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Fielddressing An Elk
Preserving your meat starts with proper field dressing

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Preserving your meat starts with proper field dressing, whether it be an Elk, a deer , or any other game.Using the standard field dressing procedures, slit the hide from the anus up to the brisket. When doing this be sure not to puncture the stomach or the intestines. Cut the skin around both sides of the penis and testicles (assuming it is a bull) and lay them back between the legs out of the way. What ever you do, don't cut the penis or the urine will squirt out. Cut cleanly around the anus to free the hide from the large intestine.

Now reach up inside the chest cavity and start pulling the innards out. You will have to reach way up inside to cut the diaphragm away from the rib cage, and the wind pipe and esophagus at the base of the neck. Cut slowly and precisely so you don't cut yourself.

As you cut things loose, keep rolling the innards from the cavity to the ground. Pull gently on the intestines to pull the anus and attached penis out through the body cavity. You will probably have to use your knife alongside the anus and around the inside of the pelvis to free it. But use caution so you do not cut the urine sack. When you have cored around the pelvis, you can pretty much pull large intestine with the anus attached through the cavity.

After all the organs are out, you can slit the skin on forward from the brisket to the chin. Split the brisket with your saw or hatchet so the animal can be opened to cool.

A good way to keep the flies off the meat is to use a commercial spray available, or a can of black pepper. I have always used the black pepper and have had good results.

To skin it or not is up to you. For every person that tells you that you should skin it, there is one that will tell not to skin it. I think it really depends on the circumstances. If it is a hot day, and there are many of them during the early part of the season, then I would skin it to allow it to cool faster. Be reminded that by skinning it , it does open the meat up to dirt. If you do skin it, leave the fat on to protect the meat from dirt and it will prevent the meat from drying out.

For packing it out, you should remove the legs. All they are is extra weight, and they will get caught on every little branch that is out there. You have enough hard work to do, don't make a hard job harder.

You are now ready to quarter your Elk for packing it back to camp or the vehicle. This is not as hard as some may think, and it really does not take that much time to do.
Quartering without gutting your elk.

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