Hunting/Food: Field Dressing Harvested Game

Preparing to field dress a deer.

Preparing to field dress a deer.

This is Passport to Texas

Lee Smith started hunting when he was 7 years old. Now in his mid-fifties, this Austin resident and home cook, says he hunts for meat not trophies.

06—Once you’ve pulled the trigger and you’ve got an animal down, the work really begins.

Field dressing, which involves removing the animal’s internal organs, can be a race against the clock—due to spoilage—says Smith.

24—Meat spoils due to three things: heat, moisture and dirt. Getting those internal organs out is going to immediately start to let that carcass cool. Second thing is: the skin. Taking that skin off is going to get that animal cooler, and also allow it to dry quicker. Once you’ve got it back [to camp], and taken the skin off, you rinse out the interior chest cavity, and get it into that cooler.

If you’re hunting on public land, or there isn’t a walk-in cooler at your lease, after field dressing and skinning the animal, quarter it.

13—That’s taking off the four quarters, the two backstraps, and the rear legs. That’s what you are legally bound to take. If you don’t take that, you can be ticketed for waste of game.

Put the quarters into tall kitchen garbage bags, and then into coolers with ice. How to handle game at home – that’s tomorrow.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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