View Full Version : Gutting instructions?

November 19, 2002, 01:01 AM
Hey all,

Anyone know a good website that has a guide to gutting various game? A friend of mine asked if I knew of any. I know it's not all that difficult to figure out, but he wants so read some tips before tackling his own jobs.


November 19, 2002, 01:07 AM
check w/ your state's gf&p. south dakota gf&p, in their annual hunting rule book, provides good enough instructions to get a first-timer thru the job.

the way i learned was watching a friend gut 2 deer for me (he does it in less than 5 minutes). the 3rd deer i asked him to watch me, and from then on, i was on my own. now, when i am helping someone else gut, when they get to a sticking point i just tell them to remember that they want everything on the inside to be out.

not the exact answer you wanted, i know, but hopefully some assistance anyway.

November 19, 2002, 02:59 PM
I did a Google (www.google.com) search and read the first three or four hits. Looked at some illustrations of deer anatomy. Then jumped on in after I shot my first deer. The abdominal cavity was easy because the bullet stayed above the diaphragm, so all the blood stayed up there too. I did have prior experience cutting meat and cleaning animals from the restaurant business though.
Here is the first google hit:
Tag your deer immediately. The tag must remain with the deer at all times, or you risk confiscation of your deer among other nasty effects.
I highly recommend the purchase of game gloves found at you local sporting goods store. They are a plastic glove that goes all the up to your armpits. These allow you to put your whole arm in the deer cavity without getting blood all over your sleeves. I take a couple rubber bands along to slide up on my arms to hold the glove sleeves up. These are well worth the one dollar price of the gloves.
Carefully cut a circle around the anus so it's free and can be removed from within. Some folks tie it off with string to prevent its contents from tainting the meat. Remove and discard the testicles and cut the penis free so that it can be removed by the same route as the anus.
Beginning close to pelvis, open the stomach cavity to the ribcage. After starting the cut, use the first two fingers of your other hand to help guide your knife, you must only cut through skin and a thin layer of meat, and miss the entrails.
Cut through the ribs and skin, following the breastbone, on up to the neck. This is no problem with a sharp knife, but don't twist the blade while it's between bones; a brittle knife blade could easily break if twisted. Continue cutting on up to the base of the skull. Sever the windpipe and esophagus at the base of the skull. Cut the diaphragm loose. This is the sheet of muscle that separates the stomach area from the chest cavity.
Allow the animal to roll on its side, and "help" the organs to come out. You'll have to pull a little, but they should be mostly free. Be extremely careful in removing the bladder! You must reach up into the pelvis and pinch it shut while you cut it free with the other hand. If any urine is spilled on the meat, remove it immediately with water from a thermos or a clean cloth. Clean any debris from the cavity. Any stomach contents or other substances should be removed as quickly as possible.
Separate the heart and liver if you or someone you know likes to eat them. Cloth bags are recommended for keeping these clean and allowing them to cool. Start toting your animal back towards civilization after a break to catch your breath.
Tips: If you plan to have your deer mounted, don't cut it above the ribcage. You'll have to reach up through the ribcage to cut the esophagus and windpipe. Leave the caping (the skinning of the head & neck) to a professional. When opening the stomach cavity, slip two fingers of your opposite hand underneath the sheet of muscle you're cutting through, and pull it away from the entrails. Try to use only an inch or so of your knife blade. If you will be skinning and quartering your deer within a couple of hours of the kill, you might be ahead not to field-dress it. That way, you won't have sticks, leaves, and other debris to clean off. It also helps keep the flies off on warm days.
One on one advise is always better though.

November 20, 2002, 10:19 AM
I have never understood why hunters even bother gutting deer. I've taken more than 50 deer in the last 14 years, and none have been gutted. Why? Because we clean our deer immediately after killing them. So, what is the use in gutting? Wouldn't it be easier to simply go ahead and clean the deer?

November 21, 2002, 02:11 PM
The way I understand the law out here, that would be a major no-no. We have to take our deer to a check station, and there has to be proof ATTACHED for whatever type of tag you have, either antlered, or antlerless. So since you have to take the deers head in ATTACHED to the body to have the deer legally checked, you have to gut it unless you want to leave the innards inside it for however long it takes you to get to a check station. If you get caught with a cooler full of boned out deer meat here, unless you have a properly canceled and checked permit, you can expect to lighten your wallet considerably, and possibly lose your rifle, vehicle (it was used in the commission of a crime), any gear that could be considered evidence, and anything else they feel like taking, (if you have a couple of untagged deer hanging in your garage you could lose your house and property) not to mention your hunting priveledges not only in Nebraska but in several other states ( SD, CO, WY, etc.) that have formed a group to fight poaching.
I think I would rather get a little blood on my hands than risk that.
That is why people gut deer. Yes it would be easier to bone them out right on the spot.
You might think our laws are a little silly, but when you consider that when I was born that there were so few deer there was not even a statewide deer hunting season in NE. When I was old enough to start hunting deer, you had to send in an application and wait for a drawing to see if you were lucky enough to get a tag. Now you can order them over the internet, and print them at home. Our laws have worked well enough to control poaching and allow the deer to flourish enough that a person now can just about get as many doe tags as he wants along with 2 either sex or buck only tags.