Lots of people in the United States hunt and fish. A survey from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 found there were nearly 14 million hunters nation wide and yet another 33 million anglers. It would be curious to know how many of those millions cleaned, butchered or cooked what they caught or killed. I would bet my last dollar that the percentage would be quite low. I know die-hard bass fishermen who are on the water a hundred days a year, that could catch fish on a pop tab and a Snoopy pole, but couldn’t begin to show you how to clean a fish. I’ve met guys who kill four deer a year and gladly pony up a hundred dollar bill every time they drag one to the processor.
The reasons for this vary. Most lack the knowledge and the thought of learning the skill is intimidating. Some may think they don’t have the time, or maybe laziness is to blame. Processing wild game for the table is time consuming and arduous, especially with larger animals like deer. Others may not have the intestinal fortitude (you can learn a lot about a person by how they handle field dressing a deer for the first time).
With a little practice and a willingness to learn, turning a day afield into an honest meal isn’t complicated. Some knowledge of your animal’s anatomy and some sharp knives is all that’s required.