How-To: Field Dress a Deer

It is a craft that must be known perfectly, for your caution and methodology will determine the result. An incredible range of emotions will come over the hunter, who is passionate about the process, waiting for that unforgettable moment when the goal will be achieved and the prey – lying at his feet. It’s moments of silence that feel like moments, not just short moments or an eternity. The feeling that you know intimately those who lived many centuries before you and deduced all the rules of hunting, which are still used today.

Hunting is a very roomy process. So step by step, you get closer to your goal. But it doesn’t end with just killing a deer. Now you have to extract the valuable dietary meat and separate the skin from the carcass.

The field dressing is necessary to remove entrails from the carcass as soon as possible, drain the blood, and clean the stomach to preserve the quality of the final product.

Now let’s see what to consider and how to prepare for this process.

Field Dress a Deer: Step By Step

So. You should have a steady hand and a strong stomach. The first thing you should do is visit a specialized store before the hunt, where you will be advised what to buy for cutting the carcass. Usually, it’s a good sharp knife (not less than 4 inches) with a blade and a strong handle, latex gloves, and gut removal hooks. Don’t forget to take off all the family jewelry, watches given to you by a dear person. Why spoil the good stuff?

It is vital to position the deer properly. Ideally, if you have the opportunity, do it on a slight slope so that it lies head upon its back (belly up). If not, try to create these conditions artificially. Put logs or stones under his charge or thighs. It is excellent if you have a helper because you need someone to fix the reindeer’s paws. Next, you need to make an incision around the anus, move the knife into the pelvic canal, and free several inches of the large intestine. But be careful not to trample it with the knife, as there is a risk that the contents in it will ruin the lean deer meat.

So, near the pelvic bone along the middle line of the carcass, we make the first shallow incision. Next, the abdomen is cut from the pelvic bone to the breastbone. While making this cut, the following points must also be considered.  The knife should be with the blade upward. This is necessary to avoid the possibility of hitting the internal organs of your prey.  You also need to keep your index and middle finger inside the hole to separate the skin from the insides. In addition, it will be easier to guide the knife this way. 

We can say that so far, this was the cleanest part of this complex process. The following steps will directly concern the removal of internal organs from the body of a white-tailed deer. Once you make the incision, try to separate the skin well to see what you are doing better, and secondly, so that the hair doesn’t get inside. So, to extract the heart, liver, lungs, intestines, stomach, and bladder, you need to do the following manipulations. Separate the diaphragm from the spine to get to the internal organs. And cut the windpipe. It is above the lungs and the heart. It should be pulled over and gently cut. Subsequently, it’s a great lever. By pulling it, you can easily remove the viscera from the carcass.

Congratulations. You’re almost at the target to celebrate a successful hunt. The only thing left to do is to drain the remaining blood from the deer. This is very easy to do. First, turn him over with his belly on the ground, spreading his legs apart, and let him lie there for a while. Again, be careful not to get any dirt, leaves, grass, and so on inside. Otherwise, the inside cavity will need a good rinse afterward. After returning to camp or home, hang the whitetail by its horns or neck to drain off any blood residues. Observe also the conditions for preserving the valuable product. The temperature should not exceed 40 degrees. If you need to cool the body, you can use ice. This is all the essential advice on the subject. Indeed, in other words, it may seem much easier than it looks. But a killed noble animal also requires respect. Therefore, if you are a beginner, try to consult with an experienced hunter who has a mountain of experience in this matter. So that all the valuable resources obtained as a result are not spoiled and can be safely used in the future.

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