Fall hunting seasons are open across Nevada, and that means hunters soon will be serving up their hard-earned game on the dinner table. What the game meat tastes like once it gets there depends largely on how well the hunter takes care of it while still in the field.
“The key to tasty table fare is proper field care of the game animal once it’s been harvested. That means dressing the animal as soon as possible,” said Martin Olson, hunter education coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “Then you must keep it clean, keep it cool and keep it dry.”
Hunters, he said, should field dress their birds or rabbits as soon as they retrieve them. This is especially important during the early part of the season when daytime temperatures are still warm. It only takes a minute to gut a game bird and remove the crop before placing it in a game bag or in a cooler. The area surrounding the crop is often the first to go bad.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to not pile up warm birds. Field dressing will help to cool them out, but some hunters will pick up their bird or rabbit and place them in their game bag without dressing them. Doing so creates a situation where the birds remain warm, Olson said.
“As soon as possible, hunters should hang their dressed birds or rabbits in a shaded area where air can circulate and cool the birds. Once the bird is cooled, they can be placed in a cooler with a frozen jug of water so the birds stay dry yet cool,” Olson said.
The same principles apply to large game such as deer or elk. They, too, need to be properly field dressed and cooled as soon as possible in order to protect the meat’s quality. One of the most important steps is to skin the animal. Since they are large animals and have been putting on fat for the upcoming winter, their hide and hair acts as an insulator and will trap and hold body heat in the meat. That heat will cause the meat to spoil if left on too long, Olson said.
Introduction to fly-fishing class scheduled
The Nevada Department of Wildlife will have an introduction to fly-fishing class at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park at 9 a.m. Nov. 6.
The class will introduce participants to the basics of fly-fishing, including knot tying, terminology and equipment selection. Students also will have the opportunity for hands-on instruction in the art of fly-casting. Equipment and materials will be provided. The only cost for this class will be the state park entrance fee, which is $7 for residents and $9 for nonresidents. Class size is limited.
For more information and to register contact Ivy Santee at (702) 486-5127, Ext. 3503, Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.