How to Gut a Deer

You’ve had a successful hunt, congrats! But, after taking the perfect shot out of your Ambush Hunting Blind, you may be thinking, “now what?”. Well, it’s time to track your trophy and get ready to field dress it! You want to make sure you gut your deer right so you can keep as much meat as possible and avoid contamination. Once you have found your deer, follow these ten steps to learn how to gut a deer in the field.

Step 1: Prepare

First, you need to prepare. Get out your gloves, game bags, and gutting knife or hook tool. Check out these must-have tools for your field dressing kit. Also, don’t forget to prepare your stomach.

Step 2: Remove the Broadhead (Bowhunting Only)

If you shot the deer with a bow, recover the arrow and broadhead before starting the gutting process. You do not want to be injured by these items when gutting a deer.

Step 3: Cut a Coring Ring

Next, you need to cut a coring ring around the anus of the deer. When cutting, go a few inches deep through the skin. Make sure you do not slice into the colon.

Step 4: Position the Deer

After that, place the deer on the ground belly up with its head elevated. Spread the hind legs.

Step 5: First Cut

Now make a shallow 1-inch cut through the skin that forms a “V” between the back legs. If the deer has testicles, remove them.

Step 6: Cut the Midline

After completing the first cut, cut the belly open from the pelvic bone to the breast bone. Be careful, do not cut any of the organs in the process.

Step 7: Cut the Diaphragm

Now cut away the diaphragm- all the way to the spine- to reach the organs. It is a thin membrane separating the chest from the abdomen.

Step 8: Cut the Windpipe

Next, while holding the windpipe, cut it above the heart and lungs.

Step 9: Remove the Internal Organs

Pull on the windpipe to remove all of the internal organs. They should come out if you have cut away all tissues connecting them to the carcass.

Step 10: Drain the Blood

Turn the deer over, separating its hind legs, so the pooled blood can drain from the carcass.

Now that you know how to gut a deer check out our blog on scoring its antlers.  And, if this is your first time hunting or getting ready for a hunt, check out this blog on gearing up for a deer hunt!

After you’ve finished gutting your deer, check out all the ways you can process your game! Or, read about the different ways to mount a deer!

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