Learn how to clean a deer to ensure that your venison will taste its best!

Learn how to clean a deer to ensure that your venison will taste its best!


Remove the Abdominal Organs (Except the Digestive Tract)

Confirm that the deer is dead.
If needed, shoot it again. Do not approach a wounded deer on foot.

Make the first incision on the belly.
Lay the deer carcass on its back with legs spread. Locate the sternum or breastbone. Use a sharp knife to make an incision down the belly, from just below its sternum to its genitals. Your incision should be deep enough to cut the hide and the peritoneum (the thin membrane found just below the skin and over the organs). But be careful to not cut too deep. If you cut too deep you may puncture the organs and taint the meat.
After the initial incision near the sternum, make the rest of the cut with the knife blade facing up. This helps prolong the blade’s life (as it is not cutting through the fur) and minimizes the chances of you accidentally puncturing an organ.

Remove most of the abdominal organs.
Use a small sharp knife to free the abdominal organs from any membranous adhesions. Once cut free, use your hands to remove the bladder, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, and internal genitalia.
When removing the bladder be careful that you do not spill any contents. To prevent any urine spilling, pinch off the bladder with one hand and slowly cut it free and remove the bladder with the other hand.
Take special care to not accidentally cut the intestines or the spleen, as their spilled contents will ruin meat.

Remove the Thoracic Organs (Except the Digestive Tract)

Access the thoracic organs.
After most of the organs are removed from the abdominal cavity, it is time to clean out the thoracic or upper chest cavity. To access the thoracic cavity, use a sharp knife to cut through the muscle (diaphragm) and membrane that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity.
Expect to find a lot of blood when you cut into the thoracic cavity.
Be careful when working in the thoracic cavity. If the deer was shot in the chest there may be sharp broken ribs.

Remove the thoracic organs.

Use a small sharp knife to free the thoracic organs from any membranous adhesions. Follow the trachea (windpipe) up as far as you can and cut it free. Once cut free, use your hands to remove the lungs and the heart.

Put any organs you plan on saving in a clean plastic bag.

Remove the Digestive Tract

Free the top of the digestive tract.
The digestive tract, is the continuous tube through which food travels, and consists of the esophagus, the stomach, the intestines and the rectum. The digestive tract is best removed in one piece. To remove the digestive tract in one piece, you will need to free both ends. To free the top end or esophagus (swallowing tube leading to the stomach), reach up into the chest cavity as far as you can and sever the esophagus. Then pull this end down, through the chest and out.

Free the bottom of the digestive tract.

Next you need to free the lower end of the digestive tract or rectum/anus. To do this cut a deep ring around a buck’s anus, or a deep ring around a doe’s anus and vagina. Stuff the now freed rectum back into the body cavity, and out through the stomach incision.
The cut around the anus should circumscribe the anus but not cut the anus. The goal is to free the anus from the surrounding tissue, while leaving the digestive tract, including rectum, intact. Your cut around the anus should be about 4 inches (10.2 cm) deep.

Pull the digestive tract out.

Now that both ends of the digestive tract are free you can roll the intact digestive tract out of the body cavity.
As you handle the digestive tract, be careful not to cut the intestines, or squeeze fecal matter out. Spilled fecal matter will taint the meat. You may choose to tie off the rectum to minimize spillage.

Clean up

Save edible organs.

You may choose to eat the heart and liver. However, it is not recommended that you consume the brain, spleen, eyes, tonsils, or lymph nodes. Put any organs you plan on saving in a clean plastic bag.

Dispose of waste.

If it is okay with the property owner, you may leave the waste organs (intestines, spleen, etc) for scavengers. Otherwise, pack up the organs in another plastic bag to bring with you.

Take your deer home.

Transport your deer home. Get your carcass chilled, or on ice, as soon as possible.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Deer

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