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How to bone-out a deer tutorial with pictures

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Axle:
How to bone-out a deer tutorial

Iím going to do this in several posts so hang on with any replies till I say Iím done so it doesnít get broken up. Iíll be using a deer I just harvested as the volunteer for this.

I hope you have a knife with a gut hook. If not, then get one. They are great tools.
This bone-out method works on any deer-like animal.

First of all, donít gut it out. There is no need to and you will see why in this explanation.

1. With the animal on its side, use your gut hook to zip all the way from the rectum up the neck and then up the inside of each leg. If you are saving the cape, then cape it first. Now skin it from the belly to the back bone on one side and skin the upper two legs down to the knees.

Axle:
2. Once the first side is skinned, take off the front leg. It is easy and you really canít mess it up (takes only a few seconds). Once you have the front leg off, go to the hind leg. This gets tricky because the back leg holds the best cuts of meat except for the back strap and tender loin.

Before cutting the hind leg off, identify the hip bone (Iím pointing to it in a picture).
Cut around it. On the forward side of the bone, the back strap (loin) starts. On the rear side of it, the roasts from the back leg start. Many hunters who donít know how to properly cut this out end up hacking apart the roasts on the hind leg. In my humble opinion, the rump roast is the best but it gets hacked apart the most by beginners.

Axle:
3. Once you have identified and cut around the protruding hip bone, you will then begin to cut the hind leg off. To do this, stay close to the bone all the way around while leaving the meat on the leg. Cut down the spine on the back side. Cut as close to the bone on the inside as you can and be aware that there is a socket to cut through on the inside of the leg. The socket has a ligament in the middle that you will need to cut. (Note: the front leg has no socket like this.) If you keep to the bone all the way around, you will have the rear leg in one piece without any roasts destroyed. Set the leg aside and I will show you a trick to boning it out in a bit.

Axle:
4. Now cut the back strap out. Do the same as the hind leg and stay next to the spine while you whittle it out. The strap will go up to and connect to the neck meat. Take it all together and it will be easy to separate later.
Cut off all the rib meat and belly meat and put it in the hamburger pile. There is no wrong way to do it since it will be mostly used in the burger pile. I even take the stomach diaphragm muscle on the animal. It is good meat as long as it wasnít shot in that area and it is easily accessible.

Axle:
5. Once you have the legs off, the rib meat off, and the back strap off, it will be very easy to get to the yummy tender loin. Reach in and carefully cut it out on that side.

Now turn the animal over at this point and repeat the process for the other side

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