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10 Field Dressing Mistakes Everyone Makes Once

As hunters, we all make mistakes, not only when it comes to actually hunting, but even after the harvest. These are 10 field dressing mistakes we’ve all made.

Did you butcher a deer this year while field dressing it? You’re not the only one, as everyone makes mistakes field dressing. These 10 field dressing mistakes are ones everyone has made at least once.

1. Waiting too long

Many times after shooting a deer, or other similar big game animal, the person who shot the animal celebrates, and takes pictures while showing off their kill to their buddies. If you do this too long though, depending on how the animal was shot, it can spoil.

Don’t prolong the inevitable, and just get it over with.

2. Using the wrong tools

How many times have you hit the woods not fully expecting to harvest an animal, but you end up having a successful hunt? Always be prepared with a quality knife.

The joy of shooting a harvesting an animal can quickly become frustrating with a dull knife or not having gloves and getting an existing cut infected.

3. Puncturing the stomach

This could quite possibly be the worst smelling mistake we all make. You dive in, all ready to get your animal gutted as fast as possible, and boom, knife into the stomach, and a smell you won’t soon forget will erupt out of that animal.

4. Ruining the tenderloins

I can remember a time this happened to me. It usually occurs when you’re in a rush, and you’re just slashing away while cutting.

Be careful to preserve those tenderloins, they’re the best meat on the whole animal.

5. You forgot about the diaphragm

You shoot a deer, celebrate, and then when you gut it, you get the stomach organs out and call it good. We’ve all forgot about reaching up into the diaphragm and cutting out the heart and lungs at some point or another.

6. Not getting help

After shooting an animal you will more than likely feel on top of the world. This doesn’t mean do everything by yourself. We’ve all tried and struggled.

Wait for help to arrive so your buddy or whomever it may be can assist you while you’re elbow deep in a deer.

7. Didn’t want to deal with the anus

It’s not that bad, if you’re not exactly sure how to cut out the anus of a deer, don’t just not do it.

Ask for help, because it is a critical part of the field dressing process.

8. Not tagging your kill

Everyone forgets at least once. Make sure after you field dress your animal to put that tag on it. Often, many times, we are so excited about our kill, after we field dress it, we just want to get it out of the field as quickly as possible.

Take the two seconds to put that tag on first.

9. Going to fast

We’ve all made the mistake of cutting everything we can until the guts magically fall out. Slow down and be methodical. Look at where the organs are attached and cut with a purpose.

10. Not paying attention

How many people do you know that have cut themselves while field dressing an animal? It can be easy to lose sight of your hands when covered in blood and organs. Make sure you feel where your cutting, and watch out for cutting yourself.

We all make mistakes when deer hunting, and field dressing is no different. We’re bound to make these mistakes when field dressing, the important thing is to learn from these mistakes and apply them to your next kill.

Did you enjoy this article? You can read many more great deer hunting articles by Alex Comstock on his blog WhitetailDNA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @WhitetailDNA and Instagram @Whitetail_DNA. 

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10 Field Dressing Mistakes Everyone Makes Once