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Discussion Starter #1
Super long story as short as I can make it.

I recently shot a buck out of state, I got one lung, arrow deflected left and up out the neck. I shot it 9:30am Sunday morning, a guy that it ran past decided to get down and track it, he jumped it and lost blood, another guy putting up his stand jumped him at 11am Sun, I believe I jumped him at 5pm tracking Sun at 5pm, I backed out till about 11am Mon morning, we jumped him around 12:30p tracking no shot, I decided to back out again, he was 200 yds from going onto private, with no chance to get a shot in this thick stuff.

I found him dead Tuesday around 12pm. He was in the shade, in the bottom of a draw in a shallow “creek” it was runoff from a nearby pond. The high temps were high 40’s lows in the high 20’s. I gutted him and deboned him right away, put in a cooler over 2 big bags of ice.

Once home the next day, I cleaned up the meat. I decided to make 5-6 back strap steaks. I cooked it fairly rare, it tasted awful, but I figured it was the high stress the deer died under. The next day let’s just say it didn’t agree with me on the toilet.

I’ve killed somewhere around 75 deer in my life and never seen veins in the meat stressed like this, he had no more 1/2 cup of blood left in his cavity.

He went 1700yds in total. While I found him 2 days after the shot, it was only about 24hrs after we last seen him alive. With the temps being low, and a guess of being dead for 20hrs, I fully assumed the meat was good, but maybe I was wrong?
 

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Meat good?
Good eating is not the same as being good/ edible.
You know of stress factors effect. That affects quality of eating / palate-ability.
Does not make in inedible.

Like dairy cows ground up with little fat and having dumped so much in to milk production making for "blah" eating , every once and a while a hard rutting buck can be too lean to savor.
Burgundy meat with a different scent than other deer. Not bad (harmful) meat , but different taste that leans away from savory.

As to quality of meat and spoilage....Your bucks hind quarter joint that rested on the ground will likely have been the slowest to cool. (or being in water ,maybe the top hind joint , heat rises too and if the lower was chilled better..).
If your deer's meat began to spoil that joint should smell "off" more than other areas.
And if it's really spoiled vs dicey , you'll know if your nose works comparing sections....
Once spoilage starts , you can notice it increasing/spreading to former good areas a room temp while cutting meat. (I hope you don't ever have to do that).

Anyways , how much fat did you find on the buck? And how was it distributed?
What was it's color?
You skin a buck with an inch or more of light yellow-white fat on it's hind quarters tops you can get excited.
You skin one with only a quarter inch of pink soapy fat on it's hind quarters tops...I won't fist fight you for a taste right away....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would say the fat was about normal thickness and texture, but I don’t recall seeing any normal coloring in the fat, it was all pink.

It did have a slightly stronger smell than normal, some rut smell, some stinky pond water smell, some deer laying dead for 20hr smell. Nothing that said spoiled meat to me.

The remainder of deboned meat that is now froze would be ground into Hamburger/snack sticks if it makes a difference?

Another observation, is my best guess on the temp in that draw was at most 40deg when I found him(obviously colder during the night around 30) His hide was cool, the meat was warmer to the touch.

He was not overly stiff either.
 
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