How to Handle Harvesting a Deer in Minnesota’s Warm Weather
I was super excited when I first saw the warm temperatures in the forecast for Minnesota this weekend. It isn't very often that a hoodie is proper outdoor attire for deer hunting opener. Sitting outside in 60+ degree temperatures all weekend sounded great until I ran through a scenario in my head where I actually shot something.
Typically harvesting a deer is a fairly easy process. Mother Nature makes her own meat locker outdoors in this state, and typically day and night time temps are where they need to be for hanging deer to get them ready for processing.
Not in 2020. Because everything this year is messed up.
I found an online pamphlet detailing the proper procedure for harvesting a deer, and it states that air temperature over 40 degrees Fahrenheit can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria to grow on the deer meat.
In very warm weather, it is important to register and process venison as soon as it is harvested. Venison will spoil if it hangs without refrigeration in warm weather.
It is supposed to be well over 40 on Saturday, and Sunday for both day and night temps. The pamphlet did offer some advice for warmer temperatures:
If the air temperature is over 40° F, consider packing the carcass with ice or snow sealed in plastic storage bags. Secure the bags in place by tying the cavity shut with rope or cord.
Keep that deer out of the sun and warm buildings, act fast, and do whatever you can as safely as possible. The good news is that starting Monday temperatures will cool off again and this shouldn't be an issue the second weekend of deer hunting.