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As Field Dressing seems to be an art learned by whatever hunter you "apprenticed" with, does anyone have any tips, tricks, or al

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  • As Field Dressing seems to be an art learned by whatever hunter you "apprenticed" with, does anyone have any tips, tricks, or al

    As Field Dressing seems to be an art learned by whatever hunter you "apprenticed" with, does anyone have any tips, tricks, or all around good techniques for Field Dressing?

  • #2
    I "field dress" for two reasons.
    1. The sooner you get the guts out, the better the meat will taste.
    2. When I get the carcass home, there's less to haul off.

    I use a "gutting cradle" and "lopping" shears to field dress deer.

    Bubba

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    • #3
      Be sure and wear the "up to the elbow" gloves and the hand gloves. Deer carry diseases , we really don't know what and it dosen't pay to take a chance. Have a good sharp knife and a good folding saw. Just be extra careful not to cut the guts and the urine sack. These things will taint your meat. When I used to check hunters they would say they had field dressed their deer and I would check it and it still had the lungs and windpipe in it. Make sure you remove the lungs. They are soft tissue and the first thing to spoil. That is why you need the elbow gloves to reach up into the throat area. Of course if you use your folding to saw up through the brisket you can cut clear up through the throat area and remove everything. This procedure is for a deer that you aren't going to mount. If you are going to mount the deer you don't want to be cutting up through the brisket or the throat area. The folding saw is good for sawiing through the pelvis also.

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      • #4
        a hatchet is very useful for splitting the pelvis.

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        • #5
          I'll second the advice on the gloves, although I typically buy a box of regular surgical gloves to use throughout the season. They don't go up to the elbows, but still protect your hands and ease clean-up. Wet wipes are also a nice addition to your backpack. In terms of field dressing, I prefer to start at the base of the ribcage and work downward -- as for me it seems easier to control the knife and end with a clean body cavity. A small saw is helpful for splitting the pelvis to ensure that you have everything out.

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          • #6
            Have a very sharp knife to aide you when you cut the band on a bundle of $20's, of which you will slip one to one of your pals for doing the chore for you.
            On a serious note, gutting a deer is a really simple chore and I usually do it after I get the critter to the spot where I am gonna load him in the truck. I don't like dragging a deer across the ground after it has been gutted, but I want it done ASAP after he is dead.

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            • #7
              All great tips. Take Del in KS with you. He can field dress an elk quicker than a cat can lick his axe.

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              • #8
                Experienced hunters have their own techniques and nuances. Decades ago, Jonas Bros. Taxidermy put out a 24 page pamplet, now out of print, entitled Field Guide For Trophy Hunters charging the outrageous sum of 50 cents, nowadays second hand book dealers charge 10 bucks or so for an original. It covers everything from birds, small game, and big game, from field dressing to taxidermy prepping. They benefited because the trophies were not ruined when they received them. I have forgotten how many copies I have given away.

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                • #9
                  @WAM -
                  You owned me with that last line!

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                  • #10
                    A friend once tried to show me how to field dress a buck deer without assistance from anyone. He propped the head of the deer about waist high between twin trunks of a tree, with the belly facing him and the carcass almost upright.
                    As he went to insert the blade in the midsection, the deer rolled forward onto my friend and scared the life out of him.
                    He thought the deer was still alive and had reacted to the stab in the midsection. I had to help him finish the job.

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                    • #11
                      KA-BAR, gloves, partner for bigger deer.

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                      • #12
                        There are lots of techniques to processing deer, the camp Grey heads even showed me a way of doing it without gutting the deer, which is fine if you do not want the inner loins, the liver, and ribs, all of which are good eating-prepared correctly. I like to cut the thorax through the upper neck so that I do not have to work my knife and other hand and cut and pull out lungs and heart. I also like to use a boning saw to take the quarters off before knees to make them easier to fit in ice chest, there are the golf ball, the Air needle, and the road hunter method, but I prefer the "Saw Zaw take it ALL" method where I saw off the neck and ribs and split the pelvis, but with a little knife work you can fillet the hams off the pelvis without splitting it. recommended tools-bucklight,fillet knife,recip saw w bi-metal blade, or boning saw, engine hoist, and forshner boning knife for removing silverskin and bone.I like the gerber gator S30V for skinning because of its shape, but the thinner buck knives can be touched up more quickly.

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                        • #13
                          Learn how to split the pelvis without breaking any of the plumbing, breaking your knife, or cutting yourself. It takes practice.

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                          • #14
                            I use rubber gloves and a high quality knife. The rest is just experience and practice from doing many critters. WAM you crack me up.

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                            • #15
                              I wear gloves too. I dress a deer quickly as soon as i find it. I make sure my knife is sharp before the season. I use a folding saw to split the pelvis, being careful not to cut the plumbing. Also be very careful not to cut the bladder. I usually saw a few inches up the breastbone too to open him up a bit and give me more room to work. AJ I'll have to try that thorax trick, thanks. It is nice to have a helper but rarely has that been the case. Also, i peel the tenderloins out as soon as i get the deer home or back to camp. So good when fresh.

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