Safe Field Dressing

Diseases You Can Get From Wildlife - A Field-guide for Hunters, Trappers, Anglers and Biologists - 2011 edition PDF 5.57MB



Things that spoil meat

  • Poor shot / arrow placement
  • Improper field-dressing or careless butchering
  • Dragging a dressed carcass
  • Hanging or aging the carcass for too long
  • High temperatures during aging

Why prevent meat spoilage?

  • To reduce the risk of illness
  • Properly dressed & aged meat tastes better

Keep it CLEAN - Prevent bacterial contamination

  • Water, mud, soil and leaves carry bacteria
    • Butcher animal in cleanest area possible
    • Keep carcass covered when transporting
  • Prevent bacterial-related spoilage:
    • Wash your hands
    • Always use clean equipment and knives
    • Avoid contact between clothes & carcass
      • Clothes can carry bacteria
      • Wash clothes when you get home
    • Wear disposable gloves
Wash equipment that cuts into intestines
  • Before you butcher the carcass, clean off hair, dirt and other debris

Keep it COOL - Prevent bacterial growth

  • Spoilage results from bacterial growth
  • Spoilage and disease are affected by TIME & TEMPERATURE
  • Field dress & skin the animal as soon as possible - fur may protect the carcass, but can also prevent proper cooling!

The warmer the temperature, the faster the spoilage


Keep it SAFE

  • Protect meat from intestinal contents; they contain bacteria & parasites
    • Wash knives frequently
    • Trim contaminated meat
    • Cook well
  • Label meat packages with the date to:
    • Select specific cuts for cooking
    • Freeze for up to 12 months for best quality
  • When in the kitchen or campsite:
    • Clean hands, cooking utensils and surfaces
    • Separate raw meat from ready-to-eat foods
    • Cook to recommended temperatures to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites
    • Refrigerate promptly to slow bacterial growth