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How much time do I have?
I will be bowhunting antelope in South Dakota during the first week of the season when the temperatures are normally pretty hot. My main concern is caring for the meat and getting the animal on ice as soon as possible. To facilitate this, I intend on carrying a pack that is designed for hauling meat instead of my typical pack, even though this pack is less comfortable. My question is whether or not I am being too critical of the time I have to get the animal out of the heat and can I afford the time to head back to my vehicle for the meat-carrying pack and still have fine table fare when all is said and done? Thanks in advance for whatever insight and experiences you can share.
It's not nearly as bad as you might think. If you make a clean kill and get the animal quartered and bagged in an hour or so (bags in shade immediately) you'll be fine. Nights have a pretty rapid drop in temps and you can keep meat for several days if you wrap a sleeping bag over it in the a.m.
Goats are small and light and you don't need to bone the animal.
RD, take the bags with you in your day pack, they are small and lightweight. Then you can get that hide off the animal right away and get it cooling. After it's in the bags you can walk back to your truck to get your meat pack resting easy that your meat is already cooling.
Antelope is one of my favorite Wild Game Meats but there's a reason many people can't stand it. The bottom line is the faster you get it on ice the better the meat will be.
also keep in mind, there's not tons of shade in a typical antelope territory
Don`t forget if you plan on mounting the goat you have very limited time to handle the cape. Pronghorns are notorious for hair slippage.
Thanks for the insight. I am going to buy some game bags and plan on doing some butchering out in the prairie before heading back to the vehicle. My plan initially was to gut the animal, strap it to the ruck and head for the vehicle and a huge cooler full of ice. Thanks again.
Double on Franklin's post. It's why you probably are better off rough caping the animal on the prairie. If you know how to do lips and ears you can then finish and salt at camp.
Carry block ice in a cooler and skin and quarter the pieces and get them in fast.........typically you're not far from the road or two-track in antelope country.
My son and I had this one skinned and on ice after a spot and stalk in about 30 minutes. After he went down I had my son run back and pull the truck as close as we could get on a two-track which was a couple hundred yards and started breaking down and skinning him. He would run the quarters back two at a time since they're so light. It was August 15 and close to 90 degrees that day. Turned out fine.
Even if you had to pack one out deboned in game bags, you could do it in one trip. Also, one of my favorite meats but I eat it rare.