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Old 12-23-2008, 02:47 AM   #1
Decojuicer
 
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How can I tell if my venison has gone bad.

Here's my situation. I shot a deer on opening day and quartered it out fairly quickly. Then I put it in a cooler and put it in the coldest part of my garage. Then I got busy and, well...I finally got around to processing it tonight.

It doesn't SMELL bad, but it has some brown around the edges. My garage is not heated and has been below 40 degrees since I brought the deer home. Should I go ahead and finish processing it, just cut all the brown off from around the edges? Or, should I just make it all into dog food?

To be honest, I'm not sure how this deer was going to taste anyway. He was a big old swamp buck, that was nowhere near any grain or corn. His coat was pretty dark, and his antlers were thin and small.

It wouldn't be that much of a loss to feed it to the dogs and just go shoot a couple of corn fed does next week, but I would like to save it, if I could.

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:41 AM   #2
Decojuicer
 
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Never mind the above question. Once I started cutting away at it, it smelled just fine and it was dark red, just like it should be. However, I think that this deer is going to be a lot of stew meat, burger, and jerky. I am not even going to cut anymore steaks from it. I already ate the backstraps and tenderloin at deer camp, so the best part is gone anyway.

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
truckmann
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Jerky, Jerky, Jerky!!!

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:57 AM   #4
curt656
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No, it's not bad...just aged, lol.

I don't know if you've ever seen a side of aged beef, but it looks pretty nasty. Once they cut the funky lookin part away to reveal the wonderfully delicious goodness underneath....well you forget about what it looked like once you taste it.

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:44 AM   #5
Bernie Brewer
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I was a meat cutter for almost 20 years. I must have had the "is this spoiled" question asked more than we see the "is my beer ruined" questions here. I can tell you- trust your nose. If it smells bad, it is. if it smells okay, it is.
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:44 AM   #6
Decojuicer
 
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Thanks for all the help. I'd offer to send you each some jerky, but I'm just not that kind of guy. However if you want to drop by for a bowl of chili and some homebrew, just let me know.

I have 6 days to hunt between Christmas and New Year, and my spot is a pretty hot one. I am hoping for at least 2 more big does. I'll settle for 4 little ones though. LOL

 
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decojuicer View Post
Thanks for all the help. I'd offer to send you each some jerky, but I'm just not that kind of guy. However if you want to drop by for a bowl of chili and some homebrew, just let me know.

I have 6 days to hunt between Christmas and New Year, and my spot is a pretty hot one. I am hoping for at least 2 more big does. I'll settle for 4 little ones though. LOL

I've got some V-jerky in the dehydrator as I type, so I'm good. Damn, it smells good!
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:56 PM   #8
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Ahem.....

Is this particular deer gonna be on the menu for Saturday?

How's ordering pizza sound?
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:18 PM   #9
APendejo
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Take that swamp buck meat and cube it in small pieces, let it soak for a few hours in salt water. Drain well, then season, flour and fry. When you are done frying the pieces make some good gravy with the grease and bottom stickings in the frypan, some boiled red potatoes and broccoli on the side.
Thats how I fix "iffy" venison.
AP

 
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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I have seen them hung (and eaten) to the point where there was mold on the inside of the carcass. What needs to be realized is that spoilage is really only relative to things that can harm you. Take aged beef for example. They literally will cut away the outer layer of moldy stuff to get to the aged product. Most spoilage comes from contaminants from the gut usually, which is why you want to process a gut-shot deer as quickly as possible as it not only taints the meat with an off flavor, but can introduce potentially dangerous bacteria, which if allowed to grow can be seriously dangerous.

Rule of thumb is that if it is a clean kill and handled properly by bleeding it out and allowing it to cool rapidly and held at a reasonably cold temperature then that is pretty much the process. Also, use your judgment. If it smells bad like Bernie has mentioned, or gets slimy then it is suspect and should be avoided. If it is clean once you cut in through the outer portion, like you observed it should be fine.

Think about how poultry is processed in this country. You want that chicken not to sit because it has potentially been exposed to harmful bacterial cultures in the plant. Now take game birds that are aged. That is a dead fowl, left sitting for a few days, which allows enzymatic action to tenderize the meat and you'll get an improved flavor as well.

[edit]Ideally you want to be around 35 F to age for those interested[/edit]
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