How Long to Hang Elk before Butchering

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

 After shooting an elk, the process of quartering is usually the next step. It will involve dressing and skinning from this point; it’s all to do with butchering the elk. However, how long to hang elk before butchering is a question that remains in most hunters’ minds. It’s advised to leave the elk meat to dry naturally for a few days but shouldn’t exceed two weeks.

Nevertheless, this will be influenced by a few factors that dictate hanging the elk meat.

Factors That Determine How Long To Hang Elk before Butchering

Before butchering an elk, you should understand that meat care is a priority when hunting the diverse big game. It’s imperative to always have the necessary measures in place to ensure that elk meat remains decontaminated. Here are dynamics influencing time duration for hanging elk before butchering.

The Temperature

Time and temperature are the decisive factors when considering elk’s meat hanging duration. The best temperature to hang elk meat is between 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, when the temperature is below this level, the elk meat will freeze, slowing the aging process.


The setting you intend to hang the elk meat is an essential consideration to factor in. Most individuals will hang the venison in their garage or a different space around the house. The area needs to be clean, free from bugs or flies. If you’re doing it outdoors, hanging it for three or four days is enough.

If the meat stays there for long, it’ll get contaminated. Also, ensure you use a tenderizer with a timer, which keeps better track of how the meat is tenderizing.

Elk Age

The elk’s age determines how long you’ll hang the venison. It takes fewer days, two or three with young elks, and the meat muscles will have completely become tender. For old bulks, the more days it’s left hanging, the better the meat will become.

Meat Aging

This is a marvel for hunters who wish to have their venison in the best edible condition. When an animal dies, the mortification process takes over. This leads to the muscles getting rigid immediately after dressing and skinning. However, when given the right duration, biological reactions will improve the meat’s consistency.

Nonetheless, there are two types of meat aging; these are dry and wet.