The gutless method because I think it is much more simple to do in the field because you are removing the meat from the animal without exposing the sometimes stinky and messy innards and guts. Plus you can cool down the meat much faster, which helps reduce the chance for spoiled meat. The gutless method is also preferred when you are dealing with heavy animals such as elk and moose.
How To Perform The Gutless Quarter Method
With the animal on its back, the first cut starts at the genitals and runs up the stomach to the brisket, or bottom of the rib cage, through the skin only. If not keeping the cape for mounting, continue cutting under the hide, up to the base of the neck. Now skin the entire side up to and slightly past the top of the back.
Now remove the hindquarter, as that’s the biggest section of meat that needs to get cooling the fastest. To do that cut down the inside of the leg, keeping the blade tight to the pelvic bone to retain all the meat. The only blood released in this method happens no when the femoral artery is severed.
Keep cutting through the muscle until contacting the ball and socket joint. The socket tissue is cartilage, so can be cut through easily. Keep cutting the cartilage, then severe the ball from the socket joint. Continue cutting against the pelvis, to the backbone, and one hind quarter is removed. Repeat the on the other side.
Next, remove the front shoulder by simply slicing between the ribcage and the shoulder until it comes free. Slip it into a game bag and lay it in the shade on a couple of logs so the air can circulate and cool it down.
With both front legs removed, it’s time to take out the backstrap.
Run the blade down each side of the spine, cutting the backstrap away from the backbone. Peel the silver skin away from the backstrap, toward the ribs. Once the silver skin reaches the ribs, that’s as far as it will go. At the hip joint, crosscut the end of the backstrap. Grab the end of the severed backstrap, lifting and cutting all the way to the neck. Make an “L” shaped slice with each move of the blade, going from the spine to the ribs, or vise-versa, until the entire backstrap is removed.
Next, take the neck meat off by cutting down the spine toward the throat, filleting one side at a time.
The tenderloins can be removed with the guts still in the cavity.
Carefully cut into the body cavity along the spine just behind the last rib. Reach in and filet out the tenderloin, which lies under the spine. Be very careful not to nick the stomach.
All that’s left is to fillet the rib meat off the bone. If you’re saving the ribs, bone and all, simply cut the stomach muscles, pull out the internal organs (keep heart and liver if desired), then cut away the ribs.
There is more than one way to skin a deer, but this is a quick, clean, and efficient method for getting your animal cooled down and into your freezer in the best possible condition.