If you plan on field dressing big game yourself, then these 5 tips for field dressing big game will come in handy. The below tips are universal for deer, elk, moose, or any animal in between.
- Beware your fallen harvest. Approach any shot animal with caution. Make sure your prey is completely deceased before attempting to touch it, especially field dress it. If not, the situation may escalate out of control quickly and you could get hurt.
- The sooner the better. Big game is better dressed warm. Removing hide is much smoother when the animal carcass still holds most of its natural body temperature. Also, you want as much blood as possible removed from arteries while the blood can still flow fresh. It's important to have your animal completely dressed, quartered, and put away quickly.
- Hang the carcass vertical. With your harvest hanging straight up and down, either by a hind leg or head, you will have a much better dressing experience. Removing entrails, skinning, and quartering of the meat takes less time and the least amount of effort if the animal is free-hanging in the vertical position. This method also keeps your meat from being soiled by ground elements. It's important to keep edible meat clean.
- Use sharp cutting utensils. This is the most useful tip for field dressing big game. A sharp knife and saw will eliminate unnecessary work while skinning and quartering your harvest. Hide is tough to work with, especially on older animals. Your blade should be razor sharp and your saw should cut through bone like butter. Nothing causes more of a headache than a saw blade that catches and bends rather than cuts.
- Wash the meat. After skinning and quartering is complete, thoroughly wash all harvested meat before placing it in your freezer or refrigerator.
These 5 tips for field dressing big game will aid you in the task of preparing your meat for the table.