How you field dress your deer is the first, and most important, step in harvesting venison for the table. Our friend and expert hunter, Bob Jones, was kind enough to share his field dressing technique with us. He has field dressed hundreds of deer, and refined his technique over time. This process is quick and easy, and is the most hygienic way to start processing your meat. Read on for complete instructions, or click here to watch the video.
Field Dressing the Deer: Step-by-Step
Everybody has their own way of doing this, and this article describes just one way. After using this method to harvest many deer (sometimes two or three in one day), I find this to be quick and easy and it keeps the meat from being contaminated.
All you need is a 3â€“4 inch blade. It doesnâ€™t need to be the most expensive knife out there; what it needs to be is extremely sharp (sharp enough to shave with). A slight curve back at the end bit with a good point is my favorite. Itâ€™s easy to control, the tip pierces through the hide easily, and with the slight curve it cuts through the hide well without diving into the gut (extremely important for tasty meat).
Step 1: When you find your animal make, sure it is dead. The eye should be open, and if you stick you gun muzzle or arrow to the eye ball and touch it the animal should not blink. Position the animal on itâ€™s back.
Step 2: Cut the anus and vagina free from the outside and interior pelvis. Insert the knife between the tail and the anus. When putting the knife in, try to keep the point angled toward into the bones of the pelvis and not into the pelvic cavity. Cut a hole around the anus and vagina if itâ€™s a doe. Once you have cut all the way around, stick your fingers into the cut and try to separate the intestines and vagina from the wall of the pelvis. Itâ€™s all held together by some thin connective membranes. If you need to use your knife, do so carefully. You donâ€™t want to cut the urine bladder or tube. Once you think it is pretty free, cut up to the chest bone.