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How to field dress a deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by mdj1, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. mdj1

    mdj1

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    I’m trying to find some detailed info on basic field dressing/gutting a deer. This deer season will be my second and I do not know if I will have an experienced hunter with me or not. I’m aware of the basic procedure … get the insides, well, outside. It’s the smaller finer points I’m looking for.
    Are there any other hunting sites, videos, or books that have reliable info? I wont be doing the processing of the meat or hide however I want to make the most out of my harvest and not mess it up in the field
     
  2. stk10767

    stk10767

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    ....Smaller, finer points....

    Well, on does, it helps to break thier pelvic bone right in the middle, it gives you more room to pull the endtrails out.

    Try to put the belly of the deer pointing down hill, so the gut pile can just roll out.

    Other than that, depending on where you shoot the deer, each deer is different. But it is the same principal. Try to get the guts out as cleanly as possible, while saving as much meat as you can.

    I know I have seen a video for sale about this topic. Can't remember where though.

    This pic is of my Father from last year. That was a great day, we had a blast!
     

  3. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    There are lots of web sites out there on the topic. Here are a few:

    http://www.surviveoutdoors.com/reference/fielddress.asp

    http://www.learn-taxidermy.com/field_dressing_deer.htm

    http://www.gamecalls.net/huntingtips/fielddressingdeer.html


    As already mentioned, most skilled field dressers are able to position the animal so they don't have to fight the weight of the animal while field dressing. Also, experienced folks seem to cut up through the skin to avoid cutting loose hairs to get on the meat.

    Also, depending on where you are, when you start field dressing you start getting yellow jackets. They seem to come out of no where. If you take a large(!) box of baking soda and sprinkle generously on the blood it will help control the problem.
     
  4. JimM_PA

    JimM_PA

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    This works for me....take a minute or two to calm down....unload your gun....tag your deer, take a picture or two and then start field dressing it.

    The picture on this link that was suggested earlier http://www.learn-taxidermy.com/field_dressing_deer.htm shows how to hold the knife and use 2 fingers, to guide the knife under the hide to cut from the inside out, is one of the more useful tips I learned. I use a drop point knife since it helps me avoid nicking the paunch.

    I like to use the cheap vinyl protective gloves. After the deer is opened up as described in the links listed, roll it on its side and let gravity help you roll the innards in that direction. The long sleeved vinyl gloves help keep my sleeves clean when reaching up in the chest cavity to cut the windpipe as high as I can reach. Make sure you keep your off hand clear of your knife blade.

    Take a couple of empty bread bags to put the heart and liver in. Take a pack of baby wipes to clean your hands after you're finished. Pack out the vinyl gloves and baby wipes.

    Remember to wipe your blade off when finished cutting, and put it back in your sheath. It's easy to forget to do. Take a couple of steps from where you were working and you could have a hard time finding the knife that you just put down for a minute....

    Make a note to shoot it closer to the vehicle next time.

    Good luck....hunt safe.
    Jim
     
  5. wprebeck

    wprebeck Got quacks?

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    Most important sentence in the whole paragraph!


    If you can't do that, at least buy a 4-wheeler (I'm too broke for one, so I has to settle for the deer cart thingy).
     
  6. Nyper

    Nyper

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    There really isn't much to it.. but there are two things I always do that REALLY make it easy. Follow the basics to get the deer cut open. If you get your knife right in the middle of the breast bone, you can cut right through it. (a small bone saw also works).

    Cut around the sides to get everything loose, then reach up in the neck and cut the jugular as high as you can. Now, grab a hold of it, and PULL. It will be attached, but you just have to pull and tear it away. By pulling the jugular, you can virtually tear everything else away perfectly with not a lot of cutting necessary. The first time I tried it, I was amazed at how much simpler it made it...
     
  7. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    One other comment. When field dressing, just realize that it is pretty easy to cut yourself. Depending on the shot, broken ribs can be quite sharp. Or, it is possible a broadhead from archery season is in the animal and healed over.

    There is not rush . . . don't just shove your hands up in the body cavity. Work cautiously.
     
  8. forthehalibut

    forthehalibut

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    Buck: Black, double-breasted suit, Bolo tie, Cohan shoes.

    Doe: Red evening gown, low heels, matching purse.

    ;f
     
  9. 357glocker

    357glocker

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  10. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Forthehalibut beat me to it..


    My uncles and cousins, all big deer hunters, swear by the "gut hook" type blades with the little "zipper" thing.
     
  11. vafish

    vafish

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    One point I'd like to mention.

    Don't use too big of a knife. You don't need a 12" bowie knife to gut a deer.

    For the last 19 years I've used my Gerber LST lock back or a 4" fixed bladed Old Timer.
     
  12. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

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    So true. Always heed this information. Have fun!