Washing your Meat?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by tackdriver10, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. tackdriver10

    tackdriver10 Well-Known Member

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    After the kill, and you've gotten your critter quartered up, how do you go about washing the blood and other unmentionables off your meat? I've been known to wash it in a creek or stream but I am growing more and more concerned about bacteria. I guess you could always use your filtered or sterilized water for the task, but that would depend on how much you have on hand and how far the nearest water source is.

    Enlighten me guys, how do you do it?
     
  2. sheep.elk.moose fanatic

    sheep.elk.moose fanatic New Member

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    when in the mountains you have to save your water for your self and wait to you find a creek to wash or cool your meat, just try to keep it clean..i use a space blanket to put all my deboned meat on then in a pillow case!
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The best thing to do is not get the meat dirty in the first place, easier said than done but you can bone out or quarter an animal without getting it dirty. The only animal I through in the creek is an antelope, I find the nearest creek and through them in. During the winter I through a bunch of snow in the chest cavity and use that to clean them a little maybe.

    If you get things dirty things come cleaner faster by using a wet rag and wiping it down and washing it of in the creek.
     
  4. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I was taught by my grandparents who literally lived on venison way back when that you never put the meat in water as if there is no refrigeration for a couple days or more the moisture speeds up the spoiling. I don’t know about that but to this day I still follow their guidance and have never lost any meat or had any that was foul.

    When I used to backpack hunt almost exclusively I would bone the buck out on the ground laying the meat on brush or whatever to let it cool. Then into my backpack that was lined with a large pillow case which by the way is considerably better then garbage bags. If more than a day’s hike from the trail head put the meat out at night but back into the bag before the fly’s wake up. It will be fine for a couple days this way.

    If a bad shot was made don’t put blood shot meat or foul meat into a back pack if more than a day from the trailhead as it will spoil or foul everything quite quickly.

    Washing meat in a creek is a bad idea in my opinion.
     
  5. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    My hunting is 95% backpack hunting in the wilds of Alaska for the past 32 years, and I never wash meat in in the field in any stream or lake. I would never consider doing so out in the field. It would just increase the rate of meat spoilage, in my opinion. I have washed the chest and abdominal cavity of game animals with a hose back at the house - rarely. But never out in the field, shy of a night's meal, to be cooked in camp.

    If I have soiled meat in the field I may trim the soiled meat away and discard it. I just go to great lengths to keep the guts, bladder and dirt off the meat while field butchering. If it's just some vegetation or hair, that can be trimmed off when processing the meat back at the house.

    We try to let the meat form a dry blood glaze on it in the field, but often times that's not possible, because as soon as the animal is field butchered, it's time to get off the mountain and head back down to camp. The meat goes into lightweight non-cotton game bags, and then gets dropped into large trash bags - at least two trash bags, and then into my pack. I can't afford to have my backpack and my clothing soiled to the point I smell like bear bait while sleeping in bear country overnight. As soon as I get back to secure sleeping quarters - like out of bear country, or out of reach of the bears - I'll get the meat bags out of the plastic garbage bags, and into dry and cool conditions. Dry, clean, and cool are the three keys to good quality game meat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I have seen every kind of way to mess up meat that you can imagine cutting wild game and washing is beneficial if the water is good, don't through it in a mud hole and expect anything good or a creek that is all foamed up. If you have to use plastic bags for anything DO NOT use garbage bags as they are treated to keep the smell down, find some clear bags and get the meat out as fast as possible.

    At home 100% of my meat gets washed and there is a lot of water used to clean blood shot, hair and grime of. Water makes a huge difference in meat quality during cutting!!! Get it cut ASAP also, no aging wild game!!!
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    The garbage bags I use aren't scented or chemically treated. I typically use the large garbage bags that I see in use for trash pick-up along our highways in Alaska. And I use an even heavier grade of garbage bag that is used for the collection and disposal of hazardous materials, and personal protective gear worn during hazardous substance response & cleanup operations, when I can find them.

    While backpacking, without the use of plastic bags to transport field-dressed and field-butchered meat out of the field and back to civilization, how would you keep from soiling your backpack, clothing, tent, and hunting and camping gear with the blood and drainage associated with the meat? Anyone know of a source of heavy duty 33-gallon food grade plastic bags?

    Call them garbage bags, or trash bags, I haven't come across any better ideas when the game has to be transported on my back from the kill site back to the vehicle or airstrip, and I'm overnighting along the way in the middle of grizzly, brown, and black bear country. Not to mention the wolves, coyotes, fox, and wolverine.

    Somebody got a better idea? I'd like to learn of it.
     
  8. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Any colored bag is not cool for meat, you want the clear bags. The colored and scented bags will make things funky but not really spoiled. I used to use cape bags from a taxidermy supply store, they were huge and rugged and clear. It has been to long to remember what store though but I'll do some looking to see if I can find were a guy could order the right stuff.

    Anything is better than becoming bear poop though!!
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    If I have to pack an animal out I use the clear drum liners that are used for food products
    to keep the blood off of my pack and clothes and if you have to stay in the woods a while

    You can immerse the heavy bags in a cold mountain stream to cool it down, but dont let the
    water get in the bag. (You can rig a pole across the stream and hang the bags from it).

    The sooner I can get it in an ice chest with lots of cold water the better. This softens any blood
    and ages the meat at the same time with out spoilage.

    Natural streams are full of bacteria from all sorts of beast and should not be drank or used
    to wash meat off.

    There is nothing worse than wild game that has not been taken care of properly.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I used plastic garbage bags the heavy duty 30 gal garden type all the time early on and they worked well except they trap whatever heat that is left in the meat so I switched to the cloth bags. If you lay the meat out for awhile there is not a lot of draining so the pack does not get too screwed up.

    A good point about grizzly country though and I understand your thinking about keeping clean and the odors down. Would do the same if in your situation. Don’t need no teed off grizzly looking for lunch
     
  11. 300rum

    300rum Well-Known Member

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    Neverr washed the meat on field.
    If I do a kill in the cold temp +8Celsius or bellow, I remove the skin and hang up on tree tiil I finished hunting and prepare to go home.
    on the day of living I deboned the meat, put it on cooler and head home.
    Home I can wash/clean the meat and baggit on ziplock and ready to go on deepfreezer.

    If I do a kill in hot weather +15 and up, and have to stay more days 2-3 days, i just remove the guts, cut the ribs cavity (opened up to neck) insert a spacer or pice of wood to hold it spread and laid down on belly on the grass, on shadow and cover it up with2-3 branches.
    Newer lost any meat in this way., The hide keeps flyes away and cool down the heat, and over night it keeps cool air from the ground inside and cools the meat.
    I learned this technique from a eldermen hunter few years ago, and works like a charm.
    The trick is to open the chest cavity and laid down the game with belly down and DO NOT REMOVE THE SKIN. (of course you have to remove the guts, and all the inside of chest cavity and the neck pipe up to lower jaw.
     
  12. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Just want to add something taught to me years ago. When in warm weather and you have to leave the animal for awhile do as 300rum describes above and if there is any “Bay Leaf” growing wild where you’re hunting break a couple small branches with the leaves on and put them in the chest cavity. Flies won’t come near it.
     
  13. Strider

    Strider Active Member

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    Meat spoilage is greatly accelerated from heat and moisture. One of the two can be dealt with, but both together can make a mess quickly. I don't wash meat until I am home. In the field, I debone everything except the hams (the leg bone is light and deboning it in the field tends to ruin a lot of meat). I place the meat in cotton game bags and hang it during the night. During the day, I take the meat into the tent, lay it out on the game bags turned inside out so the pieces are not touching so it dries somewhat, and bag it up to hang again at night. The frist time I hung a bag of boned meat for three days and left it, it got a white, sticky slime on the outside much like elmers glue. That was the last. I have kept meat in the backcountry for as long as a week with the hang/tent method and it works great.