How to Remove the Tenderloin When Using the Gutless Method of Field Dressing

Here's how to easily remove the tenderloin from a big-game animal when you're using the gutless method of field dressing.

Aron Snyder and Brian Call of the Gritty Bowmen have downed an elk and Snyder is using the gutless method of field dressing the animal. Here he quickly shows you how to retrieve the tenderloin, which is covered or shielded underneath the spine.

The gutless method is a somewhat less-messy method of field-butchering an animal. The real benefit, though, is that it cuts down on the weight you'd pack out. You're leaving a good deal of bone, like the spine and ribs, in the field. With this method, you're just bringing out a lot of deboned meat.

One of the questions hunters have when using this method is, how to get the tenderloins out? Snyder demonstrates that it's not difficult at all.

It's mostly a matter of knowing the anatomy of the animal and making a few cuts to release these choice pieces of meat.

He reaches into the body cavity between the guts and the spine, just behind the ribs to the pelvis and just under the spinal column. After feeling for the tenderloin, he makes a few cuts with the knife from above and around the vertebrae, ultimately releasing the muscle. It's not a very big piece of meat, but it's worth the effort.

We shared another video of the guys from Hushin removing the heart from an animal using the gutless method. Check out that video.

Here's another video on removing the backstraps using the gutless method.

It seems more backcountry hunters are using this method. These short how-to videos are great for answering questions and explaining how to get the most meat.

But if you're hunting smaller woodlots that aren't far from a road, the traditional field-dressing method may still be the best, especially if you prefer to butcher the animal with the bones in.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.