Here’s how to field dress a deer step by steps:
1. Assemble your gear and mentally prepare.
The only equipment you’ll need are a sharp knife and a strong stomach, but latex gloves are also recommended.
You’re also in good shape if you have a gut-hook tool. Remember to take off your watch and any valuables you may have.
For assistance in locating field-dressing equipment, go to an archery store.
2. Locate the broadhead.
The broadhead may still be within the deer if you haven’t found your arrow and broadhead. If you can’t find it, keep an eye out while field dressing the deer.
3. Cut a coring ring around the anus.
Kneel behind the deer and cut a coring ring a couple of inches deep through the skin/hide around the anus with the deer on its side or back.
Retrace the coring cuts deeper into the pelvic canal to cleave connected membranes and liberate those remaining few inches of colon.
Take care not to pierce the colon. Its contents have the potential to contaminate meat.
4. Position the deer.
Find a slant and place the deer belly up with its head raised. To keep the body in position, spread the hind legs and have a friend keep them apart.
If you’re alone, wedge pebbles or wood under the cadaver’ ribcage to keep it secure. Tie each leg to a tree to make things even easier.
5. Make your first cut.
Grab the flesh between the back legs where it makes a “V.” This is located directly below the doe’s milk sac or the buck’s testicle.
Cut a shallow slit into the skin, about 1 inch long. Cut and remove the genitalia if it’s a guy.
6. Cut up the midline.
Using your first incision as a guide, cut open the belly from the pelvic bone to the breastbone with a gut hook. Hold your index and middle fingers into the opening to separate the hide from the organs and guide your knife if you don’t have a gut hook.
Do not cut any further if you plan to have the deer mounted by a taxidermist. If you’re not taking it to a taxidermist, straddle the deer with the blade facing away from its head, so you’re above the chest cavity.
Cut all the way through the sternum/ribcage to the neck. This necessitates powerful, consistent leverage, but it isn’t difficult. Do not sever the neck.
7. Cut the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a thin membrane that connects the chest and abdomen. To get to the organs in the chest cavity, it must be sliced away.
To detach the diaphragm from the cavity’s walls, cut it from the cavity’s walls all the way to the spine.
8. Cut the windpipe.
Reach up and grip the windpipe above the lungs and heart with your free hand. Pull it taut by holding it tight and pulling it toward you.
Take your knife with the other hand and carefully reach up to the windpipe, severing it to free the entrails. Cut the heart and liver free and place them in a plastic bag if you want to keep them.
9. Remove the entrails.
The heart, liver, lungs, intestines, stomachs, and bladder can all be removed with one long, forceful pull on the windpipe once the anus has been removed, the diaphragm has been cut, and the windpipe has been severed.
Cut any tissues joining the entrails to the carcass if they don’t come out readily. The colon should glide through and draw out with the remainder of the innards, which you cut free inside the pelvic canal in Step 3. In most cases, leaving the gut pile where you field dress the deer is OK, but be aware of state rules and public lands etiquette.
10. Help the blood drain.
Turn the body over and spread its legs to expose the cavity to the ground. This aids in the drainage of pooled blood. Dirt, sticks, leaves, and other material should not come into touch with the meat.
To drain the blood further, hang the deer from its antlers or neck once you get home or return to camp. To avoid meat rotting, take into account the ambient temperature.
To prevent bacterial growth, meat should be cooled or stored below 40 degrees, according to sources. Cool the carcass with ice if necessary until you’re ready to process the meat.
That concludes our discussion. You’ve dressed a deer in the field.