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How to Hang a Deer in the Garage

 Posted on: August 23rd, 2023


As hunting season approaches, you’re probably looking forward to processing your kills. If you plan on aging your deer at home in your garage, what’s the best way to do it? The solution is a tripod gambrel system. Read on to learn everything you need to know about hanging a deer in your garage.

Kill Shot Deer Hoist with Gambrel on Grass
Kill Shot Tripod Deer Hoist with Gambrel

Invest in a quality game hoist with gambrel

If you’re hanging a deer in your garage, you need the right equipment. A portable, tripod game hoist with gambrel is your best option. This particular product uses a winch and pulley system to lift up to 500 pounds, and the gambrel keeps your harvested deer in place while you’re prepping it. You don’t even need a buddy to help you lift the carcass, as the hoist does it all, and the tripod design ensures complete stability while you work.

Follow proper hanging process

It's best to lift the deer by its hind legs, and raise it to chest height for processing. So, first thing's first. Using a knife to pierce the deer’s thin skin above each rear foot, insert the gambrel into each cut, then lift the deer off the floor and start skinning and removing all animal feet. De-bone the meat using a paring knife for small places and a bigger knife for general work.

When you work along the front legs, take care not to cut the flap meat. Look for a membrane that holds the flap and avoid it, since keeping the flap meat on the carcass makes pulling off the hide much easier.

Now, you can pull down the hide and cut through the tail. As you grasp the hide and push down with your hand, be careful not to contaminate the meat. Make sure you change your gloves regularly.

Hides are difficult to remove in the neck. You can cut the hide down the throat to the jaw if you aren’t using the cape for a shoulder mount. Then, cut through the spine and esophagus to pull the hide off completely. Hanging and skinning an animal takes practice. Make sure to stay patient and be careful, so you can cleanly remove each hide without damaging any meat.

Temperature considerations

In addition to having the right equipment to hang a deer in your garage, you also need to do it in the right conditions so that the venison properly ages. The number one consideration to keep in mind is temperature. Never hang a deer in a garage in which temperatures are below freezing—you’re not aging the meet, you’re just freezing it, and you’ll have to thaw it completely before butchering.

The best temperature for aging meat lies between the 36-to-40-degree Fahrenheit range. In general, the lower the temperature, the longer you can let the deer age. While you can go below 36, but never below 32, it does a slower job of aging the meat.

Using a game hoist

If you’re using a game hoist to hang the carcass, there are some important concepts you need to understand. First, if the deer has had a chance to cool, you should hang your kill with the skin on, since it holds moisture in and keeps the meat from drying out.

Deer hanging by gambrel, covered in cheesecloth
Skipping the hoist, this deer is hung with a gambrel and covered in cheesecloth.

You should also make sure you’re hanging your deer by the gambrels, or back legs. This is a great position for skinning the deer and pulling off the meat. If you’ve let the meat cool, place the carcass or quarters in cheesecloth for hanging to protect the meat from flies.

Deer front legs dangling from hoist

Timing considerations

While every hunter has their own preferences when it comes to how long to age a deer—or whether it should be aged at all—there are some key timing considerations to keep in mind. First, older deer take longer to age than younger ones. It simply takes more time to get the meat to a tender state, since older deer have more collagen in their muscles. Three to four days is the ideal aging time for most deer, but if your schedule doesn’t allow you to wait that long, you should at least wait for the meat to cool down and for rigor mortis to end.

Get the gear you need for hunting season at Discount Ramps

Hanging a deer in your garage is easy if you have the right equipment. Discount Ramps has game hoists that meet your needs, whether you’re looking for a tripod model or a hitch-mounted one. Need help finding the right gear before this hunting season arrives? Talk to the team at Discount Ramps today; we’re happy to help!