Of all the stages a hunter goes through, none is more important or rewarding than learning how to turn the labors of the field into healthy, organic meals. Processing your own game is a time-honored tradition that not only instills a greater respect for the animal, but also ensures that you know exactly what you are getting at mealtime and that the game was properly handled from field to table. To get started, here are a few tools that will make learning to process your own game easier and more professional.

Field-dressing Kit

Having a selection of sharp blades nearby is critical for processing meat. Mossy Oak

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Field dressing big game really doesn’t require anything more than a sharp pocketknife. That said, the job is one heck of a lot easier when you have a specialized kit of blades engineered for specific tasks across a wide range of game species, from elk and deer, to squirrels and upland birds

Gambrel and Hoist

Using a gambrel to hoist meat while you process it makes the job cleaner and easier. Hunter’s Specialties

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Sure, you can use a limb and a short rope to hoist big game for cleaning, but investing in a commercial gambrel will save a lot of time and effort. Look for a gambrel with an integrated block and tackle to give a mechanical advantage when lifting heavy game.

Vacuum Sealer

Packaging meat with a vacuum sealer before freezing it is the best way to preserve it. GERYON

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A vacuum sealer is the best method to preserve any cut of meat for months at a time. They don’t take up a lot of storage space, are easy to clean, and are relatively inexpensive. A unit that also has an air hose attachment allows vacuum sealing in tubs and containers for leftovers, jerky, and preserves.