The Ultrec Gutting Guide
Russ Chastain 02.07.17
Hunters have been pursing big game for millennia, and we all have one thing in common: Once we kill a critter, that’s when the real work begins. And most of the time, that work begins with field dressing (or gutting) the animal.
In these modern times, gut hooks are often used to “unzip” the paunch of a deer or other large animal. The main benefit of a gut hook is that in most cases it won’t cut the guts. And after a lifetime in which I have shucked more than 60 deer, let me tell ya, you do NOT want to cut open a stomach if you can help it, especially if you don’t have a water hose handy.
But gut hooks aren’t perfect. Some are too small and get clogged up with hair and hide. And none of my favorite hunting knives have gut hooks, so when I saw a gadget that allows you to use your favorite hunting knife for gutting, I stopped to check it out.
It’s called the Gutting Guide, and it’s a simple plastic do-hickey that covers your knife’s point to prevent it from cutting into an animal’s innards. The finger loop allows you to put a little bit of pressure on the guide to keep it on your blade and provides a surprisingly natural-feeling grip with plenty of control.
The idea is this: Make a small incision with your knife, then put this on your knife, poke it into the opening you just created, and get busy opening up the critter. This should be much easier than using the old method of using a pair of fingers of your other hand to keep the guts away from the knife tip. Using one hand to do the job also leaves your other hand free to hold legs out of the way, steady yourself on even terrain, etc. And for those who only have one hand, the Gutting Guide could be an even bigger boon.
I just got mine, so I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but one doubtful fellow tried it on a deer and liked it — then used it on rabbits to see if it would work as well on small game. It did. You can read his review here.
I’m not expecting miracles, but I’m looking forward to trying it. And I expect it to work better than the old finger approach. I’ll be sure to let y’all know how it works. In the meantime, you can buy one here for $5.99.
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