Country Traditions

How To Butcher A Deer

Hanging the deer is only part of the process while carrying the deer back home. Butchering the deer in the proper manner ensures preservation of the meat. Here are the steps to follow while butchering a deer.

Tools/Materials Required

Field-Dressing The Deer

The very first stage of butchering the deer is to field-dress it. Also known as gutting, the process involves creating a tiny incision at the crotch area of the deer. The cut should be made just underneath the hide portion of the deer. Slowly make the cut until you reach the sternum.

Reinforcing The Incision

Next, make the cut along the same path as you did earlier, except that now the depth of cut should be approximately half an inch. While you are making the cut, ensure you do not cut too deeply into the stomach or entrails.

Internal Organ Removal

After cutting through the entire body cavity of the deer, you can start removing the internal organs. Ensure that you dispose of the organs in the trash bag used for this purpose.

Hide-Skinning Process

Next, start separating the thin hide from the rest of the portion by using only the tip of the sharp knife. Don’t use more than one-fourth of the top portion for this purpose. Keep working upward till you separate the hide from the remaining portion.

Removal Of The Head

You will need the hacksaw for this. Cut off the deer’s head with the saw, and dispose of it in the trash bag. Follow up by making cuts in the ankles of the legs behind. Then hang the deer upside down, maybe from a tree branch.

Cutting The Backbone

You will need to use the hacksaw again for this purpose. Make the cuts right through the backbone region. Start at the buttock region of the deer, and then work upward toward the sternum or rib cage. The entire body should be dissected in two equal halves.

Cutting The Shoulders

After you have bisected the deer into two equal portions, make cuts at the joints of the shoulders in the deer. Then follow up with cuts in the ham joints. Keep these quarter cut pieces separately for wrapping later. You can use the aluminum or plastic wraps.

The Final Touches

Finish the butchering process by separating the tenderloin region as well as the backstrap part from the spinal column. These regions have some of the best-quality meat and, hence, if the butchering is not done precisely, high-quality meaty areas could be wasted. You can even wrap pieces separately and label the wrapping paper for convenience.


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