Split the pelvis or not? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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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?
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:13 PM
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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.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:23 PM
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I split the pelvis and the rib cage unless I plan on getting a shoulder mount.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:40 PM
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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
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 03:48 PM
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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.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:08 PM
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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.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:13 PM
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Split it. I guess that's why I never got to use my Butt Out!

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:28 PM
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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.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 07:26 PM
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I don't drag my deer any more, I bone them out and pack the meat and head for tagging purposes....butt out, LOL....
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 08:25 PM
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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.
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