how to field dress a deer
Dan Z. for TTAG

 

There’s a little bit more to hunting than just finding a deer and shooting it. In order to get the best tasting meat, you need a quick, clean kill followed by to field dressing, which means removing all the messy bits. You know, the ones that contain the bacteria and foul smelling stuff that makes for stinky and unhealthy meat.

I helped Tyler field dress a buck Dan shot in anticipation of its pending donation to charity and we got it on film, complete with a play-by-play overview from the sawsall surgeon himself.

Naturally, if you’re not a fan of blood and guts this might not be the film for you.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Might want a sharp knife there.

    I never use a gut hook. I use a CR Nyala or a 5″ CR GB. Serrated Part of the GB blade is helpful on the Sternum, Pelvis.

    Not too professional, but I’ve seen and done worse.

    • I typically leave the offal in a pile and let the scavengers have it. Any time I’ve done that and checked the site the next day, it’s always been picked completely clean.

    • Deer Curious,

      I have seen gut piles last for a few weeks. Scavengers eventually find them and whatever is left breaks down pretty fast and becomes fertilizer.

  2. Huh, I have never seen that technique. Splitting the pelvis (with a saw) and the sternum (apparently doable with a knife) is key to making the entire process far simpler and safer — and quite possibly faster.

    I have field dressed all of my deer without splitting the pelvis nor sternum and it was never fun. This process looks far more palatable and faster.

    Now I have to get out there, get a deer (or two), and put this practice to the ultimate test.

    • I have always split the pelvis and sternum. A buddy I hunt with doesn’t – and takes far longer than I do to get the rectum and throat out than I do. But to each his own.

  3. I have field dressed over 200 deer.

    I used the saw blade on my Remington Big game knife to split the pelvis takes a few seconds.

    With a young deer one can split the pelvis with knife blade.

    The key to good tasting venison is a fast killing shot quick clean field dressing.

    Fast skinning ang a quick cool down.

  4. There are much b.etter field dressing videos on youtube than this one. A lot of guys are going to the gutless method. Randy Newberg has a good gutless method video

    • is that the anus yanker? don’t really want to see a vid…
      instead of butt out they should have called it wreck’ed ’em hell.

  5. My father taught me to reach in and use string, cord or twine to tie completely around the internal rectal area and also tie around on the neck the internal throat, windpipe area. Then cut out the genital and rectal area and the throat. Then carefully remove the internal organs together, this results in no seepage of bile or fecal matter into the body cavity. Just my technique.

  6. I’ve had to do so many by myself on my land that I started dragging ’em out into the open and then bringing up the tractor, hooking the gambrel to the bucket via cable, and lifting up the deer that way. That way I can do the work, whether it’s field dressing or a whole butchering, right at straight-ahead level, the offal just falls out, and the buzzards and ‘yotes take care of the rest. In fact, one time I performed this operation in front of one of my trail cams. Within less than an hour after I was gone, the buzzards came in and went to work and within less than a couple hours it was all gone, all on video. Some Discovery Channel looking shit, for sure. Incidentally, I had bucks coming by the spot that very day and not getting spooked, for whatever that’s worth.

  7. They must have shot that with an old fat slow .308. The shot must have been under 50 yards.

    I shot a deer the other day with a 6.5 Creedmoor and field dressed itself.

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