Deer meat, just like other kinds of red meat and wild game, can be frozen for up to a year or even longer if packaged and stored properly. However, deer meat can go bad easily if it’s not frozen properly or if it sits in the refrigerator for longer than a few days. The best way to tell deer meat has gone bad is by using common sense and your senses, especially sight and smell.
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Examine the color of the meat after it has thawed. Deer meat should be brownish-dark red in color. If there is any metallic-looking hue or the color leans more toward a dark green, dark brown or black tint, the deer meat has probably gone bad.
Examine the texture on the surface of the meat. It should feel smooth. If it has a slimy texture, combined with an off color, it has probably gone bad.
Smell the deer meat. Fresh deer meat, like most wild game, does have a distinct gamy smell, but it is not a bad or sour odor. Throw the deer meat away if it smells bad or off in some way. The smell will be obvious if it has gone bad.