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Is deer venison still safe after lost and found?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by OH25shooter, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. OH25shooter

    OH25shooter Participating Member

    Nov 10, 2003
    If you shoot a deer and can't find it until the next day, is it safe to have it butchered and eaten? Here in Ohio, the morning hunt temperature for gun season in late November and the start of December can be between 25 and 45 degrees. So, if the deer is shot when the temp is above freezing, lost and not found until the next morning, what is the "safe" and proper way to care for the carcuss?
  2. f4t9r

    f4t9r Senior Member

    May 27, 2005
    I would say it would be ok if the temps are that low it would be freezing at nite and deer prob has been down that long if it takes that long to track and find it
    Im thinking if shot in late afternoon and found next mourn.
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    In general, bacteria will only reproduce at temperatures over 40 degrees. Not sure what temperatures flies are active at, but they hate cold too. The meat would probably be safe, but I'd check it thoroughly for fly eggs and things.
  4. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 21, 2002
    Waynesboro, Georgia
    I've done that on several occasions on colder days here in Georgia. I never got sick. 40's in the late evening when I shot the deer. 30's overnight. Still in the 30's when I found the deer at sunup. You don't generally see flies at those temperatures.
  5. Polishrifleman

    Polishrifleman Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Puget Sound, Washington
    I haven't had a problem during cold weather either. Don't get greedy with the meat though. Common sense before the dinner plate. I've come up on deer dead overnight that yotes and birds have been on. They enter in through the anal canal (soft and less protected) so only part of the hind quarters make it and the tenderloins are usually a waste too because they get into the cavity and start eating the soft tissue. What you end up with is a nice pile of meat for sausage or ground though.
  6. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Lynden, WA
    A dead deer found the next day should be fine if it's not over 45 degrees or so or hasn't been in direct sunlight. Especially if you shoot it in the afternoon and find it the next morning. No matter how warm it is, check the wound entry/exit for fly eggs and ticks. Now, if you couldn't find the deer, chances are that there wasn't a "good kill shot" executed, So, any gut shot animal really needs to be inspected for meat contamination. You'll notice the smell, and meat discoloration when you gut it. The affected areas can be cut out if you get to it quick enough.

    That said about deer. -Basically you can jerky deer on the hoof if you can keep the flies away. Not true with Elk. Get that one at least quartered and to the deep freeze as soon as possible unless you've got cold temperatures. Bear doesn't go bad nearly as fast either.

  7. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Elder

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Skin and sniff -- if it smells bad, it is. If it smells good, it can be eaten.

    If that rule didn't work, the human race would have died out long ago.:eek:

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