How To Skin A Deer – Step By Step Guideline

Skinning a deer to make it ready to eat is challenging and tough for any person. If you have hunted a deer, you will have two ways to skin the deer. Taking it to a butcher or skin it yourself.

If you determine to skin the deer yourself, you will need to take multi-stage of preparations for it. The tasks are given here shortly-

  1. Preparing essential things that required for skinning a deer
  2. Preparing the Deer for Dressing
  3. Remove the Deer’s Organs
  4. Skinning the Deer
  5. Aging the Meat
  6. Cutting the Deer
  7. Storing the Deer’s Meat

You have to go through the above 7 stages in order to skin a deer. The more you will skin deer, the more your experience will improve. Let’s discuss the stages briefly.


Preparing essential things that required for skinning a deer

Preparation is important for any task and skinning a deer is not different too. Only good and proper equipments can give you best experience to skin a deer. For that reason, you need to take preparation by having the things with you before you start.

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  1. Strong Ropes for hanging the deer
  2. Truck or Four Wheel Car for skinning the deer (You may use your hands too!)
  3. Clean & Fresh water
  4. Container to keep the organs and waste
  5. Professional and Sharp Knife
  6. Good Saw
  7. Stainless steel Clippers

Preparing the Deer for Dressing

In this stage, you need to hang the deer for skinning. You may use a metal frame, tree branch or a tractor to lift the deer up. In this case, you will need the following things

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I) Strong Ropes

II) Clean Water

Tie the rope under the head of the deer very strongly. You may also use Achilles tendons to hang the deer. By hanging up the deer, removing organs like stomach and intestines become easier to any person. Moreover, bladder is comfortable to remove the skin.

Remove the Deer’s Organs

In this stage, you need to remove the internal organs as soon as possible. In addition, cooling the carcass is also important to prevent deer’s meat from being spoiled.

Step 1: Remove the stomach membrane; start doing this from the bottom of the deer. Use the tip of the knife because it may rupture the stomach and intestines of the deer.

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Step 2: Keep a big container ready because you need to pull out the organs from the body. Pull out the organs by reaching into the abdomen. Don’t cut the organs one by one; pull out the set of the organs.

Step 3: Be careful if you want to eat the kidneys of the deer. As liver and kidneys are attached, you need to be aware during pulling them out and separate them from liver.

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Step 4: Then, you must look for the bladder that looks like a translucent balloon in the lower area of the abdomen. This is filled with urine that you need to grasp tightly and cut it from the upper portion.

Make sure that you have not allowed it to drain. Use a zip lock bag to keep it with other wastage of the beer. You must keep it away as long as you can in order to save the meat.

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Step 5: Then, you need to use your knife in order to remove the intestines and anus of deer. Create a circle around the anus in order to remove it; 1 inch circle will be appropriate. Use a small rubber band in order to tie it and carefully remove it. Also, cut the intestines connective tissues and remove it as well.

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Step 6: Now, use your knife and cut straight down from the center. You may also use a good saw if you are comfortable of using it. Now spread the chest but be careful of saving the lugs, heart and wind pipe if you intend them to eat. Pull them out and keep them in the bucket.

Use cool water after you have kept the internal organs into the bucket if you want to eat them. However, they will need extra preparation in order to make them ready for food.

Step 7: Dispose of the remnants is the last step of the stage. Therefore, you need to create a deep hole in order to throw those organs. However, Wildlife service and local fish group could help you in the cleaning process.

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Skinning the Deer

While it’s time to skin the deer, you may have two methods to skin your deer.

I) Manual Skinning Process

II) Using a Vehicle

No matter, which method you will prefer, you will need to do the following things first-

Step 1: You have to start skinning from each of the hooves at the elbow. Use the sharp knife and find the joints of the elbow. While cutting the ligaments, you must try as deep as you can. Make an incision on the joins of elbow, twist the joints firmly and it will break down easily.

Step 2: After twisting the elbow joints, you need to cut through the base of the deer’s skull. When cutting around the skull, be careful because you should not cut the muscles or abdominal tissues.
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Starting from the neck of the deer, down towards to the breastbone and then, to the stomach and then, forelegs. If you cut hair by mistake, your meat could be contaminated. So, careful!

Step 3: Now, hold the skin tight on the neck and pull it downward toward the chest. Don’t worry if slice or scrape comes with the skin because it helps to remove the skin easily.

Step 4: You can pull the skin off the carcass by using a vehicle or by your hand.

By hand: If you are using hand, pull down towards the chest. Now use you slice the tissue and it will make your skinning comfortable and require less time.

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With a Vehicle: Removing skin with a vehicle will save your time and energy. You do not need to give effort in order to remove the skin if you use a four wheel vehicle. Use a golf ball under the skin and loop it with rope. Tie the rope to your vehicle’s free end and drive against the carcass slowly. This will pull the skin comfortably.

Step 5: In this step, you need to down the deer and keep it in a flat surface to cut the head. First, you need to cut the related connective tissues around the neck and use a saw to cut the head.

I) Do you want to take the antlers to eat? Then, you must remove a portion of the skull by using a saw. Appropriately 1 inch from the antlers is enough to get it.

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II) If you want to save both antlers and head meat, you need to remove it and keep it in a cool place. Cut meat from the skull and boil the skull for few hours.

Step 6: In this step, you need to wash the carcass of the deer with fresh water. By washing, you can remove hair from the meat if any.

Moreover, this will cool the meat for a reasonable time. You can keep the carcass hanging for several hours if you want to break it yourself. If you want is for commercial process, it this ready for processor.

Aging the Meat

Step 1: Many of you would go for wrapping the venison after you had finish skinning the deer. In fact, you need to use penalty of cold water to wash and make it cool.

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If you wrap the meat as soon as you skinned it, meat will spoil for extra heat. For that reason, take time to make the carcass dry and cool. The meat should be stored at 34-48°F but avoid freezing the carcass.

Step 2: You need to select a perfect place for aging the meat. The place must be temperature controlled and near to your home like your garage. Don’t have any garage for aging the meat? Then, you can contact with other hunters or neighbors to get a safe place for aging the meat.

Step 3: Use metal hook and rope in order to affix the meat. You can also use chain or an old wire hanger to hang the carcass in the aging location.

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Do you know how long you need to hang the meat? This is important to hang the meat in a cool space for at least a week. Aging the meat will break down muscle cells and improve the taste of the meat. However, 16-21 days is standard time period for aging.

Cutting the Deer

Step 1: In the breaking down the deer process, you need to prepare your instructions to cut it. First of all, you need to select a good and clean surface where you can sit with your tools.

Take sharp knives, saw and other equipment that need to break the deer. Managing a portable picnic tablet could be a good place to do the cutting process.

Step 2: Find out the rib cage and backbone meeting point and cut it using a saw. You may easily break down the quarter by bending hind quarter towards legs.

Step 3: Most of times you will look for the tenderloins meat because they are tasty and dark red meat. Therefore, you need to separate them from the backbone using sharp knife smoothly. Outside tenderloins meat is also delicious which you can find on the other side of the ribs.

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Use your knife and go as close to the ribs as you can. Now you can use a saw through the ribs in order to break it from the body. You can separate the ribs and cut them into small pieces or let the ribs in normal size.

Step 4: After you have cut the ribs, you can go with the backbone area. Use the saw in order to cut into chops.

However, you must cut the upper shoulders first in order to go through the backbone side. You can cut from the joining bones of the backbone and side it to cut into small pieces later.

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Storing the Deer’s Meat

Step 1: When it comes to store meat, you need to do several things with the meat. Use a sharp knife again in order to remove the extra fat, discoloration from the meat. Moreover, remove the dry spots as a result of aging process before you take meat for freezing.

Step 2: This is the last stage of butchering the beer. Just cut the meat into the small pieces and keep different parts of the meat into different bags.

For example, keep the shoulders’ meat into separate bag and ribs on the other bag. That will help you to recognize the portion of the meat and easy to defrost them before cooking.

Step 3: After completing cutting process, you can use plastic bags in order to keep them into the refrigerator. Seal the bags tightly or you may also use a vacuum sealer if you have.

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Also, don’t forget to add the date on the bags. If you have followed the above process perfectly, the meat will not spoil before at least one year.

Skinning a deer is not as easy as you cook it. For that reason, you need to be skilled and have enough good tolls in order to prepare this for cooking. On the other hand, the preparation is the most important part that you need to be like a professional. If you have any professional tool for breaking the deer, this could be great and easier to cut.

However, the following tips will be essential while skinning a deer-

  1. Always prepare your knives and saw. Moreover, make sure they are enough sharp to work with. Otherwise, this could spoil the shape of the deer’s meat.
  2. Using strong rope is important and make sure the rope could hold the deer’s weight. You can use a plastic bag cut-out under the hanging deer’s in case the rope can’t hold it.
  3. Don’t use hot water to the meat during washing the meat. Remember that you are washing because you want to cold the meat, not hot.
  4. Washing the meat with water does not mean just apply water to the meat. Make sure that blood is totally gone and no hair remains on the deer’s body.
  5. Make sure that the aging location is safe and free from any type of insects and animals. Sometimes people forget about the conditions and insects spoil the meat.

Keep in mind these above tips when skinning a deer. You will have a proper preparation and improve your skinning experienced within a short time.

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