There is nothing like the feeling you get when you finally get that perfect kill shot on the animal you have been hunting. For myself, preferably a monster whitetail, and it just drops where it stands. But when it doesn’t go that way and the deer bolts, make sure you keep an eye on it for as long as you can and get a general location on where it may lay. I usually wait 15-30 minutes to retrieve my kill. The purpose for this is to make sure that the animal is dead when you approach it. It’s not fun being kicked, attacked or the animal possibly bolting again. So when you approach it, poke the animal once and if it doesn’t move, then you’re good to go.
Now after you get done admiring the animal and taking your selfies with it, if you’re like me you begin to realize this is nowhere near over. First off, you have to call in what you killed to your county/ state and get a tag number for the animal harvested. Tagging what you harvested helps the wildlife management agencies obtain information about how many tags are filled in combination with their assessment of the local animal populations to determine how many tags can be sold in the next hunting season. This ensures a limited number of animals killed next year so it will help preserve the species as a resource and keep ecosystem/ environment in balance.
Now when you have all that done you can start the fun stuff meaning gutting the animal. I’m not going to go in great detail because that might be a little gross so I’ll go over the basics. First you’re going to want to turn the animal over on its back to make the initial incision. I start from the crotch lift the skin and put the blade under the skin so it does not touch any of the organs or the gut bag. Then take the blade and cut all the way up to the sternum. If you just stick your knife in carelessly you’re very likely going to puncture the gut bag and trust me when you do that you will know because it stinks like no other. But once you have it open put your hands in the sternum cut out the heart, lungs and major organs. The next step is to start cutting the membrane that connects to the spine all the way down to the crotch. At this point you grab the guts and they should just spill out. Proceed to cut the pelvic bone and pull the colon out, once all this is done move the animal away from the gut pile and flip it over to let all the blood drain. Also don’t forget to collect any organs you want to eat or cook up for the dogs if not just leave them with the guts for the coyotes.
I hope you found this post informative and gave you some insight on what to do after a kill.