How to Skin a Deer - Venison
Ever wondered how to skin a deer and prepare the meat to eat (harvest)? Well you are in luck. Deer skinning to remove the meat can be a difficult task, however with this guide we can remove some of the mystique around harvesting deer meat. Deer meat is often referred to as Venison and this term refers to all parts of the deer which can be consumed.
Skinning a deer for venison meat to eat doesn’t need to be complicated.
Follow our guide to gutting, skinning and preparing the deer meat for eating. When skinning a deer, you have the option of doing it yourself or taking it to a butcher. Deer meat can be tasty and if you have made the kill yourself, the meat will be fresh and free from preservatives and other chemicals. Use our guide to skinning, gutting and preparing the meat from a deer, ready to eat. Australian hunting. Our guide will have you preparing your own deer ready to eat.
Getting prepared to skin your deer:
In order to skin a deer for it’s meat, you will need a tree branch, metal frame or even a tractor to lift the deer up for skinning. You will also need:
- Strong Ropes
- Clean Water
Skinning a deer for meat to eat involves hanging the deer up in order to take it’s skin off and expose the chest area for gutting. To begin, securely tie the rope under the deer’s head. Achilles tendons can be used to hang the deer. It is much easier to remove the intestines, stomach and other organs when the deer is hanging. Furthermore, the bladder is comfortable making skinning easier.
How to Remove Internal Organs
The internal organs will have to be removed in this phase. It is also important to properly cool the carcass so that the meat doesn’t spoil.
- Remove the stomach membrane by starting at the bottom of the deer using a sharp knife tip since it could rupture the deer’s intestines or stomach.
- Have a large container handy to collect the internal organs. Reach into the abdomen to take out the organs. Pull out the organs all at once, not one by one.
- If you plan on eating the deer’s kidneys, you will have to be careful. The kidneys are attached to the liver, so you have to carefully separate the two organs.
- The bladder resembles a translucent balloon and is found in the lower abdomen. Hold tight and cut from the upper part and since it is filled with urine and don’t let it drain just yet. Secure it in a Ziploc bag.
- Remove the deer’s anus and intestines using your knife. Cut a 1-inch circle around the anus to remove it. Tie it with a small rubber band to secure it and remove carefully. Also, remove the intestines by cutting the connective tissue.\
- From the center cut straight down using the knife. A good saw will also do the job. Next, spread open the chest and be sure to save the lungs, windpipe and heart if you plan on eating them. Remove them and store them in a bucket.
- The final step is to dispose of the remnants. Dig a deep hole to throw out any unused parts including organs that won’t be used.
Eating Internal Organs?
If you plan on eating the internal organs, store them in a bucket of cool water. The organs will need extra preparation if they are going to be cooked.
Methods of Skinning a Deer
You can skin your deer using either of these methods.
Manual Skinning Method
Whichever method you choose, the following steps have to be completed in this order:
- The elbow of the hooves is where to begin skinning. Find the elbow joints using a sharp knife.
- Cut the ligaments and go as deep as possible.
- On the elbow joints make an incision, firmly twist the joint causing it to break down easily.
- Once the elbow joints are twisted, cut into the deer’s skull at the base. Be careful when doing the cut around the skull as you don’t want to cut abdominal tissue or muscles.
- Cut from the deer’s neck and move downward to the breastbone and then to the stomach and the forelegs. You could contaminate the meat of you accidentally cut hair. Be very careful!
- Next, tightly hold the skin on the neck and tug it down towards the chest. A slice or scrape might come off with the skin, don’t worry as it helps the skin to come off easier.
- The skin can then be pulled off the carcass by hand or by a vehicle.
Skinning by Hand
Pull downwards to the chest if you decide to use your hands. Make use of the tissue slice as it makes skinning easier and faster. Try one of the Raptor Razors in our store, they make easy work of deer skinning.
Skinning with a Vehicle
You will save lots of time and energy using a vehicle to remove the skin. A 4X4 vehicle can effortlessly remove the skin for you. Put a golf ball under the skin and tie a loop of rope around it. Securely tie the rope’s other end to the free end of the vehicle and slowly drive away from the carcass. The skin will come off easily.
Lastly, wash the deer carcass down with fresh water in this step in order to remove any dirt or hair from the meat.
Doing this will keep the meat cool for several hours until you are ready to process it yourself or have it done commercially. See our deer harvest chart below to see which parts of the deer you can use to eat.