Field Dressing & Skinning
These 2 procedures are not especially technical, but do require a degree of skill which can be acquired over time. Basically like anything in life, you get better at it the more often you carry it out and before too long it becomes second nature. Each of these disciplines need to be undertaken as soon as possible after the kill.
Whitetail Deer Field Dressing
The initial action needs to be to cut a circle around the rear end, totally freeing it and, as a consequence, enabling it to be removed from within. Then using a strong knife and starting at or somewhere close to the pelvis, open up the stomach cavity and ribcage. It is important at this stage however to ensure that you take great care to only cut through the skin and a very thin layer of meat, it is essential that the entrails are avoided.
Continue up through the breastbone and neck of the animal right up to the base of its skull. You will need to sever the windpipe and esophagus here; however, if you are intending to mount the head do not go above the ribcage. Next take away the diaphragm and then allow the whitetail to roll onto its side, before getting stuck in literally and helping the animal's organs to slip out - certainly not for the squeamish!
Be extra vigilant when taking out the bladder, as spilling urine on to the meat is not a good idea at all. Give the cavity you have created a thorough clean out to rid it of any remaining debris. This, in essence, is what field dressing a whitetail deer entails. So just to reiterate the points of action:
- find yourself a very strong knife;
- cut a circle around the anus of the animal;
- open up the ribcage with a cut starting at the pelvis;
- make sure you cut as thinly as possible;
- cut through to the base of the skull;
- sever both the windpipe and esophagus;
- remove the diaphragm;
- ease out the deer's organs;
- take extra care removing the bladder;
- clear out any debris in the resultant cavity;
- ensure your stomach is up to it!.
Whitetail Deer Skinning
Knowing how to skin a whitetail dear is something anybody who partakes in the field sport should familiarize themselves with. It certainly is not the most pleasant of activities, but once completed it is rewarding. These are the main points of action for skinning:
- take photos of the whitetail before skinning;
- skin the animal whilst it is still warm;
- hang from a tree with a specialist hook;
- alternatively hang by its antlers;
- insert a cut just behind the shoulders;
- saw off the legs at the knees;
- skin around the upper part of its joints;
- tie a rope around the hide and pull away.