Butt Out Deer Tool
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The Butt Out Deer Tool is More Effective Than Given Credit For


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The hunting world is filled with a bevy of products touting how they will make a hunter's life easier. I think most of us can agree there is no shortage of products out there that looked great in store, and then turned out to be total failures once we got them out into the field. Odds are you've felt the frustration of buying a product that never worked the way the manufacturer advertised, and plenty of hunters out there like to rib their buddies for buying a gimmicky product that's regarded as being "stupid."

I don't think I've heard stupid used to describe a hunting product more than the Hunters Specialties Butt Out tool. It seems to always come up in discussions about gimmicky hunting accessories. I've also seen hunters just flat out make fun of anyone who has ever bought this tool, which is designed to make one of the more disgusting field dressing chores a little easier and less messy. Well, go ahead and make fun of me all you want because I'm going to tell you that I'm an advocate for the butt out tool. Now, before you judge me too harshly, let me explain why it works for deer and why you shouldn't judge a product solely by its appearance or its ridiculous name.

What Does a Butt Out Deer Tool Do?

We hope you've already eaten lunch because there's no way we can discuss this big game field dressing tool without graphically describing how it is used. One of the first chores in the field dressing process is to cut around the anus of the deer and pull it (and any waste still inside) out of the animal's body. For centuries, hunters have done this by using the knife to core the alimentary canal by hand. It's a messy process, and if you're not careful, feces can drop out of the canal and into the body cavity, potentially tainting the meat.

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There's a lot of joking that goes on about this tool and the slightly revised "Butt Out 2" that is a slight improvement over the original. We'll spare you those here because: 1. they've all been told a million times over, and 2. it's a family site. Despite the weirdness of it, this is the best big game dressing tool I've ever used. And one of the few pieces of hunting gear that does exactly what it is designed to do every time. That's not something I can say about all the hunting stuff I've bought over the years.

To use the tool, you insert it up to the butt stop, and then give it a few twists, allowing the hooks on the end to hook into the walls of the alimentary canal. After that, taking a firm grip, pull backwards. The animal's anus should come out quickly and cleanly in one-piece without spilling any extra contents. As we discussed in our "deer poop" piece, whitetail deer defecate 12-to-15 times a day. There's always going to be something in there when you start the gutting process.

The proper method of using this tool is to pull the rectum partially out and then use a short cord or string to tie the canal off. Then, when you open the chest cavity and pull out the stomach, intestine, and everything else, the tied-off portion will come out of the cavity quickly and cleanly. Most importantly, it stays attached to the rest of the vital organs without spilling any contents. That's huge, because you don't want the bacteria from the feces getting on the meat you plan to cook for dinner later. That's about all there is to it.

Why the Butt Out Tool Has a Bad Rap

Butt Out Deer Tool

Melissa Kopka via Getty Images

We've noticed more than a few hunters who laughingly shrug off the Butt Out as a serious hunting tool. There's the obvious joke nature of what you're using this tool for. However, we also suspect there's just an old-school mentality at work here, too. Hunters who have been using the coring method for this messy part of field dressing for years because that's the way their father and grandfather did it simply cannot imagine doing it any other way. These are the same hunters who sit back and laugh at anyone who dares to use field dressing gloves, which I've also always thought was silly. Some of us simply don't want to bloody up the expensive camo clothing we wear, especially if we've got more tags to fill after the fact. Plus, some of us just don't want the smell of deer innards on us all night after a successful harvest.

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I'm ranting a bit here, but I've also noticed more than one hunter who has changed their mind about this simple piece of plastic after using it for the first time. Unfortunately, for many hunters, I think it has to do with seeing and believing. We've all seen and have been burned by gimmick products over the years, and it makes us more than a little wary of spending $10 on what is, at the end of the day, a simple piece of plastic that has only a single use a few times a year.

However, aside from my Gerber knife, this tool is one of the most reliable pieces of hunting gear we've used year-in and year-out. You can laugh at me if you wish, but I won't go back to field dressing deer using the old method. The Butt Out is such a simple tool, yet so effective. While Hunter's Specialties notes the Butt Out is perfect for antelope, hogs, and other similar-sized big game, it may be a bit too small for elk, moose, and larger animals. It surprises us HS hasn't come out with a larger version yet for hunters who regularly pursue those other animals.

We know some people may not agree, but the Butt Out tool has been a vital piece of game processing equipment for us for years. It's more useful than most hunters realize, and it's worth a second look if you're still using the old method on your harvests.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

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READ MORE: EXAMINING WHEN HUNTERS SHOULD START FIELD DRESSING THEIR OWN DEER

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