Butchering - how soon? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Butchering - how soon?

Never butchered a bear, been reading about it on line. All the sites say to do this right away. My question is how soon and how late is too late? So lets say I do get one, field dress it and go to the checking station. This could take hours to a day, then home. Too much time? Please fire off some info, thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 01:05 PM
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Re: Butchering - how soon?

There are many factors to take into consideration. The outside temperature is of course the most determining factor. Bears have alot of fat and dense hair, therefore retain a lot of body heat. When gutting, don't be afraid to make a big enough cut. ...this will assist with the meat cooling. Some hunters try to only make a small incision with fear of damaging the skin for the taxidermist. It's ok, just make it a straight cut please. Most taxidermists are going to cut from sternum to anus anyways. If you have access to ice, by all means throw some bags in the body cavity. If not, at least prop it open with some sticks to help with airflow. Try to keep out of the sun ( if it ever shines). Yes...the bear is black, and will gather heat from the sun, but do not cover with tarp as this will retain the body heat. Also be aware if using a pickup truck, the location of exhaust under the bed. A truck bed can have a hot spot, that can lead to hide or meat spoilage if over a distance.
Ideal is a wooden pallet in the truck bed for a few reasons. Keeps the bear up so air can circulate all around the body to promote cooling. Also it will keep the bear above its own fluids or water in the bed. Moisture and wetness, whether fluids or rain, on a bear hide....promotes bacteria growth which can lead to spoiled hides and hair slippage. I know this is lengthy , but wanted to give you everything that came to the top of my head.
So of course the sooner the better to get processed. But a properly handled carcass can be ok for a few days if need be
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 02:08 PM
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Re: Butchering - how soon?

great info xdodge - thanks
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Butchering - how soon?

Thank you very much for this info. I just happen to have a clean new pallet. As with field dressing my deer, when the weather is cool instead of cold, I cut from stem to stern.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 09:56 PM
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Re: Butchering - how soon?

Great idea with the pallet,never thought of that thanks.

ONE SHOT<ONE KILL
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