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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Preserving meat for a week

Preserving meat for a week

14 Feb 2022
@ 08:43 pm (GMT)

Vince

Hi Everyone,

Our annual roar trip is approaching once again and I thought I would throw this question out in the hope that someone has a brilliant solution to something we fail miserably with.

We are flying into a "top secret" location in the Ureweras for a week to chase roaring Red stags during the rut for 7 days and based on history we struggle to keep venison shot in the first 2 days from going green before we fly out.

For the same reason we don't shoot pigs until the last 2 days of the trip, as they don't seem to keep as well as deer.

By and large we seem to be on top of the fly issue but still lose some meat going rotten before we leave.

Skin on, skin off, whole carcass gutted, covered in meat bags broken down we have tried, have heard that completely boned out in vacuum bags buried below ground level may work, salted or brined we haven't tried either, would be grateful for any suggestions as we may try a few as an experiment this year.

Cheers

Vince

Replies

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15 Feb 2022
@ 07:45 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Preserving meat for a week
If you’ve got enough help, gut it and hang the in carcass in the shade, skin-on. Mold that grows in the cavity isn’t going to affect unexposed meat. If you quarter it, or skin it, mold that grows on exposed meat will need to be trimmed away. Mold is unsavory, but not poisonous. Your nose will tell you if meat is tainted, after mold is removed.
16 Feb 2022
@ 06:31 pm (GMT)

Vince

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Thanks Scott,

While we sometimes carry whole (gutted) carcasses out, generally the distances and weight involved make it impossible, red stags are pretty large beasties on the whole.

Your explanation shows why in general we have better luck with quarters left with the skin on although on last years trip we still had rot or mould showing up in the seams between leg muscles. on deer shot on the first day of the trip.

Will probably try a bunch of different techniques this time and report back on what worked the best.

Cheers

Vince
22 Feb 2022
@ 10:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Hi Vince, I generally use cheese cloth (two layers). I get the skin off early just because if I don't, its a another job at the end of the hunt when I am tired from looking after clients. Boning out is problematic in that you end up with a clump of meat in the cloth with a poor surface area for drying, allowing bacteria to act inside the clump. I try to avoid boning out till its near time to go.

I hang the cloth covered carcass in the shade, in a breeze.

With pigs, I may field gut or try to get the whole thing back to camp if its small enough, singe the next morning (then gut if its a smaller pig), then cover in cheese cloth till the end of the trip. Can really only get away with this (staying out) in very cold weather.

I don't trust any plastic with meat. If you want to try vacuum packing, you'll need your ducks in a row, a good vacuum.

Yes, you could try salting the meat if its boned out during a longer trip. Note that in the old days where meat was kept in this manner, it was then boiled off to get at least some of the salt back out of it just prior to actual cooking. The children's book series "Little house on the Prairie" and specifically Little house in the big woods, gives some insight into this.

Never all that easy to get this right, you can only do your best versus the weather and time.

11 Apr 2022
@ 05:44 pm (GMT)

Vince

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Hi All

Back from another great roar trip, had some good results with experimenting on the meat preservation so I thought I'd give you an update.
We had 2 animals shot on day 1 of a 7 day trip so tried brining, vacuum packing and hanging skin on and off, cheesecloth on and off to see how it all went.
The brining worked perfectly, that's definitely going to be something we continue to do and the butcher we use for mass production of salamis etc from a trip like this makes a smoked venison product out of brined meat he calls bacon, looking forward to trying it, we will probably also corn some.
We vacuum packed two legs and put one in the creek, left the other out, the one in the creek made it through, the other didn't.
The two legs in cheesecloth were no good, the two without were both ok although the skinned one was getting marginal.
All the back steaks survived this time inside a mosquito net with no cheesecloth all hanging separately.
The tenderloins were of course all consumed in the bush, we never bring any out!
We were lucky with the weather this time, approx 1.5 days of rain out of 7 which probably helped but it still gave us an indication of what worked best.
Cheers
Vince
12 Apr 2022
@ 06:51 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Congratulations on your successful hunt. Thanks for the update. I’ve never tried brining, but it sounds like a great way to avoid wasting meat, particularly if you can find a butcher who knows how to make a good summer sausage. When I lived in Illinois, I had one that I used. His sausage was a big hit with everyone, so long as you didn’t say what was in it.
19 Apr 2022
@ 09:32 pm (GMT)

Vince

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Thanks Scott,

It was an amazing 7 days in the beautiful NZ bush and the brining was certainly a win but our biggest success was the investment of time and training from last year paying off.

We had 2 younger hunters last year who both succeeded in shooting their first deer and were ready to step up this time and progress as hunters themselves.

Brent and I swapped protégés this year with rewards for both as my cousin shot his first stag with Brent and then followed up with roaring in a stag and shooting, butchering and carrying out a second by himself, while Jack roared in and shot a stag with me in tow (no assistance other than carrying the meat out). I don't have children but for those of you who do I'm guessing I don't have to describe what it felt like to watch them walk back into camp and tell their stories, it was just magic!

Cheers

Vince
20 Apr 2022
@ 09:55 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Preserving meat for a week
Hi Vince, thanks for sharing this. The vacuum packing at ambient temp must have allowed anaerobic bacteria to get to work. Seems like there really is no substitute for salt.

Thanks again, I am sure many casual readers will find your experiments interesting.
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