Field Dressing an Animal

by Jim Posewitz

In the beginning, humans hunted to live. Today some still live to hunt. Originally it was a matter of survival to utilize what was killed. Today, using what is killed is essential to ethical hunting.

After you have taken possession of the animal you have killed and taken time to appreciate it, it is then time to care for your gift. The task at hand will vary. For some animals it is simply a matter of putting it into your game pouch and continuing. For big game there is field dressing and properly caring for all the useable parts

Under all circumstances, the ethical hunter cares for harvested game in a respectful manner, leaving no waste. Field dressing has several advantages. It reduces the risk of spoiling edible parts, and it returns parts of the animal to the earth where it found life.

Field dressing begins the natural recycling process that involves scavenging birds, insects, and decay as the unused parts return energy and nutrient cycles to the ecosystem. This is a marvelous process of renewal, and surplus parts of what you harvest should be thoughtfully returned to the earth.

Copyright and permission from:

Posewitz, Jim. Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting. Falcon

Publishing: Helena, MT, 1994.

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