Meat processor shares tips ahead of general deer and elk

Posted at 5:25 PM, Oct 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-16 10:39:23-04

HELENA — We’re in the heart of hunting season, with the general season for deer and elk starting next week.

While plenty of hunters process their own meat, there are plenty that take their animals to butchers, like Tizer Meats.

Tizer Meats has been open since 1994 and have processed it all, including bear and bison. Matthew Elvbakken, the owner of Tizer Meats, offered some tips to help your next hunting trip.

First, if you are able, Elvbakken suggests getting your game from field to processer in 4 to 6 hours. If not, cool out the animal.

“Please try to get it as cool, as quickly as possible,” Elvbakken said.

Elvbakken also warns there can be issues if people fill the cavity with ice.

“Taking ice and filling the cavity of the animal with ice to cool it off. I’ve actually seen a moose and a big bull elk the spoiled with ice in the cavity,” said Elvbakken. “The animal’s skin or hide is on the outside, now you’ve put ice on the inside, and you’ve left nowhere for the heat to go so it traps it.”

After cooling the animal, Elvbakken also suggests doing something to make sure the animal doesn’t dry out. He recommends using an old bed sheet or cooking oil.

“If you want to keep it damp it put it over the shroud that works well,” Elvbakken said. “Take a rag after you’ve skinned that and wipe it all down with that cooking oil and makes a layer on there to where the air won’t penetrate.”

Unfortunately, Tizer is short-staffed this year and won’t be able to take all requests.

Make sure to call any meat processor to see if they are available to take wild game beforehand, and remember, Montana requires all hunters to stop at game check stations.