How to Skin a Deer for Raw Dog Food
K-10's Menu for the Week
About the Deer in These Photographs
In this article, my husband and I will show you how to skin a deer for dog food. The particular deer featured here was found dead and, with the game warden's blessing, was given to us for our German Shepherd stud dog, K-10. He is raw fed. This deer was not suitable for human consumption, and, had he not been used for dog food, would have been wasted. He was somewhat bloated, as he had been shot several hours earlier, and was not discovered right away. (He was poached, and was shot in the wee hours of the morning.)
We will show the nitty gritty of how to prepare the deer for gutting. Our method of skinning dog food deer is less thorough than the skinning method used for deer which wind up on our table, and is designed only for getting at the guts easily.
The photos below are graphic. If dead animals turn your stomach, please go read something else.
About the No-Hang Method Shown Here
This method of processing a deer is not recommended when the animal is for human consumption. Dogs are equipped with germ-killing saliva, and can handle more crud than you probably can.
This deer carcass was brought home on a flatbed trailer, and as there was no need to be clean and tidy, we did not hang the carcass up. K-10, the dog, wanted to help anyway, and it would have spoiled his fun to hang the deer from a tree, etc., as is typically done. We did not gut this deer, as the dog preferred to do that himself, over time. So we processed it directly on the trailer.
If you plan on gutting the deer and not allowing your dog to consume the entrails (if your dog is usually welcome indoors, this may change after he eats these delicacies), or are sharing a deer between your family and dog, by all means, use the cleanest, best method you can. Don't take unnecessary chances with bacteria.
Never feed an obviously diseased animal to yourself or your pets. There are some diseases that dogs cannot catch from other species, but if you are not sure, don't risk it. Dispose of such animals in the cleanest way possible, submitting them to the proper authorities as warranted (such as with Chronic Wasting Disease in deer).
Step One - Splitting the Hide Down the Belly
Step Two - Removing Hide from Legs
Step Three - Removing the Head
That's It! Except the "Cuddle" Factor.
Now the hide is removed enough to allow you to gut the deer for your dog. You don't have to gut the deer, if you feed outside - but you won't want your dog coming into the house for quite some while. He will enjoy smelling "wild", but you won't enjoy him sharing his experiences with you. Organ meats and guts, particularly, tend to produce a lot of flatulence. Not to mention the fact that dogs, when left to their own devices, enjoy tunneling into ribcages, and wearing their dinner until the scraps wear off or are scrubbed off.
If you wish to skin the deer entirely, just roll it over and continue on the other side, until you can strip it clear off.
In upcoming articles, we will explain how to gut a deer for dog food, and cut the meat into usable portions.