Argali High Country Game Bag filled with elk meat

Meat Sticking to Your Argali Game Bags? We've Got Your Covered

By Josh Kirchner

You've made it happen. The tag burning a hole in your pocket is finally wrapped around hide or antler. Hard-earned game meat now fills a healthy amount of real estate inside of your game bags. It's a damn good feeling. Upon arriving home though, you notice your meat is actually stuck to the game bag.  What do you do now and why did this happen?

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get here at Argali is “Why is my game meat sticking to my game bags, what do I do in this situation, and how do I avoid this from happening?” This is very common and there is a simple solution for how to keep it from happening as well as an easy remedy if it does happen.

Why Does the Meat Stick to the Game Bag?

In a nutshell, the blood proteins from your wild game form a bond with the material of the game bag as it dries. Think of what happens when you get a cut and your blood forms a scab. Gross to think about, but paints a picture. As blood from meat dries, it forms a bond between the meat and the game bag. If it’s left too long, the bag will stick to the meat. We’ve even heard accounts of meat actually tearing from a quarter the bond was so strong.

Brad Brooks deboning elk meat fresh out of an Argali Game Bag

Meat sticking can be particularly bad when there is a lot of trauma (aka blood) on your meat when you put it into your bag. If it happens to you, don't panic. We’ve got you covered.

How to Avoid Meat Sticking to Your Game Bag

The first solution here is to completely avoid this from happening in the first place. In order to do so, simply shift the meat around in your game bags every so often. This will break any bond that may be thinking about forming. This is particularly important to do before the outer rind of your meat beings to dry for the first time. If you're hanging your game bags post-kill, just move the meat around a little in each bag enough to break any bond that might be forming between the meat and the bag. Even if you’re in the backcountry for days after the fact, doing this will mitigate the meat sticking drastically. No harm no foul, or I should say no sticking.

What to Do if It Does Happen

Now, if you do find yourself in a situation where your hard-earned game meat is stuck to your game bags, there is an incredibly simple solution. Just get the game bag wet with water. This will cause the bond between the bag and the meat to release easily. That’s it. I wish I had a more elaborate solution for you, but it’s pretty cut and dry. Dip the game bag in a creek or lake, spray it with water, or whatever works for you. But once the fabric absorbs the water, give it 15 seconds, and like magic, the bag will easily separate from the meat.

Whether you’re sporting a posh truck camp waiting for a buddy to fill a tag, or are way in the backcountry figuring out how to get your deer back to the truck, meat is gonna be hanging in a game bag. And you’re bound to run into meat sticking to your game bag once in a while. It’s a good “problem” to have if you ask us. It means you did your job and filled them up! With the simple solutions laid out above though, you’ll both avoid the meat sticking all together and know exactly what to do if it does happen. Good luck out there.