Bringing a deer to the butcher is the way most hunters opt for after the deer is down. Field dressing is daunting and if you are tired from a long day on the hunt, then mistakes can be made.
Learning how to field dress a deer is a skill that every hunter should master even if you do still plan to have it professionally butchered for the most part.
The more skills we have as hunters, the better. Besides, some people don’t have a local butcher that can take care of dressing your deer for you.
In this article, we will leave the hot to guide for another time and focus instead on the essential tools you’ll need for when you decide to take on field dressing your deer.
Yes, it is plural for a reason. There are different knives for different jobs so you’ll need to have more than one. These knives should also be very sharp so make sure you know how to sharpen your knives. This is for your safety as well as making your life easier. One of the most dangerous tools out there is a dull knife.
Have at least two different knives with you. A heavy, strong fixed blade knife is good to cut through sinew and thick hide. While a flexible, thin knife will be able to carve out the meat cleanly.
Make sure you are getting the best knife your budget allows for as you need them to be durable. Knife prices are not that high so you can get good quality without breaking the bank.
You don’t want to have to carry too much and you may not have a lot of space in your bag, but try to have a bone saw with you to get through those thick bones. There are foldable saws that take up little room and are easy to carry.
You’ll be happy to have it as you can process a deer much faster with one. Not to mention that smaller pieces make it easy to bag up and transport back home.
It would be nice if you were to shoot your deer early in the day and have the rest of the afternoon to field dress it. As many hunters know, things rarely go according to plan. In case you shoot your deer late in the day, you need to have a way to see in the twilight while dressing it.
Have a headlamp and even another source of light to be able to safely and quickly dress your deer.
Rope and sled
You’ll need to be able to move a heavy beast both before and after processing. You can’t control where the deer will go down and it could happen in a spot where you can’t do the dressing.
Once it is finished, you’ll also want to be able to get it back to the car without making multiple trips. Have a rope and sled to pull the carcass along back to your truck to make your life easier.