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Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? #8059393 11/22/20 01:02 AM
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I'm hunting in northeast Texas today and it was a pretty warm morning about 70 degrees. On my way back to the truck about 8:30 from the stand after not seeing anything, I spooked a decent 8 point in waist high grass, but he stopped long enough for me to get a good shot. I thought I hit him, but immediately after I saw him take off across the pasture a couple hundred yards away obviously unharmed. I walked all through the woods that I seen him go into and didn't see any blood trail. I thought I missed.

A couple hours later about 11:30-12:00, something prompted me to go back and search the area that I initially shot at more thoroughly and sure enough I found the deer I had shot dead with a pretty close to perfect shot placement. What I guess happened is there were two bucks together that looked almost similar. I didn't see the second buck when I shot, so when I shot the first one the other one took off bolting across the pasture (and I had mistaken him for the one I hit)

So, I went ahead and gutted him and took him to the processor as fast I could but he was pretty stiff and had flies all over at this point. I'm wondering if anyone here has had experience with not being able to gut a deer for that long. Obviously the warm weather didn't help today, but hopefully my meat will still be decent. Thoughts?

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059410 11/22/20 01:21 AM
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I wouldn't eat it. I'm sure you'll have others say they would but no way I would.


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059414 11/22/20 01:29 AM
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If it had not bloated and was still stiff when I cleaned it the meat is probably good. Ask the processor.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059418 11/22/20 01:30 AM
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My opinion is I would eat it. I would have very little concern unless the shot punched the gut. Even then as long as it’s cooked thoroughly it should be fine. Meat handlers are pros at spotting spoiled meat. If they don’t call you then I say you are good.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059421 11/22/20 01:32 AM
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I’ll bet it will be ok. There’s only one way to find out.

Depending on your processor, someone else may get to enjoy him.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059510 11/22/20 03:10 AM
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I think it would be OK. I have ate a deer that I shot the evening before, and found the next day. The weather was cold, so not the same situation. I think there would be an off smell if the deer had started to spoil.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059517 11/22/20 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Justinjj1
I thought I hit him, but immediately after I saw him take off across the pasture a couple hundred yards away obviously unharmed. I walked all through the woods that I seen him go into and didn't see any blood trail. I thought I missed.


I've heard it said if you haven't looked for a deer for at least an hour, you haven't looked at all.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 11/22/20 03:18 AM.

Dan

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Brother Phil] #8059535 11/22/20 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Brother Phil
I think it would be OK. I have ate a deer that I shot the evening before, and found the next day. The weather was cold, so not the same situation. I think there would be an off smell if the deer had started to spoil.

That is the game changer. 70° & 3.5 hours, I'll pass. TDH says @ room temp. meat should never be on a counter longer than 3 hours. In the dirt w/flies on it makes it that much worse.


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059569 11/22/20 03:51 AM
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I'd give it a shot. I agree with LFD, and my smoking rule is meat has to hit 140 degrees within 4-4.5 hours. That said, this meat was warmer than room temperature and was cooling. Depending on how long it took you to dress it, I regularly see processors not touching the meat until 3-4 hours after the kill

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059570 11/22/20 03:55 AM
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Your nose is a pretty good indicator. If it smelled abnormally bad when you cleaned it, stay away, but otherwise it is probably good to eat.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059571 11/22/20 03:59 AM
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If butcher says nothing, and meat feels and smells right when thawed then cook it and eat it.


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059646 11/22/20 06:25 AM
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This is why I don't take deer to a processor. Who knows who will get or have it mixed in with their meat.


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059651 11/22/20 09:14 AM
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If your bullet didn't rupture the stomach or intestines then I think your meat will be fine.

If it did rupture the stomach/intestines then I think your meat may have a strong smell of "gut" after marinating in the juices for 3.5hours. I don't think it's likely to make you ill but it will certainly be off-putting.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059673 11/22/20 11:55 AM
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Rules of animal slaughter in a commercial facility do not allow for carcasses to lay, unclearened at 70 degrees for anywhere near three hours. There is a reason.

The suggestion to take it to a facility because someone else might end up with is either tongue in cheek or not well thought out.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059698 11/22/20 01:21 PM
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No refrigeration in the 1800s and not many of those hunters died from eating their kill. Have at it and don't look back...

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059743 11/22/20 02:04 PM
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Yeah, not many.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059756 11/22/20 02:18 PM
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Your nose will tell you if its ok or not. I’ve seen multiple lease hunters leave the guts in a deer from 8am until after dark. Lol not my suggestion but ive seen it. And some janky processors will leave them on the floor for hours until they get to um


BrownBagSpecial!


Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059758 11/22/20 02:20 PM
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Nope... take it to the processor and have him grind it into sausage and back strap and bring it to me for proper disposal. food


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059771 11/22/20 02:32 PM
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It's probably fine. Sniff test will tell the tale.


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Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059792 11/22/20 02:46 PM
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Nothing wrong with that deer at all.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8059802 11/22/20 02:51 PM
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If the meat smells ok it’s good.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Hudbone] #8059825 11/22/20 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudbone
Rules of animal slaughter in a commercial facility do not allow for carcasses to lay, unclearened at 70 degrees for anywhere near three hours. There is a reason.

The suggestion to take it to a facility because someone else might end up with is either tongue in cheek or not well thought out.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: DQ Kid] #8060048 11/22/20 05:53 PM
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Keep in mind in three hours the body hasn’t cooled down with hide on it. You don’t know when it expired , when the cool down started. If it cooled down and started warming up that’s a different story. Get it on ice or to processor, it will be fine.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8060123 11/22/20 06:46 PM
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This happened a few years ago with a deer my wife shot in the morning around 8:30 - 9am. It was in the pen when she shot. We looked and found not a drop of blood. Went back to camp and had breakfast. She took a nap and I was rethinking her shot so I went back out. Found the buck 50yds away in the thick mesquites. Called the wife and said I was coming back to pick her up. Got back, tagged the deer and then I gutted it. About 3 hrs from shot to gutting. She had hit it in the neck. No bad smell. I put a bag of ice in the cavity and proceeded to the processor. By this time it was in the 60's. Got the meat back a few weeks later and it cooked up fine.

Re: Didn't find deer until 3 and half hours later. Is the meat ruined? [Re: Justinjj1] #8060240 11/22/20 08:35 PM
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The meat is fine. Eat it.

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