HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 13 - YOUR CONTRACT TO KILL
Conveniently, small game will fit in a small cooler. This is the easiest solution for keeping the meat from spoiling.
To field dress small game on the spot, follow these steps:
- Using a sharp knife, cut off the head and remove the feet at the ankle joint.
- Pinch the loose skin on the back of the animal with your fingers and insert your knife through the skin.
- Grasp the hide on both sides of the cut and pull it away from the animal’s body by pulling it in opposite directions.
- Once the hide is pulled completely off, cut off the tail.
- Cut open the stomach area and remove the guts. Keep your eye open for any pieces of shot or damaged meat and trim it away.
After field dressing small game animals such as squirrels or rabbits, put them in a chilled cooler. Just remember, even a little moisture will cause meat contamination so make sure the meat isn’t sitting on loose ice. Also, you need to make sure the cooler is cold, or else you’ve got raw meat in a warm plastic box with no air circulation. The meat will spoil faster than you can say ‘food poisoning’.