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Deer hunting can be an adventure steeped in family bonding and camaraderie, but there are some safety tips to keep in mind when going on the hunt. When caught in the moment, it can be all too easy to look over simple safety measures that can spell trouble if ignored. But, being safe is not a burden, and all such information can be found from the Missouri Department of Conservation website.
As stated from the MDC, a shot deer is not always dead, especially if it is not moving. The hooves of deer are especially sharp and can cause serious injure, if it is trying to flee in a hurry. If you do not see the deer moving, watch from afar and be sure to reload in process. As you get closer, always approach from behind a deer's head. The best way to check is to poke the eye with a stick to ensure it is dead. When all is clear, use the deer transportation tag for transport.
Carrying the Carcass
Lugging a deer carcass over your shoulders could cause another hunter to mistake you for a live animal. A good way to handle a kill is to drag a deer by the antlers, or tying the front legs. You can also tie a stick between the hind legs as a good handle when dragging the carcass. And there are deer carts you can find at any hunting store. Before tying, make sure the deer carcass is wrapped to avoid insects and dirt from getting on the hide.
Transporting the Carcass
If you are traveling a long distance, you can pack the insides of the animal with bags of ice to keep the meat cool. But Field Dressing the deer will keep all of the meat cool by dissipating body heat. Field Dressing is the process of removing the internal organs in order to better preserve the meat, and it will also makes the carcass lightweight when transporting. And, this also prevents the harboring of bacteria. You can either hang the animal or lay it on a slope with the butt facing downward.
When it comes to meat, the paunch (belly) will leak juices that will spoil the meat as a whole. The paunch should be removed if gut shot, or if the paunch was punctured in any way. If you see any juices, it can be washed out with water, or soaked up with cloths or leaves. The cavity should be dry and clean when all is finished.
Once the deer is cleaned and ready to go, you can legally store deer carcasses at camp sites, cars and homes as "personal baggage," according to Missouri law, but be aware of recent rules for bringing in deer from out of state. If a deer has the head or spinal cord intact, you must notify the state of Missouri within 24 of entering the state, and you must take the deer to a taxidermist or recognized meat processor within 72 hours. State authorities aren't taking any chances with the rare neurological disease known as Chronic wasting disease, which affects cervids like elk and deer. However, any meat, skulls or other parts without the brain is fair game for transporting into the state without notifying authorities. The number you can call for reporting an intact deer carcass is 1-877-853-5665.