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Aging #8090882 12/15/20 10:21 PM
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Yeti88 Offline OP
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How many of you fine people age your game after you harvest it? If you do age it how do you go about it? I would like to dry age mine but don't have a place that stays at a consistent temp to hang it so though about putting it in an ice chest for a week or so. I would love all of your inputs on this topic.

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8090906 12/15/20 10:35 PM
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This is something I have gotten more into in recent years. I would love to hang it, but like you don't have a place, so I leave it in the cooler for a week or so.

I got more interested after a couple of meat does I shot were really tough. I specifically chose young animals, so I couldn't figure out what the issue was. Finally when listening to a podcast on this topic, it occured to me that I had them in the freezer within a few hours of shooting them.

The best animals I had previously eaten had been aged several days, just due to circumstances. At least in these couple instances, I think it made a difference for me. I aged my elk this year for 10-12 days before getting it in the freezer.

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8090957 12/15/20 11:13 PM
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I’m trying

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8090977 12/15/20 11:22 PM
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Aging in a cooler is tough, because it requires some work. The ice water needs drained as it melts off and new ice needs put in to keep things cool. You dont want to allow the meat to sit in the bloody water, it is best when kept above which allows the blood to drain out of the meat.

Using game bags will keep the meat easy to move and keep
It clean for changing or adding ice. Several days of that is good. I think i wouldn't go much longer than a week on ice like that.

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8090999 12/15/20 11:40 PM
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Been ice aging for a long time. Never put the meat in bags, pack directly in ice. Layer of ice, layer of meat. Lift one end and pull the plug. Like mentioned, don't let the meat soak in the bloody ice water. Needs to continuously drain, you can run a hose or tubing from your cooler to wherever you need to outside if that's an issue. Aging is a waste of time if you're going to grind the meat, but if not grinding it does make a difference in tenderness. Especially in mature buck deer and big boar hogs. Dry aging or ice aging accomplishes the same thing, just done differently. I typically age mine for 1 to 2 weeks, but have gone as long as 3 weeks on ice. As long as you layer the meat in ice properly and keep the water off of it, you will be fine.

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8091014 12/15/20 11:49 PM
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Yes dont use plastic bags or non porous bags, but game bags allow fluids to leave the meat while still keeping meat clean and easy to move. But the only bag i would use is a porous game bag.

Curious skinner, Have you used game bags before and not had good luck?

Re: Aging [Re: Texas buckeye] #8091067 12/16/20 12:26 AM
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I was thinking out getting some gallon water jugs and freezing them and putting that in the cooler to help with water staying on the meat. I have a big 100 quart cooler I planned on using for this.

Re: Aging [Re: Texas buckeye] #8091127 12/16/20 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
Yes dont use plastic bags or non porous bags, but game bags allow fluids to leave the meat while still keeping meat clean and easy to move. But the only bag i would use is a porous game bag.

Curious skinner, Have you used game bags before and not had good luck?



No, I've never used game bags. I was thinking plastic bags. Cloth/porous game bags should work just fine. up

Re: Aging [Re: Yeti88] #8091186 12/16/20 02:02 AM
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I have aged venison for the last 30+ yrs now. We started by hanging deer in a walk-in cooler for 5 days with the hide on.....then taking it to a processor who skinned them and let it hang another 5 days minimum before processing. I have put them in a cooler on ice like Skinner does also. I prefer to use frozen ice jugs like posted above if I can skin and hang a deer overnight on a good cold night, then put it in a cooler. I have also started to skin and quarter a deer and put it in a cooler full of well water for one hour. Then drain the cooler and layer in the meat and ice. Cooling the meat down slowly seems to make it more tender and taste better to me.


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