Skip to content
Home » Blogs » How Long Does It Take to Gut a Deer?

How Long Does It Take to Gut a Deer?

One of the first things you need to do after hunting a deer is to gut it. But how long could that take? 

So how long does it take to gut a deer?

Deer gutting takes five to thirty minutes. The time needed depends on experience and equipment. Deer species also affect the time needed. Gutting a mule or whitetail deer can take 5 to 10 minutes. Gutting an elk or huge deer might take over 20 minutes.

This is just the gist of it. How long it takes to gut and clean a deer, and how to do it properly is discussed in the article.

Time Required to Gut a Deer

The amount of time necessary to gut a deer might vary anywhere from five to thirty minutes. The time that is necessary may vary based on your level of expertise and the tools being used. Also, the species of deer also plays a significant part in the time required.

In five to ten minutes, a skilled hunter may gut a mule deer or whitetail deer. It could take more than twenty minutes to fully gut an elk or another large deer.

You may need more time to gut a deer and that is for the best. Take your time and properly gut the deer. 

It is essential though that you begin gutting the deer as soon as you are able to. You may want to leave it for a bit if the temperature is really low. However, if the temperature is 40 degrees or above, you should promptly begin gutting the deer.

It is essential to gut a deer right after the kill to assist in cooling the flesh. Why gut a deer right away

Gutting a deer protects any meat from becoming bad due to the development of bacteria. Moreover, it protects against contamination brought on by the process of internal breakdown.

How Long Does it Take to Clean a Deer?

Deer meat requires a considerable amount of time to clean. The proper execution of this task will need at least a few hours of your time.

To do so, you must gut it and remove its insides. After that, the hide must be taken off. As the flesh here is delicate, this may be a challenge.

Cleaning a deer is a lengthy process. The whole thing may take a few hours. The answer to this question is conditional on the size and species of the deer.

Deer cleaning requires extreme caution. Since meat contamination is a major problem.

Deer should be cleaned as quickly as possible after being killed. Meat only has a few hours before it begins to deteriorate if the weather is warmer. If it’s cold, you have more time. But it’s best to clean it as quickly as possible.

The taxidermy of a deer head needs plenty of time as well. And that time is not included in the cleaning time. 

Can You Eat Deer Meat Right After You Kill It?

A deer may be eaten as soon as it is killed. But the flavor won’t be the same.

The meat may be made more soft and tasty by the aging process. Biological enzymes improve in time, making aging a positive force. The collagen and elastin fibers inside the flesh are dissolved.

The longer deer is aged, the softer it gets when eaten. Tagging out on the initial day and letting the body hang for one week will improve the meat. The meat’s flavor and texture may be enhanced by maturing for as little as a few days.

How Long Does It Take to Skin a Deer?

Typically, skinning a deer takes no more than 20 or 30 minutes. Newcomers to the procedure should factor in extra time. Additionally, seasoned hunters may be able to achieve even greater speeds.

The best approach is to take your time. Be careful not to ingest any unwanted dirt or hair along with the meat. A well-cleaned deer will be much simpler to butcher.

You will need an appropriately sized cooler for your deer meat.

Just after death, the deer should be skinned and the meat removed. This helps in avoiding spoilage.

There is an exception to the norm of quick skinning. That is if you plan on hanging the deer to age it. The dispute centers on whether or not to remove the deer’s hide.

Keeping the hide on prevents the flesh from withering out or freezing due to exposure to air. However, deer skinning becomes far more challenging with age.

How to Properly Gut a Deer

So let’s see how to gut a deer after you shoot it.

Step 1: Positioning the Deer

Stretch the deer’s rear legs and lay it on its back. If you’re with a friend, ask them to keep their legs apart. You might also use a stick or your body to push them apart.

You can now reach the stomach of the deer.

Step 2: Cutting the Hide

The testicles of a buck should be surgically removed. From there, you may begin removing the cavity’s wall. In a doe, the incision should begin behind the abdomen, where the hind legs meet. 

Don’t pierce the stomach. You just need to cut through the hide and the muscles.

Step 3: Slicing the Belly

It’s best to be using your finger to gently peel the hideaway. Peel it away from the internal organs in the stomach. At the same time, cut the navel open and the hollow opened up to the sternum.

Step 4: Removing the Entrails

Once the abdominal cavity has been opened, the entrails may be safely extracted. To do this, make incisions in the abdominal wall and remove the organs. Then, you should remove everything from the deer.

Remove the portion of the intestines that runs below the anus. While discarding the entrails, take care not to contaminate the meat with any excrement. Intestines and the anus are going to be cleared at a later time.

Step 5: Removing the Diaphragm

The diaphragm has become visible since the bottom cavity is clear. It’s the thin muscular wall that divides your abdominal cavity from the chest.

To extract the diaphragm, make incisions along the inner side of the ribs. The lungs and heart will be laid bare. Cut the esophagus by reaching up. Then take the heart and lungs out at the same time.

Step 6: Cutting the Pelvic Bone

To remove the pelvic bone, change to a bone saw blade. It’s important to avoid contaminating the meat by nicking the bladder. Following the removal of the pelvic bone, the residual bowels, anus, and bladder may be removed.

Step 7: Draining the Remaining Blood

Take the deer farther from the intestines you just took out. Turn it over onto its back and lift it up by the head. This will aid in the removal of any residual blood from the cavity. 

You can now clean and hang the deer. But always make are you hang the deer at the right temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How long can a deer sit before cleaning?

How long a deer can sit before cleaning depends on the temperature. If you take a clean shot, as opposed to a stomach shot, 3 or 4 hours might pass before cleaning the deer becomes necessary. You may wait longer in colder temperatures. 

How long should you wait for a gut shot?

If a deer is shot in the belly, it may run for miles if it is chased too quickly. It’s recommended to hold off for at least 8 hours before starting the trail. The optimal amount of wait is 12 hours.

How long can a deer hang after gutting?

Deer often dangle for two to four days before being processed. Deer meat is at its tastiest after being hung for 14–18 days. For the most part, the older the deer, the more time you’ll need to hang it.


And with that, we know how long does it take to gut a deer. The time needed can vary depending on your experience, and the species. 

Our article has everything you may need to know, going through it should clear all confusion. 

Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *