Field Dressing a deer is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Also, beware of deer ticks, which are known to cause Lyme disease.
Now, we all know how hick-like e2 is, so it's safe for one to assume that the most experience most users have had dissecting something is biology class. Well, in case you ever hit a deer or deer like animal with your car (depending on the size of the deer and the car, count your blessings you're alive; god forbid you'd be so unlucky to hit a moose, even in an SUV) or are an avid hunter or are new at hunting, you should know what to do with the deer. So you hit the deer with your car, or shoot it with your phaser, and you suddenly have the hankering for venison, and there's no butcher for miles around. What to do, what to do? You can Field Dress it!
First of all, you'll need a nice sharp knife
. Light saber
s will do, but you have to be rather delicate if you don't want to ruin some meat.
Ok, first of all you have to make sure the deer is dead. When you approach it, if it doesn't make any movements, the deer is probably good and dead
. If it does move around or run away you'll have to kill it some how. If it runs away, you'll have to chase it down; usually you'll find it dead, but finding it is the hard part. So if its just struggling to get up, you'll have to wait until it stops completely, or if you have a gun, shoot it in the head (it's the kindest way to do it). If you feel bold, you can approach slowly and slit its throat
, but the deer can suddenly jump up and attack
you if you get too close.
Once the deer is dead, and you're sure its dead, you'll be able to start 'dressing' the deer. Be prepared, the sights, sounds, and smell of dressing a deer are not pleasant. Especially if you hit the deer with a car and ruptured some important organ involved with the digestion of food (it should be noted that there is a sort of Mad Cow Disease called Wasting Away that lodges itself inside the digestive organs of deer, so if you find what used to be food all over the place, be careful. It is not known if the disease can be transmitted to humans.)
Now, for the steps:
- Slit its throat, if you haven't already done so. Make sure you completely cut the esophagus and wind pipe. This will be important later on.
- Next, you have to remove its genitalia. Take your knife and cut along the inner thighs. If its a male deer, or buck, you'll have to cut off the penis and testicles separately. Cut out the rectum and completely disconnect it from everything that's not another organ. Also, you should remove the tail.
- After you remove the reproductive organs and rectum, make a surgical style incision from the sternum to the pelvis cut you made earlier. This will usually release gas trapped in the chest cavity as well as expose the small and large intestines, the stomach, the liver (which can be eaten), as well as some other organs. If you wish, you can cut into the sternum to expose the lungs. This may make things easier.
- The next thing you need to do is remove the organs in the chest cavity. Easier said than done. Usually this requires putting your hands behind the the bloody heap and loosening and moving all the organs, sometimes individually. Removing the esophagus and wind pipe is hardest. You should not cut into the neck, it makes good hamburger meat. To remove them, you have pull them out; a sort of tug-of-war. Pull them out through the chest cavity, this may prove difficult, and may require a second person to pull the deer's upper half the opposite way.
- After all the organs are loose and free-moving. Dump them out. Lift the head and upper part of the body and simply pour out the organs. This can be helped along with your hands, if needed or desired.
- After all the organs are removed you'll notice that the chest cavity is rather messy and bloody. You'll need to clean it out with a lot of water; a hose is best for this. Thoroughly rinse out the chest cavity and make sure you also clean the empty space where the esophagus and wind pipe were; simply put the end of the hose in the slit in the throat. Make sure you clean everything out nice and sparkly like, and you shouldn't use soap, it leaves a nasty taste.
The next steps aren't actually part of Field Dressing the deer, but I felt they should be included.
- Next, you'll want to hang the deer. Find a high beam inside your garage (place newspaper underneath) and hang the deer on it. You won't want to hang it outside because various animals and insects can feed off it, unless you are certain about the safety of the place you're hanging the deer. Hang the deer up much like you were hanging an outlaw in a spaghetti western.
- Next you have to skin the deer. This requires skill, and is not always done without damaging the meat, so don't worry about that too much. Start with the neck. Take that slit in the throat and cut the skin off the flesh and down. Once you cut enough skin away, not off, start to pull the skin downwards towards the rear end of the deer. Cutting the skin off where needed. There is usually a large amount of fat between the skin and the flesh, so all this is relatively easy. When you reach the legs of the deer, you should make a rather deep incision near the knees, and then cut parallel to the leg on the inside, and cut towards the chest cavity. The tail stub may also cause problems.
- Next you'll want to quarter the deer. Get a hacksaw and cut off the hind quarters as best you can. You'll also want to cut off the rib cage with the front legs attached; cut the spine in half length-wise. The head should also be severed at the point where you made the original slit in the deer's throat.
- With all this skinless, bloody meat heaps, you'd think you can start eating. WRONG. Get enough coolers/buckets/barrels to put the legs and ribs in them. The barrels should be filled with ice, salt, and water. More ice and salt than water. This will draw out the blood and salt the meat, preserving it and helping the flavor of the meat.
- After you finish salting the meat (it should take a few days, and you should add ice and salt often), you can begin butchering the meat to make steaks and hamburger meat. The larger and more burgundy in color, the better the meat for steaks or pot roast. The tenderloin also makes good steak meat. The ribs can be used, of course, but if you shot the deer, you have to remember that the bullet entry wound is more than likely there. There are parts of the deer that should not be eaten, the fat, most notably; these should be thrown away, or fed to a dog, or your mother-in-law.
Then comes the cooking, freezing, or whatever. That's up to you. So have fun. I suggest marinating everything and eating it straight off the grill. No special recipes or anything. And, possibly of most importance, venison is healthier than beef. Deer naturally have less fat and calories than cows. So, enjoy.