Help- I’m squeamish

TopPin

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Montana
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.
You tube would be a great place to start, search for the gutless method, you can get everything you need without dealing with the alot of blood, and also no guts. Also referred to as popping quarters.
 

WinMag4me

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
12
Location
GA
Hunt with friends and their experience will help with the process. My experience with whitetail as the largest animal I hunt is on a smaller scale compared to elk and larger. I think that the large animals could seem a task for a new hunter. I have hunted and dressed my deer for 40 years and the squeamish part was gone. Until my veterinarian daughter was cleaning hers. She was dissecting the heart and showing the valves and their function. I am now set back 39 years.
 

30dirty

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Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
18
It Aint For everybody , if u dont like it go play with ur I phone !!!! GET !!!!
 

DESERT ED

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
12
Wow... lots of great advice.
I’ve enjoyed reading through all the responses and thanks to everyone for your insight.
I’ll be tagging along this fall for a few hunts and will have plenty of help when I get out for my own first hunt. I’ll be in good hands as there’s only a few of us that don’t hunt. Thanks again and keep it coming.
 

Calamity

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Georgetown, Texas
My father began taking me deer hunting and fishing while I was in single digit years. I didn't carry a gun until I was a teen ager, but I made campfire coffee and eggs, and helped with the camp. Usually, there were several brothers-in-law, friends, etc. along. We took our kills home en-toto, hung them on the back porch, dressed them out and cut up the meat. My Mom worked a hand grinder and mixed cuts of pork with the venison to make sausage. We packed several hundred pounds of venison into two freezers, and ate it all year, along with hamburger, chicken and fish for variety. We had a garden that produced most of the tomatoes and green vegetables we ate. Mom raised chickens. She was a great cook. On the way home from a hunt, I usually fell asleep in the back seat listening to them talk about the terrain, feed, average annual carcass weight and a blow-by-blow account of the individual kills. I helped clean and dress the deer, and hated every minute of it. I still hate it, and have not hunted since I got out of the Marines in '65. I still love guns and shooting, but don't kill anything. As much as I dislike the blood and guts, I would do it all again to relive all the other stuff that went with it. I think you have gotten some good advice from the other guys that have posted. Go hunting with your friends.
 

SteelBanger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
75
Location
IL
I got into hunting a couple years ago at 37 years old and had serious doubts about my ability to field dress a deer but had some friends who said to call them as soon as I had a deer down. Of course when the time came everyone was busy and it became obvious pretty quick that it was all on me. Luckily I had watched enough YouTube videos on it that I was able to butcher (no pun intended) my way through it. It was an experience for sure but when push came to shove I didn’t even think about or notice the guts and blood, it was just a task to get done and I was pretty happy with the job I did on her.

All that to say just go for it, definitely take your friends up on their offer to help, no shame in that at all. Most importantly, have fun and get after it!
 

WYO300RUM

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Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
1,017
Location
Wyoming
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!
Well said GISHunter. I feel the same as you.
 

ATH

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Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
1,178
Location
Lizton, IN
I grew up on the farm and I’ll admit, even. With that there was an adjustment when I got into hunting ata young age. Nothing to be ashamed of.

i echo tagging along with others to learn and observe. I will also say, if I can leave the carcass where it is or don’t have to move it far without a vehicle, I don’t gut anymore. I use the Boneless method. Remove hide one half at a time, bag the meat. Only cut into the gut cVity is to get the tenderloin. Far less messy.
 

emp1953

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Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
145
If you had kids and you certainly had to change diapers. If you can force yourself to get through that you can get through your squeamish part the gutting and butchering. Some times I'm more tolerant of it then others. Make a good shot and the innards won't make you barf. I always thought that the deer gods had a way of punishing a bad shot, and gagging was part of it.
 

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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1,017
Location
Wyoming
Agree, start small; catch a few trout this summer, clean and cook five minutes later. Nothing like it! In Alaska we did the leave the guts closed method and boned it out, but for deer and elk that would leave out the best part, the heart, and, in deer, the liver. For some reason we never ate elk liver.
To me, elk liver is way better than deer or antelope liver. Try it. All heart is good. I've tried other organs . To me, not worth the time. Tongue is good.
 

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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Location
Wyoming
Don't sweat it, just keep at at it.
Everyone has issues buddy, you'll either get over it, or you won't, doesn't really matter if you do or don't as lo g as you have friends that'll help you.
For the most part I'll give a guy a hard time for not taking care of his own, but that's just in good fun. I clean critters every year for people that don't want to.

Keep hunting and keep eating real food. I'll never look down on someone that struggles with certain parts. Some field dress but don't cut......who cares? Just don't quit.
Amen.
 

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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Location
Wyoming
Welcome! I started hunting fairly late in life- I was 26 or 27. My folks never took me, but my buddies did when I reached that age. I was squeamish a bit as well. I started small, learning on dove. Later that season, my first whitetail. I didn't go it alone- I had ZERO idea what I was doing so I took the help that they offered. Sure, there was some fun poked in my direction, but I tried to learn from it...mistakes are a good thing. Learn from them, and you don't do them again. I also really love to cook, so once I made the connection between good processing practices and the direct impact it has on the meal I prepare, I got really serious about processing in the best, cleanest way possible to avoid ruining my future meals. After a couple of deer, it got easier, and now, 13 years later, I teach new folks how to do it (though, I'm still slow...I like to take my time and make sure I'm not messing up any of the cuts for later).

Sounds like you have some buddies willing to help, and you sound willing to learn, so things should be good!
I love to cook also. It's hard to explain but when I'm processing an elk deer or lope I've killed, I'm always sad for taking a life of of one of God's beautiful creatures but it turns into God's given meat and I don't want to waste any of it and dishoner the animal so it turns into food and I work quick and waste nothing. I thank God blood and guts have never bothered me. Trust me, the smell of guts will sometimes give me the heaves. One friend was a gut and *** shooter. He would barf. I'm not into wasting so I would dive in to help. Think of it as honering the animal and waste nothing. Eat the heart and liver or at least try it if somebody knows how to cook it. It gets easier with each animal and you learn more with each. Big antlers are nice but the meat should matter most. Don't waste it. Ribs also if you can. Welcome to the harvest brother.
 

Nevrsummr

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Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
49
Location
Idaho idaho
I didnt read all 6 pages so this might be a repeat. To me, its in your mind. Something in your mind is telling you its not normal. Its gross, its overwhelming your senses. But in other peoples minds, its normal, its part of life, it happens every day. Its beautiful because you are in control of the outcome.

My suggestion is to spend some time really thinking about it. Like deep thinking, meditation like. Imagine yourself completing the process. Now you have delicious organic meat for you and your family to enjoy. Nothing gross, just different. Outside of your normal, but completely acceptable. You are in control.

I am a mind over matter type. I believe i have control over my brain and feelings. Maybe its just me though, never been in your situation. But to give you an example, i dont enjoy great heights, but while climbing steep mountains, i can maintain enough composure to stay in control and not freeze up. I dont actually enjoy mountaineering until after the trip is over. But looking back, i am always glad i did it. I enjoy the accomplishment.

Build your own map! Create the normal you want. Its all in your mind! You can do it!
 

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