Wild Game Care Tips

Congratulations on your harvest! We would like to provide a few tips for the best care of your animal so your meat will be in the best possible condition. When you’re done, if you need a processor, call Meats of Montana (fueled by Pioneer Meats) to help at (406) 932-4522.

Completely dress the animal – Immediately

  • Take pictures then start dressing the animal.
  • Be sure to remove the lungs and esophagus, especially in elk, so the meat can cool properly.
  • Take out the entire urinal track and manure from beneath the pelvic bone between the hind quarters.

Proper cooling

  • Outdoor temperatures above 45°F are not cool enough to hang or cool wild game.
  • Quartering your animal, placing it in ice and making sure that air can get all around the animal are other ideas to help cool your harvest.
  • Get it to your processor for proper cooling.


  • Processors prefer to have all animals, even quarters, with the skin on.
  • Keeping the skin on helps protect the meat from debris and from dragging.

Meat Handling

  • Keep the meat clean. Dirt, grass and pine needles will need to be cleaned off to make the meat edible.
  • Use a tarp or blanket to work on.
  • Never put meat into garbage bags, they are coated with chemicals and pesticides.
  • Use game bags if you are going to skin the animal yourself.
  • Clean trim means mean that is free on sinew, hair, dirt, bone and other debris. Tanner elk