Anybody who has been on at least one successful hunt should be familiar with carcass disposal. The ethical thing to do is get as much as you can out of anything you harvest, it doesn’t matter if you hunt waterfowl, upland game birds, or big game, you will always have something left over.

I hear far too often on the news about somebody dumping the carcass of a harvested animal, either on public land, behind a business, or in a multitude of other places that absolutely should not be used to dispose of an animal carcass. Sometimes the meat isn’t even taken off of the animal! Not only is it illegal, but it gives hunters a bad name. Let’s face it, we don’t need to give anti-hunters any more ammunition against us.

When I was a kid on my first deer hunt, the only thing I knew how to do was fill a tag. With the help of experienced family members I learned the proper way to handle everything; from gutting a deer, to cutting and packaging the meat. After everything was finished and all the packages of meat were in the freezer I was left with a pile of bones. Now, what am I supposed to do with this? You can’t eat it……but you could give it to the dog. But if your dog is anything like some that I’ve had, they will get what they want out of it and leave the rest to find a new piece. I’ve learned the best way to dispose of a big game carcass is to put it in a large heavy-duty trash bag, and secure it in the trash can to keep animals from dragging it all over the place.

Being an avid waterfowl and upland bird hunter, there usually isn’t a week during hunting season that I’m not disposing of a carcass of some kind. Game birds are pretty easy to work with since they don’t take up much room. Unfortunately, something even this simple seems to be a daunting task for some. Just last season, I remember two occasions where somebody found dumped carcasses where they shouldn’t have. One was just outside a local hunting area, and the other was behind a grocery store. It blows my mind that something so simple as taking care of your harvest can be such a difficult concept.

When I heard the news story of some ducks dropped off behind a grocery store, I was sick to my stomach. Most of the birds were breasted out, but about 1/3 of them were a case of wanton waste. After a few weeks, the department of fish and game found out who it was. Turns out it was a couple of college students. Their reason for not properly handling these birds was because of a lack of freezer space, and not being able to dispose of the carcasses on campus. This resulted in a fine, and loss of hunting privileges for 1-2 years. As far as the other case, I don’t recall if anybody was held responsible for it.

I was lucky enough this year to draw a tag for a bull elk. If I am successful in this hunt, I am going to have a huge carcass when everything is said and done. It will definitely be more than a trash can full. In this situation, I will cut everything down to manageable sizes, and place it all in heavy-duty trash bags.

October can be hit or miss when it comes to temperatures in Idaho, so I will make sure once I am all done the remains will be hauled off to my local landfill. Keeping it in trash bags will eliminate anybody else from seeing what you have, and having a problem with it. Not to mention keeping the smell down if we happen to have a few days of 70 degrees or higher days.