How Long Will Deer Meat Last in the Fridge?

If you kill and eat your own deer meat, you’ve probably asked the question a time or two before – How long will deer meat last in the fridge?

And we’re not talking about the freezer, but the actual fridge. It’s the place we often quickly stash meat after boning out the meat from our most recent deer kill. Whether you’re in deer camp or at the house, things can get hectic and we tend to get short on time, often neglecting the venison in our fridge that awaits processing.

venison marinade

How long will your deer meat last in the fridge? 

So how long will it last sitting in the fridge? I’ve often wondered how long is too long, so I finally broke down and did a little research on how long is too long in the fridge when it comes to your wild game meat. In so doing, I found a handy little reference chart from

Here’s a quick reference chart for how long your meat can handle the fridge, as well as the freezer.



  1. Benjamin Rodgers says:

    This is surprisingly short amount of time why is it so much less than beef etc.? Most meats you get from a store will last 2 weeks or more do they really put that many preservatives in it.?

  2. Those times seem rather short to me. I have not conducted official “research” on the matter, but I can tell you that over the past 10 years I have eaten venison stored much longer than this will no ill effects. I believe how you prepare and package the meat has a great influence in how long it is still safe to eat. Heck I typically leave ground, seasoned and marinated deer burger in the fridge for around 5-7 days before I turn it into jerky (yes I realize that the seasoning has salt which cures the meat). As far as freezer I package my venison into vacuum seal bags that easily last over a year and a half, and that includes all cuts as well as burger.
    TLDR: If leaving venison in the fridge for more than a few days is unsafe, or causes it to taste different; this guy hasn’t noticed.

    • Larry Merkel says:

      This meat is just tied up in Walmart bags no seasoning , it’s been there about 4 days and it has a nasty smell to it. What now? Is it still ok to use it?

  3. Vacuum seal the meat and it will last much longer in the freezer as well.

  4. Courtney says:

    I completely disagree with this “research”. The longer you let the meat age before processing the better. it is common to let deer hang for a week before processing. It will last a year+ in the freezer if wrapped properly. I often thaw steaks and ground venison in the frig and it stays there a week before i get a chance to cook it.

  5. Brian Miller says:

    I shot and quartered a deer 12/6/2017. The quarters have been in the frig ever since. Today is day twelve. How do I know when its not safe for consumption? Appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

  6. I use a vacuum sealer & it’s money well spent. You can store meat up to 2yrs. The chart above must be freezer paper loosely packed by a wife that hates the taste of venison. Lol


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