If you’re anything like us, preparing for a hunt is all a part of the fun. Packing, dialing in the weapon, scouting, and doing the homework build anticipation toward a hunt. But as you focus on all that pre-season prep, don’t forget to make a plan for meat care. If you are fortunate enough to harvest an animal, having a plan and the right equipment will make a big difference. We have a handful of meat care accessories that will be in our kill kits this season.
Before we get into some of our favorite meat care accessories, it’s worth mentioning that we have some useful information about meat care here on the website. As you prepare for your next hunt, check out some of these resources:
- How to Choose the Right Game Bag System for Your Next Hunt
- Tips for Using Caribou Gear Game Bags
- 9 Meat Care Tips to Maximize Your Wild Game This Season
- 3 Tips for Warm Weather Meat Care
Plus, get prepared to process your own wild game with this series:
- Part 1: Processing Equipment and Getting Started
- Part 2: Breaking Down a Hindquarter
- Part 3: Shoulders, Backstraps and More
OUR TOP 5 MEAT CARE ACCESSORIES:
The Caribou Gear Hunter’s Tarp
The Caribou Gear Hunter’s tarp will be in our kill kit on every single hunt this season. From antelope to elk and everything in between, this is ultralight tarp is a game-changer. At just 5.6 ounces (including four stakes and storage bag) it provides a clean surface to lay quarters or debone meat in the field.
Next, use it as a liner to keep your backpack clean during the pack out. Double Sil-coatings on both sides of the tarp make it completely waterproof. Even under the extreme weight of an elk quarter, blood will not seep through the tarp into your backpack.
Finally, the Hunter’s Tarp serves as an impromptu glassing shelter or storm shelter when pitched over a branch or with trekking poles. With so much value at such little weight, this one is a no-brainer for your kill kit this season.
Paracord and Lashings
Next up, no kill kit is complete without strong, high quality Paracord. Here at Caribou Gear, we use 7 Strand 550 Paracord. We have it available in black and orange, in lengths of 50 feet or 100 feet.
Additionally, we recommend carrying lashings that are pre-tied, ready to hang elk quarters. Our Caribou Gear Quarter Lashings are cut to a convenient length and have lashing loops for quickly getting those big game quarters off the ground. Our lashings are made using the same high quality 550 paracord.
Citric Acid Spray
Citric acid spray is another lightweight item that should be in every big game hunter’s kill kit. Particularly early in the season when the weather is warm, citric acid is a big help in getting your wild game meat from the field to the freezer in the best possible condition.
Citric acid is naturally antimicrobial, it kills bacteria and it repels insects. This makes it an easy-to-carry defense against those biggest threats to meat care. For more information on why and how to use it, see our previous article, 3 Reasons Why Every Hunter Should Carry Citric Acid Spray.
H2O Water Immersion Bag
Another lightweight accessory that can become extremely useful is a water immersion bag. Our Caribou Gear H2O Water Cooling Bag is made with a durable, 3 mil waterproof plastic. Using an immersion bag is a great way to quickly knock down the core temperature of the meat.
Wild game meat should never be left in a plastic bag for a long period of time. The three pillars of good meat care are to keep it cool, dry, and with plenty of air circulation. However, when outside temperatures are warm, immersing the quarters in a cold, shady creek with a plastic bag to keep them dry is a great way to fight against spoilage.
We recommend immersing quarters for one to two hours per day. This is just enough to knock down the core temperature of the meat. Look for a cold, shady creek where the meat is not in direct sunlight. If there is moisture on the game bags, leave the top of the plastic immersion bag open so that it can escape. After the meat has cooled in the water for an hour or two, hang it back up in a cool, shady spot where there is plenty of air circulation.
Caribou Gear Game Bags
Finally, there’s no better meat care accessory than a high quality set of Caribou Gear Game Bags. Not sure which game bag set is right for you? Check out our previous article, How to Choose the Right Game Bag System for Your Next Hunt.
We offer complete game bags sets for species from antelope to moose. And we’ve designed sets specifically for lightweight backcountry use and others with more robust features that are ideal when hunting from a base camp or with horses.
But no matter which set you choose, know that all of our game bags are made with the same Caribou Gear proprietary fabric. It’s the world’s only patented game bag and it’s the only fabric that was specifically designed for meat care. Learn more about it here.
Enjoy Your Wild Game Harvest This Year!
We wish you all safe, fun and successful big game seasons. Hopefully, you have a chance to put those kill kits to work! If you have questions about meat care, accessories or how to prepare for the harvest, please don’t hesitate to reach out.