Watch: How to Field Dress a Deer
Russ Chastain 02.27.18
Field dressing any animal can best be described as gutting it in the field (or in the woods). Most often, the purpose of field dressing is to make the deer or animal lighter so it will be easier to transport.
Field dressing–or “knocking the guts out,” as Dad used to call it–is a simple process, but for some folks it can be daunting. I’ve delved through a number of field dressing videos in an attempt to find one with the best, most accurate information, which best matches what I’ve learned during decades of deer hunting.
In hot weather, it can be important to remove the innards in a timely manner, to avoid harming the meat. This isn’t always as vital as some hunters believe, because venison is quite tolerant of higher temperatures… but you certainly don’t want to mess around when it comes to pork; you need it cooling on ice as quickly as possible.
Do yourself a favor and NEVER split the ribcage if you are going to drag the deer out of the woods afterward. A split ribcage can gather a lot of dirt, leaves, and sticks. Likewise, leave it uncut if you are going to cape the deer for mounting.
This video shows the best method, in my opinion. It’s simple and to the point, doesn’t attempt to sell you any fancy tools, and avoids opening the deer any more than necessary.