Field Dressing Guide

Field dressing whitetail deer is a relatively easy task. The only items you will need are a sharp knife and a stomach that is not easily upset. For those that do not like the feel of warm blood or internal body parts, I recommend you wear a pair of surgical gloves. Listed below are some very basic steps to aid you in completing the field dressing process.

Step 1
Lay the deer in a belly up position. Start your cut at the anus or below the breast bone. Be sure to only cut through the skin. Cut the full length of the carcass from the anus to the breast bone. Be careful not to cut the stomach.

Step 2
Using a knife, saw, or axe; split through the pelvic bone and the breast bone.

Tip
If you intend to mount your deer do not cut skin past or split the breast bone. This will require you to reach up into the chest cavity to cut the esophagus and remove the heart and lungs.

Step 3
Reaching up into the chest cavity grab hold of the windpipe and cut it loose. Roll the deer onto its side and cut and pull away all internal organs. Always be careful when handling the stomach and bladder. If you puncture the stomach be prepared to deal with the smell that follows.

Tip
If you spill any urine or feces onto the meat wash away immediately with water or a clean cloth.

Step 4
Wipe the body cavity clean. If water is available, use it to aid in cleaning the cavity. If it is a warm day, place a bag of ice into the chest cavity to help keep the meat cool.

Video: Field Dressing Technique
with Tim Farmer of kyafield.com



Experienced hunters may have a different approach to field dressing whitetail deer. The important key to remember is to remove all internal organs right after the kill without contaminating the meat. Your goal in field dressing is to preserve the meat. As long as you achieve this goal there is no wrong way to field dress a deer. Good luck!

Related Links
- Discuss your favorite recipes using deer meat in our Wild Game Recipes forum.
- Share your own hunting tips and tricks with fellow hunters in our Deer Hunting Forums
- Learn tips to eliminate your scent when on the hunt.