Shot a stinky deer. Is it safe to eat?

Discussion in 'The Lodge' started by bdawg, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. We shot a deer on Monday morning. Hit right in the heart and died right away. We started to gut it right away and noticed a bad smell as soon as we opened it up! Never smelled it before and I've been around 30 deer that have been gutted. It was a small spike buck. Had the body of one that was born this year. Didn't hit the stomach or glands on back legs. The smell was centered in the chest cavity. We hung the deer and iced it, then processed it the next day. It still smelled in the chest cavity. The rest of the meat didn't smell and looked healthy. No obvious injuries. Looked like there was a brownish tint to the inside of the chest cavity. I'm thinking the deer is diseased, but with what? After we cut up the meat and ground most into burger, it smelled too. I think this was because we weren't careful in keeping the chest cavity separate from the rest of the meat. The back leg meat didn't smell before we ground it up. Would the meat still be safe to eat?
  2. bobk


    It's probably safe to eat. Just like
    with all food though, if it stinks I'm not eating it.

  3. same
  4. fastwater

    fastwater "My grace is sufficient for you"


    Plus, I always check the liver, heart, lungs(organs in general for any kind of abnormal discoloration, tumors etc. If they look abnormal, I don't eat. But have probably shot 75-80 deer in my lifetime and can only remember one,maybe two that didn't look right.
    Smitty82, bobk and 9Left like this.
  5. sherman51

    sherman51 florida ice fishing

    you probably busted the paunch on the deer. I've had them burst before, smells awful.
  6. FAB


    Was there any delay in the field dressing. In the temperatures during the first couple days of season this year, a delay of as little as a half hour will start the decay process inside the deer. The decay and smell actually comes from the intestines and other organs. It takes very little time before the smell starts then followed by decay of the deer from the inside out. What you describe is classic to a deer that is dressed more than an hour after it was killed.
  7. The deer was shot broadside in the chest through the front legs. Didn't hit the stomach or intestines. Started field dressing within 20 minutes. Smelled bad even before we opened it up from the 2 bullet holes.
  8. snag


    If it looks bad and smells bad it is bad in my opinion. I would have tossed the front section that was bad and kept the rest if was ok looking, it may have had a infection of some kind.
    joekacz likes this.
  9. When in doubt throw it out.
    roundheadjig and cane pole like this.
  10. privateer

    privateer Fishin-For-Fun

    You should have contacted game commission and gave them an opportunity to check it out.
    No way would I have even processed the thing.

    Anyone know what the internals of a deer look like if infected with Blue Tongue and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD)? What about CWD?
    James F likes this.
  11. Blue tongue and EHD are one in the same. As EHD is a "hemorrhagic" disease upon necropsy, extensive hemorrhage from any or all internal organs is common and expected. Organs more likely to exhibit hemorrhage include the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, and intestines.
    fastwater likes this.
  12. buckeyebowman

    buckeyebowman On the back 9 and loving it!

    Over the years I have learned to trust my nose! Obviously there is a certain smell to the guts that is not all that pleasant, but once they are out and the deer is hung I'll put my nose right up against the meat and inhale deeply. It should smell clean and fresh. Any hint of funk, and it's gone!

    BTW, two years ago my buddy shot a buck that we looked for that night, and found the next day about noon. The temps were in the upper 30's during the day, and there was no funk in that deer! We gutted, skinned, and butchered the deer ourselves, and he ate real good!
    T-180, Saugeyefisher and fastwater like this.
  13. Did he smell gamey? Or just "bad"?
  14. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    if it smells bad, it is bad. IMO
    9Left and fastwater like this.
  15. James F

    James F Senior Member

    I wouldn't eat it,and neither should you! Of course that's your call. Too many diseases now a day's make me leery of something even questionable, Should give the warden a call.
  16. snag


    Also think of it this way, if you bought some beef at the store and it looked different and smelled would you buy it ? Nobody would, I would have tossed the bad sections and salvaged the rest.
  17. buckeyebowman

    buckeyebowman On the back 9 and loving it!

    No, there's a difference between "gamey" and funky! I've stuck my nose into enough carcasses to know.