How to field dress a wild boar on a driven hunt

There are many fragile moments when field dressing a wild boar on a driven hunt and therefore it’s vital that you have knowledge regarding the wild boar anatomy, when and what to be extra careful with and how to handle the animal in a respectful way. In this article our Team Norma member Steffen Foullo will show us how to properly field dress a wild boar on a driven hunt and give us his best tricks on how to get a clean cut.

Step by step to get a clean cut

When wild boar hunting it’s sometimes mandatory to field dress the game right on the shooting spot. It’s important to get the intestines out from the animal to keep the quality of the meat at a good level and not devastate the flavors when bacteria attacks the muscles. Especially when it comes to wild boar. They tend to store a lot of fat and it takes time to cool the muscles down.

Step 1: What we do first is finding a spot that we can lean the boar against to get an easier angle for us to cut. We put the boar on its back and stand on the boars hind legs to create a tension over the stomach area where we will make our first cut.

Step 2: Expose the fat by cutting away some skin and then gently open the middle area of the stomach. The skin is thin so do this very carefully to not cut the intestines. If you do, the there’s a risk of damaging the meat quality. Once you have opened the stomach you will see the intestines and will be able to protect them with your hand.

Step 3: Put two fingers under the skin, to protect the intestines, and cut down to the hip area. Then do the same procedure going up towards the chest. When the stomach is open up, you can carefully push the intestines aside to give you a little more space to work without risking hurting the intestines.

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Step 4: When you have reached the chest cavity, make a clean cut over the chest. Step away from the hind legs and change your position to standing right over the boar’s chest. This will give you more strength to cut through the rib cage.

Step 5: Get the knife in right beneath the rib cage and cut all the way through until you reach the jawbone. Be aware of the heart and lungs that sits inside the rib cage.

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Now the boar is opened from the stomach up to the jawbone and what is left now is to separate the legs completely before we can pull the intestines out from the back.

Step 6: Go back to the hip area of the boar, stick your fingers in under the skin pointing towards the back and locate the bone that connects the two hind legs. From this bone, make a clean cut down to the end of the wild boar to separate the legs. Use a saw to cut through the bone.

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If you don’t access a saw, here’s a trick you can do with your knife:
Move so you are positioned on the side of the boar to make sure you don’t accidentally stab yourself in the leg since the movement involves a cut towards your body. Go in with the knife under the bone and pull down hard. Repeat this movement until the bone is cracked. Be aware of the bladder, you do not want urine to spill. Once the hip are separated, it’s easier to just drag the intestines out in one movement.

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Step 7: Now we have reached the point where we will remove the intestines from the body. Start with the throat and cut the tongue and feeding tube loose, drag downwards in the direction of the feeding tube, through the rib cage. When you access the heart, you can cut it out and put it aside.

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Step 8: Keep cutting the skin on both sides to get the intestines out without ripping the meat. Once it is loose, put your hand under the intestines and drag it all out. Cut the string that still connects the intestines to the hip area and you are clear.

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Step 9: Grab the wild boar’s hind legs and lift it up to make sure all the blood go through the mouth and keep the meat clean.

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NOTE: Between the heart and the stomach area, we have a muscle tissue going across the body called diaphragm. In some countries, like Germany, a part of that muscle tissue have to be send to a laboratory and be tested for trichinae, which grows inside the muscle tissue.

“Every boar that is shot gets tested on trichinae. The muscle sample should ideally be taken from the pillar of the diaphragm, cutting along the thick meaty party as close to the rib as possible. Samples need to be send to a testing laboratory.” – Steffen Foullon

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Recommendation: When the intestines are our, check the liver, lungs and spleen to make sure the animal was healthy. If you want to use the liver for meat, cut it loose and remove the gallbladder. There’s an easy way to do that just by making cuts on each side and at the top of the string, grab it and pull it off.

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Video - Field dress wild boar with Steffen Foullon