Respectful and Ethical Care of Game Meat


Colorado Division of Wildlife


Respectful and Ethical Care of Game Meat

Date Approved: 

September 24, 2007

Other Versions: 

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Respectful and Ethical Care of Game Meat

Display of Game

Chances are you walked many miles before you downed that prized buck or bull. You are proud, pleased and maybe just a little eager to let folks know how well you have done. Not everyone, however, shares your enthusiasm. There are many thoughtful, well-intentioned people who find the sight of dead game unattractive.When you bring down a big game animal with bullet or arrow, you have achieved the immediate goal of your hunt. But, don’t let the excitement of the hunt make you lose sight of the importance of what comes next.

As an ethical hunter, you must field dress and transport your prized animal property.

Showing off a bloody animal draped across your vehicle only adds fuel to the flame started by animal rights activists and anti-hunting groups. Even people unopposed to hunting may develop an unfavorable opinion of hunters at such a display. Worse, transporting game on top of a hot vehicle is a terrible waste of game meat!Show the same respect for your game after the kill as you did before the kill. And, please, show respect for the feelings of others."

"Do's and Don'ts"

  • The butcher doesn’t drag an animal through mud and dirt, then hoist it onto a hot vehicle with the hide on. You shouldn’t either. Emulate the practices of your butcher who bleeds, guts, skins, washes, hangs, and ages his meat. 
  • Field dress your animal immediately upon kill. 
  • Skin the animal as soon as possible, allowing the animal to cool down. Experienced hunters skin big game animals in the field.
  •  Do not display game on the top of your vehicle. Keep game cool, covered, and out of sight.
  •  Wash blood from your vehicle before heading back.
  •  Remember, hunting is not a spectator sport.

 Nationally, 77 percent of the annual income of state wildlife agencies comes form license fees and excise taxes. And, in Colorado, the Division of Wildlife does not get any money from the state’s general tax fund. The hunting community, through payment of these fees and taxes, has been the largest single force behind the restoration of habitat for big game species. Don't let this enduring legacy be spoiled by carelessness or thoughtlessness.A few hunters do, unfortunately, misbehave. And, their actions are the ones that will be remembered! So always do the right thing: Be ethical in your hunting, take proper care of your kill, and transport your game respectfully.

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