About the Study Guide

You are looking at the Massachusetts Hunter’s Ed Study Guide. At the present time, you cannot obtain hunter education certification from Hunter Ed. However, you can use this Study Guide as a resource to learn more about hunter safety.

The way you handle game after it’s harvested can have a significant impact on the quality of the meat.

Bacteria spoils meat

The growth of bacteria is the cause of spoiled meat. Three factors contribute to bacteria growth.

  • Heat: Heat is the number-one concern. Bacteria grow rapidly in a carcass, especially if it’s allowed to stay warm. Meat begins to spoil above 40° Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature—and the longer the meat is exposed—the greater the chance of spoilage. This is particularly true with large game.
  • Moisture: Moisture also encourages the growth of bacteria.
  • Dirt: Dirt can introduce bacteria.