Field Dressing Deer

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Now, standing over the deer, facing the tail, put the knife either along the side of sternum or right at the bottom depending on whether you plan to cut the ribs or the bone. Using the weight of the deer, pull toward the head and slice up to the top of the sternum. It may take a couple pulls.

Step 5: Removing the insides. The organs are anchored in place by a connective tissue membrane, the food/windpipe, and the diaphragm muscle.

After you cut these free, you will dump them out to one side. We are first going to cut free the diaphragm on whichever side will eventually be down when you dump.

The thin muscle between the chest and the abdomen is the diaphragm. While the deer is still on its back, cut the diaphragm free from one side starting at the middle and working down to the back bone. You may need to tilt the deer slightly. Pull the organs away from the knife while you cut. Then cut the lungs free from that same side, working along the inside of the ribs. They should fall away easily. Repeat on the other side as much as possible.

Reach into the neck, find the windpipe and esophagus. Slip your fingers under them pushing through the connective tissue that holds them to the backbone. Once you have a good hold of them, you cut them off above your hand. Holding firmly you should be able to pull them back toward the tail. You may need to free part of the lungs with your knife, but I find a good steady pull works fine. Let the deer fall to the side you cut free earlier, pulling the chest organs out. The abdominal organs should follow, but you may have to free them from the back wall with a knife as you pull. You should be able to pull everything free all the way to the pelvis.

Removing the bladder and intestines from the pelvis: To do this, reach into the pelvis, grab the intestines at the very end and pull out. Don’t squeeze the bladder. If you cut them free earlier they just pull out. If they aren’t coming, carefully use your knife to scrape along the inside walls and free up the membrane holding them in and try again.

Everything should be out now. I like to cut out the heart and liver to make treats for my dog. If you take the liver, put it in a separate container from any other meat. I keep a zip log bag with my gear just for that.