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What’s the easiest way to bleed a deer?

How much time does the bleeding ?buy? you before the deer can be properly dressed back at the larder?

George Wallace
With deer stalking there is a theory that modern high velocity bullets do the bleeding for you but it is still best to do the job with a knife as well, if only because the pool of blood in the chest cavity can be let out in the wood or on the hill, rather than in the back of your vehicle.

It only takes a few seconds. If you are one of those brainless idiots ? and we?ve all heard them ? who says, ?Oh I only ever head shoot,? then your deer, if you can find it, will need to be properly bled.

The ?sticking point? is at the base of the neck ? you can feel your own ?sticking point? where the collar bones almost meet below your Adam?s Apple.

You need a knife with a long enough blade to reach from that point to the arteries at the top of the heart.

That is four or five inches for Roe and a bit more for the larger species.

Lay the deer with its chest downhill, if possible. Push the knife in up to the hilt, parallel to the brisket and cut both ways to sever the arteries at the top of the heart.

Withdraw the knife and press the animal?s chest to help expel blood from the cut.

Leave to drain.

There is a good description of this technique in Lewis Potter?s excellent book, Deer Stalking and Management, which is published by Crowood Press.

The gralloch must be performed as soon as possible so if you can?t get straight to the larder it will have to be done in the field.

Don?t leave it any longer than absolutely necessary because it is the gut content that spoils a carcass, rather than a bit of loose blood in the chest cavity.