How to Quarter an Elk – Gutless Method

By Brodie SwisherAugust 23, 2023

Elk hunts are what dreams are made of for the bowhunter. But for many hunters, when the dream becomes a reality, the trouble is just getting started. Far too many hunters head to the hills in search of elk without having the know-how to handle their bull (or cow) after the tag is  punched. 

Don’t know how it’s done? No problem. Don’t let ignorance be an excuse. You don’t want to be the hunter that lets your meat go to waste because of your inexperience in the field care process. Breaking down a bull isn’t that hard. It’s the same process we use to break down a deer – only in a much larger package. But maybe you’ve never quartered out a deer either. No big deal! The video below from the guys at MEAT will walk you through the entire process of how to quarter an elk using the gutless method. 

Breaking Down Your Bull

  • Keep a knife sharp and ready for the sole purpose of breaking down your elk. This is no place for the cute little heirloom pocket knife you trim your nails with. You want a bold and beefy knife that’ll make short work of the process. A dull knife makes the job a much more difficult task. 
  • Decide on a shoulder mount or euro mount before you make your first cut. 
  • The gutless method keeps things clean with minimal hair and blood coming in contact with your meat.
  • Remove front shoulder, back ham, backstrap, and scrap meat before rolling the elk to repeat the process on the other side.  
  • Always keep game bags handy to keep your meat clean and free of flies. 
  • Get meat out of the sun and cooled down as quickly as possible. 
How To Quarter An Elk Gutless Method

We want to hear from you! What’s your favorite knife for breaking down big game? 

Comment below, and let us know what you think. 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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