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How to field dress a deer is an important skill to master as a hunter. It is very important to field dress your deer properly to save the meat from getting contaminated with bacteria. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of field dressing a deer step-by-step.
We’ll cover everything from how to make the initial cut to how to remove the guts. By following our tips, you’ll learn how to field dress a deer like a pro in no time!
Table of Contents
How To Field Dress A Deer
1. Set It Up For Incision
How to field dress a deer starts with positioning the deer on its back with the stomach facing you so that the stomach is not pressing down on the hide.
2. Cut Around The Anus
Cut about 6 inches deep around the anus. This cut will detach the connective tissues around the anus and make it easier to dress the deer. Do this carefully to avoid puncturing the colon which can taint the meat.
3. Start Cutting
Grab the skin by pinching it between the rear legs. Make a 1-inch incision into the skin. The hide and skin will pull away as you make short, shallow, and slicing cuts. Carefully make cuts to separate the skin from the meat. Use your fingers to help separate the hide from the organs. The knife should be facing upward and the cuts should be away from you.
4. Cut Up The Midline
Continue cutting all the way to the ribcage.
5. Sever The Diaphragm
Cut the diaphragm to access the chest organs.
6. Cut The Windpipe
Hold the windpipe above the heart and lungs and sever it.
7. Remove The Internal Organs
Since the diaphragm and the windpipe have been severed, you can pull out toward you the stomach, intestines, bladder, heart, liver, and lungs. If you want to save these, you can place them in a plastic storage bag.
8. Drain The Blood
Set the deer in an upright position for any excess blood to flow out of it.
9. Let It Cool Down
Inspect the deer and do little cleaning touches to remove any leftover organs or body parts. Lay it on its back and open the cavity for the meat to cool. This will prevent bacteria from growing and damaging the meat.
When you get home, you can clean it up and add ice to cool it further if you will not process it the same day. To prevent bacterial growth, it is stated that meat should be stored below 40 degrees.
How To Skin A Deer
1. Cut the skin around the neck.
2. Cut the inside of each leg to the middle of the carcass.
3. Pull the skin away from the meat at the head and pull down hard. It will come off down to the legs.
4. Cut off the skin from the meat down to the legs to remove the skin from the meat.
Tools For Field Dressing A Deer
1. A pair of gloves
2. A tarp or ground cloth
3. Bungee cords or zip ties
4. A sharp knife
The Bottom Line
How to field dress a deer is not the sexiest part of hunting but is very important. It can be a little intimidating if it is your very first time doing it. In this article, we have given a step-by-step procedure to field dress a deer.
It is not difficult and you will only get better at it the more you do it. We did a review of the best field dressing kits on the market and you can read that from this link. You can also read how to hunt, how to hunt deer on public land, how to hunt deer at night, and how to plan a hunting trip out of state.