How Long Can You Hang a Deer Before Processing?

by Jodi Thornton O'Connell
Hanging a buck's meat enhances tenderness and taste.

Hanging a buck's meat enhances tenderness and taste.

Like all meat, deer must stay between 28 degrees and 40 degrees Fahrenheit to slow bacterial growth that causes spoilage. Aging deer meat by hanging it improves its taste and tenderness through the work of natural enzymes in the flesh. How long you can hang a deer depends on the temperature where the carcass will be hanging.

Keep It Chilled

If you have access to a large meat locker or live in a cold climate where the temperatures stay between 29 and 40 degrees, you can hang your deer for 14 to 18 days. The meat will start to freeze at 28 degrees -- rather than 32 degrees -- due to salts and minerals in its flesh. If your deer hangs in temperatures above 40 degrees, bacterial growth will speed up and cause spoiling. Don't hang your deer for more than four hours when temperatures are above 40 degrees. Leave the skin on while aging the meat to keep it clean and prevent dehydration.

About the Author

Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.

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