6 Things I Learned Field Dressing My First Deer
"Well, now what do we do?" my friend Nate asked as we looked at his buck lying in front of us. "You want to do it?" I replied. "I don't really know where to start," he answered. "Well, I know HOW to do it, I just never have..." This was our conversation last Sunday evening as the sun started to set at we knew we needed to field dress this buck and get it out of the woods. Warning: this is obviously a little graphic.
Usually my step dad Jim gut the deer for us. He taught us each time, but it had been a couple of years since we've harvested a deer. So it wasn't exactly fresh, and I was never the one with a knife. My intention was to do the next one, with him guiding me. Due to his work schedule, he wasn't around. So I had to step up and do it.
The only way you learn is to actually do it. So here's a few interesting things I found.
Always buy multiple pairs of field dressing gloves.
I had two pairs, I quickly tore the first pair. The other I gave to my friend who was helping me. By the time I got to getting the organs out, I was using bare hands. Not ideal. But I managed.
Blood is really sticky.
Obviously I've had blood on my hands before, but never this amount. When you see those movies scenes of people trying to wash blood of their hands, that's pretty accurate.
YouTube doesn't load out in the woods.
This was my back up plan. When we got stuck, if we couldn't figure something out, we'd pull out our iphones and watch one of the many YouTube videos that show you how. Well both were dead, plus we couldn't get videos to load anyhow.
It gets dark quick.
He shot the deer just before 4pm. By the time we got started it was already 4:15. We were fighting daylight and I really didn't want to figure it out in the dark.
The 'Butt Out' doesn't work every time.
A butt out is a tool that you can buy that removes the rectum in one quick easy motion. However the last two times I tried to use it, it didn't work.
It's Really Hot.
With a fresh kill, man the inside of the deer was warm. Kinda gross, but honestly you get over it pretty quick.
So all in all, I think we did an OK job. I didn't spill guts and poo everywhere. I didn't puncture anything gross and get the weird smells. It was pretty clean, but I definitely could have done a better job. Since it was so warm, we decided to drop it off at a deer processor. I told them it was my first time, so it may be a little ugly. After seeing some of the other deer lying there, I don't think ours was any worse.