Author Topic: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?  (Read 2134 times)

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Offline teddy12b

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How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« on: October 26, 2009, 07:56:49 am »
I'm getting better, but I have only field dressed two deer so far and it took me forever because I didn't know what I was doing.  How long does it take you to gut a deer from the time you make the first cut to the time you're done.  I don't want to say how long it took me last year.


Offline billy_56081

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 08:10:09 am »
5 to 10 minutes.
99% of all Lawyers give the other 1% a bad name. What I find hilarious about this is they are such an arrogant bunch, that they all think they are in the 1%.

Offline mechanic

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 09:29:17 am »
5 min. tops.  Start at the bottom, work up to the breast bone.  Don't cut the bone.  Just reach both hands up to the esophagus and with a small knife in one cut through.  Cut out the genitals on the back and dump it all out.

If I'm on private land, I usually try and bury / dispose of the gut pile.  If on our lease, we have a designated spot for this.  We hunt coyotes there later.
Molon Labe, (King Leonidas of the Spartan Army)

Offline Dinny

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 09:49:36 am »
It usually takes me only 10-15 mins.  I received a few tips when I got my first deer.
  • Hang it up for field dressing, gravity helps
  • If you can't hang it up, try cleaning it on a hillside, same idea, gravity helps
  • Don't wash it out with creek water, something in the water spoils the meat faster
  • Try not to puncture any organs, especially the bladder, bile spoils the taste

Hope it helps.

~Dinny
Handi Family: 357 Max M158, 18 3/4" 356 Win, 45 LC, 28" 45-70, 30-40 Krag, 6.5x51R, 20ga Rifled Tracker II, 300 BLK, 44 Mag Talo

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Offline teddy12b

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 10:14:37 am »
The way I was shown, and maybe not the best, was to open the belly first.  Then cut straight up to the ribs and after cleaning out the diaphram cut the esophagus, then take care of everything in the bottom area.  I was told not to cut organs or spill any fluids on the meat, but if there is snow on the ground to put some in as soon as I'm done to get the meat cooling down quicker.

Offline Buckskin

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 10:38:05 am »
It usually takes me only 10-15 mins.  I received a few tips when I got my first deer.
  • Hang it up for field dressing, gravity helps
  • If you can't hang it up, try cleaning it on a hillside, same idea, gravity helps
  • Don't wash it out with creek water, something in the water spoils the meat faster
  • Try not to puncture any organs, especially the bladder, bile spoils the taste

Hope it helps.

~Dinny

That something in the water is WATER.  Moisture promotes bacteria growth.  Don't wash the cavity out with water or snow.  Best thing to do is get it gutted, hung and skinned asap.

Buckskin

"I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.   --John Wayne

Offline Buckskin

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009, 10:41:20 am »
By the way, what difference does it make how fast you can get it done.  Hurrying just increases the chance of you poking that knife into your rist or popping the stomach/bladder, etc.  Take your time and get it done right and you will end up having something that looks like it came from a butcher and not the rendering plant....
Buckskin

"I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.   --John Wayne

Offline bilmac

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2009, 10:51:57 am »
I dress lots of deer and antelopes (9 this year between the wife and me) and I think maybe the answers so far are a little on the short side, I think it takes more than 5 min to dress a rabbit. I don't time myself, but I think 15 minutes is closer to what it takes to do a nice job. I have a tiny little Gerber saw so I do split the pelvis and sternum. I used to do this with a knife but that is kind of a dangerous thing to do.

I start by skinning the udder or (censored word) off. Then I try to get the anus cut loose. Then I cut the muscle down to the pelvis with  the knife, and then split the pelvis with the saw. Back to the knife to open the abdomen up to the sternum, and cut the muscle down the centerline of the sternum. Slip a couple of fingers between the viscera and the wall of the abdomen, and put just the very tip of your knife between them to open the wall up. This will usually keep you from cutting the guts. After you have the abdomen opened and the muscle cut over the sternum, cut it with the saw. Then back to the knife to cut the neck up the centerline to about the laranx. Then cut through the windpipe and trachea, and grab them and start pulling them down towards the butt, working things loose with your knife. You will have quite a bit of cutting to do around the heart, and then most of the diaphram will have to be cut. I do this by cutting it on the top side of the critter, then rolling it over and cutting it loose on that side. Then you should be able to just roll everything out over the hind legs. You will probably have to do some more work around the anus, it's hard to get it on the first try.

I take pride in having a nice job when I finish and the only blood is on my hands and tools and usually these can be cleaned up on the site. You will get better with practice, but I don't see any purpose in making a race out of it, the hunt is over, take your time and study how the critter is put together. I don't know why it is, but lots guys get more worked up dressing out a critter, huffing and puffing with blood and guts flying everywhere than they do while hunting.

Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 10:54:31 am »
Depends if I am showing someone.
but 10 min at the most.
It just seems like a long time.

Offline teddy12b

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 11:42:11 am »
Now I don't feel so bad.  Last time took me almost an hour of showing my father in law what I was doing and double checking everything before cutting.  I took a few break and at one time we tried to hang the deer up with rope from a tree and even though it didn't work out it took a lot of time. 

Do you all wear gloves?  I never have.

Offline Dinny

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 11:44:49 am »
It usually takes me only 10-15 mins.  I received a few tips when I got my first deer.
  • Hang it up for field dressing, gravity helps
  • If you can't hang it up, try cleaning it on a hillside, same idea, gravity helps
  • Don't wash it out with creek water, something in the water spoils the meat faster
  • Try not to puncture any organs, especially the bladder, bile spoils the taste

Hope it helps.

~Dinny

That something in the water is WATER.  Moisture promotes bacteria growth.  Don't wash the cavity out with water or snow.  Best thing to do is get it gutted, hung and skinned asap.




So you don't even rinse it out later with clean water ???  I would think that any leftover blood in the cavity would promote bacteria growth more than a little moisture left in there from rinsing it with a garden hose after it was hung.

Thanks, Dinny

Handi Family: 357 Max M158, 18 3/4" 356 Win, 45 LC, 28" 45-70, 30-40 Krag, 6.5x51R, 20ga Rifled Tracker II, 300 BLK, 44 Mag Talo

A Medic's job is not necessarily to save lives but, rather, to instill the confidence in those around him to take any necessary risk.

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Offline Dinny

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 11:46:54 am »
Do you all wear gloves?  I never have.

It's never a bad idea to wear gloves.  Latex exam gloves work just fine too. ;)


~Dinny
Handi Family: 357 Max M158, 18 3/4" 356 Win, 45 LC, 28" 45-70, 30-40 Krag, 6.5x51R, 20ga Rifled Tracker II, 300 BLK, 44 Mag Talo

A Medic's job is not necessarily to save lives but, rather, to instill the confidence in those around him to take any necessary risk.

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Offline mcwoodduck

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 12:03:11 pm »
I now wear gloves.
I go to the $1 store and get the dish washing gloves that go up to you elbows.
helps keep the blood off.
I find it really funny that when I put them in the pack or in the truck all my buddies give me greif about them and a few wise cracks about being camp witch, we are going hunting not to do the dishes....
You can write your own jokes.
But they are the first inline with their hands out asking for a pair when they have a critter down.
hen I was getting ready to dress the pig in the picture.  The guide jumped in.  Again making all kinds of jokes but then took the spare pair of gloves and dressed out the pig.  He took all the spare pairs I had and commented on how easy it was to clean up after.
After use in the feild I simply turn one isnide the other and all the blood in on the unside and back into the Zip - lock bag I carry other items in and toss it out when we get back to camp or near the trash.

Offline Lon371

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 02:02:35 pm »
Depends if I am showing someone.
but 10 min at the most.
It just seems like a long time.


That's because I can not wait to get back to the stand ;)

I do wear gloves when I think of it. Most of the time I am to excited and forget.

Like a few others mentioned, it takes me 10-15 minutes. I don't rush and don't want my blood in the deer.
 I use a knife with a gut hook on the back, makes things a little easier.

Dinny
  I have always washed out my deer with the hose. I have had deer with the bloody taste, not sure if it were because it wasn't cleaned or not. But after washing out a boat load of deer, I have never had spoiled meat from washing them out.

 Gut pile, When out in the field field dressing them. I usually leave the pile at the opposite end  from where we are hunting. Although I have seen deer walk a few yards from piles before and not bother them at all. I am thinking they have never seen where that stuff comes from, so they probably don't know ;)

Lonny


Offline schoolmaster

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2009, 03:52:14 pm »
I also take my time but over the years I have gotten faster. I use a Gerber saw to split the pelvis and the rib cage and a gut hook to unzip the abdomen. My knife is used to cut the wind pipe up as high as I can and  Y cut around the genitals. I get both ends loose then go in and cut the diaphram loose turning the deer from side to side to do so. I then roll out the paunch, intestines, and other internal organs and cut the ends free, with any luck the whole caboodle comes out in one piece.  I turn the animal over belly side down and spread out its legs to keep it in that position so the blood will drain out while I am getting my vehicle and/or deer sled. I prop open the rib cage to let the animal cool. When I get it home, I skin it as soon as possible and hose out the inside. The key is getting the hide off to let the deer cool out properly. I process my own deer and and these corn fed Indiana animals are superb eating.

Offline KenSel

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2009, 06:12:34 pm »
it takes me about 15min, and I always wear gloves.  You should always wear gloves especially in the early season or anytime you're hunting in a warmer climate.  Deer walk through and bed down in poison oak and ivy, and there are a lot of blood bourne pathogens.  I never used gloves when I was growing up, but then a friend of the family had an open sore on his hand and field dressed a deer and he durn near kicked the bucket.  he contracted something similar to lymes disease, can't remember the name but I'll bet he can!  since then I've always got a few pairs of latex surgical gloves on me.  Don't waste your money on the orange plastic ones that go up to your shoulder!  get some surgical latex or the heavy duty Mr. Clean kitchen gloves (that's what I wore in CA when the temps can reach 100 degrees during hunting season and the hogs and deer were covered with parasites and lived in lots of poison ivy.

Ken

Offline Buckskin

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2009, 08:50:35 am »

That something in the water is WATER.  Moisture promotes bacteria growth.  Don't wash the cavity out with water or snow.  Best thing to do is get it gutted, hung and skinned asap.


So you don't even rinse it out later with clean water ???  I would think that any leftover blood in the cavity would promote bacteria growth more than a little moisture left in there from rinsing it with a garden hose after it was hung.

Thanks, Dinny

[/quote]
Blood doesn't hurt anything.  If you prefer, just wipe it down with some paper towel when hanging.  The only thing that I would consider using water for would be for stomach content or urine. And I would use it with paper towel also to limit the amount used. You really don't eat much that's in the cavity anyway aside from the tenderloins.  I also don't split the pelvis, just cut around the colon and pull out.  That also limits how much meat is exposed to air and bacteria.  Like I said, best thing to to is get it hanging and skinned ASAP so it can get cooled off and that pelicle on it to prevent bacteria.

By the way is anyone else having a problem posting here when quoting? Text keeps jumping up and down while typing...
Buckskin

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Offline Dinny

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2009, 12:57:18 pm »
By the way is anyone else having a problem posting here when quoting? Text keeps jumping up and down while typing...

There were technical difficulties last night and perhaps you were posting just before the site went south. 


~Dinny
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Offline Buckskin

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2009, 04:48:34 pm »
By the way Dinny, thanks for your proud service to our country!
Buckskin

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Offline Dinny

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Re: How long does it take you to field dress a deer?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2009, 05:07:08 pm »
By the way Dinny, thanks for your proud service to our country!


No problem, it's an honor to serve!!!
Handi Family: 357 Max M158, 18 3/4" 356 Win, 45 LC, 28" 45-70, 30-40 Krag, 6.5x51R, 20ga Rifled Tracker II, 300 BLK, 44 Mag Talo

A Medic's job is not necessarily to save lives but, rather, to instill the confidence in those around him to take any necessary risk.

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