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Active member
Dec 15, 2000
Enumclaw, Wa. USA
Here is my question. I've never killed a
muley in the rut before. With my late tag,
I will probally fill my tag. Do you guys have
any special methods to get the best taste out of the meat? I usually hang the meat for
about 10 days at work in our dairy walkin. Anything else I should be doing?
Get the hide off. Let it hang as long as you like and then peel the hard crusty layer off before processing. Should leave you with a pretty tasty deer.
Make sure you pick all the hair off of the meat. Hair will give the meat a very bitter, gamey flavor. Almost beyond repair. If you do get meat tainted with the bitter "tastes like a deer in rut smells" meat, try soaking it in a marinade that contains soy sauce or papaya juice. Either one will kill the "gamey" taste in Deer meat.

While some may disagree, I am never shy about rinsing deer with tons of water. If you have access to it, it never hurts to clean it with a hose. Cooling fast is also important in good meat. If it is too strong yet try a milk based marinade. Add what ever spices you want and marinade for 4 to 6 hours. Works well.

If all else fails go to and find all sausage making and smoking supplies you ever needed!

Good luck,
cooling game meat quick is a must,quite often early or late in our self regulated season we can have warm weather bring on flies so we tie a rope on an unskinned but gutted deer and leave them in the river which are clean fast running mountain waters, this cools quick and keeps flies off guaranteed.One time we had three deer hanging from a tree in a cold lake for three days---the meat set hard as in a chiller and it always comes out perfectbut if the water is not real cold the meat will go off.The water only cleans the body cavity and takes out every trace of blood and does no damage at all. :cool:
Over the last 20+ years of hunting I have experienced Some pretty foul things with deer. Some of my doing and some others..such as gut shot, popping the piss bag, dragging through mud, lots of hair, and delayed gutting/skinning.

I have never had a venison steak taste bad.
Here is how we do it.

Gut as soon as possible.
Get the hide off & cool asap.
Clean the meat as best as possible.
We cut all fat/bloodshot etc. and wash with a mix of water & vinegar. About one cup vinegar to 2 or 3 cups of water. Using a wash cloth we start at the top and work our way down. Making sure to rinse periodically. You can use a hose, but make sure to dry off the meat.

Then we turn on a fan to circulate air and to help dry the meat.

We only have a small air conditioning unit for cooling so we generally have to butcher within a day or two.

One variation for hot/warm weather when we are away from home.
After we get the hide off we pour black pepper all over the meat. Then we wash with water/vinegar. After drying we put more pepper on the meat.

We have found that this inhibits the blow flies by about 90%. They still buzz and land but they lay very few eggs after the pepper is applied.

The pepper is not a factor in quality or taste. (I hate pepper) As I stated above, I have experienced all the bad things associated with guts & fecal matter and never had a bad taste.
I have to agree with sambar's post, but wanted to throw in this reminder.
Throwing big game in a creek or river is an excellent way to cool it but beware of the temperature.
Every year we throw our bears in a mountain stream and last year I had two of my own soaking. One bear was in for about 40 hours and the other just over 24. I took them home to hang and went back to tear down camp. The following day I went to butcher and had to toss the rib section of the first bear as it was going sour.
I then realized that the water was probably only 60 degrees. It was over 80 degrees outside and though the water cooled the meat, it was not cool enough.

It might be of some help to carry a small thermometer if you might toss one in the creek.
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