When transporting game:
- Keep the dressed game cool and free of insects.
- Remember that moving a big game animal from the field to your vehicle is strenuous work.
- If possible, get your hunting companions to help.
- You may want to use a drag rope or wrap the carcass in a slick tarp.
- Rest often, and don’t overtax yourself. This is hard work, even for hunters in excellent physical condition.
- If you’ve quartered the animal, pack the quarters in ice chests—don’t process the deer beyond quartering until you reach your final destination.
- Be sure to keep proper “evidence of sex” if required by your game laws.
- Cover the animal when placing it in a vehicle. By covering the animal, you’ll keep it free of contaminating dirt and also avoid offending non-hunters who would be upset at the sight of an animal carcass.
Once an animal is in the vehicle, properly cooled, and hidden from sight, proceed immediately to your final destination. Most hunters take their game to a commercial meat cooler, where a typical white-tailed deer can be properly aged up to three or four days at 40° Fahrenheit. Your responsibility for taking care of the animal ends only after the meat is preserved for personal use or is donated.