Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Backcountry Hunting => Topic started by: hoyt5199 on May 04, 2014, 12:50:46 PM

Title: taking care of meat
Post by: hoyt5199 on May 04, 2014, 12:50:46 PM
Going on a week long backcountry hunt in a couple weeks and was wondering the best way to take care of the meat. We will have a base camp so we will have access to cooler and ice. My question is if I bag a bear in the beginning of the week and we don't get another until the end will it be okay to have it boned out and on ice for a few days or should we try to get it to a processor? Any thoughts or Ideas would be great.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: billythekidrock on May 04, 2014, 12:56:21 PM
The sooner it is frozen or processed the better. A couple days on ice is ok, but I would not plan on leaving a bear on ice for more than that.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: ICEMAN on May 04, 2014, 01:16:32 PM
Drive it down to a cooler, hang it, then go hunt more.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: boneaddict on May 04, 2014, 01:30:53 PM
I always break camp and get it taken care of.  By the time I get it packed out (I seem to never shoot one by a road) time is already an issue.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Whitpirate on May 04, 2014, 03:55:12 PM
With bear you can't get it processed fast enough.  Get it down to a hanging cooler at least as quickly as possible.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: billythekidrock on May 04, 2014, 04:25:45 PM
With bear you can't get it processed fast enough.  Get it down to a hanging cooler at least as quickly as possible.


Exactly. I prefer to cool mine overnight and butcher the next day.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: hoyt5199 on May 05, 2014, 06:42:48 AM
Thanks for all the info!
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: acnewman55 on May 05, 2014, 09:49:46 AM
Where do you find a hanging cooler willing to take a whole bear?
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: stromdiddily on May 05, 2014, 10:21:39 AM
Where do you find a hanging cooler willing to take a whole bear?

Was thinking the same thing
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: fillthefreezer on May 05, 2014, 10:25:52 AM
Where do you find a hanging cooler willing to take a whole bear?
where you find bear that comes out whole?!  :chuckle:
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: darren on May 06, 2014, 02:03:02 PM
Where do you find a hanging cooler willing to take a whole bear?
where you find bear that comes out whole?!  :chuckle:

Is a bear more difficult to quarter in the field than a deer?
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: hoyt5199 on May 13, 2014, 08:03:43 AM
No same process,  just more hair and fat!
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Rock7 on July 22, 2014, 05:04:40 PM
Bring some citric acid for the meat and if you plan on staying out you will need some salt for the hide.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Buckhunter24 on January 23, 2020, 03:00:24 PM
I thought there was a more recent thread than this on the subject but cannot find it.

Looking at doing a wilderness hunt this September with my dad. If we manage to bag a deer, any tips on meat care? Average temps mid september can be pretty dang high. I have never shot an animal in September and the temps have me worried a bit.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: WapitiTalk1 on January 23, 2020, 03:20:32 PM
Buckhunter,

Shoot it, find it, and get to work.  Bone it out completely using the gutless method.  Get the meat into good game bags and get it cooling.  Hanging the bags in the shade is good, but, if you can hang it in a cool creek draw, you're golden for up to several days, weather dependent. Have the big coolers w/block ice ready back at the trailhead to drop your meat in for the ride to your ranch or the processor.  I have shot elk in SEP where daytime temps were in the 70s+ and have had no issues taking up to 4 trips (over the course of 2 1/2 days) to get the meat back to the coolers.  Again, you've gotta get the meat cooling quickly and hung in a place that will keep it cool until you start packing it out.  Good luck this fall!         
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Buckhunter24 on January 23, 2020, 03:28:00 PM
Thanks wapiti. This is what I have been reading, break it down immediately, hang it in the shade in a draw near water if possible. Keep it dry, maybe spray with citric acid (i will have to read more on this). And get it to the cooler as fast as possible :tup:

I look forward to giving this a go. We've both worked in the woods our whole lives but bever done a backcountry hunt.

If anyone knows any other tricks, throw them out there! Maybe it will be in the 40s  :chuckle:

Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: HikerHunter on January 28, 2020, 04:07:13 PM
The initial cool-down or lack of it actually is what causes the majority of meat loss IMO. So the "break down immediately" is spot on.

One thing to be careful with if you are boning out right away and hanging, don't hang a huge glob of meat that could trap heat in the middle.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Tbob on February 20, 2020, 04:06:18 AM
Agreed with most advice here. When I break mine down I actually like to leave it on the bone, as itís easier for me to handle in my pack and sometimes that big ball of meat stays really warm in the center. Iíll usually just cut some nice long slices along the muscle groups down to the bone to get it to cool. Everything is the same. Keep it dry, place in the shade, maybe in a creek draw and Iíll even throw a tarp over the top, just to keep xtra shade and any dew off it that may try and form over night. Good luck out there!!
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: Shawn Ryan on February 27, 2020, 06:48:58 PM
Sometimes you don't have the right trees to hang your meat in a cool draw. In that case, laying them on a grid of sticks, preferably right above running water, with air circulating under and over, will keep meat cool. Photo is elk quarters in mid-Sept.
Title: Re: taking care of meat
Post by: 444Marlin on February 27, 2020, 09:04:04 PM
I thought there was a more recent thread than this on the subject but cannot find it.

Looking at doing a wilderness hunt this September with my dad. If we manage to bag a deer, any tips on meat care? Average temps mid september can be pretty dang high. I have never shot an animal in September and the temps have me worried a bit.
Depending on if it's a blacktail and how long the hunt is, you might be able to eat the thing before you get out of there!  :chuckle:

I worry about the hot September hunts, and if it's forecasted to be much above mid-70's, I'll keep my hunts closer to the rig and closer to a place I can take my meat to.  If there's really cold overnight temps, I can cool off the meat just by hanging it, keeping it in the shade, wrapping it in a sleeping bag.  Being far off the grid is great, but meat spoilage sucks.  You need to adjust your hunt based on those factors.