Field dressing deer

Field dressing deer

Field dressing deer, also called gutting or gralloch, is a necessary step in preserving meat from deer harvested in the wild. Field dressing must be done as soon as possible in order to ensure rapid body heat loss, and prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the carcass. Field dressing helps maintain the overall quality of the meat. It also makes it considerably easier for a hunter to carry the deer from the woods.


Most hunters use a sharp knife to accomplish their purpose. Other utensils can be used such as axes or saws, however the fact that harvesting locations are generally in remote areas, makes the transporting and use of many tools impractical.

Using a knife specifically designed for field dressing and the use of surgical gloves can greatly aid in sanitation.

Risk of disease

Chronic wasting disease is a rare neurological disease and has been found in a minute percentage of deer and elk. General precautions can be taken to ensure safety for hunters and those who eat deer meat harvested from the wild. These precautions include avoiding consumption of brain, eyes, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes and spinal cord of harvested animals. Tests have also been developed to check for presence of CWD.


* [ CWD in Wisconsin]

External links

* [ How to Field Dress a Deer]

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