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Old May 19, 2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Deer skinning and field dressing difference

Hi again. Id like to know the difference of skinning and field dressing a deer. I understand that skinning it is for getting the meat and i recently watched a vid. of how to properly field dress a buck. Ive helped skin a doe with my uncle using a skinning rack so im familiar with skinning but not with dressing. Do you dress it after youve skinned it or vise versa?
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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Gut it first, then skin it
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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Field dress it first, then skin it.
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Old May 19, 2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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The difference? Field dressing is a matter of removing the entrails (lungs, heart, intestines, bladder, and such). This is usually done in the field (thus, "field dressing"), right after the animal is recovered. In the field, the hide is usually left on to protect the meat from dirt, flies and such. Field dressing allows the carcass to cool, helps prevent spoilage (which would otherwise start in the entrails due to heat), and lightens the carcass for easier transport out of the field.

Skiinning removes the hide before processing the meat. You've done it before, so no need to explain.
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Old May 19, 2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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I see you are from Florida. Down here in our warmer hunting weather we sometimes have to do things differently. Many of us don't field dress at all - especially if the weather is really warm. We take the animal immediately from the field to the skinning rack. Then, skin, butcher, and ice down the meat without ever needing to open the gut sack. On a good hunt, we can go from shot to cleanup in less than an hour.
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Old May 19, 2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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My son and his buddy will take a deer to the barn before field dressing, and skin before dressing, assuming it will all be done 'soon'.

That keeps everything, as noted, cleaner.
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Old May 20, 2011, 01:08 AM   #7
big al hunter
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If I am deep in the woods and will be boning the animal out to pack it out: I skin it first. Then remove the meat from the bones. Then remove the entrails and remove the tenderloins ( small but very tender muscles under the spine near the hips). If I can get it to the truck in less than an hour: field dress it. Skin it at home, but pack it with ice asap on the way home. The key is heat. It allows bacteria to grow that spoils the meat. Get the hide off asap to dissipate heat. You need to get it as close to 40 degrees f. as soon as you can.

There is a link in the thread on moose hunting started recently, it has videos of dressing and skinning that may help.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!

Last edited by big al hunter; May 20, 2011 at 01:13 AM.
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Old May 20, 2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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As others have said, the key is cooling the carcass. Even though I hunt practically in my backyard, I have always field dressed, brought the carcass to the house, and skinned and deboned it. I have always thought skinning after field dressing was a pain.

I was fortunate enough to hunt in S. Africa last year and after seeing their method, don't think I will ever field dress another animal. Watching their skinners work on animals that were NOT field dressed was a real treat. Now they get the animal to the skinning room less than an hour after it is harvested and have large coolers for the carcass but I am going to give it a try.
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