From my first days as a deer hunter, I was taught the only way to butcher a deer is to field dress it, drag it out of the field, and bring it back to camp where it can be hung up by its hind legs. From there, you skin and de-bone the deer to prepare it for the freezer. It wasn’t until much later in my hunting career, when I started traveling to hunt, that I learned several other butchering techniques. Now that I’ve discovered the gutless method, it has become my preferred process to quarter a deer or any big-game animal. The video above will show you how to use the gutless method.
The gutless method is simple, clean, and super efficient for quartering big-game animals in the field. There are so many advantages to using the gutless method, but I’ll point to several:
Less mess: No need to get bloody up to your elbows.
Cleaner meat: By avoiding exposure to entrails, you’re less likely to taint meat with undesirable digestive matter.
Easier carcass disposal: When you bring a full body back to camp, you’ll need to find somewhere to dispose of the carcass after butchering. With the gutless method, you can usually leave the carcass in the field.
Getting meat out of remote areas: When you’re hunting in the backcountry, at walk-in areas, or even in the deepwoods, dragging an animal back to your truck can be exhausting and unnecessary. When you use the gutless method, remember you can bone-out the meat in the field if you want to lighten your load for the pack-out.
Be sure you’re up to speed on laws regarding what cuts are required to be taken off the animal, what parts might need to be retained for evidence of sex, and any rules that apply to meat transportation (including new CWD legislation).