Hunting deer and elk is a lot of fun but as my good friend John Peterson from H and H Meats in Missoula points out: “The work starts when the game is down.”
Every good hunter knows that how you take care of your game is important in how it’s going to taste on the table.
Field dressing your animal properly is the first step in making sure your deer or elk will result in a great meal.
While everyone has the same goal, many have their own style of field dressing and there’s always room to learn new tricks.
One DVD video that will help you learn more about it is titled : “How field dressing a deer, in about a minute.” This video is from Cimarron Outdoors based out of Texas and features Robert Griffith, a lifelong hunter, guide, professional taxidermist and processor.
Griffith has a six-step process when he field dresses deer. During the video he does an excellent job of explaining step by step on how he does it.
After viewing his six-step process, a couple of items caught my eye.
First, Griffith uses a small sharp knife to do his field dressing. It works well for him because he is able to make incisions where he needs to without cutting things that he doesn’t want to cut.
Griffith also promotes just using the small knife without the help of a game saw. The only drawback I see to field dressing this way is getting the heat out to avoid spoilage – especially if you’re working on a big animal like an elk or moose.
By cutting through the rib cage with a saw you open up the cavity better and you also can remove most of the windpipe.
Second, Griffith also is against washing the blood out of the body cavity. In fact, he goes out of his way to discourage washing out the blood. He points out that when the blood dries it actually helps seal-out the potential for bacteria before you process the animal.
The six-step technique is very straightforward and I think would be very helpful for a young or first time hunter to view. It will enable them to grasp the idea of how to field dressing an animal properly.
While Griffith does actually field dress a deer for you on the DVD in a little over a minute, it’s not so much how long it takes him do it that makes this a valuable tool for any hunter. Take as much time as you need to do the job well.
Griffith’s method of cutting only soft tissue with the knife and not bone has the added benefit of keeping your knife sharp for the next animal if you get more that one on your trip.
In addition to the field dressing, Cimarron Outdoors has added a combination of five archery and rifle hunts that I found entertaining. The cost of the video is $14.95 plus shipping from Cimarronoutdoor.com or you can purchase the DVD for only $13.99 at any Bob Wards location.