Contributors to this thread:
Sad reminder to be safe
the point of this article is to be careful.
Bou, exactly a fellow hunter fatally stabbed himself while struggling with a wounded deer. The point is we all need to be careful not to do that.
I caught myself rushing the other day with a knife and forced myself to slow it down. I think we need to tell ourselves that all the time, slow down, don't cut corners and safety.
I got cut pretty bad once trying to split the sternum on a whitetail buck when my knife hand slipped. Bad enough to have to go to the emergency room and get it fixed. It can happen in an instant !
A buddy of mine just told me tonight he cut his finger to the bone cleaning the skin off of his bucks skull cap.
I also knew a guy in school who killed himself gutting a squirrel. He hit his own femoral artery while bent down cleaning it. He made it to his truck and got it in reverse and passed out after that. the truck was still running and lodged against a tree. Very sad situation. It happens fast, be careful out there.
Cut towards your buddy, not towards your body.
As I got older I got better about it. 15 years ago when I went to AK I wrapped a pic of my girls around my knife to remind me to take my time when butchering my bou.
Still using my Dad's Marine WWII knife which was shorted by 3-4 inches, mainly because it holds an edge and has a huge handle guard.
They still make the Kabar but they are too long. For splitting the pelvis and sternum I watched a few guys use a large tree shears, that is a safer way than using a knife.
Be careful out there.
So I'm not claiming to be a Rambo or something in saying this, but I'll be damned if I'm just gonna sit there & watch myself bleed out. A few things I'm never without in the woods. A length of Para cord, a roll of electric tape, a lighter, & a Gerber retractable blade limb saw.
For those of you that feel the need to split the sternum the small limb saw is perfect for that.
I've never split the sternum, or pelvis, on a whitetail while field dressing. No need. After I get it home and skinned, I cut down the sternum with a cordless Sawzall. I also use it to cut rib sections for the smoker. Takes seconds and is easy and safe.
I'm called Scar-Finga because I almost cut my finger off gutting a deer! An old razor-sharp buck 110 lock failed and snapped shut on my finger! it went about halfway through the bone on my middle finger... Kinda hurt a little! It happens really fast!!
This thread makes me wonder how many of us carry a basic first aid kit when we're in the field and can administer "self aid" if it comes down to it.
Millie (Lady Bowhunter) and I keep a kit in each of our back packs even when we're hunting on our own land - we also carry a small "bleed kit" just in case.
A few years ago I was field dressing a buck - it was cold, wet and late in the afternoon - it was New Years eve. I was in a rush and the knife slipped when I was removing the diaphram from the chest wall. My knife blade almost cut my left index finger to the bone. I stopped the bleeding, called Millie and then we finished dressing the deer.
Later, we cleanef the cut and closed the cut using steri strips and super glue. Two days later I saw our family doc. He checked our patch job saw the steri strips were coming loose. He then proceeded to reclose the wound with 8 sutures.
Although being on our acreage (about 800 yds from the house) and having some training was an advantage. That said I think everyone needs to carry some sort of first aid kit with them and be ready to use it if it ever becomes necessary.
Sad news. Prayers for his family.
I’ve never seen the need to split the pelvis or the sternum on a deer.
Milnrick: Couldn’t agree with you more about always having a kit. I have one that is always in the truck with me, on ATV, UTV, and in my hunt pack. Consists of tournicate, halo chest compression, blood clotting stuff, compression wrap, surgical gloves, and gauze.
Take your time and be prepared.
T-roy, I agree totally about the need to crack the pelvis or sternum, but I'd think an old wyoming saw or limb snips would safely fill that bill if it was needed.
I don't split them either, that said for those that do there's actually a tool made for it. Don't know what it's called, it's a length of cable with coarse grit on it & a handle on each end. Slip one end through the anal cavity & saw away.
Similar to this , the one I saw had 1/4" steel round stock handles
People split the pelvis on a deer? I’ve split the sternum with a knife if the deer is young. If it’s a nice buck I’m just reaching up in there. Careful with the knife going in with two hands together but it’s a lot less risk than trying to manhandle my way through the sternum. That just isn’t needed.
I always save the heart. One time I was field dressing a deer and removed the heart. I washed my hand and couldn't get the blood off. My 'Buck knife was so sharp I didn't even know I had cut my finger really deep. 'very careful now.
Timex I used one of those on Kodiak. It worked ok not great.
Shuteye I did the same, was cutting everything out of the chest cavity and removing the heart, got it all out washed my hands in the snow, started draggin and my hand was still sticky, stopped to check and cut almost the whole length of my pointer. 16-17 stitches later I was back in the woods the next mornin lookin for trouble again. And of course I sharpened my knife that night …
Ma-PAdeerslayerm My daddy was a carpenter and taught me how to sharpen chisels, saws and knives. A knife wasn't sharp unless it would shave the hair off you arm. Really nice when working on a deer but you can cut yourself and not even feel it.
That was the problem shuteye…my grandfather could sharpen anything. He’d make a spoon sharp
That’s the problem when you’ve got two hands down in there and can’t see either. I’ve done it, for sure, it’ll put a damper on your day. But it’s hard for me to imagine getting a fatal wound that way. But I know, crazy things happen.
There was an article some years back in Bugle from a mother talking about her 18 year old son. He was out on a solo elk hunt and was successful. While boning out the elk he was pulling the knife towards himself. It came out of the elk as he was drawing the knife back towards himself and cut his femoral artery. Death must have come quickly.