Newfoundland and Labrador Hunter Education Program


Field Dressing

Field Dressing

When you return to camp, hang the quarters of the game animal from a tree or a specially designed rack. This allows the air to circulate, cooling the meat quicker. It also helps you to skin the animal. The best place to hang the game animal is a shed or refrigerator box that is kept at an optimum temperature. If the game animal is to be hung outside, wrap the animal in a game bag or cheese cloth to keep insects from landing on the meat.

Dispose of the entrails in a way that will not offend others. Place them in a shallow depression and cover with leaves, or in a trash bag for later disposal. Once the animal is skinned, wash any dirt or blood from the meat. Next, dry the meat with paper towels or clean, dry rags. Let it air dry thoroughly. If a game animal is quartered, the meat can be placed in waterproof bags and placed in ice coolers. During hunting seasons, there are butchers that will process game animals for you - all you need to do is field dress, skin and transport it to their premises.

Make sure you wear some type of latex or rubber gloves when handling a downed game animal. This not only keeps your hands cleaner, but also protects you from getting scratched and helps reduce the risk of contracting infections. Although unlikely, there is always a chance of harvesting a diseased animal. Contact local authorities for more information about what you need to do if you harvest an animal that was previously shot or appears to be in poor health.

Strapped to Truck

When transporting a game animal, place it in the back of a truck or on a vehicle rack with a cover over it to protect it from dirt and debris. Do not strap the game animal to the hood of a vehicle. Not only is it offensive to others and disrespectful to the game animal, the heat from the vehicle's engine will spoil the meat.

Important! Always follow local regulations for tagging, field dressing and transporting game animals.