How to Prepare Fresh Game Meat For Storage

If you’re hunting for meat, the last thing you can afford is for the meat to spoil before you even get it home (or to a processing facility). It’s tough to understand all of the ins and outs of preserving game meat, especially if you’re hunting in warm temperatures.

Here are a few of the most common questions I hear about game preservation:

  • How long should you wait to skin an animal? Do you need to do it immediately?
  • Does the temperature outside matter?
  • How can I keep my meat safe from bears and other predators?

Some of these questions are easier to answer than other. For example, if your hunting grounds are accessible by vehicle, game preservation is a pretty simple process. In fact, there’s really only one step to it: Collect the dead deer or other game animal and haul it to a cooler to be processed as fast as possible.

In the backcountry, or further away from a vehicle, it’s considerably more difficult. However, if you understand the common causes of spoilage and the ways to prevent it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Let’s get started…

What Factors Cause Meat to Spoil?

The biggest cause of meat spoilage is the body heat emitted by the animal itself.

While an animal’s normal internal temperature usually hovers around 99 degrees, this can actually increase once an animal dies. How is that possible?

Well, the animal’s muscles continue to generate heat; without the assistance of a functioning circulatory system, this heat doesn’t circulate properly through the animal’s body.

That’s why the most important thing to do is to lower the meat’s temperature to the temperature of the air around you–once you accomplish this, you’re nearly “home free”.

Should You Skin Your Deer?

Skinning an animal isn’t always necessary–if the outdoor temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you can simply gut the deer while leaving its hide intact.

Deer are relatively small, so they cool faster than larger game animals.

In warm weather (above 50 degrees), however, you should take special care to skin animals quickly–especially large animals like elk with heavy hides. Removing the hide is essential to cool the meat so it doesn’t spoil.

How to skin wild game

If you need a little guidance on skinning game, I personally really like this resource provided by Outdoor Hill.

Hunting with Arrows

Many expert hunters recommend using a crossbow when you hunt elk and even deer; one reason for this is that an arrow doesn’t harm the meat nearly as much as different types of ammunition.

Bow hunting

Granted, hunting big game with an arrow is easier said than done, but it’s a lot easier with the right crossbow scope.

Should You Hang the Carcass?

Yes, you should hang the carcass up. Air circulation is essential to quick-cool meat, and hanging is the best way to accomplish an all-around circulation.

Should you hang wild game kills?

This doesn’t mean however that you need to hang the deer very high–remember, the air is cooler lower to the ground.

Should You Gut Your Game?

It’s tough to gut large game animals such as elk–you don’t want to be knee-high in blood and guts, after all.

A better method is to slit the hide from tail to head. Then you can skin the upper half, remove all legs, and debone the ribs, neck, and brisket.

Should You Bone the Carcass?

If you’re carrying the meat for a long distance, boning can make a huge different in the amount of weight you’ll be carrying.

Boning the meat also ensures that it will cool quicker, which will prevent spoilage. At the very least, you should remove the biggest portions of bone, such as the shoulders and hips; these large bones can maintain the heat within the carcass for hours after death.

Although some argue that boning the meat will expose it to more dirt and cause the meat to dry out, it’s an easy problem to solve: you just need to bag the meat and seal it well.

Preventing Excess Moisture

Next to heat, bacteria is one of the most common culprits when it comes to spoilage. The bacteria that spoils meat thrive best in wet environments.

While you should still wash the meat, you should wipe it dry and leave it out to dry in the air for awhile before you bag it.

Keeping the Meat Clean

If you’re hunting in the cold weather, you most likely won’t have to deal with flies. In higher temperatures, though, they’re a formidable opponent.

how to store willd game meat

If you’re hunting in warm weather, you should bag all skinned meat as soon as possible. Invest in high-quality, compact and easy-to-carry bags.

What About Air Temperature?

Once you’re able to extinguish the carcass’s natural body heat, the temperature of the air around you is not much of an issue. If you’re hunting in hot temperatures, however, this article from Field and Stream has handy tips to keep your meat fresh.

As long as you can cool the meat to 40 degrees, time is one your side. Most commercial butchers age their beef or game for a few weeks; they quick-age beef even faster, and at a higher temperature.

Bear Safety

Although it’s understandable to want to keep your meat (and yourself) safe from bears, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hang an animal carcass at a “bear-proof” height: bears can reach 10 feet or higher.

Your best bet is to skin, bone, then bag the meat as quickly as possible; this will lessen the time that the animal’s scent will dissipate through the air, attracting bears and other predators.

Most Important Takeaways

If you’re hunting for meat, as opposed to sport, these are important rules to follow. Don’t sabotage your efforts and your health by allowing meat to get dirty, infected, or spoiled by the natural body heat reserved in it after death.

Here are the most important things to remember to keep your game meat fresh, especially if you’re hunting without a vehicle nearby:

  • Skin the animal as quickly as possible, this will help the meat cool to the outside temperature.
  • You should, at the very least, remove all large bones. They will weigh you down, and they cause the meat to retain more heat for longer.
  • Wash and hang your meat to dry.
  • Bag your meat as soon as possible, especially if you are in a warmer climate, or you are in an area known to be populated with bears and other predatory animals.

I wish you the best of luck properly preserving the game meat that you hunt. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or ideas of your own in the section below. Happy hunting!

Chris Browning is the senior editor of Gun News Daily. The site was originally built by his father who used it as a resource center for people looking to learn more about gun education and safety. This legacy was carried on by Chris, who relaunched the magazine in 2015 and began to rebuild GND.

For the bulk of his career, Chris worked as a private military contractor for a number of NGOs. He is currently living outside Loveland, Colorado where he runs GND and a local coffee shop. Chris is also actively involved in the local community where he runs annual skeet shooting events.

Gun News Daily

 

 

 

 

 

10 STEPS FOR BEGINNING HUNTERS

(Featured Image – Buy on Bigstock)

10 HUNTING STEPS FOR THE BEGINNERS

Hunting is an interesting and one of the most enjoyable recreational activity for most people worldwide. However, a beginning hunter must follow some steps before he or she becomes a pro in hunting.

Below are 10 most important steps and necessities for you if you are interested in hunting and would want to begin the interesting activity.

1. TAKE A SAFETY COURSE FOR HUNTERS

Hunting can involve many accidents which can be avoided. It is important that a beginner in hunting takes a safety course on hunting. This will help the hunter avoid such accidents as shooting accidents. The safety course will make hunting very enjoyable since it makes the conduct of the hunters acceptable by the public. To start off, look for hunting training centers that can be found around your place by searching them online.

2. GET A HUNTING LICENSE

For a hunter to fully enjoy the practice, he or she should have all the rights to do it. It is no doubt that a beginning hunter has just realized a new hobby. Although some hunters may decide to go the illegal way, out of desperation to enjoy hunting, by avoiding to secure a license for hunting, choose the legal way. Do not mess up your new hobby. It is simple, secure a hunting license.

 

3. GATHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT

Before beginning any activity, it is paramount that you have everything that is required for the activity in place. A hunter, therefore, who is new in the game is expected to have hunting gear before he or she starts to explore his or her new hobby. The crucial requirements for a beginner include an archery, hunting clothes, hunting boots, sling shots, hunting bags and tactical backpacks, guns and a tactical pen. Hunting equipment varies from the simple cheap ones to the sophisticated and expensive ones. It is advisable that a person interested in hunting begins with simple and cheap equipment; then he or she will advance as time goes by. This will make it all an interesting activity where the beginning hunter gets no difficulty in doing it.

 

The choice of the gear is, however, important. A prospective hunter is expected to choose the best tactical backpack among some other equipment. A backpack is designed for comprehensive packing. They, therefore, help the hunter in carrying the requirements for the hunting. Some of the best backpacks include the Tactical Rush 72 Backpack, Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger, Tactical Tailor Operator Removable Pack, Spec Ops T.H.E Ultimate Assault Pack, which is a good all-round pack, among others.

 

The hunter is also required to look for the best tactical pen. A tactical pen, for a hunter, is an important tool for self-defense in case of an attack while hunting. Some of the most popular and the best tactical penS include the Cold Steel Pocket Shark, The ProMag Archangel Defense Pen, The Schrade SCPENG Tactical, The Mid-Range, The Boker Plus Tactical Pen Cid Cal .45 among others. The hunter may look up for more good tactical pens in the market.

 

4. KNOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT GOVERN HUNTING

Each country or state has its rules that govern hunting. A beginner should familiarize himself or herself with these laws to avoid the risk of finding himself or herself on the wrong side of the law. A champion always knows all the rules of the game. Avoid making enemies with the warden.

 

5. LOOK FOR A SKILLED HUNTER

Learning hunting involves a lot of observations. Because of this, a beginner should make friends with an experienced hunter and work with them fir the start. Your learning, however, should not be an interruption on the hunter. While with him or her, watch keenly what he does. Your respectful and non-inconveniencing learning may lead him or she let you know some of his or her hunting secrets.

 

6. CHOOSE A GUN

It is quite obvious that you will get several conflicting and confusing views on which gun you should take for the start. The best option is to visit the nearest gun store to discuss the same. If you are planning to be on the big game, then a riffle is the best. However, consider a shot gun.

7. PRACTICE SHOOTING

You should also practice using a gun and learn the safety precautions when using a gun.This will help you familiarize with your gun and ensure you are safe with them. Do this on targets and posts and you will be set to go. An experienced hunter may help you on that.

 

8. KNOW THE HUNTING ENVIRONMENT WELL

It is hard to hunt in a place that you are not used to. It is, therefore, important that you familiarize yourself with that surrounding; that is the landscape and the animal behaviors of the animals before you begin the game. This will help you when you will be drawing your hunting plans and therefore making the hunting game easy and enjoyable.

 

9. LEARN TO USE OTHER HUNTING EQUIPMENT THAT YOU HAVE

It is very obvious that you cannot use what you are not used to. Learn to use all the equipment that you will begin with, for instance, how to use the tactical pen for defense. Know how to put on your attire and how to put your backpack in place. This will keep you ready for the start.

10. BEGIN WITH A SMALL GAME

You are advised to start the hunting game on the easy targets such as the squirrels and later, deer. This will build your confidence in the hunting and keep you safe. Beginning with bigger targets will put you at the risk of being attacked by the animals and consequently making lose interest in hunting.

 

You are now set to go hunting. Explore the new interesting hobby.

 

Sheldon Martin is the founder of Captain Hunter. CaptainHunter.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment, and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously.

Never think that you are alone in the woods again. Our goal is to share what we know with who needs it most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy St Prepper’s Day

Your In Luck! Happy St. Prepper’s Day!

Enjoy FREE Shipping on all orders this weekend only!

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So, go ahead and stock up on your survival supplies and gear…

Happy St. Prepper’s Day!

 

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