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Field Dressing

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I probably should have posted this part first, but oh well. I have come across a few field dressed deer that looked to me like had a lot of extra work in them. I wanted to post up a slightly simpler way that is equally effective and will get you back out on the road so you can get your meat home quicker.

Field Dressing 101
If it is going to take a while to get your deer home, most people prefer to gut the deer in the field. I personally dont gut them where I kill them, because that is usually the same area where I'll be hunting. I recommend moving the carcass (after you record it on your permit, of course) out of the area you are hunting. I carry one of the e-tool folding shovels to bury the guts.

Using only your pocketknife, cut from one side of the chin to the other and sever the arteries and the windpipe and esophagus. Be careful not to cut into your meat!This helps relieve blood from the animal and you are gonna remove the piping in a moment.

there is no real reason to cut through the breastplate. The chest cavity contents can be removed by simply reaching in to the top, grabbing a handful of the "piping" and pulling down. That being said, start at the bottom of the breastplate and make a small incision that you can get your finger in. I prefer to make two cuts here. One is to remove the skin from the meat (as detailed in the first post in this thread), just along the edge of the incision; it makes skinning easier later. The second cut is in the same place, but will go through the belly meat. make sure you don't cut yourself, and carefully slide your knife down with your finger to prevent poking a hole in any abdomen contents. both of these incisions should go all the way down to the point where the ham skins meet on the underside behind the genetalia.

With the abdomen opened up, you can now reach up into the chest cavity, grab the piping (esophagus and windpipe) and yank it loose. Leave a tiny bit attached at the bottom of the piping just to hold the guts in place while you tear or cut the diaphragm. Once that is out of the way, finish pulling out the chest contents and the guts will start to follow. use one hand to control the fall of them into the bucket or bag and the last thing attached will be the anus / intestine.

reach way down to the bottom of the abdomen, pinch the bit of intestines just above the anus to make sure none of the contents spill into the carcass, and cut it just below your fingertips. Everything is now loose and contained in one tidy package.

Use sticks to prop open the abdomen so the inside of the carcass will cool. This could be done right after opening the abdomen, so you can see better, but to me it just gets in the way at that point.

Normally, I carry a plastic bag and folding shovel in my hunting pack. The guts go in the bag or other similar container, dig a hole deep enough to hold them all and return these to the earth. Thank the deer for the food, Thank the lord for the hunt, count your blessings once more, and head for the house (or camp).

I hope I kept this brief, yet detailed enough that even a first timer can do it using only a pocketknife. For me this is the simplest, most efficient, and most sanitary way to field dress a deer. You will get a little blood on your hands, so you might want to carry a little water and soap if you have room.
If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

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