Watch: Gutless Elk Cleaning


Watch: Gutless Elk Cleaning

So, you’ve gotten your deer, elk, or some other big game. Now you’ve got to deal with the mess of gutting it, right? Well, maybe not.

Once upon a time, I bagged a small buck and listened to a fellow hunter when the time came to shuck it out. He explained that I didn’t have to gut my deer; just remove the neck, front legs, backstraps, and hams.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, and I went for it and realized too late that his method neglected to include the best pieces of meat on the whole critter: the tenderloins! They lie along the spine, inside of the critter. Alas, and all that.

Never again did I attempt to avoid gutting an animal in order to clean it. But some folks do, and in this series of videos we see some hunters going to a fair bit of work in dressing out an elk without gutting it. And they do get the tenderloins, but it seemed like maybe they worked kinda hard just to avoid gutting.

In my opinion, there’s no wrong way to do it, as long as it gets done and you don’t waste any meat. So check out these videos and see what you think of this “gutless method” of shucking out a big game animal.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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