How to Preserve Wild Game When Lost in the Wild

by Jen Weir
A hunter holding a rifle in the misty woods.

A hunter holding a rifle in the misty woods.

The wilderness is a beautiful and astonishing venue until you find yourself lost or stranded. Your charming surroundings can immediately transform into a dangerous and unforgiving landscape. There is little chance you'll become lost with an abundant food supply, so in order to survive, you'll have to rely on your own skills and abilities. Knowing how to preserve wild game could be the difference between life and death when you're lost in the wild. Drying meat in the sun is an long-used way to preserve it. Warm temperatures and low humidity are best, but meat can be dehydrated under less favorable conditions.

Meat Preparation

  1. Field-dress your kill by removing the internal organs.

  2. Skin the animal so the meat begins to cool.

  3. Cut the meat away from the carcass in very thin slices. Cut across the grain to improve tenderness and decrease drying time.

  4. Remove any visible fat from the meat.

Sun-drying the Meat

  1. Remove leaves or any other obstructions from the branches of a large bush or small tree that is fully exposed to the sun.

  2. Hang the meat slices from the thin, sturdy branches of the bush or tree. Pierce one end of the meat with a branch and allow the rest of the meat strip to hang freely from the branch.

  3. Ensure that there is no contact between meat pieces. This can allow moisture to remain in the meat and lead to spoilage.

  4. Allow the meat to hang for three to five days or until it becomes hard and takes on a dark, shriveled appearance. The finished product should resemble beef jerky.

  5. Remove the meat from branches and store in a cool, dry place.

Items you will need

  • Knife


About the Author

Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Photo Credits

  • David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images