Crucial Tips How to Field Dress a Deer

If you are good at hunting, then you also have to master the art of dressing a deer while in the field. It should not be something that you are afraid, as the process is the same way you would do at home. You just have to make sure that you get to use all the right equipment and you will be done in no time. Below is the process on how to field dress a deer that you can follow today.

What you’ll need

  • Knives
  • Cloth or rag
  • Stretcher


1. Make sure the deer is dead

Do not be excited just yet because you shot a deer and it is down. You have to approach an injured or dead deer with caution as it might be thrashing about trying to escape. Approach the deer from the legs and be ready to take the finishing shot if the deer decides to run.

Well, you are not supposed to be trigger-happy and shoot when it is not necessary. Sometimes it can be the muscle contracting involuntarily, which might not always mean that the deer is alive. When you are now sure that the deer is dead, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Look for suitable dressing spots

Field-dressing-deer 2
You cannot just start dressing the deer anywhere, it is important that you get to find the best spot. A great spot would be an opening where you are visible to the other hunters. Working in a thick bush might make it hard for the other hunters to identify your position while bent over the deer.

When moving the deer to the chosen spot for dressing, you have to consider asking for assistance from another hunter or partner. A deer can be heavy and might lead to lower back injuries if you decide to just carry it on your own.

If possible, you could find an area with a small hill so that you place the deer on its back with the head on the uphill.

3. Organize the equipment for dressing

Just like a surgeon would be preparing for a surgery, you need to have your equipment for dressing the deer ready. Place the knife and another type of equipment on a cloth where you can easily access them whenever the need arises.

You might think organizing the equipment is not great, but be sure that it will help you account for all your tools. You might be surprised by the number of hunters who often loose their tools while in the wilderness dressing their catch.

Make sure that you get to relax at all times when it comes to dealing with knives. Sometimes hunters would cut themselves with knives out of being in a hurry or lacking to pay attention to this important process.

4. Make an incision from the breastbone

With the deer in place, it should be ready for the dressing process. Start by inserting the knife at the breastbone bottom. To make the first cut, keep the blade edge upward as it is important to help reduce the possibility of cutting any internal organs.

Keep the cut straight as you cut through the deer’s abdominal wall. At this whole time, you have to keep the blade edge always pointing upwards. As much as it will help to keep the knife from slicing the internal organs, it also helps to maintain the sharpness of the knife.

Another way of helping the knife maintain its sharpness is by inserting two finders to form a V shape as you cut the deer. The aim is to use the two fingers to pull the hide making it easy for the knife to cut through the abdomen.

When you reach the udder, penis, testicles, vagina, or anus, it is recommended that you get to cut around these parts. Be careful not to cut the urinary tract when cutting around such parts.

5. Remove the urinary tract and bladder

The bladder of the deer will be in a peer shaped form and found in the lower deer abdomen. You have to be careful while handling the bladder so that it does not rapture. Keep the urine from spilling onto the meat, as it will taint it. If you have the bladder and urinary tract free, you should easily pull it out and place it away from the good meat.

6. Roll out the internal organs

You can now easily have the internal organs easily removed from the abdominal cavity of the dressed deer. Keep the deer on its size as you roll out the different organs from its abdominal cavity. You might, however, have to cut the esophagus when removing the organs. Make sure to pinch the esophagus while cutting it so that no stomach content can easily spill into the cavity and taint the meat.

7. Clean the deer body cavity

You now have to deal with cleaning the carcass after you have removed some the internal organs from it. The body is now open and should easily be cleaned whenever you are ready. Just make sure that you do not contaminate your meat with debris and dirt. Use a lot of water for the cleaning part to clean out the body cavity.

8. Remove your dressed ear from the field

The process of deer dressing is over by now, you need to do is now carry your deer back home or camping site. It is always great if you have a way of carrying the meat rather than dragging it on the ground. If you plan on carrying it for longer, then you might want to get deer carts, a wheelbarrow or a stretcher.


Sometimes people think that dressing a deer in the field is going to be hard. As you can see, the whole process can just take you minutes if you become good at it. You simply have to make sure that you follow the steps to make it easy for you too. Do not end up forgetting meat such as heart and liver in the field as they can be quite great when prepared properly.

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