BOISE — Early season big game hunts have started, and hunters are already in the field for some late-summer hunts which means they may be harvesting animals during hot weather. Hunters have an ethical and legal obligation to properly care for the game meat they harvest. Allowing a game animal to spoil will not only result in losing all the meat, but hunters can be cited for wasting game. It’s better to have a plan in place to ensure you end up with a freezer full of quality meat rather than heartache from meat spoiling and possibly a citation. The key to preserving meat in hot weather is to begin the cooling process as quickly as possible. Animals should be immediately skinned, reduced to quarters in most cases and quickly transported to cold storage. Skin it now — Remove the hide of a harvested animal as quickly as possible so it will begin to cool down. A deer or antelope can hang and cool as a whole carcass in 40-degree air or cooler, but elk and moose should always be quartered. Even with the hide off, the larger body mass takes a long time to cool and meat can spoil in a matter of hours if the heat cannot escape. Meat can spoil overnight — When an animal is harvested in the...