FIELD DRESSING TIPS:
Insert your knife point under the hide only and make one long, straight incision up the belly. The natural tautness of the hide will cause the skin and hair to pull away, giving you unobstructed access to the abdominal muscle tissues.
Using short, shallow, slicing strokes, open the body cavity by cutting through the skin, fat, and abdominal muscle tissue. As the tissue separates, use your fingers to enlarge the abdominal opening until you can fit your hands into the body cavity.
If you wish to have your deer head mounted, stop the incision at the bottom of the rib cage. Otherwise, continue slicing all the way to the fleshy, hollow junction of the neck and chest.
Using a saw, large knife, or small axe and sledgehammer, open the chest cavity by separating the rib cage. This will make it easier to remove the heart and lungs.
Sever the windpipe to easily to remove the stomach and lungs.
Carefully sever the connective tissue holding the interior organs to the diaphragm, and pull the entire mass of organs back toward the pelvic opening.
Using a saw, large knife, or small axe and sledgehammer, open the pelvis to help with the organ removal process. Lay the bulk of the organs outside the carcass. Guide the lower intestine through the pelvic opening, and then sever the anus and sphincter muscle from the carcass.
Prop the body cavity open with sticks and quickly cool by hanging the head up in a shady, airy place. Let it hang this way for about an hour before moving it to camp or car.
TAG IT IF YOU LEAVE IT
If you stay with your harvested deer, you don’t need to attach your notched permit to the animal, but you MUST keep your permit on hand. If you leave your harvest, you MUST attach your notched permit to the deer’s leg. We recommend sealing the permit in a plastic bag and attaching the bag with your string, wire, or tape.
H/T – huntfish.mdc.mo.gov