The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Is it neccessary to bleed a deer carcass after shooting it?

Opinions vary and I am not, in any case, at all certain that it is even possible to drain all the blood from an animal once the heart has stopped.

Maybe a reader with veterinary knowledge could enlighten us?

Neither do I know how much blood a deer has in its system but it will be quite a few pints and I’ve never seen anything like that quantity drained off either by bullet or knife. So we may just be deluding ourselves.

However, most of us do go through the elementary ritual of bleeding the carcass and the method I was taught is to stick a knife with a long-ish blade, say five inches, in through the Vee at the base of the throat, where it joins the chest.

Wiggle it around and cut the arteries above the heart. Then lay the deer, on sloping ground if possible, with its head lower than its heels so that blood can drain out of the chest cavity.

Press down on the chest a couple of times to push the blood out.

I really don’t know how much good this does but it makes me feel I’m trying. And at least it gets most of that sloppy blood out of the chest cavity which makes handling the carcass much less messy.