How to Field Dress a Deer By
A step by step guide to gutting a whitetail deer. Every deer hunter should know how to field dress a deer.

1. Get some gloves and eye protection for your own safety.

2. Grab the deer's hide to the side of the sternum and begin to slice from the sternum to the reproductive organs. Be careful not to puncture the intestines. A knife with a sharp hook on it works well.

3. Remove the reproductive organs. Cut the excess hide off in this area.

4. Cut around the anus until it is free from the tail and hind legs.

5. Cut down through the tendons above the pelvic bone. You will feel the legs relax a little bit if you do it properly.

6. Saw through the pelvic bone. I use a zip saw which works very well. It's basically a cable with rough, sharp edges that you slide under the pelvic bone and quickly cut through the bone. It's much safer and doesn't make a mess. At this point you should easily be able to spread the legs apart. I now finish freeing the rectum and any remaining reproductive organs.

7. Next I find the sternum and cut down into the chest cavity. If I do not plan on mounting the deer, I will cut up a few inches through the chest and ribs to make the next step easier. You also need to cut the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the rest of the body.

8. I then reach into the chest to cut the esophagus up near the front of the chest cavity. My father described it to my brother the other day as feeling like a small vacuum tube. Be very careful not to cut yourself here since you cannot see the knife.

9. Start pulling. Most of the organs should come out with a little tug. You may need to do a little bit of knife work if anything is being too stubborn. Be careful that you do not destroy the tenderloins.

10. All I have left is the rectum which should still be in place under the pelvic bone and connected to the intestines. I carefully remove the rectum with a few slices underneath it if necessary.

11. At this point there should only be a large empty cavity. I usually make sure that there are no debris and pull out any large chunks of fat. I then prop open the chest cavity with a stick to allow the deer to cool.
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