Do you know what field dressing is?
For an experienced hunter this term is very familiar but if you are new on this field, perhaps the phrase field dressing has almost no meaning for you, even when it's a critical step on the hunting process.
Hunting is not only to get out on the bushes, chase a game, shoot it and leave the are; in fact, doing so could be considered a criminal act since nobody will benefit from that kill.
On this regard, in order to comply with differente regulations and as a way to show respect by nature, all hunters are bound to preserve edible meat from every harvested game.
And the first step to do so is field dressing. Field dressing is to process the animal dead body, straight on the field in order to allow preservation of edible meat. This process must be completed as soon as possible after the kills in order to limit bacterial growing on the carcase surface and allow a rapid heat loss, something crucial to preserve meat.
While most of bacteria are inside the gastrointestinal tract, the first step on field dressing is to eviscerate the corpse trying to avoid gut perforations. To do so the abdominal wall must be opened with a sharp knife on the midline, taking care to cut just skin and muscles but not inside organs.
Once the abdominal cavity is opened, all internal organs must be removed and discarded because they won't last long without refrigeration; afterwards it's time to skin the body (to preserver not only meat but skin) and finally break up the body on smaller pieces, especially with large animals such as deer, elks and even wild boars. In the case of rabbits, ducks, goose and other small games, it will be enough to proceed with the first step on the field; completing the process once you are back home.
Considering that field dressing must be completed on the field and soon, not only because you need to preserve meat but also to avoid attracting other predators to the area; a good, big, sharp knife is required; so take your time to choose the proper one and never forget to pack it with your hunting gear!
Additionally you could have a small axe, especially when you are behind big games; however remember to choose a good one but not too big since you'll need to carry it for long distances and extra weight is not desiderable.
On your first field dressing attempts try to get help from an experienced hunter; by doing so you'll learn all you need to become a master of this art and be able to preserve meat to enjoy later a magnificent meal with your family and friends.