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Gutting a deer as well as other ins and outs of hunting...?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by emt1581, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I've already got a .308 Remington 700 with scope (on the way). I'm no stranger to the wilderness ;)...and I've been learning bit by bit about hunting.

    One thing I'm curious about is the propper way to gut a deer and maybe a source I can read that will explain the basics of deer hunting (whitetail) from clothing and scent to shot placement and events after the kill.

    We still have to take the hunter safety course, but I'm guessing that won't tell me what I need to know about hunting, but moreso, how to avoid getting arrested and/or shooting laws as they pertain to hunting.

    Any input would be appreciated!

    Thanks!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  2. Minuteman

    Minuteman Jeff Gannon???

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    I'm kind of in the same boat with you.
    The main piece of advice I've been getting is get a freind to teach you. That's true, but not very helpfull. Some of my freinds have been helpfull, some I don't believe a word they say (especially about hunting/guns or food).


    Some of the best discriptions I've read on gutting & fieldcraft have been from survival manuals, like "SIX WAYS IN, TWELVE WAYS OUT"- SERE manual.

    Also searching & lurking in the hunting/camping forum.
    I've cleaned lots of smaller animals, but a deer has a few special tricks.


    :patriot:
     

  3. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    Bass Pro Shop has an excellent video called something like "Field Dressing Your Deer", or something like that.
    I bought it several years ago, and it was WAY better than what the old geezer that originally showed me how to field dress deer taught me. The guy that did the video is a butcher, and he tells you what to do and NOT do to keep the meat fresh until processing. His method is almost blood-free. I've field dressed a dozen or so deer with his method, and taught it to several newbies in the hunting world. Works like a charm. Plus, I think the video was only like $12-15. A great buy.
    Check it out.
     
  4. Wet Dog

    Wet Dog

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    GREAT advice BLACKBELT.

    While you are waiting for your video, check out;

    http://www.huntingnut.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4

    Like most things there are a lot of "right" ways to do it. With deer the guys I hunt with all have their own style. Some split the pelvis some tie off the anus and pull it through, some split the rib cage, some cut the diaphram, some slit the throat and bleed em first... Some of us shoot em with a big enough hole and there ain't much blood left in em by the time the knife work begins...;)
     
  5. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    A couple of comments: That link, above, was pretty good. NYS will not allow for the removal of the sex organs until the animal is hanging at the 'home plate'.

    I cannot see the value of slitting the throat as the bleeding will not occur if the pump has ceased its activity- no pressure.

    If the deer is to be aged at all, the sooner the it is skinned, the better for the temp of the carcass to drop which improves the quality of the meat.

    I always carry a shoestring with me so I can tie off that rectum and prevent that 'stuff' from getting into the cavity and doing damage.

    When skinning the deer, I have a method I got from those wise westerners-- I use my tractor to do the 'heavy hauling'. I guess the truck would do as well, but I prefer the tractor.

    The last four deer I've harvested, I broke down myself by boning it out and carefully remove *all* fat-- deer bones and fat are great for the wild beasties hereabouts.

    BTW, as a field dressing knife, mine, after trying several, is the 'Sharp Finger' by Schrade. Good 'un.
     
  6. noway

    noway

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    My advice is to start with a sml animal like a rabbit or coon or go with a person that has done this. Then when you do the deer just look at is an animal 20x bigger. The 1st time you do it it will be hard but after your 1st 2 the job is much much easier.

    Good advice is to make sure you have a sharp knife and some times 2 or more. I use about 2 maybe 3 kinfes and a saw of matchette. Go slow and make your cuts firm but gentle at the same time. Doing a deer imho is a 2step proccess to include field dressing and skining and then quartering (optional)


    ( field dressing )

    > lay our deer out on it's back with his white underside up, if you have a small fallen log you can rest his rear-end on it. ( note: on a big deer or elk this might help in cutting the anus free. A elk is pretty hard to move by one persons and even with 2+ so get help. )

    > make a slit from the bottom of the rib cage to and around the private parts to the anus. But don't cut thru the thin skin yet

    > cut the anus out from the outside. Basically take you fingers and pull the ******* edges up and cut a big circular cut around it. Any loose scat sitting there or sticking out, just knock out with a stick. Don't worry to much on crap getting on the meat. Also don't worry about tying off the ***** thing. It's not needed, just handle the sex organs and urine bladder with care. It's hard to miss them.

    note: my father belives in getting them sex organs and urinary out 1st and if in doubt throw away your gloves before touching anything else on the deer. Same for the tarsal glands. A mature deer in Rutting season will have musk and ordors on these.

    > once you have the anus free, then you can go back over the slit this time, opening up the skin.The stomach and intestine will probably be swollen by this and surely if the deer has been dead for 45mins or plus or in hot weather.

    > once the slit is open, I like to roll the deer over to it side and pretty much pull the stuff out. The stomach/liver/instestine/kidney should all come out and some blood.

    > If you freed the anus completely then you can pull it back in towards the stomach direction. Make any additional cuts where tissue is still connecting form the inside and outside and any where else.

    > now look at the area north of stomach, theirs a small thin flap of skin that seperates the stomach from lung/heart area. Cut around the peripheral of this and reach up and feel ( yes, is all by feel ;) ) for the lungs/heart/windpiper. I like a 6" blade that real sharp and with a cutting and pulling down motion you will get about 80-99% of these organs out. Trim more if needed. Becarefull you don't get your self when reach in with the knife.

    note: Their should be more blood pooled in this area than the lower extremities.

    > once you have the lungs/heart/windpipe as much as you can get , and lower organs to include sex organs out, you can get behind the deer and lift him up at the front back/legs and elevate him so that any blood pooled inside will run out the pelvic opening which is where the intestines-anus goes thru.

    note: Remove the log that supporting his rear-end if you went that route


    > drag your deer to your truck carry him away, your almost done ;)



    (skining )


    > Nose 1st or rear end 1st doesn't matter. But you should hoist the animal up and off the ground for making it easier. You can do smaller deers and hogs on the ground or table but I wouldn't reccommend this for a 1st timer. A big ELK you might have to skin and quarter him on the ground and most likely will not beable to move him with ease by yourself. It's almost darn impossible.

    NOTE: MAKE SURE YOUR DEER IS TIED GOOD. You don't want to start pulling down on a side of the hide and have a deer fall on you. It's a very bad feel having deer laying on you and your buddys laughing at you. Don't aks me how I know this ;)

    > If you are doing my way ( nose up ) then start at the top and cut a ring-around the neck thru the hair and skin. I like to get as much high up on the neck. That's some good meat on that neck ;)

    > make a ring around the legs at the elbow/knee cutting thru skin and into the meat.

    > following the earlier slit, extend it towards the ring around the neck.

    > following the insides of the legs make a straight line cut down to the inside middle cut on ALL 4 legs.

    > then peel the skin back starting at the neck and pull down. Make small cut where and when needed. In my experience, adult deers are harder to get this going than a young buck. BUT take your time go slow, the deer ain't going nowhere ;)

    >Pull the hide down and cut where needed until you ge to the tail almost. You then can make a cut at the base of the under side of the tail and pull the hide off. This whole job can be done on like 10-20mins and I've seen others do this in 5mins in a rush job and with a good knife.


    ( quartering -optional or whole )


    whole

    >Once the skin is off the guts are out, You can now quarter the animal or take the animal in whole if you are getting it proccess.

    note: some deer proccessor perfer a whole deer vrs a quartered deer. Call and ask them before you do or don't do it. Some place like in downstate IL will charge more for a quartered deer since they can't hook them and hang them to age them and have to put your deer in plastic trays taking up valuable refrig space.

    > If you have a big cooler or a small deer it's easy to get them in a 96qt cooler. 1st cut the legs off at the elbow/knee. Then the ring cut around the neck, I finish it off down to the bone.

    > Once you hit bone, a big knife will easily break the spinal cord as while a matchette and a hammer hitting it, or a bone saw will cut right thru the neck with no problems. Make sure your cooler below the deer and it's wise to lower the animals to the cooler before doing the above ;)

    > Stick him in as best as you can and get him on ice or in a cooler. try not to split the pelvic bone in the rear since your proccessor or meat butcher can easily hook and hang the animal from this opening. ALso while he is laying in that cooler you can go back over the neck end and finish off any remainding windpiper or esophgas.

    ( quartering )

    > With deer hanging, grab a ham ( rearend part including the leg ) and pull the leg out like you are trying to break it off and cut the meat down and round to rotater socket. The leg should come right off. Do the same for the other leg.

    > now move behind the deer, Here you will find a long muscle running down the spine. It has alot of flavor and tenderness and in the south people call these the backstraps but in technical terms it's the loins or top-lion to be specific. Cut with a nice sharp blade straight down the the side of the spine and curve around towards the ribs or outside. If you do it right you can make little deer steaks or long roasting lions. Do both sides from the neck to the rear-end. This by far is the best part of the deer.

    > now you trim the side lions to the back of the ribs and matchette or saw off the ribs from either side. At this point you should have a spinal cord with to front legs on the deer. Grab the front legs and as the same as the rear pull them out and cut down to the roater socket and off with it's legs.

    > you can now trim any neck meat if you want it and remove leftover off the hook.

    ;)

    I spent about 30mins typing this up or maybe less and you can do almost all of the above in 20-40mins with experience. It sounds difficult but trust me it's very easy. Wth time and trial-error, you will FIND out what works best for you. Just like no 2 people hunt the same. No 2 people dress and skin an animal the same. Seriously theirs multiple ways to skin a cat..... oops a deer ;)

    noway tips:

    > Save your money and avoid a buying a video and invest it into a knife and get out in the field and give it a stab ;)

    > buy a good knife or 2 , also a sharpening stone or diamond

    > buy a box of those plastic dishwasher gloves

    > get your animals gut ASAP or as soon as it convient

    > get you skin off and aniamal on ICE asap

    > avoid adding water into the clean proccess

    > becarefull around the urinary tract

    > make slits around the lower stomach area with easy. A sharp knife is need use little to lite pressure.

    Be safe and have fun ;)
     
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Thanks for the replies :)

    I have some reading to do and a friend is gonna show me how to do some stuff to ;)

    Is there any pics online of how to do things properly in terms of cuts and guts?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  8. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    One thing field-dressing a deer will drive home clearly and quickly is the value of good shot placement.

    Gutting a 'paunched' deer will cause some to become very squeemish. What a .308 can do to innards is best left to the imagination.:shocked:
     
  9. BlackBelt

    BlackBelt

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    ------------

    I occasionally hunt with a guy that uses a .50 BMG Barret on whitetails. And yes, your opinions on this are the same as mine.
     
  10. Skyhook

    Skyhook

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    .50BMG? You serious?

    If I was nearby hunting when one of those was fired, the 50 guy would have all those woods to himself.
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    Talk about overkill :upeyes:
     
  12. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Good link. Most of other's methods have been said. Mine differs from the link a little, because I do it myself and don't have any help cleaning out the gutpile.

    I carry those locking sliding ties with me for tagging the animal. I also cinch the bunghole and urethra shut to not spoil the meat.

    In step 5, I tie a noose around the deer's neck and throw the rope around a tree branch. Then I lift it off the ground a ways and place a 60 gal garbage bag (from work) underneath it. Start step 5 cutting of the body cavity. Gravity helps to pull the guts out and they fall onto the garbage bag, which is slid out from underneath the animal and has collected the guts. (I take the guts back with me in the garage and open the stomach and stuff to check eating habits and overall health. If something looks wacky, I will alert the DNR and turn over the guts to them.)

    With animal still suspended, the ATV is then backed up so the rear rack is underneath the animal. The animal is then lowered onto the ATV, secured, and off to the garage for butchering.

    May seem like a lot of work, but when you are 140# and trying to gut and haul a 200# deer up to the waist high ATV rack, it seems easier the way I do it. Trust me I've done the hard way before. Took me about 4 years of hunting to realize there is an easier way.

    Blackbelt, I may be the minority on this, but if it is legal, I don't care what you use. 50BMG is cool in my book, as long as it is legal in your state.
     
  13. noway

    noway

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    goodpoint: using gravity is good for the cavity ;)

    The only problem that, where I hunt at you aren't going to find a suitable tree to hoist a deer up and no ATV-allows or/are going to be present to help you host it up over a tree branch and it would be next to impossible to do this by hand only without the aid of a pulley. ;)

    Normally I field-dress the deer at the spot that it falls at. Freeing up the internals relieves at least 30-40% of the animal weight maybe more. Then you can drag/carry/ATV it out to an area more suitable for hanging and dressing.

    Key thing is to get that internal mess out 1st. You can easily gut out a deer ( field dress ) and then take your time getting back to the check station or skining post and not worry about the meat being spoiled or contaminated.
     
  14. Minuteman

    Minuteman Jeff Gannon???

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