How to Butcher a Deer

Bringing down a deer is just the first step in taking your wild game home. Every deer hunter should learn basic butchering skills in order to properly prepare and preserve the meat for human consumption.

You will need the following materials:

  • A sharp knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Cutting board
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic garbage bag
  • Aluminum foil

Steps to Butcher a Deer

  1. Field-dress the deer. This process is also known as gutting. It involves making a small cut at the deer’s crotch region. Make sure to make the incision just underneath deer’s hide. Slowly cut until you reach the chest region.
  2. Reinforce the earlier cut. Making the incision deeper until about ½ inch. Make sure not to cut the gut and other entrails.
  3. Begin removing the internal organs and dispose of them properly in a plastic garbage bag.
  4. Using the tip of a sharp knife, separate the hide from the rest of the body. Do not skin away more than ¼ of the top portion.
  5. Cut off the deer’s head with a hacksaw. Dispose of it in the garbage bag. Then, make incisions into the rear leg ankles. Place the cut in the meaty portion between the ligament and the bone. Hang the deer upside down from a tree branch.
  6. Cut through the backbone using a hacksaw. Start at the buttock region and then work upward toward the chest region. The entire bone should be cut into two equal halves.
  7. Proceed to make cuts at the shoulder joints and ham joints of the deer. Set aside these quarters for wrapping later. Aluminum foil or plastic wraps may be used for this purpose.
  8. Finish the butchering process. Separate the tenderloin and backstrap portions from the spinal column. Make sure to do this properly so as not to waste some of the deer’s best portions. Wrap these pieces separately.