When hunters speak about “dressing” an animal, they are referring to a process that removes the animal’s internal organs and intestines. This process is important because it makes an animal’s meat and hide usable. As a result, learning how to dress an animal in the field is one of the most important things that novice hunters should learn how to do early on.
This is especially true for deer because improper dressing allows dirt, blood, E.Coli and other containments to get into the animal’s body. These containments can make a deer’s meat dangerous or unappetizing to eat. As a result, learning how to properly dress a deer in the field is a very useful skill that all novice hunters should master.
Here is a handy step-by-step guide that demonstrates how to field dress a deer. The guide includes a short list of the things that you’ll need to dress a deer in the field. It also includes detailed instructions that can make the chore less of a hassle.
Here are the things you might want to have handy to dress a deer in the field:
–A 4″ flat bladed knife.
— A cooler that has been filled with ice or dry ice.
1) First, if you are afraid to touch blood, organs or intestine, put on a pair of plastic disposable gloves.
2) Find a flat, open area to dress the deer.
A good area will often have trees and little dirt around it.
3) If possible, have a friend hold the deer’s hind legs apart.
If you’re alone, spread the deer’s hind legs apart and tie the legs around a tree.
4) Using a sharp, flat bladed knife, make a small vertical cut around the deer’s genitals.
5) If you are dressing a buck, be very careful not to cut into his genitals. There is a substance on them that can ruin the meat if it comes into contact with the buck’s flesh.
6) Once you have cut around the deer’s genitals, make a small vertical incision to break the skin from the genitals to the deer’s chest.
7) Your next step is to create enough space to work your way into the deer’s body cavity. To do this, pull the skin away from the incision about six inches away from either side of the deer’s body.
Now that you have enough space to work with, it’s time for the messy part of the task to begin.
8) Your next task is to cut clear thorough the deer’s body cavity. Make a 2-3” incision that starts at the deer’s anus and genitals. Extend this incision from the deer’s anus to the deer’s sternum.
Your next step is to prevent the knife from nicking the deer’s intestines. Here is a way you can do that safely:
9) Place a finger next to the knife’s handle. Using this finger, feel around until you can feel a seam where the skin and the flesh come apart. Your finger should hit the very top of the knife’s blade. It is dull so you won’t have to worry about cutting yourself.
10) Once you have found this, extend the cut you made upward through the deer’s sternum. As you do this, pull the skin next to the knife blade away from the deer. This will prevent you from cutting into the deer’s intestines.
11) Next, use a hacksaw to cut through the deer’s breast bone or sternum. You will hear a clicking sound when you have cut all the way through.
12) Your next task is to remove the deer’s organs and intestines. Most people start by removing the lungs and the hart. To do this, cut out the deer’s wind pipe and esophagus. . The lungs and the heart will then come out easily. Bag these organs in a plastic bag and place them into a cooler filled with ice or dry ice.
13) Your next task is to remove the deer’s intestines. Most people start by removing the intestines. They can be removed in one package by pulling towards you from the esophagus downward. Bag these things in a plastic bag and place them into the cooler as well.
14) Finally, roll the deer’s body to one side to remove any blood that has pulled into the cavity. Wipe the inside of the cavity with a cloth. If you tied the deer’s legs to a tree, untie the legs and fold the carcass over into one piece.
15) Your deer is now ready to be transported! Beginners should expect to take 15-20 minutes to dress a deer in the field while they are learning. However, with practice you should be able to do it in 5-10 minutes.