Field-Dressing and Skinning Big Game Animals

Don't waste perfectly good meat. If you want your hunting ventures to be productive, learn some of the basics of field dressing game animals.



field dressing game animals - photo, two deer
Downing game animals is one thing, but many hunters have only a vague idea how to go about field dressing them once they do.
Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, tie off the anus
First, seal off the vent (anus) so that feces can't escape.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, opening the abdomen
When the abdominal opening is several inches long and the intestines begin to bulge out, insert your free hand and push the entrails down and away from the abdominal wall. Then turn the knife over so that the cutting edge is up, and place the blade into the opening just ahead of your hand.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, removing the sex organs
Make an incision around the sex organs and remove them.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, removing the bladder
Locate the bladder, cut it loose, and attempt to remove it without spilling the contents.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, sever gullet and remove organs
Sever the gullet (esophagus) just ahead of the stomach, and use both hands to drag the whole works out onto the ground.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - illustration, severing the windpipe
Cut through the diaphragm (a membrane separating the chest from the abdominal cavity), reach up into the chest as far as you can, and sever both the gullet and the windpipe.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff
field dressing game animals - gambrel and lift
Illustration shows how to set up a gambrel (Fig. A), a possible method of hoisting the carcass (Fig. B), and cut lines for skinning a deer or other animal (Fig. C).
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff











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