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Old November 17, 2006, 12:59 AM   #1
Big Caliber
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It's a clean kill...now what do I do with it?

A life long dream of mine is to go hunting someday for something edible. I know this is a shooting forum but I don't have a clue as to where to begin to discover the art of dressing a kill and possibly tanning the hide. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Old November 17, 2006, 01:32 AM   #2
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Now That You've Killed It (PDF 172.2 KB) Leaflet at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning...esources.phtml
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Old November 17, 2006, 02:03 AM   #3
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you can make it complicated, but the end result with pretty much any animal is get everything out of it. skinning, butchering, processing are all a little more complicated, but the time-sensitive issue is the field dress, and you can take care of that with pretty much any animal by cutting from pelvis to rib cage and just getting everything out. there are better and worse ways of doing this but it's not too complicated, and you shouldn't be scared of it, reading a quick pamphlet like the one above is all the info you really need.
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Old November 17, 2006, 09:26 AM   #4
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I'll try to attach these pdf files. They're an excellent guide. Just remember, when it says to use a meat saw you can use a sawsall--preferably clean and/or new.
butcher deer.pdf
The other one was too big to attach, so go here:
http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/modac/visuals/E657.pdf
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Old November 17, 2006, 10:54 AM   #5
Art Eatman
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There are a few minor points about field-dressing Bambi that I've worked out.

First off, it doesn't take a big knife. I've often used a 3" blade pocket knife. The main thing is that it be sharp.

Opening up the hide from throat to rear end, I first make a rather small cut, and then protect the tip of the knife with a fingertip to prevent cutting through the belly lining, stomach, etc.

It's a little bit tricky at the rear. Cut through the hide and the meat at the pelvis. Skin on around the anus. Split the pelvis with a heavy knife, a hatchet, or use a rock on the back of the blade of the skinning knife. But, be careful to only break the pelvis bone, not cut below it.

After the pelvis is opened, you can then use the skin of the anus as a handle and pull out all the innards.

A chest shot generally means that when you cut around the diaphragm, a gallon of blood will pour out. That's part of why I like neck shots. Less mess.

I cut all the way through the chest and up the neck, pulling out the windpipe and cutting it off as far up as possible.

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Old November 17, 2006, 05:28 PM   #6
Foxman
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Just read the link that Chemist 308 posted ( the too big one) goota say these people never shot and field dressed a deer, or if they did it had gone bad before they finished messing with it!
They do have some things right, like not gut shooting deer, but running up to where it was stood when you shot it right off, is the best way to lose a deer that isnt dead and blood clotting doesnt fill up holes made by bullets and arrows of well shot deer. If you give it time, around fifteen minutes to a half hour, it will rest up after a short distance and usually die right there, start chasing it and it can go on for a long way.
Easiest way is either roll it onto its back and hold rear legs apart with yours and work towards yourself from the end of the ribcage, use one of the gut hook knives ( I have a couple of Schrade Old Timer ones) nick through hide and flesh at the breast bone, just enough to get the hook in and turn knife over and pull sharply back to between the legs, then hold open the slit with two fingers put knife in the between your fingers , sharp side up and run back to the pelvis, remove the gut and intestine, using point of knife go round the anus etc on doe or just the anus on a buck. If the knife is real sharp and pointed you can reach inside and pull the anus though the pelvic opening easy and remove the rest of the stuff including the bladder with no mess.
Then you can cut up through the rib joint to the throat and remove the heart lungs liver etc, cut the wind pipe at the neck and clean out the diaphragm and your near done, till you get back. just tidy up take off the feet at the first joint and you can hang it up or pack it out right away.
I prefer these days to carry a couple of lengths of boat rope about 5/16ths diameter and hang the animal up just off the ground by both back legs on a handy branch or trunk. It is easier to work on, the stuff just drops out and the carcase stays cleaner. Takes me less than ten minutes to field dress a deer, even less than that if the weather is bad.
Biggest thing is buy the best knives you can afford and learn to keep em sharp enough to shave with, it is easy with sharp knives and you are more likely to cut yourself with blunt ones. After youve done the first two or three it is a no brainer to do quick and clean.
Butchering after takes more time and knowhow, but you can get it processed if you dont want to get into that. I would find somebody who has done a good bit of hunting and dressing and get him to show you how it is done.
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Old November 17, 2006, 05:55 PM   #7
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hunt the first time with a guide.

Pigs are good for first time. Pigs or deer.

Where I live there are guided hog hunts for around $600.00. After you plug your porker, tell the guide to show you how to dress it. It''s customary to tip the guide after, maybe 150.00 ??

You can learn more watching an old hand than you ever can by reading.

I learned on pigs, with a guide. Pigs are good for the first time because it's something you're probably already used to eating, it has more edible meat than deer, and you shoot WAY better pork than you will EVER see in any store.

Up here in atascadero, the pigs eat wild wheat, barley, and wine grapes. The meat is super-sweet and very succulent. DAMN! Now I feel like a pig roast.
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Old November 17, 2006, 07:34 PM   #8
cpaspr
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Rugged has

some of the best advice. Learn from someone who knows what they're doing. A friend of mine shot a deer a few years back and after we got it to where we were going to field dress it he dropped to his knees, pulled out his knife, looked at me, and said: "Okay, now what?" He'd never dressed one, and this was his first deer in 25 years. So we went slow, and I showed him how. Not that I'm a pro, but I'd seen it done enough times, and had done it once solo. And that was enough to help him.

Being shown is definitely better than just reading. Reading is good, but seeing + reading is better.
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Old November 17, 2006, 08:24 PM   #9
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Good advice from all. Something no one has mentioned. Don't bust the deer's bladder. For some reason, most of the deer I've shot have full bladders. I've got a buddy that saves it and uses it. I don't go that far, but I definitely don't want deer pee all over the meat. I'll usually cut the urethra as far from the bladder as I can and pull it out whole. There is some connective tissue toward the top of it that needs to be cut, but you can get it out without spilling if you take your time.

I agree about watching an old hand dress a deer. You'll learn more in 15 minutes of watching than from hours of reading. 15 minutes is all it takes someone with practice to skin and quarter one and get it in the cooler.

Have Fun
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Old November 18, 2006, 12:01 AM   #10
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Pigs are pretty easy. A small but sharp knife is important. For a boar, I start just above the penis- I take a pinch of skin and cut just under the skin all the way up to the throat being careful to not cut the viscera but do cut through the breastbone, splitting the chest cavity. For a sow, start just in front of the vagina up to the throat. Back to the boar- Just under the skin, cut along the penis back to the anus. Cut around the anus, giving yourself about 1/2 inch away from the anus, like you are coring an apple. Cut back up around the penis to the original cut. Reach up into the throat and grab everything, throat, blood vessels, everything- Reach in with the knife and sever all these above your hand. Still holding on, pull everything back and out of the body cavity. This will pull everything out. I rinse out the inside of the body cavity with water then haul it back to camp, hang it up to skin and cool.

Rugged- Me too- I hunt up out of Paso Robles-San Miguel, right by you...
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Old November 18, 2006, 12:20 AM   #11
UniversalFrost
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A good sharp knife is an absolute necessity. Like art and the others said it doesn't take a huge knife. I like the gerber ez skinner http://www.shop4gerber.co.uk/e-z_skinner_gerber.htm which is a nice little knife for deer. It doesn't have a saw blade so I usually carry a serrated knife as well. I have even used the saw blade on my leatherman wave in the past. The folks have already posted some good guides on field dressing do's and don'ts so I won't add more there. Best thing is to learn in the field from an old pro. Try to find some hunting or game preperation videos out there for how to steps. I have seen them in walmart, cabelas, bass pro, gandermartin, etc... . They usually are animal specific and cover not just field dressing and butchering, but usually offer other pieces of advice for meat prep, etc... especially how to skin/ prepare a trophy animal to take to the taxadermist.
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Old November 18, 2006, 01:02 AM   #12
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A SawZal is very handy for removing the head and quartering an animal...
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Old November 19, 2006, 01:44 PM   #13
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I have to applaud your approach Big Caliber. So many folks just go kill something, with no thought as to what to do next. You are doing exactly the right thing, in seeking this information first, before you are faced with a large dead animal, and no clue what to do with it.
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Old November 19, 2006, 02:14 PM   #14
nkielborn
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rumor

is it true pig meat will spoil in a few minutes during the summer months. im from california the central valley to be more specific and i hear the meat can spoil in those hot summers we have any info would be appreciated.
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Old November 19, 2006, 05:31 PM   #15
Mannlicher
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"a few minutes" may be an exageration, but you should field dress game as soon as possible. In warm weather, it becomes very important to get the guts out, and to reduce the body cavity temperature. There are reference materials available on line.
Meat will certainly start going bad in the field. I don't think hogs are any more suceptible than other game though.
The prudent hunter brings a cooler and ice.
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Old November 19, 2006, 09:45 PM   #16
geneinnc
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Barfing is acceptable on your first field dressing of a deer.
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Old November 20, 2006, 07:33 PM   #17
Big Caliber
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Thank you all for your posts. I guide sounds like an excellent idea...there's no better way to learn anything than to be shown by someone who knows what it is he's trying to do. I shall check out those web sites. Thanks again, BC
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Old November 20, 2006, 07:54 PM   #18
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Very funny Geneinnc . That is why my hunting buddies let me do the butchering.
Another option is to take it to the slaughter house. Field dress deer goes in one side, $45 and a few days later he is aged, wrapped, and ready for the freezer. Although I do process most of my own.
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Old November 20, 2006, 08:10 PM   #19
bennnn
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Quote:
Barfing is acceptable on your first field dressing of a deer
geneinnc, that cracked me up, thanks for the laugh...

But guys,,, Big Caliber never said exactly which species of
Quote:
something edible
he has been dreaming of.. I have to admit the handle made me think,,, DEER,, as well...

But BC, you sould go out with someone who has firsthand knowledge of how to field dress whatever game you're out for that particular day. You have all the web advice you need right here in this thread, foxman and ART just gave you what sounds like about 50 years of combined experiance..... I can't add a thing, my advice would be slightly different, but the important facts are all the same... Get those innards OUT, the sooner the better, for taste....
Quote:
the time-sensitive issue is the field dress,
Boy, could I tell y'all a story about how a friend came over with a gut shot whitetail (3 hours old) in the back of his van last weekend for help...... I felt like a surgeon on House, I did what I could.......

But were you talking about deer? I've never heard of a rabbit/squirrel guide....

Also, he asked about the hide,,,, I have a little experiance in that area, but we need to see if he comes back....
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Old November 21, 2006, 01:12 AM   #20
Fat White Boy
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Nkielborn- I hunt pigs up by Paso Robles- San Miguel. Just get them gutted as quickly as possible, then hang(In the shade) and skin them... Cover them with a cheese cloth game bag. If they haven't started to cool down, you can always ice them in a big(150qt) cooler. You may have to quarter them(See SawzAll comment)...
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Old November 21, 2006, 11:58 PM   #21
Big Caliber
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Well, A wild piggie hunt would be a good start. Moose is touted as the "cadillac" of deer meat, but I always wanted a bearskin like the one my uncle had in his camper. I was only 4 at the time but I still remember how much I liked it. While fishing the Sierras a local told me that dogs are used to "tree" a bear. I don't think I could shoot a bear out of a tree. A buddy sets out hay on his property 1 month b4 deer season and also during the open season, kinda like bait. I thought hunting meant tracking and stalking your quarry, or have I been watching too many movies? You can eat bear, can't you???
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