Joy and her husband are avid hunters, home-butchering enthusiasts, sausage lovers, and cooks. Their German Shepherd dog is raw fed.
Information and Pictures About Gutting a Deer
This is the second article of four that demonstrates how to prepare deer for dog food. The first necessary step is to remove the skin and head of the deer.
Previous comments on this article indicated that many people found the pictures showing the removal of the deer's head to be disturbing. None of these pictures are intended to gross anybody out, but they are realistic and graphic.
If the sight of blood or guts bothers you, you should not continue to read this article.
Preparing the Skinned Deer for Gutting
Our next step after removing the head and hide is to position the deer belly up. We use 4x4 wooden blocks, four feet long, to stabilize the deer in this position.
A word on knives and cleanliness. For most of the gutting process, the knife MUST be used with the sharp edge facing upward to prevent cutting into the intestines and causing a mess. The deer shown in these photos had an internal temperature of around 65 degrees F., and was not fit for human consumption. It was slightly bloated, and it was therefore critical that we not puncture the intestines.
This deer, while a poaching victim and not a road kill specimen, was similar to what you might receive if you are able to get road kill deer from your local D.N.R. or D.O.W.; these deer are not suitable for human consumption.
A Warning About E. Coli
During the gutting process, it is important to realize that splitting guts will likely result in E. coli-laced meat. This is true in any grain-fed animal, and this deer grazed in corn fields. While E. coli is normally not an issue with dogs as their digestive tracts are quite short, it is important to properly wash your hands and cutting utensils when you've finished handling your deer.
Now we will get on with removing the guts.
Step One: Splitting the Meat and Membranes Down the Belly
Step Two: Cutting Through the Breast Bone
Step Three: Cleaning Out the Body Cavity
Step Four: Disposing of the Guts
An Explanation of the Whole Carcass Model
Raw Dog Food Feeding Practices
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you go over how to prepare the deer stomach (green tripe)? Should we empty deer stomach out, wash it, freeze it for a while to kill anything bad like worms?
Answer: No need to prepare the green tripe any special way. You can wash it if you like, but dogs usually don't care. They prefer to eat it just as a wolf might--raw and totally unprocessed.
© 2009 Joilene Rasmussen
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on January 23, 2019:
A round of applause to Team Hubpages! Thank you for your prompt replies, careful attention to detail, and very professional consideration while bringing these articles to fruition! Articles #3 and #4 are up and running, and I am very grateful to you all!
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on December 30, 2018:
Donkey Dogs, Stefanie, and anyone else concerned about Parts 3 & 4:
I made attempts over the last two days to publish the remaining two parts. Within hours, they were unpublished due to "mature" content. I was advised to read the HP guidelines, and "make substantial changes" to these articles in order to try republishing. I have carefully read the guidelines, and have contacted the HP team for further instructions. Hopefully they will send me specific suggestions on how to revise these topics for public viewing.
I am doing my best, and don't see any difference between cutting up a chicken vs. cutting up a deer...but I am only one person, with one opinion. You might consider contacting HP and let them know how you feel about this topic. Include a link to my profile, and let's try together to make sure this topic doesn't die on the operating table! Thanks!
A_vt_beagle_life on November 09, 2018:
I just discovered this article as I posted about my willingness to pick up any organs successful hunters in my area might not want to keep for themselves (hunting season starts tomorrow). I shared your link under my post. So much good info! Looking forward to parts 3 & 4.
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on October 27, 2018:
DonkeyDogs, thanks a million for your thoughtful comment. I have every intention of finishing the next two parts! I have been digging out from under my workload as fast as possible, so I can spend more time writing! You can be sure that these articles are high on my priority list. BTW, I would love to see snapshots of your dogs and deer lease, if you felt like sharing. I love Great Danes!
Where are you located?
DonkeyDogs on October 27, 2018:
Ohhhh I was so into reading (and learning) everything you spoke of and then..... eeekkkk where’s the next two parts! Good timing on my behalf (and commenter Stefanie’s) cuz now I see there aren’t any other ‘parts’... YET (hopefully!).
We have two Great Danes (160lbs 3 yrs, 190 5yrs) and the youngest is (was) just sooo unhealthy (skin and yeast) on kibble so we just switched over to raw for both - and they’re in hog-heaven and only after just a few days already ‘Steiners’ allergies are visibly clearing up. Luckily, deer season just opened up and my son (8 yrs) with his father just shot his first kill of the season on our managed deer lease. My husband is an avid hunter and chef (by trade) so he knows how to clean and dress meats... but IMO things are different when feeding off the hoof in some ways to what he’s ‘used to’. So being the mom (of humans and four legged) I am, I’m looking into it all and making sure we get off to the right start! I’d love to read any other info you have as we have ample access to venison - the land lease is biologically maintained and counts are too high - and we can store the meats indefinitely. THANK YOU for what you’ve done so far but for this girls sake, plllease continue the rest - it’s so well written and easy to follow - and throughly detailed - and even my all knowing hunter/chef husband is ‘listening’ by way of screen shots I’m sending him of your article AS he’s loading the kill in the bed of the truck!!! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR TAKING THE TIME THUS FAR TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE!!!
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on October 18, 2018:
Yea, a nice comment on this subject! (It's a bit tricky.) Unfortunately, I haven't gotten parts 3 and 4 done. About the time I finished parts 1 and 2, I got into a situation without internet for a few years. When I got back to civilization, I had so much catch-up to do that I am still working on articles started in 2009 or before. These are near the top of my list!
Stefanie on October 16, 2018:
Hi, love your posts! Did you happen to post the 2nd two parts that you referred to? I can’t find them.
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on March 29, 2018:
We let our dog eat the whole stomach, unwashed and unprocessed. Dogs often enjoy it, even the contents. :-) This is how they'd do it in the wild, after all. Their digestive tracts are different than ours, and they don't seem bothered by very much.
Ash on March 28, 2018:
As someone who is getting into hunting for myself and my dogs this is very helpful!! It would be awesome to see how you harvest the tripe, do you have to cut away a certain part or just feed the whole stomach? How do you wash the acid and stuff out?
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on April 02, 2015:
Shaddie, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Shaddie from Washington state on March 20, 2015:
Good job :)
Joilene Rasmussen (author) from United States on December 23, 2009:
Thanks, Ivorwen, I couldn't agree more. I know it's a little nasty, but hey - it's what happens. It's the necessary part before the burger or steak hits the table (or dog dish).
Ivorwen from Hither and Yonder on December 23, 2009:
This is good information for those of us who butcher at home.