Since deer-hunting takes much of your time, it is very fulfilling on your part once you’ve successfully shot a deer. It is important then that you know how to properly field dress your deer so that you can keep them and use them according to your needs.
Once you have shot your deer, try approaching it from the rear, making sure that it’s dead. Attach your tag to the carcass once it is validated.
The following field dressing procedure has been tried and tested by experienced deer hunters, although some vary in one or more steps. Below are the basic steps but still, hunters are free to innovate something that would suit their situation.
Start cutting between the hind legs all the way to the pelvic bone. Turn your knife blade upwards to cut through the breastbone towards the top of the neck. Make sure you are using a strong, large-handled knife so you can obtain the best cut.
Start cutting the windpipe in two. The farther it goes up to the neck, the better. Lay your knife down. Next, grasp the windpipe of the deer, using both your hands, and pull it hard downwards. The insides, by this time, should come out all the way to the midsection parts. Remove the rocks from under the deer and roll the carcass on its side. The meat holding the entrails of the ribs must be cut into thin layers, all the way to the backbone. Turn the deer over and do the same thing on its other side.
Lay your knife down and using both your hands, get a firm grip on the deer’s entrails and then pull down as hard as you can. All the entrails of the deer should come out after you do this.
Through its hind legs, lift the deer up before laying a large rock under the rump. This will efficiently spread the back legs of the deer, open. Place your knife in the middle part of the pelvis. This will help locate the seam where the deer’s bones grow together.
If you are using a stout knife, twist the blade from side to side so that the blade can work though the sea. Press this area very hard. Hit the back of your knife blade if necessary to cut through the bone. Additionally, for larger deer, you can use a saw or a hatchet. Once you are done, make sure to finish cleaning out the deer.
Subsequently, if you are near a tree and you have a rope with you, try hanging the carcass up by its head or its antlers for about twenty minutes. By doing so, the loose blood can easily drain away from the body cavity. But if no tree is available, turn the deer upside down in a clean place then leave it there to drain.
Take your deer back to your camp. Take note though that by dragging it, it is possible to get it quite dirty. It is best to have the deer halved or even quartered so that you can easily transport them. But be sure to attach the tag to the biggest portion of the carcass so that you can easily locate them.
Begin skinning once you are in your camp. You can either hand it by its hind legs or its head for skinning. Remember that the skin will easily come off if the deer is still warm, which explains why you should be skinning it within two hours. In removing the skin, cut the inside of both legs to the middle part of the animals. Make sure that you only cut the skin. If you prefer hanging the deer by its head, cut the skin around the neck, closest to the head if possible.
After you have successfully skinned the deer, hang it up by its legs for about four hours so that tiny blood vessels will drain. The carcass should be kept in a cool place if possible. Let the carcass cool overnight so that the meat doesn’t spoil.
Once everything has been done, cut the meat of the deer in your wished size. Be sure to keep the meat refrigerated after slicing. It is advisable to have the fat of the meat properly trimmed to avoid affecting the flavor of the meat. Wrap the cut meat properly before freezing.
It is essential to be aware of the basic skills in field dressing a deer. Take time to read and learn more about them before you indulge in any deer hunting activities.