How to Quarter a Deer

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Tracking and taking down a deer is the easiest part of hunting, but how do you quarter a deer? To quarter a deer is butchering it in four parts: front shoulders, backstrap, tenderloins, and hindquarters.

This process will be influenced by where you’re quartering the deer, either in the field or at home. Many hunters have the concern of what to do after shooting a whitetail or an elk. Once you shoot down the deer, you need to approach it carefully, then cape the deer and finally start the quartering process.

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The Procedure on How to Quarter a Deer

Assemble Your Tools and Gear

Before taking you through the procedure, you should put in mind there are tools you shouldn’t lack for quartering. These tools will determine how perfect you can slice the parts and how easy it will be for you. Make sure you have sharp butchers and chef’s knives that can sever the skin or meat with minimal pressure. Also, a hoist is vital whether you are quartering the deer at home or in the woods.

However, you can choose a rope if a hoist isn’t at your disposal. Have a board or any surface that is washable to place under the deer for harvesting the blood spills. While not necessarily recommended, you can have a saw with you, although you might not need it. But it depends on your level of expertise on the butchering game.

With these tools, you’re now ready to quarter your deer as long as you have one prepared after a hunt.


Dressing means cutting the guts off from the deer, so you have to remove all the internal organs. This should be done carefully if you don’t want to experience bad taste with the venison. The first step you have to undertake is often the dirtiest, although pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take you long. Nevertheless, note that dressing can be done before or after skinning, especially if you’re doing it at home.

There is no harm with starting with either step, and the state you come from will influence where you start. First, make an incision on the lower side of the belly from the back horizontally towards the front. You will find fat on some deer while cutting the rib cage area, therefore more pressure could be needed. Take precautions not to puncture the stomach because you don’t want to mess the deer meat.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, the deer should be in an upside-down position. Open up the stomach entirely and let the guts out. Some parts are attached to the inner ribs; therefore, you should use your hands to pull them off. A smaller hunter’s knife can come in plenty here.

Pull the large intestine heading to the back slowly, so you don’t spill the waste and slice it. Hold the end part as you separate the guts from the venison. You can save the liver and heart, which are a delicacy for some individuals. When dressing, the process should be quick too, and caution should be prioritized not to contaminate the venison.

Skinning the Deer

Skinning is simple, and something many have never realized is the skin can peel off without using a knife. But there is a trick here. The first thing to do is hanging your game in an upside-down position. Take the hoist straps and hook them at the bottom of the back hinds.

Carefully pull the deer up and make sure the open part doesn’t touch the ground. At the end of it all, having clean meat is the goal. The height you choose to position your deer for skinning is up to you. Make ring or round cuts anywhere before the knee joints on all of the deer’s hinds.

Incisions should follow this on all leg