Processing and cooking your wild harvest

Gutless Field Dressing with Tanya

Field Dressing is the process of removing the internal organs of hunted game, and is a necessary step in preserving meat from animals harvested in the wild. Field dressing must be done as soon as possible in order to ensure rapid body heat loss (cooling of the meat), and prevent bacteria from growing on the surface of the carcass. Field dressing helps maintain the overall quality of the meat. It also makes it considerably easier for a hunter to carry larger game from the hunt area (drag out or pack out), we’ll get to that later.

Over the last few years, the field dressing process known as the Gutless Method has become increasingly popular. There are two primary reasons for its popularity – it saves time, and it saves a mess. The Gutless Method allows a hunter to completely break down an animal without ever opening the body cavity. This can save 10-15 minutes (or more), as well as keep the fresh meat from being exposed to the internal organs (i.e., guts). Using this method, every scrap of edible meat is still salvaged from the animal. Here is a quick breakdown of the Gutless Method: With the gutless method, a hunter skins the animal and cuts away the leg quarters and boneless meat without removing the internal organs from the gut cavity.

1 – Removing the Hide on one side of the animal
2 – Removing the Rear and Front Quarters plus neck meat 
3 – Removing the Backstraps
4 – Removing the Tenderloins, Rib meat and more neck meat
5 – Continued neck meat removal and skull removal

Bone Broth – a simple recipe from the Rustic Elk

Bone broth is an amazing liquid. Full of essential nutrients it has been used to alleviate colds and boost immunity for centuries. It also allows us to use the entire animal, nose to tail and not let any of it go to waste. note: You’ll need a pressure canner or ample freezer space to store the broth.

Sweet and Sour Antelope Meatballs – one of our tried and true favorite antelope (aka, pronghorn) recipes by Harvesting Nature. The hardest part about this recipe is harvesting the Antelope!

Hunting Deer for Food – a book by Jackson Landers