Milk River filming arrow in lungs

If you shoot a doe or buck and the air temperature is above 50 degrees, as it will be on many days over the next month to 6 weeks, get that carcass cooled down as quickly as you can.

“Deer harvested in warm weather have a higher bacterial load, so it’s important to dress the deer as soon as possible…remove the hide, and refrigerate the carcass,” says Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian. “Cooling the carcass will prevent bacterial growth.”

And the higher the bacterial load, the quicker a deer will spoil.

Click here for more warm-weather deer-care tips. Cottrell also says to never wash your deer in a creek. I have dunked and sloshed many gutted bucks in creeks—it’s old-school, the way I was taught—but I guess you shouldn’t. He says to just wipe blood and stuff out of the body cavity with a dry cloth instead.