Deer Hunting: Getting Started
a little work. Your first task is to remove the deer’s internal organs. This is easily accomplished. Under the excitement of the moment, however, it can be easy to cut yourself. Be careful. It also helps to have someone with you who is skilled at cleaning, skinning, and butchering a deer the first time you do it. With the deer on its back, and using just the tip of a sharp knife, cut a small hole in the skin and muscle tis-sue found in the center of the abdominal cavity.
Place two fingers in the hole to push back the internal organs, and continue to cut forward toward the chest. If you plan to have a head and shoulder mount of your deer, you stop cutting when you reach the sternum or breastbone. If not, continue cutting up to the neck.
It may take two hands and some force, but a stout, sharp knife will cut through the breastbone. To finish opening the body cavity, cut down to between the hind legs. A small hatchet helps split the pelvis. The urinary bladder lies under the pelvis. If it is full, be careful at this point not to puncture it. With the body cavity opened, roll the deer on its side and pull out all the internal organs. To remove the large intestines, make a final cut around the anus. With this chore done, many hunters take their deer to a meat locker to have the deer skinned and processed. You can do this work yourself. If you can skin and quarter a squirrel, you can do the same with a deer. Deer are just bigger.
To skin a deer, cut a hole behind and tie ropes around the large tendons found at a deer’s ankles. Use the ropes to hang the deer at a convenient height, then skin the deer starting at the hindquarters.
With the hide removed, cut the front shoulders off of the body, saw the feet off, and put the shoulders in a cooler with ice. To remove the back straps, make a long cut, right next to both sides of the backbone, from where the hindquarters meet the backbone to where the neck starts, then fillet out the meat. Inside the body cavity, close to the lower back, are two tenderloins. Cut these out, and then separate the hindquarters from the backbone, saw off the feet,