Depending on what and where you are hunting you will often need to do field butchering in order to pack the animal out. This process is usually called quartering. You will definitely need to field butcher if you’re hunting bigger game like moose and elk, but you might also need to if you’re hunting deer or antelope, depending on how far away you are from your car.
There are a few different methods of quartering: quartering and the gutless method.
Quartering: This method may vary slightly depending on if you’re using livestock or if you’re backpacking. Typically, if you’re using horses you’ll gut the animal and split your animal into four quarters, along the spine and down the rib cage. Those who backpack hunt or use smaller animals such as goats gut the animal and section the animal in smaller, lighter pieces.
Gutless Method: This method of field butchering is becoming increasingly more popular among hunters. That’s mainly because of the efficiency and cleanliness. It’s the process of skinning the animal and cutting the quarters without removing the organs from the stomach.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For example, it is incredibly important to properly cool the meat quickly and because the gut cavity contains the most heat in the body, there is a chance that it will affect the quality of your meat if you go with the gutless method. In addition, if you want the choice meats like the tenderloin and heart, you’ll have to touch the guts anyway. The gutless method can be an advantage when you are in a pinch for time or if there are big predators in the area.
If you have questions or would like more info on field butchering your meat during a hunt, don’t hesitate to give me a call!