Help- I’m squeamish

DESERT ED

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
12
Hello all, long time shooter and fisherman (catch and release). I would love to start hunting elk, but I’m not too keen with blood and guts. Sad, but true. Several buddies have offered to help me clean it, but I kinda feel if I shoot it I should process it.
Anybody else ever had a problem getting used to blood and guts? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks for your help.
 

YZ-80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
694
Location
Maryland
Well, this is a canundrum of sorts. I think you need to take your buddies up on their offer on maybe a deer hunt first. Try to watch and assist in the field dressing process and ease your way into it.

In this day and age, people are several generations away from the farm. They don’t know where food comes from. As a hunter, it helps to remind yourself of this from time to time. Unless you’re a vegan, you eat something every day that was processed on a kill floor at a packing plant. As a hunter, you are the food processor and can feel good about it! Remember, lots of things are ugly before they get pretty. It will hit home when you sink your teeth into a medium rare blackstrap medallion fresh off the Weber.

Cheers!
 

yorke-1

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Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
1,198
Location
Clearwood, WA
What is it about elk hunting that you find interesting? Maybe what you'd really enjoy is just going along with others to film or photograph the hunt for them. That gives you the excitement, camaraderie and experience of the hunt without "blood and guts". I have a teenage daughter who's a vegetarian but still loves to come hunting with me just because she enjoys the experience. When it comes time for the messy stuff she just stays back a little ways and helps with the animal once it's been processed to the point of being a bit less messy.
 

DESERT ED

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
12
What is it about elk hunting that you find interesting? Maybe what you'd really enjoy is just going along with others to film or photograph the hunt for them. That gives you the excitement, camaraderie and experience of the hunt without "blood and guts". I have a teenage daughter who's a vegetarian but still loves to come hunting with me just because she enjoys the experience. When it comes time for the messy stuff she just stays back a little ways and helps with the animal once it's been processed to the point of being a bit less messy.
Elk is the only wild meat I like and I’ve been here in swco for 20 years. Also kind of a bucket list thing. Not a fan of venison.
 

Frog4aday

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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
921
Location
Texas Hill Country
Go with buddies. Watch and listen to what they are doing during the gutting process. The more exposure you get, the less squeamish you'll get. And - at some point - you'll be ready to work the blade and reach in to cut the windpipe & pull things out. It will be gross. It will be surreal. But once you get thru your first time, it gets easier from there. Good luck to you.

Elk is my favorite wild game meat, too. But they are big & a lot of work. Your buddies will be happy to help you with the gross part to have your help with the packing out part. Teamwork makes the dream work.
 

jpd676

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
465
Location
Jackson Hole, WY
You can use the "Indian Gut" technique. You can bone out an animal by cutting the fur off the spine and pulling it down, then cutting the meat off the bones from all four quarters and the backstrap. You can even cut at the flank, reach in and cut out the tenderloin. You don't even have to mess with the guts and it usually just gets your hands bloddy instead of your entire arms. Many backpack hunters use this methood so as not to pack out a bunch of bones. Maybe I haven't described it well but it doesn't waste any meat if you do it right. I bet you can find it on youtube.
 

GISHunter

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Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
46
Location
Portland, OR
First off, don't feel bad. Most of us struggle with certain parts of the hunt. I have been hunting my entire life and have killed lots of animals. I still tear up and get choked with every single kill. Depending on which of my buddies are with me, there might be tears as well. Don't let the macho mentality scare you away. We are taking the life of real animals that live free and in the wild, that is a tough thing to grasp at times and a something everyone makes peace with in their own way. I am not particularly squeamish of blood and such, but there are definitely parts that get a bit gruesome. For me, once the animal is dead it takes on a completely different feel. I give my respect to life I took when I first walk up to it, but once the work starts its just meat. For me its not much different than walking through the grocery store and looking at all the different cuts of meat. At that point its just a carcass and food that will feed my family, it feels way different.
All that said, there are things that you can do to help out. Look at the gutless method. I process all my elk that way, even if I am closer to my truck. It just seems quicker and easier to me. And that way your not all up in the guts and stuff. That might be a good start. I completely understand the need to process your animal if you kill it too. However I would recommend having a buddy there to help that has done it before. First, I hunt solo most of the time. Processing an elk by yourself is tough work. It's a lot better with someone there to give a hand. Second, I never had anyone really teach me how. I learned through experience when I was young, and youtube videos later on. If there is someone that knows what they are doing they can help guide you through it, even if your doing all the work.
Your giving this thought upfront and realizing where your limitation's might be before your in the situation, that's all really good. it sounds like your a respectful outdoors-man already, welcome to the family!
 

memtb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,142
Location
Winchester, Wy.
Hello all, long time shooter and fisherman (catch and release). I would love to start hunting elk, but I’m not too keen with blood and guts. Sad, but true. Several buddies have offered to help me clean it, but I kinda feel if I shoot it I should process it.
Anybody else ever had a problem getting used to blood and guts? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks for your help.
My wife was also a bit “squeamish” when she first started hunting, always watching but never actually doing the “gutting”. After her divorce, she wanted to keep her boys hunting! She took them on an antelope hunt, and after her kill ....she was going to instruct them about how to field dress the animal. Probably rehearsed in advance, they told her “you shot it, you gut it”! She got “****ed”, but did her first field dressing job. It’s never been a problem since. However, years later she got retribution. She was with her oldest son, when he killed a moose.....when he expected help, she told him, “you shot it, you gut it”! Payback.....priceless! memtb
 

KyCarl

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LRH Team Member
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
1,849
Location
Petersburg Kentucky 41080
I grew up in a farming family..squeamish was not an option..We fed out a couple of steers every year and ate them. I raised rabbits that
we ate . Trapping and fishing took care of any other odd feelings..When you have 37 muskrats and 2 coons to skin and stretch there
isn't time to worry about it!
 

Bill Cauley Jr

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
846
Location
Tn
Hello all, long time shooter and fisherman (catch and release). I would love to start hunting elk, but I’m not too keen with blood and guts. Sad, but true. Several buddies have offered to help me clean it, but I kinda feel if I shoot it I should process it.
Anybody else ever had a problem getting used to blood and guts? Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks for your help.
Not a problem for me but you should learn to field dress your animals at the very least but there’s nothing wrong with taking it to a processor after that
 

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