Predators & Small Game
When Success Strikes
When your bull is down and found, you have achieved elk hunting success but your job is not over. Now you are working against the clock, temperature and other conditions to preserve the prime meat. Considering elk size, on-the-spot butchering is the most common option. The goal is two-fold. You want to get the carcass cooled quickly and get it cut up into manageable chunks for easy transport. Some skin the elk immediately, because warm skin comes off easier. They then use the skin, flesh side up, as a clean surface on which to lay chunks of meat. Others gut and quarter with the skin left on to protect the meat, in its natural wrapper, during transport. Either way, quick cooling is essential to top meat quality. However, in the West, a shady spot often offers cool air and breezes even on a warm day. Get the meat out of the sun and protect it from insects with meat bags. Then begin packing it out.