As the hunting season once again rolls around, many families across Iowa will be tucking into meat that they have hunted themselves. There are few leisure activities quite as American as hunting; it has been a way for families and friends to bond and share in the spoils. However, it is essential that anyone planning on hunting, storing, and eventually eating their meat be aware of the necessary safety precautions.
Every hunter is familiar with the potential for danger in the hunt itself, because of this the more common cause of serious injury comes from eating the meat itself. In cases where meat has been improperly procured or stored, it can be teaming with bacteria, and the potential health hazards are extremely serious.
As a result, both the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, and the DNR Director for Iowa, Chuck Gipp, have issued a plea for hunters in the state to familiarize themselves with the proper field dressing and handling procedures before setting out on any hunts.
The sport is embedded into the culture of Iowa, and the state is one of the most pro-hunting in the Union. Learn how to keep yourself safe when on the hunt.
Before you set out on a hunt, you should have an idea of what you are hunting and why. If you are hunting for game, then you should make arrangements beforehand for the processing of the meat. Find a meat processor and speak to them beforehand. Different processors will have different preferences as to how they receive the meat, so you should make sure that you understand all this beforehand.
It is important that you keep the time between the kill and the processing to an absolute minimum. You can gain more time by performing the appropriate field dressing, you only have a few hours after death until the first stages of decomposition begin so move promptly.
Invest in Good Equipment
Good equipment makes all the difference, to every aspect of the hunt. If you can try stuff out in a local store with knowledgeable staff then great, they will be able to offer you advice on what works best for the kind of game you will be hunting. There are also a number of good online retailers, such as woodburyoutfitters.com, and online prices are often lower. Once you feel confident in picking your own equipment then you might want to consider shopping online to save money.
For those who prepare the meat themselves, known as ‘boning’, you will need to make sure that all the bags and containers you use are food safe, the most common choice is the zip-lock style bags that are widely available. You can get them in a wide range of sizes, and they are the safest way to store your meat.
In addition to the above tips, you will want to make sure that you are familiar with the rules where you live regarding the disposal of the remains and unused cuts. Consult with a residential waste company to find out more.