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The Gear You Need to Gut a Deer

Store-bought field dressing kits often include a bunch of unnecessary items for a hunter who’s faced with gutting a deer and getting it home. This D.I.Y. kit fits into a gallon-size plastic zippered bag, which also serves as a handy place to put down a knife while you wrestle with a transcending colon. At the truck, stash 3 gallons of clean water for rinsing out the body cavity, and a hatchet if you want to open the pelvis.

Latex Gloves: Lots of field dressing gloves go up to your armpit, to turn blood away from clothing and any open cuts. But wrist-high gloves are form-fitting for a better feel and grip and still prevent blood and nicked guts from infecting small cuts.

Zip-Seal Bags: Have two gallon-size bags for the heart and the liver.

Paper Towels: I like to keep 15 paper towels, folded up, to use as cavity and hand wipes.

Bandages: Pack these for knife nicks.

Ibuprofen: If I’m farther than a few hundred yards from the truck, I make my back happy with a dose of Vitamin I within minutes of pulling the trigger.

Zip Ties: Tie off the intestinal canal with one hand. Snazzy.

Gut Hook: Tons of small gut hooks have hit the market. The Buck PakLite Guthook provides a firm, safe grip ($32).

Butt Out 2: It works. Enough said ($12).

Deer Drag: Store-bought deer drags have a handle that makes them too bulky for this kit. Tie a loop in each end of an 8-foot length of 9mm climbing rope. Now you can slip a choker loop around the doe’s neck or buck’s antlers and cinch the other end of the rope around a sturdy stick for a handle.

Hand Sanitizer: Bring a small bottle for field treatment of knife nicks, and overall cleanup.

Parachute Cord: P-cord has a million uses. But in this situation, keep a 5-foot length of cord in the kit and use it to tie one leg to a sapling and hold it out of the way for easier gutting.

Comments (33)

Top Rated
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from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Gee, to think when I was a kid on the ranch I thought all you needed was the ever present stockmans pocket knife. Just as my grandfather and father used for everything. The venison always tasted fine.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from schwechel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I agree with Happy Myles. Less is more in this case. My "kit" consists of some gloves (I prefer the shoulder length so I can get in there and cut the windpipe effectively), a drag rope, some paper towel (maybe), and a knife. Anything else is extra weight I don't have to carry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For Pete's sake. You need a sharp knife.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike0714 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

dont even gut or brake pelvic bone any more. rib rolling is the way to go. faster easier and only a knife is needed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I carry a knife, drag rope, zipties for my ear tag and anything else I might need them for, ziplock bag, and a bandana or a couple paper towels to whipe my hands off, and it all fits into the small front pocket of the waist pack I carry. The butt-out is a nice little gadget but it's too big and bulky for me to carry. If they ever came out with a foldable model I'd give it a try.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Another alternative for the gloves are the yellow dishwashing gloves. They're comfortable and they're long enough in my opinion. Also, a sharp knife is necessary.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Case XX Folding Trapper, that's all you need for gutting, although a drag rope is pretty high up there. I like carrying zip ties or twine for tag and tying off bladder/intestines, and a rag, but those are niceties, not needs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from diplomat019 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

i guess im slacking. ill i have is a knife

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from diplomat019 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

*all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Cheap exam glove, Bowie knife and some rope to drag is all I ever used.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Your kit is great, though i'd never carry it all in the field. Gloves and a knife. I always carry rope or webbing. Did use a friends Butt-Out tool a few weeks ago. worked as intended.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Knife and maybe a bag or two to save the heart and liver is all I ever take.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TruthTeller wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have a string tied around my 1 knife handle to tie my tag to the deer. After gutting with 1 knife, i stuff heart and liver in chest cavity. I then throw the deer on my back holding legs over my sholders. I then walk 1/2 mile to my truck. I drive home and butcher every scrap of meat myself and make my own sausages with the 'grid'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I agree with most and say that a good knife is all you need, that being said I do use the full arm length gutting gloves but I put latex/nitrile gloves on the outside which gives me 10x better dexterity than fit of the gutting gloves. When I’m finished gutting the deer, I take the heart and liver, hold it in my hand with the gutting glove still on, then simply take the glove off and I have a nice bag to carry my heart and liver home in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My gutting kit includes the following:
-Latex Gloves
-Unscented baby wipes
-Ziplock bag
-Sharp knife
-Paracord

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Likewise, I use a knife and nothing else, though gut hooks are slick.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

In my pack I have a rope, a small saw to open chest cavity, and a plastic grocery bag for heart. My knife is on my belt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SoDak hunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Gimme a knife (hopefully sharp, mine usually has hair and blood from the last animal) and 10 minutes and I'll have most any antelope/deer gutted and ready to start dragging. A rope would be helpfull buy I usually forget, pants/grass and snow wash all the blood off so no need for all them fancy gloves. I probably handle 15 or more animals a year so my gear gets used and abused and I keep it very simple I do kinda like them little bone saws, I got soft and bought one a couple years ago, otherwise I just leave the pelvic bone intact.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

all i use is a knife and my hands. i dont guess theres any real mwn left

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Casey Walker wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A trip to the local farm supply or vet supply store for a box of pregnancy testing gloves. (the shoulder length ones) and a box of latex gloves that will last you for many seasons and is way cheaper in the long run. I like the shoulder length gloves with the latex over them. The long gloves make for easy clean up and a great place to keep the heart clean. (yes I still eat it). The latex gloves give me grip and feel. I also like the compressed towels that expand with some water on them. (Popup towels is the brand name) They are small, made of cotton so you can also use them as fire starters, and about the handiest thing I have found in the last few years. I like my Kodie pack from outdoor edge because it has a bone saw and the swing blade so I have a gut hook and a regular blade. Put the gloves, popup towels and tag in a plastic bag along with a good knife and I'm good to go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Now your deleting comments? Mine was here 2 days ago. Now it's gone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sharp knife, zip tie for the tag, string to tie the anus shut, and plain sash-cord rope (a little bigger stronger than clothesline) to drag it to the truck. Cheap, light, and effective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Tennesseedeerhunter:
There's not a lot of research on the topic of deer-to-human bloodborne disease transmission, but I still like to be cautious, so I wear my latex gloves. Keeping my hands/arms/clothes clean is a side benefit, as I'm not always near a creek or snow to be able to clean up with before getting back into the car. I don't see myself or any hunting buddy as being less of a man for trying to stay safe and clean.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from goin2themountains wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Ziplock bags inevitably get used for a hundred purposes in the field, and I'm darned lucky if I have a clean one left for heart and liver. I'm also always curious about hachets and saws for the pelvis. My Grandfather had run a slaughterhouse for a time, and taught me where the soft spot down the center of the pelvis is. Never needed to use more than a good 3 blade pocket knife rocked down through it. BTW, one other thing I see missing from this kit, and that's my youngest son's cell number to call and haul out a deer/elk for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Seems the more prepared I am the less likely I am to shoot a deer. I'll just stick with my knife!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have never been able to correctly use the butt-out gizmo. I always seem to tear the "crap" out of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeerSlayer4ever wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Great kit! Although I usually just carry a knife.. And am I the only person who has never used gloves to gut a deer? I mean come on.. It's not that bad!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rballoutdoors wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

That is wayy to much stuff to bring to the field. If you're just starting out and reading this, that is a lot to think about. All you need is a sharp knife (and a deer drag is extremely helpful, but no means necessary), for pete's sake. It's simple enough to take out the gut pile and chest organs. After that, you've sucessfully field dressed a deer.(Don't forget to tag it either)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Blomberg wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

You're kidding right? I guess you also wear a safety harness while in a 12' high tree stand.

In the old days I only used a knife and everything came out fine. In this day and age, I will either haul the deer out whole on a horse or atv and bone out at camp or I will break down and bone the animal out where it lay. Then pack out meat only or if there is snow, load meat on the sled. I can bone out a deer in about 45 minutes and an elk in about an twice that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Blomberg wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

You're kidding right? I guess you also wear a safety harness while in a 12' high tree stand.

In the old days I only used a knife and everything came out fine. In this day and age, I will either haul the deer out whole on a horse or atv and bone out at camp or I will break down and bone the animal out where it lay. Then pack out meat only or if there is snow, load meat on the sled. I can bone out a deer in about 45 minutes and an elk in about an twice that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Coolbucket wrote 27 weeks 2 days ago

Check this out! www.quikhot.com About time!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattB wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Oh my!! I never realized I was so behind the times! I have never used anything more than a Buck 110 folding hunter. Never knew that I needed all that other stuff! Takes me 5 minutes to gut a deer. Would still be prepping if I had to use all that other stuff. No gloves,water washes off the blood just fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from goldhunter wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Make sure your knife is real sharp, otherwise u might have some problems. You need a rope, gut ripper, knife, and maybe a saw to cut the pelvic bone and thats it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Gee, to think when I was a kid on the ranch I thought all you needed was the ever present stockmans pocket knife. Just as my grandfather and father used for everything. The venison always tasted fine.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

For Pete's sake. You need a sharp knife.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from diplomat019 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

i guess im slacking. ill i have is a knife

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from schwechel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I agree with Happy Myles. Less is more in this case. My "kit" consists of some gloves (I prefer the shoulder length so I can get in there and cut the windpipe effectively), a drag rope, some paper towel (maybe), and a knife. Anything else is extra weight I don't have to carry.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I carry a knife, drag rope, zipties for my ear tag and anything else I might need them for, ziplock bag, and a bandana or a couple paper towels to whipe my hands off, and it all fits into the small front pocket of the waist pack I carry. The butt-out is a nice little gadget but it's too big and bulky for me to carry. If they ever came out with a foldable model I'd give it a try.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Your kit is great, though i'd never carry it all in the field. Gloves and a knife. I always carry rope or webbing. Did use a friends Butt-Out tool a few weeks ago. worked as intended.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TruthTeller wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have a string tied around my 1 knife handle to tie my tag to the deer. After gutting with 1 knife, i stuff heart and liver in chest cavity. I then throw the deer on my back holding legs over my sholders. I then walk 1/2 mile to my truck. I drive home and butcher every scrap of meat myself and make my own sausages with the 'grid'.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter_Fass wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I agree with most and say that a good knife is all you need, that being said I do use the full arm length gutting gloves but I put latex/nitrile gloves on the outside which gives me 10x better dexterity than fit of the gutting gloves. When I’m finished gutting the deer, I take the heart and liver, hold it in my hand with the gutting glove still on, then simply take the glove off and I have a nice bag to carry my heart and liver home in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

My gutting kit includes the following:
-Latex Gloves
-Unscented baby wipes
-Ziplock bag
-Sharp knife
-Paracord

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper Vic wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Seems the more prepared I am the less likely I am to shoot a deer. I'll just stick with my knife!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rballoutdoors wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

That is wayy to much stuff to bring to the field. If you're just starting out and reading this, that is a lot to think about. All you need is a sharp knife (and a deer drag is extremely helpful, but no means necessary), for pete's sake. It's simple enough to take out the gut pile and chest organs. After that, you've sucessfully field dressed a deer.(Don't forget to tag it either)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Blomberg wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

You're kidding right? I guess you also wear a safety harness while in a 12' high tree stand.

In the old days I only used a knife and everything came out fine. In this day and age, I will either haul the deer out whole on a horse or atv and bone out at camp or I will break down and bone the animal out where it lay. Then pack out meat only or if there is snow, load meat on the sled. I can bone out a deer in about 45 minutes and an elk in about an twice that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike0714 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

dont even gut or brake pelvic bone any more. rib rolling is the way to go. faster easier and only a knife is needed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ga hunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Another alternative for the gloves are the yellow dishwashing gloves. They're comfortable and they're long enough in my opinion. Also, a sharp knife is necessary.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Case XX Folding Trapper, that's all you need for gutting, although a drag rope is pretty high up there. I like carrying zip ties or twine for tag and tying off bladder/intestines, and a rag, but those are niceties, not needs.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from diplomat019 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

*all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Cheap exam glove, Bowie knife and some rope to drag is all I ever used.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blevenson wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Knife and maybe a bag or two to save the heart and liver is all I ever take.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Likewise, I use a knife and nothing else, though gut hooks are slick.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

In my pack I have a rope, a small saw to open chest cavity, and a plastic grocery bag for heart. My knife is on my belt.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SoDak hunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Gimme a knife (hopefully sharp, mine usually has hair and blood from the last animal) and 10 minutes and I'll have most any antelope/deer gutted and ready to start dragging. A rope would be helpfull buy I usually forget, pants/grass and snow wash all the blood off so no need for all them fancy gloves. I probably handle 15 or more animals a year so my gear gets used and abused and I keep it very simple I do kinda like them little bone saws, I got soft and bought one a couple years ago, otherwise I just leave the pelvic bone intact.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tennesseedeerhunter wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

all i use is a knife and my hands. i dont guess theres any real mwn left

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Casey Walker wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

A trip to the local farm supply or vet supply store for a box of pregnancy testing gloves. (the shoulder length ones) and a box of latex gloves that will last you for many seasons and is way cheaper in the long run. I like the shoulder length gloves with the latex over them. The long gloves make for easy clean up and a great place to keep the heart clean. (yes I still eat it). The latex gloves give me grip and feel. I also like the compressed towels that expand with some water on them. (Popup towels is the brand name) They are small, made of cotton so you can also use them as fire starters, and about the handiest thing I have found in the last few years. I like my Kodie pack from outdoor edge because it has a bone saw and the swing blade so I have a gut hook and a regular blade. Put the gloves, popup towels and tag in a plastic bag along with a good knife and I'm good to go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bounty1 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Now your deleting comments? Mine was here 2 days ago. Now it's gone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joejv4 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Sharp knife, zip tie for the tag, string to tie the anus shut, and plain sash-cord rope (a little bigger stronger than clothesline) to drag it to the truck. Cheap, light, and effective.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hermit crab wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Tennesseedeerhunter:
There's not a lot of research on the topic of deer-to-human bloodborne disease transmission, but I still like to be cautious, so I wear my latex gloves. Keeping my hands/arms/clothes clean is a side benefit, as I'm not always near a creek or snow to be able to clean up with before getting back into the car. I don't see myself or any hunting buddy as being less of a man for trying to stay safe and clean.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from goin2themountains wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Ziplock bags inevitably get used for a hundred purposes in the field, and I'm darned lucky if I have a clean one left for heart and liver. I'm also always curious about hachets and saws for the pelvis. My Grandfather had run a slaughterhouse for a time, and taught me where the soft spot down the center of the pelvis is. Never needed to use more than a good 3 blade pocket knife rocked down through it. BTW, one other thing I see missing from this kit, and that's my youngest son's cell number to call and haul out a deer/elk for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

I have never been able to correctly use the butt-out gizmo. I always seem to tear the "crap" out of it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DeerSlayer4ever wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

Great kit! Although I usually just carry a knife.. And am I the only person who has never used gloves to gut a deer? I mean come on.. It's not that bad!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Eric Blomberg wrote 1 year 8 weeks ago

You're kidding right? I guess you also wear a safety harness while in a 12' high tree stand.

In the old days I only used a knife and everything came out fine. In this day and age, I will either haul the deer out whole on a horse or atv and bone out at camp or I will break down and bone the animal out where it lay. Then pack out meat only or if there is snow, load meat on the sled. I can bone out a deer in about 45 minutes and an elk in about an twice that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Coolbucket wrote 27 weeks 2 days ago

Check this out! www.quikhot.com About time!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MattB wrote 26 weeks 4 days ago

Oh my!! I never realized I was so behind the times! I have never used anything more than a Buck 110 folding hunter. Never knew that I needed all that other stuff! Takes me 5 minutes to gut a deer. Would still be prepping if I had to use all that other stuff. No gloves,water washes off the blood just fine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from goldhunter wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Make sure your knife is real sharp, otherwise u might have some problems. You need a rope, gut ripper, knife, and maybe a saw to cut the pelvic bone and thats it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment