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Cleaning a Deer

Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
2
I am getting tired of carrying along a saw everytime that I go hunting. Do you think that a BK&T BK7 could handle the task of splitting the pelvis and chopping the femur into without chipping. I really am just looking for a do it all deer cleaning knife. Thanks
 
No, can't break large bones without chipping them.

IMO, I wouldn't even field dress a large game animal with a 7" blade. Anything bigger than about 4" is just making it harder. You can't get the leverage you need and you can't "choke up" on the blade for detail work. I carry a 4" hunting knife (used to be a Buck 110 but I changed to a BM 190) and a cheap Gerber folding saw. Both together take up less space and weigh less than a BK7. Not carrying the saw has never even entered my mind.

I've cleaned plenty of mule deer so I've learned from experience and from other hunters.

Regards
 
BTW a deers leg bone is seven times denser than a cows !! Yes you could split the breastbone and pelvis of a deer with a knife and a BK 7 would do it but over the years I found a saw better. I use a 4-4 1/2" knife such as a CS Master Hunter [very practical knife] which will dress, skin ,and entirely butcher a deer if you have only one knife. The breastbone and pelvis I find easier with a folding saw such as my old Gerber which is only 3 ozs. You can more easily avoid cutting the bladder that way and it doesn't take any strength.
 
I am getting tired of carrying along a saw everytime that I go hunting. Do you think that a BK&T BK7 could handle the task of splitting the pelvis and chopping the femur into without chipping. I really am just looking for a do it all deer cleaning knife. Thanks

I have just carried a little saw, and or used my knife to break it. Some people dont cut that at all and dont split the pelvis, they use a different technique. Hopefully one of them will come forward.
 
I have just carried a little saw, and or used my knife to break it. Some people dont cut that at all and dont split the pelvis, they use a different technique. Hopefully one of them will come forward.

No need for a saw when working on a deer. To remove the legs find the knuckle joint and make a cut all the way around and twist the leg, it will snap off if cut correctly. Instead off splitting the pelvis, open the cavity up to the rib cage, reach up inside and cut the diapragm and cut the wind pipe, just be careful because your doing it by feel. Cut around the anus and start pulling everything out... The only reason for a saw IMHO is if you are going to cut the deer into quarters or halves it for packing... Hopefully this made sense, haven't had much sleep for two days.... :yawn:
 
Back home and in Alaska a lot of the guys carry and use the 18Volt DeWalt saws all with a couple good bi metal long blades and an extra battery. With one of those you can section out even the largest moose and carry it out on your four wheelers in 1/4 sections before all the bears catch the whiff of blood in the air and come over to check it all out. I would imagine one of those would do what you are wanting in short order as well. These are just like having your own portable butcher shop on you right there ready to go.

STR
 
I agree that the big blade is overkill and a hindrance.

I've used the following blades (in order) for field dress duty. Notice how they get progressively smaller over time.

Cold Steel Master Hunter (Carbon V) - 4 1/2" blade
Buck Vanguard (ATS-34) - 4 1/8" blade
Swamp Rat Safari Skinner (D2) - 4" blade
Geno Denning custom Hunter (ATS-34) - 3 1/2" blade

I also carry the Gerber tree/bone saw. Interchangeable blades come in handy. Tree saw for pruning trees for my climbing stand. Bone saw for splitting the pelvis bone with ease.
 
I don't do any sawing (if any) until I have the deer hanging back at camp.

Ditto on this. Elk are a different story, so I have folding saw.

Although, this year I was helping a guy gut his deer and he wanted to split the pelvis, so I lent him my Leatherman Wave. The saw part went right through in short time. I was impressed except for having to clean it later on. :)
 
No need for a saw when working on a deer. To remove the legs find the knuckle joint and make a cut all the way around and twist the leg, it will snap off if cut correctly. Instead off splitting the pelvis, open the cavity up to the rib cage, reach up inside and cut the diapragm and cut the wind pipe, just be careful because your doing it by feel. Cut around the anus and start pulling everything out... The only reason for a saw IMHO is if you are going to cut the deer into quarters or halves it for packing... Hopefully this made sense, haven't had much sleep for two days.... :yawn:

I quit splitting the pelvis about 30 years ago...do as 338375
states above ,I tie off the anus with string or a small piece
of leather,to keep the pellets from falling into the cavity.

I have also used the non gutting method when packing out
by myself.
Cut the hide up the back bone and strip the hide off and
quarter the deer as above and cut the back strap out.
Wrap in game or muslin cloth(available at hardware stores) bags.
Take the head with you.The rib meat can be cut off of
the bones if it is a large enough deer.
Check with your local game laws to make sure this method is legal
in your area.
 
Although, this year I was helping a guy gut his deer and he wanted to split the pelvis, so I lent him my Leatherman Wave. The saw part went right through in short time. I was impressed except for having to clean it later on. :)

Leatherman and SAK saw work just fine, but they can be a pain to clean up if you get them bloody and messy. The Gerber saw is a lot bigger, but easier for cleanup. Blades just pop right out.

I've cleaned deer with and without splitting the pelvis bone. I find it a lot easier to remove the urethra and rectum with that bone split. Also easier to finish gutting (especially when alone) since the animal's legs tend to splay open more with the pelvis bone cut. This too can help the meat cool faster.
 
I got the Vic Hunter recently. I killed a deer 2 days ago and used it to field dress it. The saw in the Hunter did the job flawlessly. One knife does the entire job and it took about 5-10 min. including the saw time.
 
Dressing my first deer was the only time I ever split the pelvis. I didn't know any better so I used the tip of the knife to score a deep scratch in it then pressed down on both legs, spreading them far apart. The pelvis cracked in the scratch and came apart. It was basically the same concept as cutting glass. I haven't done it again, since I've learned it's not really necessary anyway. As for the joints, they are all held together with ligaments. Cut through them and the joint comes apart, no need for sawing unless you are in a hurry like our Alaskan friends.:eek:
 
I have seen many methods for field dressing animals and have tried quite a few of them myself. For me it really depends on the circumstance of the kill. Where I am and how I am hunting. About the only time I have a saw available is if the animal falls close to my vehicle, which is annoyingly rare. I do not carry a saw in my pack when I hunt.

JMHAT38, you can field dress any animal in N. America with only a 3"-4" blade, there is no need to carry that saw. I carry a BRKT Fox River and my usual edc folder. Keep in mind, I am talking about field dressing and reducing the animal to a size that you can get it out of the woods, not butchering. There is no need to cut any bone.

I cut around the anus (be sure and get all the connective tissue, it takes a little work) with my small edc folder before I gut. When I pull all the inards out all the nasty stuff comes out with it intact. Very clean and easy. Most people cut way too far up the rib cage. I cut the first couple of inches of the sternum, until it gets difficult, and reach in to cut the windpipe. Your taxidermist will appreciate this. If you are dragging the animal out whole ( hasn't happened for me in quite a few years) you are done. If it is a big animal or the terrain dictates smaller pieces cut into quarters at the joints. If you still need smaller pieces then start boning it out. Easy to do, again no need to cut bone. I have done this on deer, elk, bear and moose.

Last year due to the distance and terrain on my mountain goat hunt, very, very steep, I decided to clean the animal without gutting it like Evil Eye described. It worked great and very little mess.
 
No need for a saw when working on a deer. To remove the legs find the knuckle joint and make a cut all the way around and twist the leg, it will snap off if cut correctly. Instead off splitting the pelvis, open the cavity up to the rib cage, reach up inside and cut the diapragm and cut the wind pipe, just be careful because your doing it by feel. Cut around the anus and start pulling everything out... The only reason for a saw IMHO is if you are going to cut the deer into quarters or halves it for packing... Hopefully this made sense, haven't had much sleep for two days.... :yawn:

Exactly what I would have said, I have gutted I dont know how many deer and I have never split the pelvis or breast bone out in the field, or removed the legs for that matter. There is really no point in it as far as I can see.

A 4 inch fixed blade is all I have ever used for hunting.
 
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