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Old 01-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #1
mikeyb_23
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Default Deer in a cooler

Whats the longest you've left a deer iced down in a cooler? How long will it be good for?
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:22 AM   #2
Slick8
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I've gone two weeks. I normally go about a week.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
zr2chevy22
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Originally Posted by mikeyb_23 View Post
Whats the longest you've left a deer iced down in a cooler? How long will it be good for?
We leave ours iced with the drain plug open for 5 to 7 days. We just add ice as needed. Helps age the meat and get all the blood out.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:23 AM   #4
Guerrero88
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Three days for me
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
Chitchyaoutdoor
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one week for me, makes a difference for sure
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:32 AM   #6
smithb164
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I try to ice my deer down for a minimum of 5 days, up to 10 days. In my opinion, keep it cold, and drain the water and you're fine!
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #7
Smart
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8 days is the most have gone .....needs to be water free so keep tilted with drain free of blockage and the plug loosened to allow it to drip.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #8
ShawnG
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5-7 days for mine.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
HoustonHunter94
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week to 10 days here.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:40 AM   #10
ultralite09
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Usually a week, most I've gone was 12 days. Leave it in my Yeti with a metal greatest the bottom with a 2x4 on one end to tilt it towards the train plug. Have the garden hose drain plug on my cooler and run a 8ft piece of old garden hose out the garage and into the grass on the side of the house. Add ice if necessary. My deer never sits in water.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:44 AM   #11
Outbreaker
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I cycle ice over it for at least 7 days and up to 14 if it has been cold and the ice was not melting.

Makes a huge difference.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #12
Stolle
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Couple weeks give or take for me. I normally keep the plugs screwed in and drain and add new ice once a day. The meat always turns out great.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:42 AM   #13
topshot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyb_23 View Post
Whats the longest you've left a deer iced down in a cooler? How long will it be good for?
10 days, keep replenishing ice and draining water out. I place the meat inside trash bags to keep them dry (relatively)
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:44 AM   #14
Patton
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I’ve done 14 days when I was too busy with work. I refuse to bring meat to the processor. 7 days is what I target- on ice, angled with the drain plug open. Never let it sit in water.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:45 AM   #15
Pacman70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zr2chevy22 View Post
We leave ours iced with the drain plug open for 5 to 7 days. We just add ice as needed. Helps age the meat and get all the blood out.
This ^^^
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:09 PM   #16
AWnNETX
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I shot a doe with my bow on December 16th and quartered it into a cooler the next morning after letting it hang in the near freezing temps that night. The temperature never really climbed enough to cause much ice to melt over the next couple weeks so I just let the deer age until New Year's Day before butchering it and packing it away to the freezer. Normally I let mine go about 6 or 7 days but this one went much longer due to not having to drain water or add ice and I have to admit it's probably some of the best venison I've had.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:33 PM   #17
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I've left up to 20 days with no problem. 8-10 is plenty, 12-14 is usually my target.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:51 PM   #18
Hix
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I put mine in those cheesecloth quarters bags and ice down for up to two weeks. Drain plug out and tilted.


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Old 01-19-2018, 06:06 PM   #19
JeffK
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about a week but prefer around 3 days. no need to age for me. If it is not getting ground, it's running through the tenderizer.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:44 PM   #20
DarrellS
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What Hix said

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Old 01-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #21
Royal21973
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14 day @ 36 degrees with skin on... just gutted
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:57 PM   #22
bowmedic
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At least a week maybe 10 days..Usually on ice within an hour after the kill and then keep it drained and iced down to get the blood out. Makes all the difference..
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:34 AM   #23
TB80
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When you leave a deer in the cooler, I assume it is quartered. Or are you leaving it in the cooler gutted with the skin on?
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:39 AM   #24
Pineywoods
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I aim for 5-7 day depending on what I have going on. I think the longest I've gone is 8-10 days but have no doubt that there is no problem with going longer. I just make sure the cooler is always drained of water and has ice.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:45 AM   #25
TB80
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Follow-up question, when you are putting it on ice after quartering it, are you putting the meat directly on the ice, or putting it in some type of game bag or ziploc bag?
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB80 View Post
Follow-up question, when you are putting it on ice after quartering it, are you putting the meat directly on the ice, or putting it in some type of game bag or ziploc bag?
Trash bags here. Iím not keen on the color ice/water turns deer meat. It may be fine but the color oooks me out.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:02 AM   #27
Shortya
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Skinned quarters go straight on the ice (and covered with ice) for me. I used to put in trash bags to keep "dry," until I was scolded by the owner of a very well know meat processing plant in Dallas that bags is the worst thing you can do for the meat. Harbors bacteria and doesn't allow air flow for proper aging. I must say my venison is much better tasting and the Mrs. no longer tastes the "gamey" taste she once did now that I have quit bagging the meat.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:09 AM   #28
glen
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I have done a few weeks. I had a piece of ply board with a lot of holes drilled in it. I had blocks I’d put in bottom of ice chest. Fill bottom with ice deer on top of plywood. It’s red meat as long as it stays cool it is good to go
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:11 AM   #29
Tree ninja
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Just did 12 days on ice with no issues.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:07 PM   #30
twobittxn
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Longest is 14 days. Typical is 7.

On ice. Drain plug pulled. No bags.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:08 PM   #31
bowmansdad
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Usually a week or so for me. I drain once a day and add ice keeping the meat covered, drains clear after a week.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:32 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick8 View Post
I've gone two weeks. I normally go about a week.
^^6This. I've gone two weeks a number of times. Keep the ice fresh and the cooler drained.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:34 PM   #33
Lone_Wolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortya View Post
Skinned quarters go straight on the ice (and covered with ice) for me. I used to put in trash bags to keep "dry," until I was scolded by the owner of a very well know meat processing plant in Dallas that bags is the worst thing you can do for the meat. Harbors bacteria and doesn't allow air flow for proper aging. I must say my venison is much better tasting and the Mrs. no longer tastes the "gamey" taste she once did now that I have quit bagging the meat.
Heard the same as above^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Putting meat in trash bags, and then on ice in a bad idea. If you want to keep your meat dry. Freeze Milk Jugs or some other larger containers full of water(Gatorade jugs etc.)

Last edited by Lone_Wolf; 11-25-2020 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:40 PM   #34
critter69
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Trash bags here. I’m not keen on the color ice/water turns deer meat. It may be fine but the color oooks me out.
You mean venison tofu, yea I don’t get it. Treat it like you do any other meat, except the aging process does not necessarily benefit venison because of the lack of fat. If you butcher beef and place it on ice, I guess do the same with venison. If not then don’t ice venison, processors never soak them. You can soak it to try and make up for poor field care but man if taken care of properly it’s so unnecessary. There was someone making tofu jerky, I believe I seen it on this sight, and now every time I see one of these posts, I picture that in my head.

Last edited by critter69; 11-25-2020 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:05 PM   #35
meltingfeather
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Two weeks is my target usually unless Iím dropping it off because I canít get to it myself.
Two and a half is probably the longest itís gone.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:45 PM   #36
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Usually min 2 weeks, went 6 weeks once. It was fine.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:50 PM   #37
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Two weeks here but normally shoot for 7-10 days
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:41 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishndude View Post
Trash bags here. Iím not keen on the color ice/water turns deer meat. It may be fine but the color oooks me out.
This. Iíve never had an issue. Donít know how bacteria would grow if you cook it quick regardless of if itís in a trash bag or directly on ice
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:58 PM   #39
Tyler's Outdoor
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Max 3 days for me. Prefer to hang it overnight if outside temperature allows and process the next day. Does the meat still have flavor after letting ice melt over it for 2 weeks? Just trying to figure out the purpose of "aging" it for 2 weeks.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:05 PM   #40
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not less than three or more than seven for me,, covered with ice and drain the water every day or so,,, the water helps draw the blood out,,, i know some will disagree but i have never had an issue or bad tasting meat done this way
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:09 PM   #41
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I typically ice it and drain the water daily for 7-10 days. Iíve done less, and Iíve gone as long as 2 weeks. Everybody that ďdoesnít eat venisonĒ that has tried any Iíve cooked has loved it and changed their mentality about eating wild game. IMO, the worst thing you can do is gut a deer, hang it in a walk-in, then drop it off at a processor. Once again, thatís just my opinion.


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Old 11-25-2020, 10:21 PM   #42
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This. Iíve never had an issue. Donít know how bacteria would grow if you cook it quick regardless of if itís in a trash bag or directly on ice
As bacteria grow they create toxins. Cook it and the bacteria dies but the toxins theyíve produced donít go away.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:33 PM   #43
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Would y’all let ice melt over a high dollar steak?? Two 20lb bags of ice at the bottom of the cooler with the meat stacked on top. Put a rock under the end and open the drain. Moisture and heat are where bacteria grow, keep the meat dry and cool!!

If you need more ice, pull the meat out and put it on the bottom, rinse and repeat!

Last edited by cwbrown; 11-25-2020 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:37 PM   #44
hooligan
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Quote:
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As bacteria grow they create toxins. Cook it and the bacteria dies but the toxins theyíve produced donít go away.
How does bacteria grow if it is cooled quickly and what toxins grow?
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:49 PM   #45
Bisch
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Default Deer in a cooler

I usually go 3-7 days, but have left it 10 days with no problem. Just keep the water drained off. No bags.

Bisch


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Old 11-25-2020, 10:55 PM   #46
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7-14 days on ice. Keep drain loosened.

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Old 11-26-2020, 06:41 AM   #47
Arrowflinger84
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Weeks. Just keep it iced down good. It will drain all the blood and age the meat.

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Old 11-26-2020, 07:12 AM   #48
Rick
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Usually a week to 10 days. one time i went 18 days, 12 hours, and 32 minutes and it was still fine
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:25 AM   #49
AntlerCollector
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB80 View Post
When you leave a deer in the cooler, I assume it is quartered. Or are you leaving it in the cooler gutted with the skin on?

I’m not sure if you’re serious or not, but I will answer. Never put your deer in the cooler with the hair/skin still on it. Skin and quarter it up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TB80 View Post
Follow-up question, when you are putting it on ice after quartering it, are you putting the meat directly on the ice, or putting it in some type of game bag or ziploc bag?
I place the meat in trash bags to keep it out of the water. Your venison will look like a boiled chicken if you let it sit in ice and water for a week or more. Even leaving the drain open will still not preserve the meat like keeping it as dry as possible in some type of bag.

I will probably get bashed by the “Ive done it like this for 50 years, and it tastes fine” crowd.


Doing something forever doesn’t mean it’s the best way. You will never see a professional butcher keep meat touching ice/water.
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Old 11-26-2020, 03:06 PM   #50
locolobo
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Until I can get it processed. Usually < a week.
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