Field Dressing Deer

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Step 3: Make an incision through the hide down to the breast plate, starting at the top of the breast bone (Sternum). Continue the incision to the soft spot just below the sternum. Carefully puncture through the hide here, but without puncturing the stomach. You can lift the hide below the puncture area to help keep the knife from hitting the stomach.

Take the knife out and stick two fingers of your non-knife hand into the incision and lift the hide away from the abdominal organs.

Using your fingers as a guide, put the knife between them and run an incision down to the pubic bone. Your fingers will be pulling the hide up and away allowing the knife to just slide down the hide. Be careful of your fingers! Don’t cut the hide past the pubic bone, if you do it will pull up the legs exposing the meat to possible contamination. If this happens, you just need to more careful about keeping that meat clean.

Step 4: Cutting the Sternum. Depending on the deer size, you can either cut through the sternum to open the chest or cut the ribs free on one side of the sternum. Small deer can be cut through the bone. I like to use a pulling motion to achieve this. It is counter to what you are taught about cutting away from you but I find you can control your knife better and not have it twist and accidentally cut something you don’t want cut.