Splitting the Pelvic Bone

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by Goose, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Goose

    Goose Guide

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    What do you guys do when dressing a deer, do you split the pelvic bone or not? I have always done it(just how I was taught), but I have heard mixed opinions on it. And if so, how do you normally do it? I normally drive the point into the bone and baton the end of the handle until it splits. I wouldnt twist the blade however, I have seen my brother break the tip off a Buck knife doing that. I have heard of a few people that carry hawks or hatchets to do this task.
     
  2. EnglishManInOntario

    EnglishManInOntario Guide

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    Oh good, from the subject I thought this was going to be another injury post!
     
  3. rocketbomb

    rocketbomb Guide

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    I have yet to split a pelvis on a deer. Never had any problems doing it that way, so I've never really seen the need for it, save having to quarter an animal to pack it out.

    Most people I know that do it carry a small pelvic bone saw.
     
  4. actichy

    actichy Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I was taught to split the pelvic bone when field dressing a deer. I used to use a knife, or hatchet to split it. These days I've been using a sagen saw to cut throug it. It's small, light weight, and cuts the pelvic bone and sternum pretty quickly.

    http://sageninc.com/
     
  5. cbo

    cbo Guide

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    I place the blade of a small axe on the cartilage between the bones and tap it with the second hand. Or use a tool like this, it is also good for cutting the small saplings in front of your blind
     

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  6. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I cut the pelvic bone, thats how my grandapa taught me, used to use a hatchet, now I use my gerber folding saw. also use the saw to split the ribs open. Works great and saves the edge on my knife.
     
  7. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I wonder if it's a regional thing? I've never split one.
    Wolf
     
  8. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I don't usually split the pelvis anymore. I was taught to do this, but I have found by the time it comes to butchering, there is a lot of waste in the prime roast/steak areas of the haunches. I prefer cutting around the rectum and pulling everything out with the entrails. When I do have to split the pelvis, I'm careful to cut dead center with a sharp knife, and then saw through only the bone. If I don't have a game saw, I'll baton the knife through the bone. Hacking away with a hatchet always seemed to damage a lot of good meat when I do it.
     
  9. SDS

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    I used to cut the bone as well, it's how I was taught. I have found, at least for me, that it is faster and easier to just cut around the anus and pull everything out with the entrails as stated above. If it starts to get messy I use a piece of string to tie off the anus.

    When I cut the pelvic bone it always seemed like I was wasting time and ended up cutting a lot more than intended. I also ended up with sharp bones where I really didn't need them.

    SDS
     
  10. Sgt. Mac

    Sgt. Mac Elder Staff Member Administrator Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II Bushclass Instructor

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    Not a big hunter here due to my local, but I was taught to split it, and ussed a small hatchet to split the pelvic bone
     
  11. Bernie Garland

    Bernie Garland Scout

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    I dont bother,to much messing about in the Field,just cut round the Anus and the lot comes out

    Bernie
     
  12. Tx River Rat

    Tx River Rat Scout

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    I just use a normal pocket knife for dressing deer,so the blades are pretty thin I place a rock or stick under the deer press down on the inside of the legs with my knees and then just a light touch with the knife the pelvic will split.
    I found I have no problems puncturing anything this way.
    Ron
     
  13. Throc

    Throc Supporter Supporter

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    +1 to what OP and SDS said. We cut around the anus and yank it all out with the entrails. I've never even heard of cutting the pelvis bone until now.
     
  14. saxon

    saxon Guide

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    Ive done it both ways. I think cutting around and taking out with everything else is cleaner. Ive seen the bladder on a buck punctured splitting the pelvis and that does not improve things at all.
     
  15. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I've never found a 120+ pound deer that was that fragile. Heck, I'm lucky if I can split it even after sawing through the bone! Maybe I'm just a light-weight. ;)
    My son was remarking a couple days ago about how fast his hunting buddy's dad could gut a deer...compared to me. :p He swore it took him less than 15 ten minutes, buy splitting the pelvis. Then I found out these guys grind everything except the back strap, and what they cut into jerky meat. No wonder he doesn't care what a mess he makes.
     
  16. wolffire99

    wolffire99 Scout

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    I don't see any reason to do it unless you're quartering out the animal.
     
  17. gpgriz

    gpgriz Tracker

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    split it.

    Not having many teachers to show different methods...I've learned the only way I've seen...and that's to split the pelvis.

    I prefer a small saw...but have used the axe. I don't like the shards the axe makes.

    I still tie off the bum guts...but use a ziptie/zap strap. Works way better than string. IMO.

    Then again, I've done more moose than deer.

    Either way...I've only done two deer and 3 moose, and only one of each by myself. And it sure takes me a while.

    But I'm learning each year and hopefully getting faster and more efficient.
     
  18. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    An axe would probably be appropriate for a moose! :) ....Or a chainsaw! :D

    This is the saw that lives in my pack. Two different grades of teeth, and a small cutting blade on the end. I like it better than my commercial bone saw when butchering a hanging carcass.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. PeterCartwright

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    I'm a circumventer too! A narrow bladed knife makes the job easier. I think the Buck folding hunter or its clones is just about the perfect shape and size. I notice that the Mora 510 works very nicely for this task as well. I also carry a pair of disposable latex gloves (go ahead--call me a sissy!) and some butcher's twine in a small zip lock back. After I've cut around the rectum, I carefully pull the colon out and tie it off. I always have to do some more cutting in the pelvic canal (or whatever they call that) to free up the colon. Then, after I've cut around the diaphram and cut through the windpipe, I can pull the colon back into the abdominal cavity and dump all the viscera at one time.

    I think that's easier than bothering with the pelvic arch. Guess it's whatever a person prefers.

    PC
     
  20. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    LOL! I love that term in this context! ROFL!
    On bigger animals, I found my Buck Special was still a little short to do a complete job. Last year I threw my boning knife (11" blade) in the pack and it made a LOT of difference, with no curve to the blade. I don't split the sternum any farther than necessary, either, and the boning knife gave me an extra 4" reach to cut the trachea. Not very 'classy", but I'm more interested in getting the job done efficiently.
    On the other hand, I've done the whole job with nothing but my 3.76" Kershaw folder, so it's all just a matter of degrees......
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  21. directdrive

    directdrive Scout

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    What a pain in the pelvis! I hate to split the pelvis. When I do, I leave sharp bone shards which I have been cut with. Nowadays, I just do the anal cut and reach in/pull out. Easier and less messy IMO.
     
  22. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I havn't ever used one of these contraptions, but has anyone ?? Seems like a waste of money.
     

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  23. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I agree. You still have to cut everything loose, so what's the point? You don't want to cut the rectum inside the body cavity, and how else could it work?

    If anyone has used one, I'd like to hear from them, also.
     
  24. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Looks like something they might have used at Abu Ghraib Prison :D Sometimes they just have to make simple tasks more complex by selling gimicky tools.
    Wolf
     
  25. Tx River Rat

    Tx River Rat Scout

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    placing something under a deer butt and putting pressure on each leg spreading him makes a thin blade work,
    I split down the belly , then split the pelvis ,cut the sternum, slice up beside the trachea cut it as high as I can grasping it and pulling down couple cuts around the diaphragm pull down and the deer is clean and just my hands are bloody. This is all with a trapper 2 blade buck I carry every day. neat fast and as clean as you can get.
    I quarter and ice my deer down within a couple hours of a kill.
    Ron
     
  26. goldman

    goldman Scout

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    last year i just sawed it completely through with my 8 dollar folding saw, i have seen it been cut straight through but it would have been hell on my mora.
     
  27. Flintlock

    Flintlock Guide

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    Ive always split. Grandad tought how to do it with only a Case trapper pocket knife. feel around the backside of the bone to locate the seam ridge. Once the knife is in the seam, rocker it all the way through while applying outward pressure on the hind legs with your knees. It pops right open.
     
  28. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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  29. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I'm trying to visualize this position. Sounds kinda scary, if the knife slips. :eek:
     
  30. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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  31. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I have also used the butt-out tool to "hold" the anus while cutting around it. It was a gift, I didnt buy it.
     
  32. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    Better make damn sure that's a dead deer! :D
     
  33. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    The first time I used it, I whispered to the deer....better you than me!
     
  34. Bax 40

    Bax 40 Supporter Supporter

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    In my experience splitting the pelvic is not needed if you have a sharp pointy knife.
    If you must, you can step on each back leg and jerk up sharply on the tail to do it!!


    Larry:42:
     
  35. Ripmyfly

    Ripmyfly Guide

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    I have split and not. I never do it anymore. Easy to cut out the anus and pull out. I find more trash gets in the cavity when you have a long drag and the pelvic bone is split.
     
  36. Ranger

    Ranger Guide

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    I have done it both ways, but I prefer to use a small Gerber folding saw and split it.
     
  37. Dink

    Dink Guest

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    I have not read anyone elses answers...just thought I would let you know how we do it...

    After all gutting is done, make sure all tendons and meat are out of the way...use a hatchet and take careful aim...try to split it with 1 strong hard swing.

    Or...play on being a female (if you ar one) and even if you CAN do it, holler at one of the guys running around and have one of them do it. :5::4:
     
  38. bigmattdaddywack

    bigmattdaddywack Scout

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    In the field no. At home yes.
     
  39. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    I don't split the pelvis or sternum. Even if you need to quarter it, you can cut the good parts off the bones, like backstrap and tenderloins, and disjoint the hips, leaving the backbone and pelvis, boning some of it out. Boning all of it out isnt that difficult if you have to pack it any distance.

    You can cut the trachea above the sternum, and reach inside to cut all the stuff in the rib cage loose, pulling the trachea out.
     
  40. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    I do that with grouse. Never tried it with a deer. :confused:

    Having both quarted and boned, I would much rather carry heavy duty garbage bags, and bone out a big animal, than lug all those bones out. I'm just gong to trash them anyway.
     
  41. Flintlock

    Flintlock Guide

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    Yes...its that position. Always have control over your blade...:8:
     
  42. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    It's also the preparatory position for harakiri.... :p
     
  43. 3fires

    3fires Guide

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    I split it with my Buck Knife. I used a cheapo knife once and it left chips in the blade though. on a small deer you can just elevate it and press down on both legs to split. On a real big deer I try to find a big rock and smash it.
     
  44. Goose

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    Quite a few mixed opinions.

    I have split it on smaller ones by spreading the legs and snapping it. Bigger ones are a bit more difficult to do that. I will probably trying just cutting out the anus this year, see how it works for me.

    I hunt on my grand parents land, so when anyone in our group gets a deer we gut it, then usually let it sit until lunch or dusk(depending on the time of the kill) when everyones back at the house and pick it up with the 6 wheeler. I aint carrying a deer unless I have to :9:
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  45. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    That would get, ah....interesting in bear country. ;)
     
  46. gloomhound

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    I don't split the sternum or pelvis myself. It's simpler and easier not to.
     
  47. rimfire63

    rimfire63 Scout

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    I was taught as a kid to split the pelvis but I havent split one in years. It just doesnt seem necessary. Back when I did i used a hatchet in the field and a butchers bone saw if I was near the truck. Especially now that i'm old and lazy and dont process my own deer anymore, I let the butcher worry about the pelvis.
     
  48. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Banned Member Banned

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    A lot of people choose to have their venison processed by a butcher, for a number of reasons. But more than a few in my neck o' the woods went to butchering their own, after an unfortunate turn of events.
    There was only one shop here that would process deer. The problem was they would get 10-20 deer hanging at one time. People would bring in a deer, get it weighed, and the butcher would claim the yield would be 25% of the hanging weight (doing my own, I get close to 35%). They'd come back and have that percentage of processed venison cut and wrapped for them. The bottom line turned out to be that they never knew if what they brought in was actually what they got.
    They finally figured out that they could take all the care possible in the field with their tender white tail doe, and get home from the shop with the meat from a rank ol' mule deer buck that had been dragged through the mud and left to steam in the hide in the back of a pickup for a day and a half!
    When the word got out, the butcher ended up going out of business, and leaving town. :p
     
  49. Jon Foster

    Jon Foster Guide

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    I split the bone with my knife (fixed blade). Just drive it in a couple of hits with the palm of my hand. I only do it to make the job quicker.

    I have also broken a Buck folder doing it. Only I was dumb enough to reach under the bone to loosen everything up and run my finger through with the point of the broken blade stuck in the pelvis.

    Jon.
     
  50. Bernie Garland

    Bernie Garland Scout

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    For the Pelvic splitters here,thats what the chisel point is for, on the Schrade Old Timer Honesteels

    Bernie
     

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