How To Gut (Field Dress) A Deer Step By Step For The Very First Time

What happens after you kill a deer? Not many hunters know the answer to this question.

They manage to successfully hunt down a deer but then they don’t know what to do next.

The answer is quite simple but the procedure is not. The best way to handle a deer directly after you make the kill is to gut it.

It’s also called as field dressing a deer. Learning how to field dress or gut a deer is one of the most difficult tasks of deer hunting. If you’ve watched someone perform this task in front of you a couple of times, then that can be really helpful. But if not, then you need to properly read through this guide that teaches you how to gut (field dress) a deer step by step.

While it may be a difficult procedure but it’s not a complicated one. The most important point to remember is that you need to have a specific timeline or routine that you absolutely must follow every single time in order to eventually make the process easier.

So follow the basic instructions below and learn how to gut a deer fast.

How to Field Dress a Deer?… Step By Step….

What you’ll need

  • Latex gloves
  • 2-3 big Ziploc freezer bags
  • ​Sharp knife with a gut hook
  • ​Halfway serrated blade
  • Heavy-duty paper napkins and wet wipes

How to gut (field dress) a deer step by step?


1.The Pre-Gutting Step

It is very important to carry out the 3 crucial steps before you actually begin the process of gutting. You have to quickly recover, tag, and then field dress the deer after you make the kill.

This needs to be done immediately because the meat has to begin cooling as quickly as possible. When hunting in extremely hot weather conditions, the process of recovering, tagging, and field dressing is carried out in an even quicker manner.

And since we’re talking about the pre-gutting procedure, please remember that your shot needs to be well placed. And that means no shooting through the intestines, stomach, or guts of the deer as that tends to mess with the meat.

Also, if your shot is not placed correctly, you will have to go through the trouble of letting the deer sit for a few hours and maybe even overnight before you begin the process of tracking. And this might cause some serious problems that can completely ruin the joy of successfully hunting down the game.

2.Gather All the Right Tools

The best way to field dress a deer is to make sure that you have convenient access to all the right kinds of tool and hunting equipment required for the job. This significantly helps in saving time and, most importantly, irritation.

So preparing your own gutting or field dressing kit with the supplies that I have listed above can really go a long way in not only helping you learn how to properly field dress a deer but also in speeding up the process.

3.Position the Deer

How to gut a deer step by step

The first crucial step to take when learning to gut a deer step by step is to position the deer properly. So once your field dressing kit is ready and by your side, turn the deer so it’s lying on its back. The hind legs need to be spread out.

And the deer’s head should be positioned slightly uphill. This is done so that the deer can drain out properly. Also, removing the organs in this position becomes much easier.

4.Make the Cut

How to gut a deer fast? By making a precision cut. If you’ve hunted down a buck, then you will have to begin from the bottom. So removing the reproductive organ and testicles is the first task. And if you’ve hunted down a doe, then the first cut is pointed towards the udder.

The next step is to use the hole that is left behind as an entry point to carry out the rest of the procedure.

How to gut a deer step by step

If you’re cutting with a knife that has a gut hook, then all you need to do is hook the tip and gently pull its handle upwards in the direction of the chest of the deer. That’s the best way to field dress a deer.

On the other hand, with a basic blade knife, simply push the tip into the deer’s skin and begin the process of cutting in an upward motion. Stop right before the breastbone. At this stage, please remember that you need to continue pointing the tip of the knife upwards so as to prevent the guts, intestines, or stomach from getting punctured.

5.Cut Off the Trachea

The reason why I told you to stop before the breastbone is because in this region you have to use a halfway serrated blade to cut through the center. And this is where you will absolutely need those latex gloves if you’ve not already put them on. Use your off hand to get into the throat of the deer and locate the trachea tube.

Once you’ve found the trachea, disconnect it using the dominant hand. After cutting it off, pull the trachea tube downwards towards the deer’s bottom region.

how to gut field dress a deer step by step

6.Take Out the Organs

Removing the organs from the deer is a very crucial process. So if you want to gut a deer step by step, then make sure that you know this procedure well enough.

As you pull the trachea tube downwards, start cutting the connecting tissues of all the entrails and organs. But please make sure that you pull out the organs in a single piece. The lungs and heart will be the first two organs to be pulled out from the chest cavity region. While the intestines and stomach the next two from the lower cavity region.

After completing this procedure, go back to the starting point. Now cut from the back legs right down till the anus. This clearly exposes the pelvic region, which literally gives way to safely take out the bladder and the large intestine’s lower portion.

7.The Post-Gutting Step

The last procedure to carry out in this guide that shows you how to gut a deer step by step is to flip the emptied out deer back over with the legs spread wide enough. You keep the deer in this position so it can drain properly.

If you’re hunting a little before the actual hunting season or when the weather is slightly warm, then I would advise you to take out the inner tenderloins from the deer and keep them in the Ziploc freezer bags.

(3 best deer hunting times you need to know)

That’s a wrap!

If you want to learn how to gut (field dress) a deer step by step, then follow the instructions thoroughly and you’ll soon be able to carry out the whole procedure like a pro. Just remember that it might take a while before you learn how to properly field dress a deer. So don’t get aggravated or discouraged if the whole process seems a tad too complicated at first.

Just keep in mind; the process that is taking quite a while now will soon become a 15-minute job in the near future. Pretty neat, isn’t it? So good luck fellow hunters!

Did you find the detailed instructions helpful and were they easy to understand? Please let me know in the comments section below what you think about this article or about how to gut a deer in the field.

You might also wa​nt to learn more:

Leave a Reply