Field Dressing

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Sierra
 
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Location: Delaware, Ohio

Field Dressing

Postby Sierra » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:47 pm

Hello all - It's the newbie again. :-) I was wondering if anyone had any good resources for learning how to properly field dress a deer. I found a couple helpful videos on youtube that I think have me ready, but since I have never had the chance to see it performed aside from in videos, I thought I might ask. Tips are welcome too.

Thank you! You guys are so helpful.
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

buckwild
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby buckwild » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:55 pm

I learned the same way you did - Youtube. I had never seen a deer field dressed before. Good luck - I hope you get a chance to practice field dressing!
Semper Fidelis!

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Sierra
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Sierra » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:40 am

I hope so too. Thanks! :-)
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

Bowriter
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Bowriter » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:15 pm

No better way to learn than by doing it. Pretty simple really. Everything on the inside goes out. Try not to cut it. Just open from breast bone to pelvis and get it all out.

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Sierra
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Sierra » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:39 pm

That makes it simple. You'll laugh at me, but I've cleaned a zillion fish, so maybe the same principle. Just way bigger. (Except of course for my GIANT fish I catch. lol) Seriously though, Less worried about it now. Let's hope I am so lucky it's a concern.
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

unclebuck
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby unclebuck » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:18 pm

Its not really like cleaning a fish at all. Well maybe a trout I guess, but otherwise not like a fish. Best way to learn is to simply do it, and remember if it looks like poop or pee or guts, it probably is, so dont cut it open.

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Jslotter
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Jslotter » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:13 pm

Avoid cutting the guts. I sometimes accidentally nick the stomach or intestines. You know when you do, cuz it smells real bad. It shouldn't hurt the meat. If you wash out the carcass with a bucket of water afterwards it should be fine. I heard spraying water directly into the carcass is bad, but I don't know. I just dump a bucket of water in the cavity and everything is fine. Sometimes If snow is on the ground, I will gut the deer, and pack it full of snow to cool the meat. Thats important too. If air temperature is in the 50's or higher, I make sure to dress out the deer right away. Anyways, just some tips.
I only hunt on days that end in ' Y '.

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Sierra
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Sierra » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:18 am

Thanks all! :-)
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in Heaven

xmatax
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby xmatax » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:46 am

When cutting the pelvic bone I have found that using a fold away saw can work wonders. It helps you get the back-end of the digestive track cleaned out. You have to cut through a piece of I'd say quarter inch thick bone. It can be done with a knife and a lot of pressing on two legs, but I've always found (passed down from my father) that using a small fold-away saw is your best bet.

Like others have said, avoid cutting the stomach or intestines at all cost. I find it best to make shallow incisions in the stomach area first until you cut through the actual skin. If you stick a blade directly into the stomach region to try to open up the cavity you're going to cut a lot of the wrong stuff for sure and it is enough to make you gag because as the gases release and you're in arm deep it's a breath of fresh air you don't need!

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Deebz
 
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Re: Field Dressing

Postby Deebz » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:16 am

They make knives that are designed to help prevent cutting into the intestines. A "gut hook", the small gap on the back edge of a hunting blade, is designed so that after you make a small careful incision, you can insert the dull part of the hook into the incision and slice open the hide without sticking the sharp tip of your knife into the gutsack... I got the SwingBlade from Outdoor Adventures. It works great for this purpose.

Nobody has really mentioned it, but if at all possible position the deer on a small slope so that gravity helps you out. I always start by cutting around the anus of the deer, then open the hide along the belly side all the way up to the sternum. If you want to do a shoulder mount, you need to be careful not to slice too much of the hide as you go forward. For a doe or something you don't plan on mounting, cut through the ribs as much as you can to open up the chest cavity. I like to sever the trachea as high up in the neck as possible, then use that as kind of a handle to pull down on as I separate the rest of the organs from the body wall. The diagphram is attached all the way around between the lungs/heart and the stomach/gut area. If you are careful and do it right, the whole shooting match shoudl come out all attached in one shot.

Some people like to hang the deer by the neck to help with this, other people hand it by the back legs... I prefer to field dress the deer on the ground with the back end downhill from the top end. Then I hang the deer for skinning and butchering.

And as always, the sharper your knife is, the easier the work is. I usually keep a stone with me so that I can touch up my edge if it's starting to get dull after cutting through ribs and pelvis... the saw idea is great. My dad has a small hatchet and a framing hammer... he'll bury the hatchet at the part needing split, then hammer it through like a wedge. It gets a nice clean cut, and it's faster than a saw.
"When a hunter is in a tree stand with high moral values and with the proper hunting ethics and richer for the experience, that hunter is 20 feet closer to God." ~Fred Bear


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