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Do you gut your deer?

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I've never heard of that, most of our deer are 1/2 mile in the woods or more, I wouldn't want to drag the guts that far. I've been even thinking about boning it out in the field and packing it back in a meat bag so I could avoid the weight of the hide and bones
In some places, Arkansas being one, CWD (chronic wasting disease) is an issue. Now, law here, a downed deer must be quartered and all usable meat taken but rest of carcass must be left in the woods. FWIW, I always field dressed to aid in cooling down and ease of removing from woods. In the Ozarks is it always uphill both ways, in and out. 😉
Other than perhaps having a tractor with a bucket, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to bring a deer out of the woods without gutting it.

5-10 minutes at most to gut a deer and leave the gut pile for the scavengers.
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I have always gutted my game immediately after shooting it. One year I brought my son's deer and mine to a butcher, it cost $120 . We got a total of 120 pounds of meat, but that was the first and last time for me. I have always skinned, butchered, and wrapped my animal. with my arthritis and back acting up and turning 80 this year, I will probably need help.
My first one, the old man showed me how, the rest were on me. I paid attention and learned well. Never tried the gutless method, probably never will. When I go home to hunt, I take them to a processor (relatives). They will skin, cut and wrap and have it frozen so I can take it back with me. Deer I kill here I do myself. I do however use a golf ball instead of a skinning knife these days to get the hide off. And most days the sweet rolls (inner loins) get cut out and eaten pretty quick, usually before the first cuts are made. I even clean squirrels in the woods before going home. I bring a gallon jug of water and ziplock bags. I hunted with a military buddy's family in the UP a long time ago, they gut, skin and hang in the barn until the carcass gets mold on it. I was always taught the quicker you got it in the freezer the better. I've only ever gut shot one deer in my life, hopefully never do it again.
We always field dressed our deer but that was in SW NEBRASKA and those cornfed deer were big and anything we could do to lighten the load dragging them out of river bottoms to a road was helpful.
Back when the processing fee wasn't too bad, I would kill one, remove the tarsal glands, gut it, wash it out really well and let the processor skin it and cut it up. I knew very few people that paid to have their deer gutted, we all did it in the field.

When the fees got over $100, I would skin and quarter a deer and take it to the processor as a "cooler" deer which cost about $50 if I had breakfast sausage made, $40 for a basic cut and burger. I have since started butchering deer myself.

I took my first deer this year to the processor because I wanted a lot of sausage made. I noticed a bunch of deer stacked outside (opening week) waiting to go to the cooler, 7 out of 10 had not been gutted. I asked my butcher about this; he said guys were either too lazy or didn't know how to gut a deer now. He said he charged $25 to gut a deer and bought an almost new pick-up truck every year from his deer gutting fees.

I always though field dressing deer was part of the process of killing one, I guess times have changed.
yep. times have changed. i still gut and skin my deer. sometimes i will take deer meat completely deboned to get snack sticks and summer sausage made most of time i just do it myself. lot of guys dont know how to do this. times have changed
Yes walk up slit throat side to side, angle head down hill then gut on the spot.
Kinda like this?



I almost got gored by a mean, nasty little 4 point once….Never again.👍
Once killed a deer too late in the day. Still legal by the game regs but knew I did not have the light, time, or energy to deal with it properly. Should not have shot it, but did.
Gutted it and submerged it in a cold stream with some rocks in the cavity to weight it down. Back early the next day and finished dressing it to quarters. Meat was fine.
Kinda like this?

View attachment 294702


I almost got gored by a mean, nasty little 4 point once….Never again.👍
Do you let them bleed out and die for the typical half hour after the shot and then slit the throat or do you get right on them after the shot to bleed them out faster? I did that when I raised pigs, head shot then immediately cut juggler, was supposed to help with meat taste I believe. Never thought about it with deer until now. My pigs didn't have antlers and I still was not fond of that job lol
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Seems to be required in Vermont so if there’s some question about whether a deer was in the right zone to be legally harvested, the hunter can take a warden to the gut pile. This year 2 hunters got turned away at a local deer checking station for bringing in a deer that wasn’t gutted. They had to take it back and gut it and bring it back to the checking station!
I've always gutted them where they fall. Cutting the throat is a waste of time, they have already bled out internally. Throat cutting is for slaughtering hogs, to save the blood.

I've also always processed my own deer, antelope, bear, elk, and buffalo. With deer and antelope in particular, you can do a clean skinning and gutting job. However, when they get to the butcher, they are all cut and mixed with everyone else's meat. Then you get back SOME of your meat, with someone else's gut shot hairy carcass deer added in. Much better to learn to do it yourself.

A couple other things, washing out a carcass isn't a good thing. It promotes bacteria growth. a thin coat of blood coagulates on the body cavity, and helps protect the meat.

Meat saws are a bad thing on deer an antelope. The bone marrow in those will spoil the flavor of the meat. I'm not all that hot on using them on the larger animals either, and don't.
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I always gut deer before moving them. If it's cold I hang it overnight. I use a small local processor who I trust to keep each deer separate. I've watched him so I know he does.
When my daughter started hunting with me I taught her to do the same thing. This year was my last hunt with her due to the cancer. Here's her and her husband with the nice doe she got. She was using my old peep sighted Marlin 30-30 I gave her. 108 yard shot. I was carrying my last flintlock I finished in 2021. Proud pop was taking the picture.


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Deer season in Texas can be warm! My method for 40 years has been to hang the deer right after shooting and tagging and do the gutless cleaning. Meat comes off and on ice. Always turned out good. Never took any meat to have sauage made after first trip. I deboned all three deer that were shot in the head and place making the sauage said they did not mix meat with other hunters meat when making sauage. I had no bone fragments in the meat when delivered to be made into sauage. The sauage I got back had bone fragments in every link! I was told a lie just to get them some more business! I never went back. A friend and I bought the equipment and learned how to make our own sauage.
I knew I had a winner when I took my new wife hunting with me 40 years ago, she held the light while I field dressed a gut shot deer after dark, she never even said "yuk" and stuck it out through the procedure.

I only use the gutless method on road kills which often have had their insides turned into putrid mush.

I don't use the gutless method because I love deer ribs; I leave the flank meat on them, cut them up into serving size pieces, pressure cook them for 30 minutes, coat them with olive oil and my favorite rib rub and brown them over charcoal with a lot of hickory thrown in for a smokey taste.

I love the heart and liver as well.
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