Hunting & Fishing Field Dressing: Fav Method?

SFree

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Jan 20, 2005
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Since it's that time of year again and bunches of whitetails, mulies, and the like are being harvested what are some of your favorite ways to field dress?
Rear to sternum, or sternum to rear? Do you open the rib cage or leave it together?
1000 and one ways to field dress, but with this refined cast of characters I was curious what ya'll did?

As always pics or vids are good...
 

knockemdown

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Apr 10, 2007
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

I never cut bone when field dressing.

I always start with a straight incision from sternum down to just between legs. Cut from inside/out to keep hair clipping to a minimum...

Cut circular around azzhole area. Don't poke the hams! Keep knife to cutting the hineey hoses away from the body. Get to where you are pretty deep, then move back to the belly...

Cut diaphragm away from rib cavity & reach in up to the neck. Grab front hoses above the heart. Reach up inside in with other hand (and small knife)& cut hoses up in the neck above your grasp. When cut free, pull it all down & out through the belly slit (this should include heart, windpipe & major blood vessels)
Trim off the backside of the diaphragm. Option to slosh the lung jell-o out now, or wait til last step...

Reach back inside & between legs to free up the hineey hoses. Work knife/fingers (as needed) from insdie and out, til hineey hoses are free of connections to the body. Then pull 'em back thru & out the same belly slit. Trim any attachments close to spine that may be keeping guts from rolling out ...

Roll critter over so belly slit is facing down for draining. Spread the rear legs & lift up by the antlers (or ears for the meat killers
smile.gif
) Lung jell-o will roll out belly slit...

Hook 'em up & go!!!
 

Jig Stick

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Aug 27, 2010
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I never cut bone when field dressing.

I always start with a straight incision from sternum down to just between legs. Cut from inside/out to keep hair clipping to a minimum...

Cut circular around azzhole area. Don't poke the hams! Keep knife to cutting the hineey hoses away from the body. Get to where you are pretty deep, then move back to the belly...

Cut diaphragm away from rib cavity & reach in up to the neck. Grab front hoses above the heart. Reach up inside in with other hand (and small knife)& cut hoses up in the neck above your grasp. When cut free, pull it all down & out through the belly slit (this should include heart, windpipe & major blood vessels)
Trim off the backside of the diaphragm. Option to slosh the lung jell-o out now, or wait til last step...

Reach back inside & between legs to free up the hineey hoses. Work knife/fingers (as needed) from insdie and out, til hineey hoses are free of connections to the body. Then pull 'em back thru & out the same belly slit. Trim any attachments close to spine that may be keeping guts from rolling out ...

Roll critter over so belly slit is facing down for draining. Spread the rear legs & lift up by the antlers (or ears for the meat killers
smile.gif
) Lung jell-o will roll out belly slit...

Hook 'em up & go!!!

</div></div>

exactly how i do it
 

SFree

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

Nice tutorial!
Anyone else have alternative methods?
 

MikeeBooshay

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Aug 31, 2009
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

Yes, if the animal is for meat, ie doe or cull buck. This method is quick and keeps the guts in, away from the meat.

First, hang it by the neck, noose around the neck. Cut a ring around the neck to begin skinning. Get about six inches of hide loose, then wrap it around a golf ball sized rock, lash it off with small ( 3/8" ish ) rope. About ten feet of rope.

Next, cut a ring around each leg, at the first joint. Using a hook type knife, (I like the ones from the hardware store, with replacement razor hooks, about ten bucks), run a cut from under the chin, down the neck, chest to the groin area. Just under the hide, nothing deeper, the little hook makes it easy.

Tie the rope to a truck, tractor or 4 wheeler. Drive away, pulling the hide completely off.

Debone the deer, removing the back straps, shoulders and hams first. With a couple small incisions, reach into the body cavity and remove the loin straps, from under the backstraps. Remove the last of the meat from the neck, remove the head if required for proof of sex in your state. Dispose of carcass, with entrails still inside. Done. After you've done the first fifty, you can get real quick at it.

I've got the nephews ( 13 and 15 ) coming out this weekend, for a week. These two cereal killers will put some serious smack on the does this year, I'll try to get some pics and post up later.
 

Tikkad

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Mar 3, 2010
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I never cut bone when field dressing.

I always start with a straight incision from sternum down to just between legs. Cut from inside/out to keep hair clipping to a minimum...

Cut circular around azzhole area. Don't poke the hams! Keep knife to cutting the hineey hoses away from the body. Get to where you are pretty deep, then move back to the belly...

Cut diaphragm away from rib cavity & reach in up to the neck. Grab front hoses above the heart. Reach up inside in with other hand (and small knife)& cut hoses up in the neck above your grasp. When cut free, pull it all down & out through the belly slit (this should include heart, windpipe & major blood vessels)
Trim off the backside of the diaphragm. Option to slosh the lung jell-o out now, or wait til last step...

Reach back inside & between legs to free up the hineey hoses. Work knife/fingers (as needed) from insdie and out, til hineey hoses are free of connections to the body. Then pull 'em back thru & out the same belly slit. Trim any attachments close to spine that may be keeping guts from rolling out ...

Roll critter over so belly slit is facing down for draining. Spread the rear legs & lift up by the antlers (or ears for the meat killers
smile.gif
) Lung jell-o will roll out belly slit...

Hook 'em up & go!!!

</div></div>

+2 only difference is i puttee knife down after the incision for on the belly midline. and cut off the junk if male. I use a Primos Butt out. with a preference of the 2 which is for elk but after a while of protein feeding the original one wasn't working consistently. this push it in give it half a twist and pull the entire anus out. for the gutting i use a Outdoor edge SwingBlade. spall poke not cutting the guts. they swing the blade and from the inside cut all the way up. like stated grab the wind pipe up at the base of the neck behind the heart put your weight on it (i do mine hanging) and with a little elbow grease it all will pull down. keep pulling and everything falls into the bucket and your left with a shiny clean rib cage. all the blood jello drains out the anus because you are left with a really good size hole from the buttOUT
 

paul T

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Mar 31, 2006
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

Same as above, I hose down and then quarter and age meat in fridge for 5 days before deboning and freezing, I usual eat Loin staps same or next day tenderest piece of meat i ever ate.
 

SFree

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Mikee Booshay</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Yes, if the animal is for meat, ie doe or cull buck. This method is quick and keeps the guts in, away from the meat.

First, hang it by the neck, noose around the neck. Cut a ring around the neck to begin skinning. Get about six inches of hide loose, then wrap it around a golf ball sized rock, lash it off with small ( 3/8" ish ) rope. About ten feet of rope.

Next, cut a ring around each leg, at the first joint. Using a hook type knife, (I like the ones from the hardware store, with replacement razor hooks, about ten bucks), run a cut from under the chin, down the neck, chest to the groin area. Just under the hide, nothing deeper, the little hook makes it easy.

Tie the rope to a truck, tractor or 4 wheeler. Drive away, pulling the hide completely off.

Debone the deer, removing the back straps, shoulders and hams first. With a couple small incisions, reach into the body cavity and remove the loin straps, from under the backstraps. Remove the last of the meat from the neck, remove the head if required for proof of sex in your state. Dispose of carcass, with entrails still inside. Done. After you've done the first fifty, you can get real quick at it.

I've got the nephews ( 13 and 15 ) coming out this weekend, for a week. These two cereal killers will put some serious smack on the does this year, I'll try to get some pics and post up later.</div></div>
Mikee,
Good approach, was wonderin if somebody used a "top down" or "gutless" method.
Cereal killers- HA! My hoodlums are 9 and 11 and battle to keep 'em off a grunt call. Sounds like they're callin in mallards...
What a hoot
 

fastone20

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

I personally get messy. Split the rib cage and pelvis after cutting the gut sack free and pull the front and rear tubes therefore pulling the guts out in one large mass. The only reason I do this is because I hang them for 24hrs with the hide on and packed with ice before I quater them and freeze. I try and keep everything except the hide, head, and lower legs because I feed the dog alot of the raw meat and bones. He loves em and I still get all the usable meat I want. If its male the antlers get turned into chew toys or ink pens.
 

hognuts

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

I usually skin a small area on the inside of the rear quarters, cut the dick off, and cut around the "azzhole" and cut the pelvis bone (for some reason it always seems like my saw is where I am not when I need it and end up using a rock and my knife to "break" the bone) I then use my gut hook to open it from ass to chest and try to get as high up into the neck as I can, I then reach in and cut the windpipe as high up as I can reach it. Then I cut a hole through the wind pipe that I can place two or three fingers through and use that like a handle to pull the guts out while using the other hand with the knife to cut out the remaining connecting parts of the guts...helps to have someone there helping to hold legs and help tipping the animal, but I have done it solo when necessary...this process when done by me is a long ways from surgical! I make a giant mess and usually manage to butcher up one part or another durring the process, but it gets the job done! I have recently done two hunts in the back country and this is still the method that I use cuz it is the only one I know...I have heard of people doing the "gutless" method, and I have even watched some videos of it....haven't tried it yet.
 

Nocalphoenix

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

I backpack hunt in hot weather so I get it naked as soon as possible and dont take out anything I am not going to eat. I start at the neck at the back of the skull and open up the hide all the way down the spine to the tail. I peel off the loin in one big strip from neck to tail then peel the hide down on the legs on one side, take that rear quarter, shoulder, neck meat and brisket. After that side is clean I roll it over to the other side and repeat. I make one slice from the top down to get the tender loins and Im finished. I can usually do it in about an hour and reduce a 200lb deer to about an 80-90lb load. Depending on my pack or who else is with me I might leave the leg bones in for the rear legs so they are easier to handle than a big blob of meat.

Also I am somewhat influenced by the fact I shoot Bergers, they make such a mess if you crack open the thorax it is a big bowl of lung soup. When Im done you have a round torso full of guts and its great coyote bait for at least 2days unless a bear comes in and clean it out at night.
 

EBM

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

If you're using the gutless method, do you normally leave the head? Do you leave proof of sex attached to one quarter?...
 

mavrick10_2000

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

Favorite is to skin it and use the skin as a blanket. Bone out the meat right off the carcass on the spot. Toss it in the cooler and detail the cuts at the house.

A lot less mess to deal with and the coyotes, bobcats and other vermin probably appreciate a few more scraps on the bone than just the gutpile.
 

bornhunter04

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

Little method i've used the last couple years. It's great if you don't have to haul them out (as in you have a tractor with bucket to go get them with). I don't even field dress them anymore if i can help it, works great on yearlings.

Hang them up by the hind legs, cut the head off (if big buck cape first) next cut both front legs off. Go in behind the shoulder and just cut it all out, you can skin it later. I usually aim for the front shoulders with a gun so they're generally trashed as it is. Next start skinning the deer down from the rear haunches like normal. Go ahead and cut away the goodies and the a-hole. As you peel it down the innards will sag down away far enough that you can reach in and get the inner-loins out. Peel down enough to get the back straps out. Then just cut the spine in front of the hind quarters (be a good idea to have a bucket for everything to drop into) and split them in two. Discard the innards and then you can debone from there. We can have a deer done and dumped in under 30 minutes this way. But again, not recommended if you have to drag any sort of distance. But you get ALOT less bloody doing it this way.
 

jackh

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

i always do it in the field, not at camp. it helps if you have the deer on its back laying facing up. step on the two hind legs, grab the tail, and jerk upward swiftly. this breaks the pelvis and the legs lay open for you. much easier to clean the body cavity out without the legs in the way. leave the guts where they lay, haul the deer back to the house, wash it off and put it in the cooler. drop it off at the processor on your way home on sunday.
 

DCR

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Apr 15, 2010
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jackh</div><div class="ubbcode-body">i always do it in the field, not at camp. it helps if you have the deer on its back laying facing up. step on the two hind legs, grab the tail, and jerk upward swiftly. this breaks the pelvis and the legs lay open for you. much easier to clean the body cavity out without the legs in the way. leave the guts where they lay, haul the deer back to the house, wash it off and put it in the cooler. drop it off at the processor on your way home on sunday. </div></div>

Getting the legs to lay down would make field dressing much easier. Thanks for the tip. I have 2 more days to try and get a buck and try it out.

DCR
 

johngfoster

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Oct 2, 2007
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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

I typically start cutting around the genitals/udder, then cut around anus/vagina and bluntly (with my finger) disect the pelvic structures free from the outside as much as I can. Then I make a midline incision starting at the pelvic bone up to the sternum. I generally cut through the ribs on one side with my knife (amazing how easy this is to cut through the bone with a knife here) and continue the incision up into the neck. Once in the neck, I desect down to the trachea and esophagus, cut them off as high up as possible, and then pull everything down. Take down the diaphragm with my knife, and pull the pelvic structures back into the abdomen and out with the gut pile as one unit. Once the animal is at the pick-up, I haul it up onto the tailgait by the head and splash a gallon of of water down through the chest and abdominal cavity to rinse out as much of the left-over blood out the pelvis.

I like to get the chest open, as it helps cool the animal down quicker. Sometimes I'll even use a stick to prop open the rib cage and allow greater air flow and cooling. I'll typically skin the animal once I get home and hang it on a gambrel. Then butcher it a few days later once completely cooled. Sometimes the pelvic bones need to be cut in order to get the gambrel hooks in the hind legs.
 

sierra6

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Re: Field Dressing: Fav Method?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I never cut bone when field dressing.

I always start with a straight incision from sternum down to just between legs. Cut from inside/out to keep hair clipping to a minimum...

Cut circular around azzhole area. Don't poke the hams! Keep knife to cutting the hineey hoses away from the body. Get to where you are pretty deep, then move back to the belly...

Cut diaphragm away from rib cavity & reach in up to the neck. Grab front hoses above the heart. Reach up inside in with other hand (and small knife)& cut hoses up in the neck above your grasp. When cut free, pull it all down & out through the belly slit (this should include heart, windpipe & major blood vessels)
Trim off the backside of the diaphragm. Option to slosh the lung jell-o out now, or wait til last step...

Reach back inside & between legs to free up the hineey hoses. Work knife/fingers (as needed) from insdie and out, til hineey hoses are free of connections to the body. Then pull 'em back thru & out the same belly slit. Trim any attachments close to spine that may be keeping guts from rolling out ...

Roll critter over so belly slit is facing down for draining. Spread the rear legs & lift up by the antlers (or ears for the meat killers
smile.gif
) Lung jell-o will roll out belly slit...

Hook 'em up & go!!!

</div></div>

+1 I think he's secretly watched me do it! Exactly !