Field dressing, butchering, processing, and cooking deer doesn’t require a lot of fancy tools. But having a FEW fancy tools DOES help. Below is a list of items I recommend that every hunter should have, and a few items that are nice to have.

Jump to:    Field Dressing    Butchering    Cooking    Books

Field Dressing:

  • Shoulder length gloves – buy these veterinary gloves in bulk, they are way cheaper than the field dressing kits at the sporting goods stores. Buy once and you’ll be set for years.
    100 gloves for $17.99 on Amazon.
  • Nitrile gloves – put these OVER the shoulder length gloves, not under.
    100 for $9.04 on Amazon.
  • A smallish fixed blade knife – 3 to 3 Â½ inches is all you need. No Michael Scott jokes people…
    Gerber full tang knife Check on Amazon on Amazon
  • Rope/Paracord – Always keep at least 50 feet of cord on you. And don’t be afraid to cut it. It’s a tool, it’s meant to be used. Tie a stick to the end as a handle for a deer drag. Haul your gear up to your stand. Lash an umbrella to the tree over your head in a downpour. Makeshift belt to keep your pants up.
    From $10.49 on Amazon
  • A bone saw – for splitting the pelvic bone when dressing, and cutting the ribs when processing.
    A basic bone saw is all you need in your butchering kit.
    $32.86 on Amazon
    For a step up, the Wyoming saw works great in the field on bones or trees. $63.20 on Amazon
  • Food grade 5 gallon bags – Great for organs and big enough to hold whole animal quarters. I quarter my deer at camp, each quarter goes in a bag, then in the cooler. Another bag covers the non-bone meat. One for ribs, one for fat. Tied tight, it keeps ice water out of the meat.
    25 bags for $10.99 on Amazon
  • Butchering:

    In addition to the previous list-

    • A game scale – knowing how much meat will go in your freezer is better than thinking “seems like a lot”. Once you start weighing your dressed deer, you will also get better at aging deer before you shoot. What you thought was big can change once you know what the true weight is.
      $24.47 on Amazon
    • A skinning knife – The rounded blade makes skinning so much easier than just using your dressing blade.
      Gerber Skin and Gut Knife $20.32 on Amazon
    • A flexible boning knife or fillet knife – you can maximize your meat on the backstraps and neck roasts with a flexible blade you can guide around the bone.
      $12.49 on Amazon
    • A kitchen scale – I label every bag that goes in the freezer. Would you buy unweighed meat at the store? Knowing how much meat you are pulling out for a meal will help you know how many portions you can make.
      $24.93 on Amazon
    • 18″ plastic wrap – Yes that is an 18. Like the amp that goes to 11, you want 18″ for wrapping those big roasts. I like to double wrap my steaks and roasts before vacuum sealing. I’ve had stuff go several (or what ever 4 is) years with no freezer burn. Yeah, sometimes stuff gets “lost” in the freezer…
      $24.49 on Amazon for a 2,000 foot roll. Yes, that is a 2,000.
    • Vacuum sealer – I’ve tried a lot of vacuum sealers. This is one area spending more money will save you in the long run.
      Weston Professional Vacuum Sealer: $399.97 on Amazon
    • Vacuum sealer bags – you can use these for sous vide as well as just freezing your venison. If you have a wider sealer, you can use these wider bags.
      $56.99 on Amazon for 3 15″x50′ rolls.


    Books every deer hunter must read: