Illinois Hunter Safety Course

 

Game Care

Game Care

Once a hunter is sure that the downed game animal has expired, it is time to tag the animal. Take your time at this stage. A hunter's main concern at this stage is to cool down the game animal; otherwise, there is a good chance that the meat will spoil.

Three factors can spoil meat and make it unsafe to eat:

Heat

Bacteria may start to grow if the meat is not cooled. Start the cooling process by field dressing the game animal as quickly as possible. The warmer the weather, the sooner this has to be done.

Dirt

When dragging or moving the game animal to a pickup point or a vehicle, keep it as clean as possible. If you are hunting in an area that has livestock, ensure the game animal is not dragged over manure in the field. Avoid getting dirt or vegetation inside the cleaned-out body cavity.

Moisture

Water on exposed meat breeds bacteria. Carry the game animal over small streams or creeks. Use paper towels or a clean rag to dry the body cavity if it gets wet. Protect your harvested game from rain, snow and ice when transporting it.

 
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