How do you gut a deer? How do you skin a deer? What is the process to get the meat off the deer? These are some of the question you might ask when confronted with processing a deer. Processing a deer is not a short task but a relatively easy one.
The first, step in processing a deer is to gut it, this is easy but you have to be careful not to cut the intestines, because if you do, you will have a big mess that is not fun to clean up. Let's start with what kind of knife you will need. There are knives made just for this purpose they are called gutting knives, but there are also regular knives with what looks like a hook at the top of the blade which is called a gutter and is used for the same purpose. The first step in gutting is to make a cut between the hind legs "but make sure that it is only through the hide" up to the rib cage. Now that you have the hide cut you should be able to see a red spot located where you cut between the hind legs. You will want to pull up on this spot the reason you are pulling up on it is so you don't cut the intestines open, now cut the belly open up to the rib cage. With this done the intestines should start to come out of the deer's belly. Now you will want to split the rib cage open by simply cutting it down the middle, this is so you can get to the heart and lungs. Once you have the rib cage split you can reach in there and pull the heart and lungs back. There should be a thin layer of skin holding them in there cut that layer where ever you see it now do the same with the guts. Now for the finish since you have cut the skin that is holding the guts in tip your deer up and they should fall out or if you want you can pull them out with your hands but tipping the deer up is less of a mess. Now you have the deer gutted. Since you have the deer gutted it is time to move on to skinning the deer.
The skinning process is not a hard task, a bit time consuming the first time but not hard. First, you need to cut the front legs down; you will want to cut them off right below where the leg bends. Next are the hind legs these are a little bit different, there is a thick part in the leg where a tendon is located then right below that the leg gets smaller again. You will want to cut it off where the leg starts to get smaller. The reason you don't want to cut the tendon is because you will need it to hang the deer later. Now it is time to cut the head off to start this you will want to cut the throat right below the chin now just keep cutting until you have the head off. Now we are going to actually get in to the skinning process. We will start with the hind legs grab a sharp knife and cut under the hide on the in-side of the leg you will want to cut it all the way down to the belly. Now go back to the top of the leg and pull the hide back you just split using your knife, work the hide down off the leg but make sure not to cut the tendon in the back of the leg and so the same to the other hind leg. Now you can hang the deer. There are hangers made for this they have hooks on each end and they hang in trees or from your ceiling. To hang the deer you will want to take the tendons on the back of the hind legs and put them in the hooks on the hanger the tendon will support the weight so don't worry about it breaking. Now back to skinning since you have the hide off the hind legs getting it off the body is easy just pull it down until you reach the front legs it should just come right down. Now for the front legs you will want to get your knife up under the hide where you cut the leg off at and cut it forward towards the rib cage. Next pull the hide off of both front legs and pull it down to the neck. Now you won't be able to just pull it off from here you will have to work it off by pulling it down and cutting it loose with your knife it's not hard but it is time consuming. Well once you have the skin off from around the neck the next step is the process of getting the meat off the deer the easiest part of processing a deer.
This is the final step getting the meat off the deer. First, off you will want to grab the front leg and pull it away from the body now in the gap take your knife and cut it right off at the shoulder. Now for getting the meat off of it this is simple just cut all the red meat off of the bone it is that simple. Do the same thing to the other front leg and now you have one third of the meat off of the deer. Now for the tenderloin make a cut just below the hips from the spine on both sides about three inches over now take your knife and cut down right along the spine on both sides and then go back up to the firs cut you made and go to the end of it and cut it down also. With this done go back to the first cut you made and pull out on the tenderloin now if your deer is cold then the tenderloin will peel right off but if not then you will have to take your knife and help it off the ribs do this on both sides and you will have the tenderloins off. All that is left is the hind legs so you will start off by cutting the spine loose because there is no need for the rib cage any more now there is a bone in the middle of the legs holding them together you will want to cut that in half. Taking the meat off the hind legs is just as easy as the front legs simply just cut all the red meat off the bone. Now you can cut the meat any way you want there is no special way to do it so cut it to your liking.
In conclusion the process of processing a deer is not short by all means but is not a hard one either. Now the next time you are confronted with processing a deer you will know just what to do and this will also save you money because now you won't have to pay a shop to process it for you.