% off on all her game cookbooks. If you decide to order from the website, enter Sale (spelled exactly like that) in the space marked "coupon" when you check out. Or you can phone 406-521-0273.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: Mule Deer] #14338225 12/04/19
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Originally Posted by Mule Deer
My wife's cookbook, SLICE OF THE WILD, is all about big game from field to table, including taking care of game in widely varying conditions. Quite a few experienced big game hunters have said they wish it had been published when they started out. It's available on our website, www.riflesandrecipes.com, and Eileen just started a sale that begins tomorrow, with 15% off on all her game cookbooks. If you decide to order from the website, enter Sale (spelled exactly like that) in the space marked "coupon" when you check out. Or you can phone 406-521-0273.


SLICE OF THE WILD is the all around best book on game prep and cookery that I have ever seen.



Mathew 22: 37-39

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Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14338437 12/04/19
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Just ordered two copies of "Slice of the Wild" for my two main hunting buddies, the others could run their own butcher shops.. Half my Christmas shopping is over. Thanks Eileen and John, Merry Christmas.

I have come a long way from hauling the deer slung across the hood of the vehicle where half would be questionable by the time you got home, but still have lots to learn. I like Eileen's scientific and diligent approach to these things, very helpful. Thanks again.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: Tejano] #14339137 Yesterday at 07:25 AM
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Thanks for the nice words and orders, guys.

One of the advantages of riflesandrecipes.com is Eileen is the phone-order person, so you can ask the cookbook author specific questions.


“Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans.”
John Steinbeck
Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: Kellywk] #14339294 Yesterday at 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kellywk
Originally Posted by PaulBarnard
I have read this, twice actually and am still not sure how to apply the information in the deep south.

I am going to kill a deer in the morning in 30-40 degree temps with afternoon temps in the 50-60 range or I am going to kill one in the afternoon with temps in the 50-60s and night time temps in the 30-40s.

It sounds like it would be best for me to get the meat off the bone immediately. Is that correct?

If I don't do that, I don't have a cooler to hang a deer in. I could probably quarter it out and get the quarters on the bone in large ice chests and keep those ice chests cool for a while. Would that work?

If not that, what's the best route.



I usually hunt Se Texas so similar temps and humidity to you. I gut and skin asap, break it down to legs and torso and keep it in an ice chest for about a week. Will drain the water and add ice every day. Seems to work fine.


This is what we do most of the time too. Get the deer cleaned and skinned as quickly as possible. If it is cold enough (or when we used to hunt at a place where there was a walk-in cooler) then we might let it hang until it is convenient to get it quartered, or if not, it gets broken down to bone-in quarters and iced down in my big cooler. We'll leave it on ice for a few days, drained daily, and then do the final cuts and wrapping and freezing at home. Ours seems to come out quite good with that method. I think the wet aging like that has the advantage of draining the blood out of the meet, which is supposed to be one of the factors that can effect the "gamey" taste.

Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14340281 Yesterday at 12:42 PM
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I do pretty much the same as others. If it is warm which it is a lot of the time I quarter and ice the animal as soon as I can. I add salt and put the drain on until there is enough metlt water to cover the meat. This cools the meat faster, draws out the blood, and slightly brine the meat. Then I add more ice and leave the drain open enough to drip. I have held meat for up to six days this way and it has always turned out good.

I think the only thing that could go wrong is if you chilled the meat too fast as it is going into rigor mortis.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
Re: Rigor mortis and tender steaks [Re: TheKid] #14340782 Yesterday at 03:53 PM
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A person cam build a large cooler very easy. Go to your local building supply store. Buy a few sheets of rigid foam board. 2" works well. Also buy a roll of Tyvek tape. Use hand saw to cut panels. I built mine on a pallet then used a cardboard refrigerator box to make the exterior more durable. The floor, top, sides are 2 layers of foam board. On my last antelope trip I filled two 100qt ice chests with 1 gallon/1 qt jugs of ice. At the end of the 12 day 100 degree hunt. The ice was still frozen. Shade and canvas painters tarps were used to cover/fill gaps in the box. The problem then becomes having room to haul it around on hunts. I have a 7'x16' car hauler trailer I use. Getting meat cold and keeping it cold is just a matter of being prepared.


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