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#3182850 - 03/04/13 08:49 AM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: Mike Belt]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13149
Loc: Tennessee

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One thing I like about mature deer is that they have entire cuts of useable meat that younger deer do not. For example, the flank steak, which is a thin cut of meat that covers the rib cage. On a mature deer, you can peel that steak off like a piece of velcro and it makes a great, slow cooked cut of meat if done right. Only mature animals have that layer of muscle, though.

At the same time, I was helping a buddy butcher a doe and fawn this Winter and the fawn hams revealed absolutely zero silverskin or fat and they were perfect Crock Pot size with the bones in. -nothing to be done there, just wrap and freeze. You put an entire fawn's ham in the Crock Pot for about 3.5 hour and you'll have some good eating. Of course, you can have just as good eating with a mature deer, its just going to take longer for the silverskin to breakdown and the meat to "break." Not to mention, its difficult to find a pot that a whole mature ham will fit in. Heck, I killed a large doe this season who's rear shank had to be forced into the crock pot.

So, from a pure meat hunting stand point, its a tradeoff. Mature deer will produce a much higher yield of meat, but young deer are easier to butcher and require less cooking time. If you just grind the whole deer up anyway, it does not really matter as the meat grinder will tenderize meat.
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#3182882 - 03/04/13 09:16 AM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: Poser]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 1312
Loc: south TN

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I like grinding most of the big old deer, and cutting up the younger ones. It always made sense to me to do it this way. I use probably 5x more burger than I do anything else anyways.
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#3182971 - 03/04/13 11:26 AM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: woodsman87]
Good time Charlie
TnDeer Old Timer
12 Point


Registered: 10/08/99
Posts: 7464
Loc: Tazewell

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Honestly, If handled just like a young heifer or steer you are good.
I prefer a Doe about a year old .hung up for about 2 days...and field dressed properly.
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#3183056 - 03/04/13 12:40 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: Good time Charlie]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19410
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Good time Charlie
I prefer a Doe about a year old .hung up for about 2 days...and field dressed properly.

I prefer to field dress mine first, before I hang them up for about 2 days.

 Originally Posted By: Mike Belt
I suppose a young deer eats better than an older deer but I really can't tell the difference most of the time. How you handle the deer after the shot has alot to do with the resulting taste as does the shot placement (quick killing the deer versus wounding).

For the most part, you'll not notice any difference in any deer you kill and eat as long as you cook it right (don't overcook).

Couldn't have said it any better.
Young or old, big or small, we eat them all.

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#3183059 - 03/04/13 12:45 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: Wes Parrish]
Football Hunter
Non-Typical


Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 25506
Loc: Wilson Co/Perry Co

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Yeah,I bet so^^^ \:\)
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#3183245 - 03/04/13 04:21 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: Football Hunter]
redblood
16 Point


Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 15008
Loc: Lewisburg

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it has less to with age and more to do with time of year, body condition and diet IMO
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#3183384 - 03/04/13 06:27 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: redblood]
catman529
spiderboy
16 Point


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17105
Loc: Franklin TN

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 Originally Posted By: redblood
it has less to with age and more to do with time of year, body condition and diet IMO
how can you tell a difference when it is cooked to a crisp? \:D anything more than medium is over cooked. ;\)
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#3183390 - 03/04/13 06:29 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: redblood]
plinker22
16 Point


Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 12544
Loc: Mountians of East Tennessee

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For the time spent processing, I would say at least a 2 1/2 year old. More meat for the time/effort!

Processed correctly, I would say any 4 1/2 year old. Lots more meat for the time/effort.

Welcome to TnDeer. Are you going to be new hunter, or just new to TnDeer?
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#3183614 - 03/04/13 09:42 PM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: plinker22]
DSL_Connector
Spike


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 53
Loc: Knoxville, TN

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.
I'm new to TnDeer. But I've been a hunter since back in the 1960's. My father's family were loggers in Union County until the Great Depression.

Daddy went off to World War II. His family moved to Knox Co. - but they still owned a tract of mountainous land in Union County (Ailor Gap Road).

We used to go small game hunting over in Union County. Daddy's dead now.

I'm getting close to retirement age. I figure I might do a little hunting here when I get the time.
.
 Originally Posted By: plinker22
For the time spent processing, I would say at least a 2 1/2 year old. More meat for the time/effort!

Processed correctly, I would say any 4 1/2 year old. Lots more meat for the time/effort.

Welcome to TnDeer. Are you going to be new hunter, or just new to TnDeer?

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#3183968 - 03/05/13 08:58 AM Re: What is the best age for harvesting deer? [Re: lpo1981]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 65673
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: lpo1981
My personal opinion on venison is that its all in the way it's prepared and cooked.. I've eaten older bucks, younger bucks, does and yearlings.. Just all in how st prepared and cooked in my opinion.


Exactly. Other than fawns, which are notably more tender, adult deer (male and female) can all be made to have the same consistancy and taste with proper care of the meat as well as proper aging in a controlled environment (cooler).
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