Fruits Of The Hunt

As long as man has roamed the planet, people have enjoyed hunting as a way to gather food and also as a sport. If you”re a hunter, you know that not every hunting trip results in a kill. However, on those occasions when you are able to enjoy the fruits of the hunt, you will likely need to know how to preserve your game.

Preserving your kill begins in the field. If you”ve killed an animal that you”ll want to use for food, you might need to bleed the animal before transporting it. If you shot your kill with a gun or bow and arrow, the wound will likely sufficiently drain the animal of blood. If, however, the animal was shot in the head, you will need to drain the blood.

After bleeding the animal (if necessary) and transporting it, you will have several choices for preserving your game. While some people simply butcher the animal and freeze it for later use, others like to butcher the kill and then smoke the meat or turn the meat into jerky.

If you”re not experienced at preserving game, you should be able to find someone in your city or town who specializes in butchering and preserving animals.

In this section, we”ll give you tips on how to best enjoy the fruits of the hunt. We”ll walk you through the steps of preserving game and will also give you tips on cooking wild game. In addition, we”ll provide information on dressing game in the field.

Preserving Game

Game can provide delicious and healthy food. However, wild game must be handled with care and preserved properly in order to maintain its quality. Often, people will simply freeze their game in order to preserve it. If this is your method of choice, you will likely need to invest in a large freezer. You”ll also need quality storage bags to block out freezer burn.

Freezing is an easy way of preserving game, but it isn”t the only preservation method. Game can also be preserved in the following manners:

  • canning
  • corning
  • curing
  • drying
  • sausage making
  • smoking.

The method you choose will depend on your personal preferences as well as your preservation abilities.

When preserving game, it is important to follow food safety guidelines in order to maintain the quality and integrity of the meat. Here are some tips:

  • Before beginning and after doing anything that could contaminate your hands, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean all equipment before you begin. Also, wash equipment with hot, soapy water after you use it.
  • If you”ll be making sausage, keep the meat as cold as possible, preferably below 40F.
  • Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of all meats.

Following proper food safety when preserving game will allow you to enjoy your wild game to the fullest.

Resources

Clemson Extension (n.d.). Preserving Game Meats. Retrieved December 5, 2007, from the Clemson Extension Web site: http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic3603.htm.

Garden-Robinson, Julie; Marchello, Martin (revised September 2003). Preservation of Game Meats and Fish. Retrieved December 5, 2007, from the NDSU Web site: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he155w.htm.