With the state's antlerless-only deer season set to begin on Wednesday and continue through Jan. 12, many hunters are looking forward to meals of venison.
Essentially, the secret to making venison more appetizing can be summed in two rules of proper field care -- clean and cool.
A clean shot is the first step to ensuring high-quality meat on the table. If bleeding is necessary, cut one of the large arteries along the neck soon after the animal is shot.
The next step is to field dress the animal quickly. After removing the entrails, pick up the deer's head and shoulders and drain all blood and fluid from the body cavity.
Then wipe the cavity with a dry, clean rag. The carcass will cool faster if the rib cage is propped open with a stick to allow better circulation.
If you don't have a suitable cool place to skin a deer, call the local meat processor. Many processors prefer to skin deer themselves rather than receive skinned deer that haven't been kept clean.
With proper care and no special preparation in cooking, venison is some of the finest tasting meat on earth.
Just remember to field dress the deer quickly, cool the carcass as fast as possible, keep the carcass free of dirt and flies and take the meat to a processor or cooler without delay.