Split the pelvis or not? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
JasonN's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Warren, Pa - Clarion Co. Camp
Posts: 14,314
Back To Top
Split the pelvis or not?

As the title says....split the pelvis when gutting or not?

I've done it both ways. I can say without any doubt splitting the pelvis to remove the bladder/colon is faster than doing it with a knife. I don't know that one way is 'better' than the other. Heck some folks split the sternum too....which I think is silly considering what it does to your knife for virtually no benefit at all. My buddy preaches the contamination angle for NOT splitting the pelvis. I've cut up a lot of deer and I can honestly say that's not an area that gets much contamination anyway. The Butt-Out tool factors into this too. I have one, haven't used it yet. I imagine it's faster than reaming around the anus or splitting the pelvis.

What are your thoughts?
JasonN is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 26,979
Back To Top
I do split the pelvis, it makes it a lot easier to do a good job on removing the anus without wasting meat on the hind quarters. It also helps to cool the meat when you get it out of the field, I many times split the rib cage down the middle of the sternum as well. I have a butt out and I used it one time. It does work but you end up with a crappy piece of plastic you have to wipe down the best you can before you can put it in your back pack even if you put it in a plastic bag, I wouldn't put it in before cleaning the crap off. In addition, I can split the pelvis with my small hand ax quicker than I can squeeze the crap out of a section of the colon and tie it off in two places and then cut it off. With the pelvis split and all the insides cut free all you have to do is pull the rectum and colon out of the carcass and follow it with the rest of the intestines and lungs and heart. Different strokes for different, but I like to split the pelvis and splitting the rib cage also makes it easier to get up into the neck to cut off the esophagus and windpipe.
huntr4477 likes this.
Woods walker is offline  
post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:23 PM
Regular Member
RacksnQuacks's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SW PA
Posts: 2,387
Back To Top
I split the pelvis and the rib cage unless I plan on getting a shoulder mount.
Jack, Dogface and huntr4477 like this.
RacksnQuacks is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:40 PM
Regular Member
jmbear12's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: York County, PA
Posts: 1,658
Back To Top
I try not to split either, at the suggestion of a friend who is a butcher. I make a small incision (~12") down from the breastbone, and then cut around the anus and rectum within the pelvic bone. Once that, the diaphragm and the windpipe are cut, almost everything comes out easily at once and with a little care, no pellets or urine contacts the meat. This keeps the cavity clean on the drag out.

If I'm close to the truck and I have a cooler with me, my preference is to use the gutless method and quarter them out.

"Well boy, you ain't gonna git nothin' layin' in that bed." ~My ol' man
jmbear12 is offline  
post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:48 PM
Regular Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 1,437
Back To Top
I have never split it, I was taught to cut around the bung with a sharp knife and pull it out. I would challenge your statement, can't imagine it would be faster to split it because it takes me about 20 seconds with a havalon. I've also helped out in a butcher shop and seen some deer that had all sorts of leaves and dirt inside from splitting it. If you are taking precautions to avoid that, go for it, but to me the pitfalls seem to outweigh the benefits.

Then again for the last 5 years I use gutless method to quarter them and pack out. I think I've gutted one deer since 2012. No more dealing with bungholes and nasty guts at all, until you make a surgical incision to get the tenderloin at the very end.
Everyday Hunter likes this.
elk yinzer is offline  
post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:08 PM
Regular Member
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,914
Back To Top
Yeah I split it, carry a small bone saw with me or multitool with saw. I've done it with a knife before but it certainly destroys the blade. My Dad broke one of my knives last year trying to hammer it through the bone.
Marcus99 is offline  
post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:13 PM
The Man
Dogface's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Sullivan County or SEPA
Posts: 9,761
Back To Top
Split it. I guess that's why I never got to use my Butt Out!

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
Dogface is offline  
post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 26,979
Back To Top
Elk Yinzer, if you drag your deer on its side you will not get dirt and leaves inside. I have never had to deal with that. I put both front legs behind the head then put my rope loop around the neck and the legs, it makes the drag easier and the deer slides on it's side.
Danesdad, DIYASUB and Laylow like this.
Woods walker is offline  
post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 07:26 PM
Diehard Outdoorsman
bob1961's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: wayne co. PA 3C/3D
Posts: 4,161
Back To Top
I don't drag my deer any more, I bone them out and pack the meat and head for tagging purposes....butt out, LOL....
Laylow likes this.

exocet w/STS, munch mount
boo string and trigger
2117 w/ blazer vanes and brass inserts
bob1961 is offline  
post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 08:25 PM
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Pa
Posts: 2,432
Back To Top
I once took a deer to the butcher that I didn't split the pelvis on and he charged me more than had I split the pelvis. Why I don't know. So now I will always split the pelvis. Its simple with a small bone saw. Besides, for those guys that cut around the bung hole, which way you pulling it then if you don't split the pelvis, toward the meat right? When you split the pelvis, all you need to do then is to lift the front of the deer up and all the guts fall right out, taking the anus with it and nothing winds up on the meat.

I also split the rib cage, but I don't split the sternum, I cut next to it on one side as the bones are softer there and its easier to cut.

Last edited by Blue Bird; 10-03-2017 at 08:31 PM.
Blue Bird is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome