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.
100 gloves for $17.99 on Amazon.
100 for $9.96 on Amazon.
Gerber full tang knife $22.87 on Amazon
From $10.49 on Amazon
A basic bone saw is all you need in your butchering kit.
$34.28 on Amazon
For a step up, the Wyoming saw works great in the field on bones or trees. $58.12 on Amazon
25 bags for $11.39 on Amazon
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.
$26.99 on Amazon
A skinning knife – The rounded blade makes skinning so much easier than just using your dressing blade.
Gerber Skin and Gut Knife $19.98 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.
$14.00 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.
$22.49 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…
$23.60 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: $359.99 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.
- Cast iron skillets – you can’t beat the even heat a cast iron skillet provides.
- Enameled dutch oven – a dutch oven will give you more cooking options for your stews and chilis.
- Meat thermometer
- Crock Pot – I prefer a non digital because it can double as a sous vide cooker.
- A thermostatic switch – just for sous vide on the cheap.
- A meat grinder – get one measured in horse power – NOT wattage.
- A vertical sausage stuffer – a 5 lb stuffer is perfect. The ones for your kitchen-aid are not nearly as good as these hand crank versions.
- Jerky gun – the bigger, the better. Metal is better than plastic.
- Dehydrator – My go to for making jerky.
- Electric Smoker – Make jerky, smoked sausage, smoked roasts, pastrami – a smoker gives you more options than you can imagine to use your meat for.
- Finding Wounded Deer by John Trout Jr. Ok, you shot a nice deer. Now you have to find it. Learn how to identify after the shot blood signs that will tell you how long to wait and what to look for. It’s an older book so you can sometimes find it used for just a few bucks on Amazon or eBay.
Check on Amazon
Tracking Wounded Deer: How to Find and Tag Deer Shot With Bow or Gun by Richard Smith. Similar to Trout’s book, but this is one subject area you can never over study.
Check on Amazon on Amazon
Gut It. Cut It. Cook It.: The Deer Hunter’s Guide to Processing & Preparing Venison by Eric Fromm. This book has great illustrations and pictures on the cuts of meat you can get out of your deer.
$22.10 on Amazon
Making the Most of Your Deer: Field Dressing, Butchering, Venison Preparation, Tanning, Antlercraft, Taxidermy, Soapmaking, & More by Dennis Walrod. Dennis covers it all here. It’s a great book, but could use more pictures. Still, should be required reading for all deer hunters.
$14.33 on Amazon
Coyote America by Dan Flores. Deer hunters love to hate Coyotes. READ THIS BOOK. You will understand these crafty predators better, and I daresay, you will better appreciate them.
$7.99 on Amazon