Watch: How to Field Dress a Deer

   02.27.18

Watch: How to Field Dress a Deer

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.

Happy hunting,

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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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