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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was wondering how long you can wait before dressing him/her and maybe some Tips, never did this before!
 

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I like to get the job done as soon as possible, the quicker the better. Get some picks then get the guts out. As far as tips, take your jacket off, put your orange vest on or hang your jacket beside you, roll up your sleeves, take your time and watch where your are cutting and don't forget the lungs and poop shoot. I find a sharp 3 inch drop point knife works best for me.
 

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I agree, gutting should be done as just as soon as you find the animal.

First, position the deer on its back. If it is a buck with a reasonable rack, I like to hook it's front legs under the main beams (like putting your hands behind your head), this will help keep the deer from rolling on its side.
It is nice to have a length of small rope or chord with you to tie front, and or back legs open as well.

Some folks cut off the tarsal glands from a buck. I have never done this myself. I just try not to touch them.

Start at the brisket, the point where the rib cage ends. And using the point of your knife, gently pierce the hide (make sure you keep the blade of you knife facing "up") this will help avoid sticking the paunch (stomach). By lightly tapping the handle you can get the knife started. After you have a small incision here. You can use a gut hook (if your knife has one) and slide the blade down the center of the belly. If you don't have a gut hook. Again, (keep your blade facing up) use two separated fingers to guide the blade down through the hide. Keep upward pressure on your fingers ,to keep the Blade away form the paunch and intestines.

Make the incision all the way to the hips of the deer. Disconnect the tissue around the male parts and pull them down to this point also.

Then go back up to the deer's chest again and pierce the diaphragm. (the membrane that separates the vital organs from the stomach and intestines). If you made a good killing shot on the animal, this is where all of the blood will have pooled. Make a complete circular incision, all the way around the diaphragm. Then reach way up into the chest (be careful with your knife), and holding it with one hand and knife in the other, sever the windpipe.

You can carry a plastic cable tie to tie off the windpipe if you like, to prevent any stomach contents from tainting the meat.
You can then pull hard (cutting where you have to) and pull the vital organs and diaphragm out of the deer.

Next go to the rear end of the deer. You next have to make an incision around the anus of the deer. Basically coring it out like an apple. There is actually a tool for this out now, but I have not used it myself. Again cable ties or small chord rope etc can be used to tie off urinary and bowel tracks , to prevent spillage and contamination of meat.

You can tie off the bladder inside of the animal, or pull it out as far as you can and then tie it off. Either way you will have to pull everything "back through" the opening and remove it with the intestines and stomach. Again always be careful with you blade around the intestines and stomach.

Note that you will have to do some extra cutting in behind all these organs to remove the tissue that attaches them to the back of the deer. Cut as you pull.

If you have access to clean water wash the cavity out. I wouldn't use water with an unknown history, such as just a brook etc. A rag or t shirt to soak up blood in the cavity is good. I also try to get as little dirt and leaves etc in the cavity while dragging as well. Better, "not" to drag if you can…although most times you must.

You can wash the chest cavity out a bit when you get home, But I try not to use too much water. Its better to let a natural hard membrane form on the exposed meat. One thing that I recommend especially in bow season is "ice". Buy a couple of bags and stuff them into the cavity. Leave them there overnight if you cannot skin the deer immediately. In warm bow season I don't like to leave the hide on any longer than necessary either.

Hope this helps...and you get a chance to try it!
 

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good reply archerynut, bout sums it up.

i concur, get the insides out ASAP and to a butcher then skinnned(cold storage)as soon as you can. (You let the "guts" sit in for any amount of time and she'll start to bloat up on ya. this will make the gutting process more difficult.

Dont skin the animal in the field unless you are quartering and have game bags(cheese cloth) to keep it clean.

- IMHO, NO such thing as a bad piece of meat(you hear about this gamey taste thing all the time), just improper care from field to freezer.

The better you look after it after the kill = the better the meat.
 

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Just the deer is fine without the internal organs B&B
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Where im hunting i won't have access to water and i have to drag the deer for about 10 mins to get him out of the woods, once i clean him out you said i should take a rag and dry up some of the blood before the dragging? Also do you think i should let the hard membrane form before i drag him?
 

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all good points above and if you follow them you will be fine.
1 thing I would like to add is make note of where you have to drag your deer (assuming your dragging it). If you know you have to drag it through a lot of water / swamp or mud like areas I always wait and clean the deer after I am through these areas. It prevents any chance of filling the cavity with mud or any other crap that is on the ground.
I hunt very close to a cedar swamp that remains really wet at times and have had a deer stop dead right in the middle. Its some work dragging it out through this but its just a precation that I like to use. Once through I get it cleaned out right away.
Also as an alternative to dragging spend a bit of cash and buy one of those big game carts. I did a few years ago and they work really well. I call it the poor mans ATV LOL
I picked up mine of kijiji
 

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Where im hunting i won't have access to water and i have to drag the deer for about 10 mins to get him out of the woods, once i clean him out you said i should take a rag and dry up some of the blood before the dragging? Also do you think i should let the hard membrane form before i drag him?
I think he meant that these are good ideas (and they are VERY good ideas) but don't sweat the small stuff.
You can give the body cavity a light, gentle wash later if you have to. No biggie.
You can go on Youtube and watch deer being gutted for yourself. Anything that isn't clear here you will be able to witness for yourself on Youtube. Very helpful indeed.
Archerynut's post was just about the best set of instructions you'll ever see. Might want to print that off and slip it into the back pocket of your hunting pants.
Don't worry too much. Take your time. There is no rush. It's very intimidating the first time, but after that, you'll be a pro.
Take your time dragging, too. Heart attacks and/or pulled muscles can ruin your day!
 
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Bottom line is to get the cooling process started, the bonus is lightening the load by 30-40 lbs if your dragging a ways. Do what you can in the woods under the conditions you have, and you can really finish it up at home in the shed/garage hanging up under good light with access to water,rags/paper towel, and the help of a few friends and a cold beverage <wink>.

First one is always the hardest, gets easier every time.
 

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Personally I always start with the anus and work forward. When I cut both sides of the diaphram and the blood pours all I have to do it reach in cut the windpipe, esophagus and pull everything out. That way I'm not working with blood everywhere. If you can have the front end up a bit when you do the last part it all rolls right out with a couple ticks of the blade.
 

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Two kinds of field dressing, the quickie and the full in my book. depends on how I plan on getting the animal out and the weather. If the terrain demands dragging the animal through a lot of crappy terrain, I try to minimize how big of an opening into the gut cavity, ie I do not open it up from ******* to mouth, at any time. If it's warm out,then getting the chest cavity propped open to aid cooling the meat down is a priority so the open will be bigger. I carry light cord to tie off the things like the bowel near the where it goes through the hip area, the bladder and the esophagus, these I leave until I'm outa the woods, usually back at my house where I can hang it up and work at a more comfortable level. If you can get the guts out before removing the diaphragm then any accumulated blood there will flush the gut cavity pretty good.

I use a gut hook to open the gut cavity first then a 3" drop point for most of the remaining work, and a heavy 5" with a serrated section to split the sternum and hip.
 
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Styk,

Good point/reminder regarding the sternum. You dont need a saw to open up the chest, just a good rugged knife and follow along one side of the breast bone and gently "pop" each rib on the cartilage...voila...opened up right to the neck without throwing bone particles everywhere via a saw blade. Cut the skin/hair first, peel i back and inch or two so you can see what your doing. I learned that trick about 10 years ago from a friend who was also a biologist.

Same goes for the knee joints...no saw required, just get into the joint/knuckle and cut the tendons. Pretty slick.
 

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These are all great tips!

Arseno, youtube is a great place to watch videos and get a visual for what the guys mentioned in the above posts. Don't just watch one video...take in a bunch of the videos. You're gonna come across some real poor field dressing techniques on youtube, but you'll also find some real good ones. Even if you've never dressed a deer, it is easy to pick out which are the good videos!
 

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Oh my yes!
Heart and liver, diced up with onions, and fried with lots of butter. (And maybe a splash of beer in the pan.)
For best results, cook immediately after you get back to base camp. Do NOT overcook! Do not store this in the fridge for a long time. Cook it that night.
(Put a little plastic bag in your pocket to carry the heart and liver.)
 

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MMMMMMMMMMMM, I swear i can smell it now ... LOL
 

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Ohhh you said it Winchester! First thing we do getting back to the house if slice some onions and fry the heart. Ohh my mouth is watering already!
 
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