Cooling the carcass/ ageing

An important step in deer processing is cooling the carcass as quickly as possible. However, it should not be allowed to freeze until it is fully processed and packaged. In some situations, cooling the carcass may require that the carcass be quartered rather than kept whole. Having cool air circulating around the carcass greatly helps in the cooling process.

Aging deer can help make deer tenderer, IF it is done properly. Aging allows the muscle groups to start to breakdown under controlled conditions.

Ageing deer properly requires that the carcass be kept at a nearly constant temperature between 34-38 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. However, unless you are equipped to properly age a deer, it is recommended that deer be processed as quickly as possible. Allowing deer to undergo fluctuations in temperature can encourage meat spoilage.

Resources

Deer: Hang Time

There are some persistent myths about aging venison that may cause you to stock your freezer with inferior meat this season. I'm sure you've heard them: Deer meat can't be aged like beef, because it dries out if left hanging. Or: Aging is simply "controlled rot," and why let good venison rot? And: You only need to hang deer a day or two for tender meat, so any longer is a waste of time.

None of this is true. To understand why, and to find out the best methods to age venison, we have to turn to science.