Field Dressing Made Easy

  If you where like me, you where taught how to hunt by your Dad or Grandfather. I was taught that once the animal was down to run up and cut the throat of the animal so it could bleed out. But no blood ever came out of a dead animal. Then we would have to remove the glands or testicles of the animal? Now this never made sense to me. I would get different answer like, well that's what I was taught and that's what I have always done or it eliminates the hormones from going into the meat. 
   Then comes time to get your hands dirty gutting the animal. This can take up to 30 minutes in some case's on bigger game animals. I personally took over 45 minutes with a elk that had a broad head arrow broke off in it, so extra precaution was needed to insure that we did not get cut. But most of the time you can easily get the job done in 10 to 15 minutes. When gutting you also run the risk of getting urine on the best part of the animal (tender loans) when you remove the bladder. Now if you split the pelvis you can easily remove the bladder but now you have exposed more meat for risk of contamination when dragging it out. I would always just pinch the top of the bladder and cut it out and almost always there would be some urine that would escape and contaminate the meat.
   So we have the animal gutted, we are now covered in blood, dirt, hair and bacteria. And not to mention if you had a bad shot and clipped the intestines. At this point I would sew up the stomach with a piece of rope to eliminate the risk of contamination when dragging it out. Now I don't know about you but when I was young (at 50 I still do) I would go as far away from other hunters as possible. When it came time to drag out a animal I was usually several miles from a road. So getting back to the truck took some time, then we would wait for everyone to get back, have a short drive back home and 5 to 6 hours later we would then proceed to skin the animal. It was also customary to hang and age the animal for upwards of a week. Then it would be sent off to the butcher to be processed, not ever truly knowing if we got the same animal back. By the time it made it to the dinner table it was the toughest, gamest piece of meat you can imagine. But we ate it otherwise we went hungry or worse we didn't get to go hunting in the future. We hunted like most families years ago for our source of food. I was taught if you shoot it, you eat it. The size of the horns was always secondary.
   Fast forward 20 years. I have now been living in Hawaii for over 8 years enjoying deep sea fishing and diving. I had no idea that Hawaii had the wide variety of wild game that it does. On my first Hunt to Molokai for Axis deer I had shot a nice buck down a very large Canyon, dragging it out was not a option. So in 90 degree weather I proceeded to pack out the buck on my shoulders, it was the only way to make it up the step canyon walls. Upon reaching the truck I threw the buck off my shoulders onto the tailgate, out of breath and sweating like a stuck pig our hunting guild Joey turned to me and said " You Stupid Fricken Haole, what are you doing? You don't pack out what you can't eat"! As the hair stood up on the back of my neck and my began blood boil. I asked him what the Hell he was talking about? He then proceeded to show me the gutless method of cleaning animals and I was instantly hooked. Joey became a close friend that we have hunted with for the past 20 years.
   With the gutless technique you get the animal completely cooled down in less then 30 minutes (Far cry from 5 to 6 hours the old way). You never have to gut the animal, you're not covered in Blood, you're processing time is cut in half, and you're taking all the cuts of meat, not wasting any. In a lot of ways you get more eatable meat because it is not contaminated with dirt and hair. The best part is, is that you're not packing out the extra weight of the hide, spine, legs and head, upwards of 60 lbs for a deer. It makes perfect sense  to leave it behind, why pack out what you'll throw away anyway?. It gets eaten by the predictors rather then dumped in a landfill. Not to mention the mess you would have to clean up doing it in your garage. 
   We have the meat on ice in most cases in under 45 minutes. Yes that's right! We ice cure all our meat and I have to say it makes the quality of meat incredible. There is no comparison to how I was taught. The quality of meat is incredible. By ice curing you are getting more of the blood out of the meat and the blood is what gives the meat that strong gaming taste. We will rotate the meat and add new ice and drain off the bloody water daily. By the end of the week there is very little blood left and it is now ready to be processed. 
   Don't get me wrong I will still hang game at camp in cold weather. But with the summers lasting longer and hotter then ever, It's not always a option. With the high temperatures of Hawaii, you're on a race against time to cool the meat down. We have done this same process over the years with Elk and Mule deer and there is no comparison in the quality of meat vs what I did growing up.
   Hunting in Hawaii for the past 20 years we have perfected the process and have cut the field dressing time in half with the Big Game Skinner and MANO knives. They where built out of necessity. I got fed up with all the knives on the market breaking after one or two uses not to mention trying to keep an edge on today's knives. If you would like to learn more on the Gutless method visit our website at www.raptorazor.com or visit our You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ57nUvbBu_j2Dm9uLjA1pw?view_as=subscriber for step by step instructional videos on the Gutless Technique.
Oh did I mention that our aluminum sets are Guaranteed for Life and we pick up a 700lb Quad with the Big Game Skinner! Try that will your current knives.
Thanks and Happy Hunting!
-Rick Grover
Owner of Raptorazor

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