Preparing Livestock and Game After Harvest

How to Clean:

Keep it clean!!! If you get fecal matter (poop), Ingesta (stomach stuff), etc. While field dressing, rinse it off with potable (drinkable) water. If rinsing doesn't work, trim and try to keep the carcass free of the previously mentioned contaminants. contaminants means not only poop and such but grass, feed, gravel, dirt, the stuff floating around in the back of your truck or trailer in which you are going to haul the carcass in.

Remember you are the one eating this! I can only work with what you bring me. If you bring me a carcass full of gravel, dirt, poop etc your yield goes down and my cost to you goes up. If I have to spend extra time trimming your carcass because you could not keep it clean there will be a $30 trimming fee added to the final cost.

Use new tarps- clean new plastic when wrapping your carcass to bring it in for processing. In the past people have used old tarps where the blue plastic from the tarp ended up all over the carcass, hence an additional trimmings charge. For just a few dollars you can buy a new tarp. Keep it clean from farm to plate.

Field Dressing Your Deer:

After the hunt and the harvest of your whitetail deer...what now? Properly field dress your deer! Proper field dressing means removing all and entrails from front to back. Starting with the rear end, remove by cutting around the anus, if you have a string or a rubber band place it around the anus so no poop is released on your meat. Next, use a knife or your fingers to go around the entire inside of the pelvis region, first by pushing knife or finger passed anus with knife blade up, slowly slice all the way around the pelvis bone cutting away from the tissue. Make sure to keep your knife or finger from puncturing the bladder. Once connective tissue has been released from the pelvis bone push the anus and bladder down into the body cavity. Next, starting at the pelvis and working your way to the sternum (where the ribs start), carefully push the knife just enough to cut through the deer's hide. If it is a buck, cut around the testicles and penis and remove without puncturing the body cavity. After removal of genitals, gently insert knife with blade up towards the sky, not deep, you don't want to puncture the stomach.

Place your fingers next to the knife one finger on either side, using your fingers to keep the intestines and stomach from being punctured. Push the knife from pelvis to sternum opening the body cavity, be careful not to puncture the stomach or intestines. Next, pull on the rectum and bladder area, you may need to run your fingers around the inside of the pelvis to loosen the connective tissues. Try to pull out without breaking the bladder. The rest of the intestines and stomach should roll out at this time. Again, remember don't puncture or break the stomach or intestines. Now you will have to cut the diaphragm in order to remove the remaining insides. Cut the diaphragm all the way around then reach with both hands all the way up to the throat area. Without cutting your fingers or arms cut both the windpipe and esophagus. Once cut you should be able to grab the windpipe and esophagus and pull it out. There may be some connective tissue to cut but everything should roll out at this time. Next, if you have potable (drinkable) water available wash the inside of your deer. next, hang your deer by the hind legs, rinse out your deer again. You may have to put a hole in the jaw area for water to drain. If you want to have a mount done do not puncture the neck area. Keep the insides as clean as possible.

If you punctured the stomach either by gunshot or by knife, please clean and rinse to get all of the matter from the body cavity. This material is full of bacteria and will cause an "off taste" to your meat. It may even make you sick if it is not cleaned out properly.

Field dressing is the most important part of the process for enjoyable palatable venison.

Leaving any internal parts in the carcass can cause bacterial growth and cause a very bad taste to your deer. Remember, the matter in the rectum is poop, the bladder holds pee, if left in this ferments and permeates the meat, (not what I would want to eat) the same goes for the esophagus. If the deer is at the bait pile when you shoot it, it will have food in the esophagus. Again the fermentation process will start immediately. Put a hose in the deer's mouth and let it run into the body cavity, rinsing out until it's clean.