These alternate ways to butcher game animals require creativity.
Field dressing, butchering and preparing wild game meat can be a pretty straight forward process. But it can also be a very creative one and people have come up with plenty of unique ways to procure the perfect cuts of meat from both small and big game animals that didn't utilize a sharp knife.
Some of the techniques on this list are tricks passed down by word or mouth only until someone put them on the internet. Others are butchering methods tried just because the person could.
We can't say that we really recommend trying any of these methods unless you find yourself in dire circumstances, but here are six alternative methods of butchering game meat.
Skinning a deer with a golf ball and pickup
Do you enjoy butchering and processing your own deer but loathe the skinning process? Well, this method may be for you.
You remove the front legs and hind legs like you would for a normal skinning job, but then place a golf ball under the skin. Tie a rope around it to make a makeshift handle.
Tie the neck to something solid like a tree and the other end to a pickup. Drive forward and the truck should pull the hide right off the deer. You're now ready to start cutting up your deer.
We're not sure HOW someone came up with this method, but there is video proof that it does work!
The Gutless method
If you hate gutting deer, this is the butchering technique for you. Basically, all you're doing is cutting a straight line down the animal's back and then peeling the hide back to where you can take out the backstraps.
From there, you're quartering the the animal without ever cutting into the body cavity and removing the entrails.
The cool thing about this method is that you can use it even if you plan to do a shoulder mount of the animal. It sounds weird the first time you hear about it, but once you see someone do it, you realize how clever it is. Especially if you're packing the meat out a considerable distance in game bags.
It's a great method to try in warm weather when you need to get the animal cut up in a hurry. Watch the video above to see Randy Newberg demonstrate this method. You don't even need a bonesaw for it!
Stand and pull game bird technique
You'll get mixed reviews on this method. Some people see it as brilliant, others see it as wasteful. We suppose that depends on your point of view and what part of the game bird you enjoy most.
All you're doing is standing on the wings and pulling upward slowly. It pulls the breast meat out without having to deal with the guts of the bird. Keep in mind birds like the pheasants featured in the video aren't going to have a lot of meat to begin with. However, you can go back and clean the legs off and remove internal organs like the heart if you want to make sure you're using as much of the bird as possible.
And really, we should all be striving to do just that every time we hunt any animal.
The squirrel tail method
Skinning a squirrel can be difficult. They're a small animal without much meat on their bones, and it can be easy to mess up.
That's especially true if you don't have a good, sharp skinning knife.
But the tail method makes it very easy to skin a squirrel with minimal cutting on your part. Simply make an incision above the squirrel's anus and then put the squirrel's tail on a block. Use your foot to hold the tail down and pull upwards to easily pull the hide off.
It's harder to describe than it is to simply show, so watch Steve Rinella's short video above that shows just how easy it is to do this. You can prepare a whole limit of squirrels in only minutes using this method!
The gutless method isn't just something for big game. There is a variation for grouse too!
All you do is strip some feathers off to expose the breast. From there you can work a finger under the breast to get it loose and then you just pull the whole thing free. Clip the wings and rinse and you've got a clean grouse breast ready to cook.
From there it's an easy task to remove the legs and the meat there. Watch the video above by Randy Newberg to see more. The guy knows his stuff! No mess and no fuss with this method.
Squeeze, twist and pull rabbit
You don't even need any tools to clean a rabbit if you know what you're doing. This video above makes it look almost too easy. You literally squeeze the rabbit's guts out, tear a hole in the hide and pull it off and then twist the head off.
This probably isn't the easiest or most efficient way to clean a rabbit, but if you're ever in a survival situation with no heavy duty sharp knife, it's better than nothing.
This is a decidedly old-school method that only recently gained traction again because Rockstar games fully animated a version of this into the hit video game Red Dead Redemption II.