Gutting or field dressing a deer means skinning and cleaning it. This process will determine the quality of meat you bring home. Therefore, your next step after shooting a deer would be crucial. This will also make you feel that your hunt was after all a success.
The preparations for gutting begin before each hunt. Be sure to bring along with you the following materials:
- sharp knife
- signed hide tag with attaching cord
- plastic gloves that reach up to the armpits
- plastic waste bag
- hose pipe
- one-gallon jug of water for cleaning up
You should approach your deer with caution. Check first if it is already dead before getting any nearer. Label your deer immediately to avoid confiscation. Doing so will also avoid other possible problems. Here are the easiest steps in gutting a deer:
- Start gutting your deer by holding up the animal on its back then cutting its genitals.
- By carving around the anal region with the knife, make a hole. Withdraw the whole intestines from the body cavity.
- Use the first two fingers of your other hand to guide you while cutting the genitals up to the rib cage. Be extra careful not to touch the entrails while cutting through the hide and the belly.
- Continue cutting on up to the base of the skull. If you want to save the cape for souvenir of your hunting, don’t cut any further up the belly than the sternum. For those who like to eat the heart and liver, put them in a separate cloth bag.
- Cut off the windpipe and esophagus at the base of the skull, and sever the diaphragm. If you want to be sure that all the organs have been cut and removed, roll the animal on the other side then tilt the deer upward so that the blood will drain off.
- With clean water, wash any debris from the cavity. It can be easily done by hanging the carcass from a tree branch then hosing it with water.
It is vital that the deer is properly handled after shooting it. The quality of its meat will be uncovered after the deer is appropriately dressed and cooled. To ensure that you will be able to get the best quality of deer meat, you can follow the aforementioned simple steps in handling your deer after slaying it.