Hunting Can Help Feed Your Family

Posted on: 26 March 2015

When the economic times get tough, the tough go hunting -- for dinner. It may seem like a return to the olden days, but hunting is actually an excellent way to feed not just your family, but other families, as well. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, one deer can provide 50 pounds of venison. That's a lot of protein for families that may not be able to afford more traditional types of meat, such as beef, pork or chicken.

Before You Head Out

To ensure that the meat you serve from your hunt is safe, it's important to locate a wild game processing facility like Custom Butcher & Smokehouse before you head out into the woods. It is best not to leave the processing of meat for consumption to an amateur. Improper handling of the meat or a delay in processing your game could cause someone to get food poisoning. The following are some of the things that a wild game processor will do for you:

  • Check your meat to ensure that there are no fragments from your bullet or your broadhead arrow. Meat that has suffered excessive shot damage will be discarded to minimize the chance that it may be contaminated with, say, lead from a shotgun pellet.
  • Create select cuts of meat and also grind less desirable portions for burgers or sausages. A good wild game processor will try to utilize most of your animal for food.
  • Package your meat for easy storage. Proper packaging allows you to freeze some for later. 

 Precautions You Need to Take

To ensure that the meat on a deer you kill will be ready to take to a processor, it is very important you to field dress your kill immediately by: 

  • Cutting away the animal's testicles if it is a male and the mammary glands if it is a female. Then cut around the anus so that it is loosened.
  • Next cut lightly from the pelvis to the deer's breastplate. You do not want to cut deeply as you can puncture the stomach and contaminate your meat.
  • Carefully, remove all of the deer's organs. Try not to allow the contents of the intestines or stomach spill out onto your meat. 
  • Hang your deer by its head to let it drain. If possible, splash cold water into the cavity to clean it out. 

Once you have field dressed your kill, you can then safely transport it to your game to the facility you have chosen for processing. Happy eating!


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