Are you new to deer hunting and are worried about field dressing a deer for the first time? This final step is one that many hunters dread having to do since this is where the real work seems to begin. It can be difficult when you are first learning because it is not something that you do or practice regularly. Field dressing only needs to be done when you have killed a deer.
Field dressing a deer can be a challenge if you are unfamiliar with how it is done. There are a number of things that can go wrong and can potentially cause you to lose a significant amount of useable meat unless done properly. The good news is that once you have seen how it is done, the actual task of field dressing a deer is not difficult. It may take a few times to become as efficient as possible, but you should have no trouble cleaning you next kill.
However, if you follow these steps and have a little patience (and a sharp knife!) you will soon be able to properly field dress a deer with no problem. Once you sharpen these skills this is a quick task that becomes easier every time you do it.
Apart from a deer to gut, there are some key items you will need in order to make this process easy and efficient. While the items in this list aren’t the only tools used to field dress a deer, they are the ones you will find most useful when following the steps detailed below. There are also several tools that are designed specifically for gutting a deer that may make part of this process even easier. You can often find knives, saws, and kits that are built with cleaning a deer in mind.
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This pack comes equipped with a caping knife, gut hook skinner, boning/fillet knife, wood & bone saw, tungsten carbine v-sharpener, steel stick/brisket spreader, and game cleaning gloves. Below are additional items you may need for field dressing a deer.
To have the best chance for field dressing a deer, you should follow the following steps:
Ensure the deer is indeed dead. Approach the animal from the rear and look for any signs of life. If possible, poke the animal in the eye with a long stick in order to ensure it is actually dead. Deliver a killing blow at this point if needed. This is not typically an issue but for safety sake we want to make sure this is done properly.
After the kill is confirmed, make sure to unload and safely store your firearm or weapon. People get injured every year because of unsafe weapon handling, you don’t want to be one of those people.
Next position the deer on its back with the head pointed uphill if possible. If you shot a buck it is much easier to keep the head straight when the deer is on it’s back because you can rest it on the antlers. Positioning the head uphill from you will make each step in gutting the deer easier as well. It helps when you are pulling out the inside of the deer and draining it. The guts and organs inside of a deer weigh more than you may think so letting gravity help you is very beneficial.
Tag your kill according to local policy. You are then going to want to remove any clothing you want to avoid getting blood on. Mark your position in the field by hanging a blaze orange marker either above or close to your location. The orange helps with safety, especially during firearms season.
Next you should lay out your necessary tools in a place where they are easily accessible and won’t be misplaced. Put a pair of disposable gloves on prior to going any further. You will realize this once you begin working, but it can be a little difficult to hold and control all of the deer as you are field dressing it. This is why you should have all your tools in arms reach once you start. The deer will want to roll over and move as soon as you let go.
All cutting or gutting tools should be within arms reach to make this process easier. You also don’t want to be reaching into a hunting pack or your pockets with bloody hands.
Using your knife, make a small incision at the base of the sternum. Make sure the blade of your knife is pointed up to help avoid any unnecessary wear and tear to the blade. Only cut deep enough into the cavity to pierce the hide and the initial layer of fat. The easiest way to do this is to pinch a small amount of skin and pull it up and then cut across it rather than just pushing down through the skin into the stomach/sternum area. This helps it cut easier and avoids cutting too deep.
Avoid cutting any internal organs throughout this process unless otherwise instructed to do so. If you cut through the stomach you could end up ruining part of the meat and at the very least it will smell very bad.
You should also be sure to pull the hair back before you start cutting. This will help avoid tons of white hair ending up everywhere as you cut through it. Once covered in blood that hair will stick to everything.
Insert two fingers into the incision to help guide your knife and keep the hide in a taut V. This makes it easier to cut and will also keep your fingers out of harms way. Go a few inches at a time and go slowly. This helps keep the incision straight and makes sure you do not cut yourself. There are also some knives that are built in a small hook shape to help with this. You just insert them into the original incision and pull down like a zipper.
Continue the incision down to either the base of the penis or the udder. If a buck, cut around the penis and down to just above the anus. If a doe, cut around the udder and down to just above the vagina/anus. Be careful to avoid cutting the bladder.
Now you will need to cut the esophagus to start removing the upper organs. There are two ways to do this. You can either reach up in the chest cavity as far as possible and cut through it, or you can use a knife or saw to cut up through the sternum to expose the rest of the chest cavity.
As long as it is not a trophy buck, the easiest way to to cut the sternum. To do this, start near your original incision and cut up on either side of the sternum. It will be tough but a strong knife or small saw will have no issues going through the cartilage.
Once the chest cavity is exposed, reach up as far as you can into the top/throat area and grab the esophagus. You will be able to pull it away from the wall of the neck to help cut all the way through. Once you have cut through it, you can start to pull. The esophagus will peel away from the sides of the deer as you pull it down.
Now you can cut through the diaphragm, which is the large membrane separating the chest cavity from the intestinal area. Make cuts to the connective membranes preventing the organs from being removed. At this point most of the organs should be loose enough to pull out. Grab a hold of the esophagus or any other strong membrane and start to pull or roll the guts out of the deer.
The lower organs will still be attached down near the pelvis and the anus. This all needs to be severed carefully to avoid getting waste or urine on the meat. There are several different methods for doing this.
One way is to make an incision around the anus and vagina (if necessary) from the outside. Once you have fully cut free these items, carefully push them back into the cavity of the deer. Both the large intestine and the bladder can now be successfully removed from the deer and be pulled out with the rest of the guts.
Another way is to just use a small bone saw to cut through the pelvic bone so you don’t have to pull anything back through that small cavity. This allows you to just rip or cut everything out as one piece.
If this last part doesn’t go well or gets messy, don’t worry. It takes everyone a few tries to figure out the best way to do it. In the end all that matters is that you got all the organs, guts, and bladder/anus pieces out as well as any waste. If you think you spilled any urine or waste on the inside of the deer be sure to clean it off.
There are many different techniques for field dressing a deer and everyone has their preference. Hopefully this gave you a great starting point to work from. We have included a video below to help show one method for field dressing a deer. Feel free to make small changes in the process to make it as easy for you as you’d like. The most important thing is that at the end everything has been removed and the inside is clean.
See How Steven Renella likes to field dress a deer. As you see, some of his steps are slightly different than ours but the principle is the same.
Once all the deer’s internal organs have been removed, use the large plastic bag to safely store the heart, liver, and other organs you wish to keep. Next, tip the deer on its stomach to help remove any remaining blood or other debris. If you have cut through the pelvic bone the lifting up or raising the front half of the deer will help any left over blood drain our very quickly.
After this, gather your belongings, secure a rope to the deer’s legs and drag it to a secure area to continue the butchering process. Here is a quick tip on dragging. When you tie the rope to the deer, tie it’s front legs up with the neck. If you just tie the rope around the neck then the front legs will keep getting caught on branches and logs as well as hit your feet and trip you. Tying them up with the neck makes it much easier to drag.
Check this article to learn about tracking wounded deer if you want to learn more about how to find a deer.
It is highly important that you process your deer as soon as possible in order to avoid damage to the meat. The steps needed in order to properly field dress a deer can vary based upon preferred methods, but the above steps are a proven way to do it safely and with minimal cuts needed.
We here at CaptainHunter.com hope that you found this guide to be of value to you as you pursue your hunting goals. We not only believe in what we post but practice it as well.
Have a different method for field dressing a deer or have more questions regarding one of the above steps? Let us know below and as always…feel free to share our posts with other dedicated hunters.
First thing’s first, what are coyotes and why do you want to get rid of them? Coyotes are canids native to North America that are very much like wolves and are considered predatory. Why do you want to trap them? Although it can happen, coyotes rarely attack people. However, coyotes can be a problem for livestock and domestic pets, especially if you own a farm with animals. In this article, I will be talking about how to trap a coyote in the most efficient way possible.
Now, let’s lay some groundwork down first. What do you need to trap a coyote? Depending on your method, you will need a few trapping devices like the coil-spring trap or a live cage trap. Keep in mind that depending on your state, there will be varying laws and regulations regarding hunting and trapping, so check that first before doing anything else.
When you’ve got your trapping mechanism, where do you place it? You need to be very observant. Determine the area where the coyote is causing the damage and determine the path it travels often. Look for tracks, animal remains, and disturbed dirt under fences. At these areas, lay down a couple of traps.
There are many different kinds of traps you can choose from. Each trap offers a different way to catch an animal. The type of hunting style will determine which trap is needed. Below are three of the most popular trap styles to catch a coyote.
This trap is recommended by many hunters. It is easy to hide and essentially traps a coyote’s paw without killing it. Make sure your trap is large and strong enough for the coyote you’re targeting; otherwise they might escape from the trap. The coil spring trap above is recommended for catching coyotes. There are half a dozen traps included in the package. The trap has a 5.25 jaw spread, a quick reaction, and a strong hold. This trap will catch a coyote and will hold on to it. Pro tip: do not use the coil spring trap if you’re a beginner. When it comes to dealing with the trapped coyote, you may not have enough knowledge on what to do next.
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Although it has been regarded as a less successful trapping device, a live cage trap will catch the animal in a cage. Once the coyote is caught, a professional can deal with the problem for you. However, you need to place this in the most strategic area and provide the proper bait. This is recommended if you do not want to kill the animal afterwards. This tomahawk original series rigid trap is large enough and designed to catch coyotes. There are two top handles on the cage for safe and comfortable holding. The cage also features a safe sliding rear door for easy release.
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Another option is the use of lethal traps. The most recommended lethal trap is the snare, wherein a coyote will be choked by the loop of the cord. Naturally, a coyote will pull away from the chokehold and thus tighten the grip. The above 12 pack is designed for coyote catching. Each snare is 60 inches in length. These snare traps are easy to use, loaded for speed, and they trap legally. There are two methods in using a snare trap. One way is to create a slip knot with the loop and anchor it to a nearby tree or fence. A second way is to run a small chain through the loop and anchor the chain around a tree. Whichever method is used, the snare will reliably come down quickly and capture the animal when the snare is hit.
Remember: when choosing your trap, check with the local laws regarding this matter to make sure your trap is appropriate to use.
This is so that your traps are well-hidden from the predators. With a trowel, dig a shallow hole about 8-inches deep at a 45 degree angle, place your trap and cover it well with dirt or hay/leaves. You can use the hole set-up for the coil-spring and snare traps.
To make this trap as efficient as possible, dig the hole in the area that the coyote frequents. Pro tip: you may also want to add live bait near the hole. Live bait will attract coyotes more than dead bait.
Most coyotes will stay away from a trap when they detect a human scent. When setting up your traps, wear thick, scent-free rubber gloves to avoid leaving your scent. It is also best to make sure that your traps are clean and oil-free to make it devoid of any scent.
Another thing you can do is spray a little bit of apple cider in the area to get rid of the human scent. This tip will make sure your trap is more efficient and be able to lure the predator well.
If your coyote problem is mild, or if you don’t want to kill the animal, you may opt to choose alternative methods to avoid coyotes from loitering in your area.
You’ve caught the coyote pestering your area with your trap, now what?
When getting rid of the coyote, again, check with the local rules and regulations before deciding what to do. Some states will have the coyote euthanized, but you can also opt to take it to a wildlife reserve. Most hunters/trappers will shoot the animal once caught, but make sure that this is legal in your state before doing so.
And there you have it! These are just a few tips on how to trap a coyote and some on how to avoid coyotes, and you can scour the Internet for more to make sure your trapping method is correct. Important: Keep in mind that coyotes are dangerous animals and will attack when provoked.
If you are a beginner wanting to try trapping the animal, keep in mind the safety procedures as well as the laws in your state regarding this matter. On the other hand, if you are not a hunter whatsoever and just want to get rid of your coyote problem, call in wildlife control and/or follow tip no. 4.
For a detailed tutorial on how to set up a hole trap (with a foot hold trap), watch this video:
Do you have any questions, comments, or stories on your own hunting/trapping experiences? Let me know in the comments below. Share this page if you liked the article and send it to a friend you know with a coyote problem, too! Good luck hunting!
You can read about Coyote Fast Facts here!
Although attacks are rare, mountain lions can be a frightening sight for a camper or hiker. But to hunters like you and me, a mountain lion can be seen as an object for the sport with the promise of an exhilarating hunt. These amazing animals can sprint fast, jump high, and are excellent hunters themselves—qualities that make them quite challenging to catch or hunt. Nevertheless, this article will be teaching you how to trap or hunt mountain lions step-by-step.
I’m going to divide this section into two parts: how to hunt a mountain lion and how to trap a mountain lion, for these two methods are entirely different and require different types of skills to be executed efficiently. Even if you prefer one method over the other, I suggest you read both sections to add more to your knowledge.
Hunting these big cats is a challenge and requires rigorous exercise, but finally getting that mountain lion on the back of your truck is definitely worth it. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on what you need to do in order to catch these regal creatures:
It is of utmost importance that you ensure you are physically and mentally capable of hunting these animals. These are not your typical game animals: they are fast, agile, and potentially dangerous. Before you proceed on a mountain lion hunting trip, here is a checklist you should read:
Know how to track mountain lions, the extra precautions you need to make, the location you’re going to be hunting in, as well as the local laws regarding mountain lion hunting. In addition, watch informative videos on hunting and read articles such as this one to be as prepared as possible for your first trip.
To hunt mountain lions, you’ll need to have:
When you have your pack settled, it’s time to decide whether you need a hunting partner or not. I recommend having a more experienced hunter accompany you on your first trip. But if you feel that you can handle the hunt by yourself, do so with caution.
It is also recommended to have a trained hunting dog to accompany you, since they can sniff out and find mountain lions better than you can. Make sure to bring treats for them as well.
You can’t just go to random wooded area and expect to find a mountain lion there. Know the locations where the mountain lion population is big enough for game hunting, and select the one you prefer. Once you have chosen the most convenient place for your hunt, schedule a trip there.
However, you cannot go on a hunt immediately. Take at least 3-5 trips to that area to familiarize yourself (if you aren’t yet) to avoid getting lost. Strategize your game plan and scope out the possible spots where a mountain lion might appear for a more efficient hunt.
To track a mountain lion, look out for their paw prints. For a beginner, it may seem difficult. But with enough practice, you will have a trained eye.
A mountain lion is a very territorial creature. It will scrape dirt, grass, twigs, leaves, and other debris into a pile and then urinate it as a mark of its territory over that area. Other times, it will bury its food under a mound of leaves and dirt to hide it from other animals. Thus, look for these indications of a mountain lion nearby, and wait for the animal to come back in a safe hiding place so you can shoot it from afar.
Another technique of luring a mountain lion is to use bait. Like most animals, it will prefer a live bait rather than a dead one, so be sure to choose the former for better chance of success. However, this method can have you luring all types of animals, so be wary of your choice.
You can also lure lions with mouth calls using reeds or recordings of a lion’s sounds. Employ this technique and then wait for a mountain lion to come by.
Finally, a very popular and successful method is to have a hunting dog aid you. Well-trained hunting dogs can sniff out a mountain lion from afar and lead you to it. Like house cats, mountain lions usually run away from barking dogs and will most likely climb up a tree for safety. When it is trapped, you can now shoot it.
When shooting a mountain lion either with a gun or an arrow, always aim for the animal’s head or heart as much as possible. Not only is this a humane way to kill the lion, but an aim to its fatal spots can prevent it from running away. Otherwise, a shot to the hind or back, for example, can make the animal panic and sprint as far away as possible.
Keep in mind the local laws regarding this type of hunting and kill only the allowed number of lions that you can hunt.
Trapping a mountain can be more dangerous than hunting it. Why? After you’ve caught a live lion in your trap, you’re going to be dealing with a very angry, very stressed creature. Moreover, trapping is usually used when you want to control the predation in your area since these lions can prey on your livestock or pets. Nevertheless, if you do it right, you can catch a mountain lion with these steps:
Choose the trap you think would be most effective. Mountain lions are very strong creatures, so you need high caliber traps that can hold them. Trap options for catching mountain lions are:
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Place your trap in a strategic place. Examples of such are near territorial indications, areas where you usually see them, and near their tracks.
Check your trap once a day from a distance. These animals will be very hostile, so exercise caution.
If you want to get rid of the lion, I suggest having wildlife control transfer it to another place for you. Do not approach it if you are unsure of how to handle the situation. If you are going to attempt to transfer it yourself, use legal tranquilizers to put the animal to sleep before caging.
Another thing you can do is shooting it, but if you have no use for their meat or fur, let them live and have them transferred.
Mountain lions are one of the most challenging animals to hunt, other than the mighty black bear or the ferocious wolf, among many others. However, the thrill and exercise of the hunt is what we’re really looking for; a challenge that any hunter is happy to overcome. If you are a novice hunter looking to get your first mountain lion, this article will happily help you out.
Therefore, I hope you enjoyed this article and learned a lot from it. Don’t forget to share it with your friends and leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!
you can read more about How To Hunt Rabbits Without A Hunting Dog by this articles!
One of the most common questions all new hunters have is how to effectively find an animal you have shot. Tracking wounded deer can be a challenge if you are unsure of what you are doing. There are some easy to make mistakes that can make finding your deer far more challenging than it needs to be, but it is capable to avoid these mistakes if you know what you are doing.Continue reading
Do you have an interest in coyote hunting, but don’t really know how to go about it? Are you under the impression that to be successful at hunting coyotes, you need to solely hunt them in the middle of the night? Does the thought of having to spend nights in the woods make you rethink wanting to fulfill your passion to hunt coyotes?
If you are anything like me, then you have undoubtedly experiences some of these same questions when attempting to hunt coyotes. The honest truth is that you can and should be hunting coyotes during the daytime hours. Honestly, there is no logical reason you should be waiting until the dead of night to begin hunting what you are after. Hunting is always a sport of chance and if you can double your chances for hunting opportunities, you are surely doubling your chance for success.
Some of the basic supplies you may need are:
To have the best chance for hunting coyotes during the day, you should follow the following steps:
For more information about What does it mean when Coyotes Howl you can read this article!
Now that you have read this step by step guide on how to hunt coyotes during the day, do you feel ready?
Every item in the list above is a proven benefit to have with you when you head out to hunt for coyotes. The last thing you need when setting out to bag this elusive game is to find that you don’t have the correct gear with you when you need it most.
So what do you think? This step by step guide will hopefully help you in understanding just how to go about hunting for coyotes during the daylight hours.
If you think this article contains some useful advice, feel free to share it with others. Also, if you have any experiences that you think are of value to others when it comes to hunting coyotes during the daytime, please share them below!
And do you like hunt skunks? In this article I will tell you how to hunt Skunks!
As briefly discussed in the last article, there are several ways to ensure hunting success. Choosing the perfect hunting area is clearly the most important step in finding and killing the game you wish to hunt. Today we will examine three easy steps to finding that perfect hunting spot.