I once had a guy share some deer meat with me. He said he butchered it himself and that it was wonderful. The packets were so full of hair and crud that I cooked it for my dogs. He also mentioned that the power went of for a while on his freezer.
We need to take seriously the issues of food poisoning and filth with wild game. Now that CWD and other related issues are more relevant, we need to be careful with our meat.
Consider these thoughts as you prepare to feed your families the wild game that you harvest and process.
Wear rubber gloves If you handle guts and gore when gutting a wild critter, be smart. Wash after handling these issues / At least use sanitary wipes, like you get after eating ribs, to clean your hands.
Clear the dirt! I am amazed that some meat that I have seen is packaged with hair and dirt from butchering. Would you feed your Mother that cut?
Cool the carcass You don’t have to process the meat immediately. Consider the temperatures. You could wait a week or two if it is cool enough. A walk-in fridge will also give you time to chill.
Store it right! Wild game is best stored at 32-39.2 degrees. This will prevent h e spread of bacteria. Aged meat is more tender.
Gutting is key! Proper gutting is essential to how the meat will taste. Doing it right means do not cut into the guts. Do not puncture the bladder. Remove the entrails intact. Do not contaminate the meat.
Leave the hide on If you need to drag the animal or plan to hang it, leave the skin on. This keeps bugs and dirt off your meat. Skin the animal when you plan to butcher.
Clean your tools Always wash and sterilize your knives, saw, and butcher tools. If you plan to feed your children the cuts you prepare, why wouldn’t you?
Wild game is best when served clean!
For ore Montana Grant, enjoy him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.