Meat can age from 7 to 21 days, depending on the amount of moisture in the cooler. Too much moisture can increase microbial growth in meat, which must be cut before processing. There will also be a layer of dried meat that will need to be cut. A cooler can also be safely used to age meat.
Some people cut up deer without aging it, but this is a big mistake if you want quality venison. Deer hardens during rigor mortis within 24 hours of death. If processed during this time, the muscles shorten and contract, causing the meat to harden. You should let your deer hang for at least 2 to 4 days before processing it to avoid this.
For deer meat to taste the best, Mississippi State University recommends 14 to 18 days of waiting. A general rule is that the older the deer, the longer the wait time. Longer waiting times will allow the enzymes and natural acids in the deer to break down and soften the meat and give it a milder, less “spicy” flavor. In the off-season, the Game Locker can be used like any other portable fridge to store soft drinks, beer, meat, produce, or anything else that requires cold storage.
There's no better feeling than knowing that you harvested, processed and prepared a meal with game meat. Having your own Game Locker will allow you (and any friends you let them use it) the freedom to hang several deer in the perfect environment for as long as you see fit. The amount of lean, boneless meat you get from a corpse also depends on your skill as a butcher and game processor. The Game Locker is made of modular insulation panels, so it can be dismantled to save space when not in use.
If you use the Game Locker with the best practices for hanging and processing deer, you can produce venison that is tender and tastes amazing.