You’re On Your Own

How to Skin and Clean a Deer

 The original (and complete) article this excerpt was taken from “Skinning and Cleaning a Deer” was written by Bryan Hendricks and can found at the Missouri Conservationist Online website.


“Cleaning” refers to removing the internal organs from the deer’s body cavity.

· You should do this immediately upon killing a deer.
· Venting the body cavity and removing the organs and blood allows the carcass to cool quickly.
· This slows the decomposition process, which begins the moment a deer’s respiratory and circulatory functions cease.
· A deer’s body is amazingly well insulated and can retain heat for a long time.
· The sooner you clean a deer, the better the meat will taste.
· Removing the viscera significantly reduces the weight of the carcass, making it easier to drag, heft or carry.


Your first step in field dressing, if you’ve killed a buck, is to remove its genitals.

Cut them free to where they emerge from the pelvis.

Cut a circle around the anus and partly free both connecting tubes from the pelvis.


Next, insert your knife point under the hide only and make one long, single incision up the belly continuing the incision all the way to the hollow, fleshy junction of the neck and chest cavity.

Do not plunge the knife through the skin. Otherwise, you’ll likely pierce the intestine and spill its contents into body cavity, which could contaminate the meat!!

Instead, apply only enough pressure, with short, repetitive strokes, to crease the skin, fat and abdominal muscle tissue.

As the tissue separates, use your fingers to enlarge the opening. This exposes most of the organs of the lower abdomen.

Sever the diaphragm to complete the opening.


At this point, use a camp axe and a small sledge hammer (or a quality survival knife and a brick sized stone) to separate the rib cage and pelvis.

Wedge the lower edge of the axe into the sternum, then pound the back of the hatchet with the sledge hammer. (The force of the blows will drive the edge of the hatchet through the ribs easily.)

Pull the ribs apart to enlarge the opening in the chest cavity, but be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp rib edges. You now have easy access to the lungs and heart.

You can use the same axe edge and sledge to break open the pelvis bone.

Be extremely careful not to pierce the intestine or bladder because the contents of either will taint the meat and make an unpleasant mess.

Wedge the hatchet into the opening you’ve created and rock it and twist it from side to side to open the pelvis, making it easy to remove the lower intestine and bladder.


Make an incision in the neck, just behind the jawbone, and open the neck all the way down to the opening in the chest cavity.

Then, sever the windpipe as close to the jawbone as possible.

Lower your hands into the chest cavity and remove the heart and lungs.

Draping them over the outside of the carcass will keep them out of the way and make it easier to work.

Next, sever the connective tissues that hold the stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, bladder and other organs to the diaphragm, and then pull the entire mass of organs back toward the pelvic opening.

Continue severing connective tissue and rolling back the viscera until you reach the pelvis. Carefully sever the tissue around the anus until it’s free. Then, guide it through pelvic opening until the entire viscera is free of the carcass.

With these organs now out of the carcass, guide the lower intestine through the pelvic opening you created and carefully separate the anal opening and sphincter muscle from the carcass.

You should be able to pull the rest of the intestine from the body without spilling any of the contents.

If you plan to eat the liver, heart or kidneys, separate them now and place them in separate, sealable plastic bags.

You can ensure the best flavor by putting them in a cold ice chest.

Next, take two bags of ice from an ice chest and lodge them inside the carcass. Then, close the carcass around the ice by tying it with rope or twine. This cools the carcass swiftly.


If you’re going to process your deer yourself, you’ll want to give it a good rinsing.

Start by hanging the deer from a tree by the neck.

Use clean water to wash out the carcass of blood, bone splinters, dirt and any other impurities as well as you can.


Use a hacksaw to sever the deer’s legs at the knees.

Then, use your knife to make incisions on the front side of each leg to the abdomen.

Peel the hide away from the legs and use your knife to begin separating the hide from the carcass.

Once you get a good opening, use one hand to continue peeling away the hide while your other hand continues to slice through the connective tissue between the hide and the carcass.

Once you’ve removed a sufficient portion of the hide, gravity will help with the rest.

Once you remove the hide, you’re ready to process the meat.



October 12, 2007 Posted by | "How To" - Survival Skills, Food | , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Make a Solar Still

Water is one of the most essential components of life. In most circumstances, you can survive without it for no longer than a week. In desert or extreme heat areas, your survival time can be cut down to two or three days.

You should always carry water when you travel, and your survival kit should include one gallon per person per day. However, if you find yourself stranded, lost, or otherwise in the boonies without water you can still get it where there appears to be none.

The solar still is often (almost always) touted as the most reliable method of obtaining water from a virtually non-existant supply.

However, some experts decry it altogether even going so far as to say that you will not get as much water from it as you lose building it. (see David Alloway’s “Desert Survival – Myths and Facts” he suggests you try it yourself and even tells you how to evaluate it) 

One attribute of the solar still is never disputed. The water it produces is clean and pure. At the very least, you can use it to purify dirty water, salt water, or even urine.

How to Build a Solar Still

What you need:
Plastic sheet 6×6 feet (2 meters x 2 meters)
Entrenching tool or shovel (or survival knife, hatchet, strong stick, etc.)
Receptacle (cup, coffee can, anything that can catch the water)
Small stone
Optional: 4-6 feet of plastic tubing (such as found in a fish tank)

Step 1: Find a very sunny location, preferably in a valley or depression where the ground can be dug with the tools you have available.

Step 2: Dig a hole three feet wide and two feet deep. For best results, the hole should be dug down to where it is damp.

Step 3: Place your receptacle firmly in the center of the hole so that it will not fall over.

Step 4: Place the end of the plastic tubing into the receptacle and run the other end out of the hole. (This will be what you use to drink the water that accumulates in the receptacle.)

Step 5: Lay your plastic sheet over the hole. Lightly press down on the center of the plastic sheet until it is a few inches over the receptacle.

Step 6: Put the soil removed from the hole onto the plastic sheet around the edges of the hole. This should be done in a fashion so that the hole is made air tight. (The plastic tubing should extend out of the sealed hole)

Step 7: Place the small stone in the center of the plastic directly over the receptacle.

Most sources say that condensation usually begins forming after a few hours of sunny conditions. Estimates vary as to the quantity of water you can expect, but many say as much as a quart (almost a liter) per day.


◊ Urinate in the hole between steps 2 and 3 – The urine will be purified into clean water.

◊ Put some chopped up green plants (especially succulents) into the hole.

◊ Pour seawater into the hole – If seawater is available, it is probably available in abundance so don’t skimp on it. Thoroughly saturate the hole until you have a puddle of saltwater in the bottom.

DO NOT add radiator fluid – the poisons will condense along with the water and KILL you.

October 8, 2007 Posted by | "How To" - Survival Skills, Water | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Make and Use a Bow-Drill to Start a Fire

Believe it or not, there was a time when humans could start fires without matches, lighters, butane torches, or any other manufactured products. And believe it or not, IT STILL WORKS!

Although man can survive without fire, it is still usually considered to be a necessity. Whether used to stay warm, cook food, heat water, cauterize wounds, frighten predators, or roast marshmallows – it definitely improves life by orders of magnitude.

Here is one way you can create it (with some practice) without a trip to Wal-Mart.

This post comes from 2 articles.
How to Make a Bow-Drill for Starting a Fire, and How to Start a Fire Using a Bow-Drill

Part 1 – How to Make a Bow-Drill for Starting a Fire

Step 1:Understand that a bow-drill; consists of four parts: the bow, the hand-hold, the drill and the fireboard. The hand-hold and the fireboard are held on either side of the drill, which is spun by the bow to generate friction, heat and, finally, fire. Rub your hand together back and forth to understand the concept of generating heat through friction.

Step 2:Make your bow from a light sturdy sapling, slightly longer than your arm from shoulder to fingertip.

Step 3:Tie a piece of nylon cord from one end of the bow to the other, like a bow for archery. If you don’t have a nylon cord, you can use string, a shoelace, a strip of cloth or whatever is available.

Step 4:Use a dry, soft wood such as cottonwood, willow, larch, cedar, sassafras, alder, aspen, poplar, box alder or basswood to make the other parts of the drill.

Step 5:Make sure the hold piece fits into your hand snugly and firmly. Carve a small depression in one side of the hand-hold for the drill to ride in.

Step 6:Cut your drill from a branch 3/4-inch wide and 6 inches long. It should be round and straight. Carve both ends of the drill to a dull point.

Step 7:Make you fireboard about a 1/2-inch thick and flat on both sides. Make a depression in it, like the hand-hold, for the other side of the drill to ride in.

Step 8:“Burn in” your apparatus before using it to start a fire (See Part 2 – How to “Burn in” your apparatus).

Part 2 – How to “Burn in” Your Apparatus.

Step 1:Place your fire board on the dry ground and place your left foot across it to hold it stable, with your right knee on the ground. If you’re left-handed, do the reverse.

Step 2:Wrap the string of your bow around the drill once.

Step 3:Place the bottom end of the drill in the notch on your fire board. Hold it in place by putting the top end of the drill into the handhold notch and pressing down on the handhold.

Step 4:Hold one end of the bow in your right hand, with the string side facing inward, toward your left knee.

Step 5:Lean down over your left knee and press down slightly on the handhold with your left hand. Move your right arm back and forth in a sawing motion, causing the drill to spin back and forth.

Step 6:Increase the speed of the sawing motion and the intensity of your handhold pressure until the fire board begins to smoke.

Step 7:Do this for a while to grease your handhold notch and “burn in” your fire board to prepare your apparatus to start a fire.

Part 3 – How to Start a Fire Using a Bow-Drill

Step 1:Prepare a small tepee of twigs in your fire pit. Make sure you have enough fuel readily available.

Step 2:Gather a palm-sized ball of dry fibrous vegetation, such as dry grass or inner tree bark. Wad the material together to form a nestlike tinder ball.

Step 3:Keep your tinder ball near your fire board.

Step 4:Place your drill in its fire board notch.

Step 5:Operate your apparatus until your fire board begins to smoke.

Step 6:Give it about 10 more strokes.

Step 7:Lift your apparatus carefully away from the fire board. Notice that a small piece of coal has developed from the wood dust worn off by the action of the drill.

Step 8:Use a small twig to nudge the coal from the fire board into the tinder ball, like an egg in a nest.

Step 9:Blow gently on the ball until flames develop.

Step 10:Place your burning tinder ball inside your twig tepee and carefully fuel your fire.

October 7, 2007 Posted by | "How To" - Survival Skills | , , , | 1 Comment

Vehicle Emergency Kit

 This kit is designed for your vehicles preparedness. You should also have a survival kit in your vehicle for your own preparedness.

How many times have you seen a news story about people being missing for days, only to find out later that they were stranded in their vehicle? You never know when an emergency will strike, or where you will be. Make sure that your vehicle is as prepared as you are by equipping it with some emergency supplies.

1 – Vehicle jack and lug wrench that fits your lug nuts (Don’t assume that this is in your vehicle or that it fits your vehicle, test it out BEFORE you need it!)

1 – Spare tire (If your vehicle has a “donut-tire”, replace it with a full sized tire. Do you really want to drive on a donut during an emergency?)

1 – Set of jumper cables – for added personal safety, try one of these or better yet, also consider investing the money for a product like this.

1 – Hand-crank cell phone charger – with one of these devices you can keep your cell phone working indefinitely regardless of where you are, a link is provided here,  or better yet try get a product like this, it can charge your cell phone and a whole lot more.

1 – Gas can (2-5 gallon capacity)

1 – Siphon hose or hand-powered siphon pump

1 – Set of vehicle fuses

1 – LED flashlight – LED flashlights are 70% more efficient than their dinosaur ancestors with bulbs, also LED’s are generally not damaged if they are dropped or banged around 

1 – Gallon of water for radiator or windshield wipers

1 – Tow rope (Resist the urge to use a basic nylon rope, buy a product that is specifically made for towing and make sure that its strength is rated to a capacity to tow your vehicles weight.)

October 7, 2007 Posted by | Kits, Vehicle | , , , | Leave a comment

What is Potassium Iodide (KI) and why do I need it?

The following information comes from the Center for Disease Control website. The original article can be found HERE.


Potassium Iodide (KI)

What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?

Potassium iodide (also called KI) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine. Stable iodine is an importantchemical needed by the body to make thyroid hormones. Most of the stable iodine in our bodies comesfrom the food we eat. KI is stable iodine in a medicine form. This fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives you some basic information about KI. It explains what you should think about before you or a family member takes KI.

What does KI do?

Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be released into the air and then be breathed into the lungs. Radioactive iodine may also contaminate the local food supply and get into the body through food or through drink. When radioactive materials get into the body through breathing, eating, or drinking, we say that “internal contamination” has occurred ( In the case of internal contamination with radioactive iodine, the thyroid gland quickly absorbs this chemical. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can then injure the gland. Because nonradioactive KI acts to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, it can help protect this gland from injury.

What KI cannot do

Knowing what KI cannot do is also important. KI cannot prevent radioactive iodine from entering the body. KI can protect only the thyroid from radioactive iodine, not other parts of the body. KI cannot reverse the health effects caused by radioactive iodine once damage to the thyroid has occurred. KI cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine—if radioactive iodine is not present, taking KI is not protective.

How does KI work?

The thyroid gland cannot tell the difference between stable and radioactive iodine and will absorb both. KI works by blocking radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid. When a person takes KI, the stable iodine in the medicine gets absorbed by the thyroid. Because KI contains so much stable iodine, the thyroid gland becomes “full” and cannot absorb any more iodine—either stable or radioactive—for the next 24 hours.

Iodized table salt also contains iodine; iodized table salt contains enough iodine to keep most people healthy under normal conditions. However, table salt does not contain enough iodine to block radioactive iodine from getting into your thyroid gland. You should not use table salt as a substitute for KI.

How well does KI work?

Knowing that KI may not give a person 100% protection against radioactive iodine is important. How well KI blocks radioactive iodine depends on

• how much time passes between contamination with radioactive iodine and the taking of KI (the sooner a person takes KI, the better),

• how fast KI is absorbed into the blood, and

• the total amount of radioactive iodine to which a person is exposed.

Who should take KI?

The thyroid glands of a fetus and of an infant are most at risk of injury from radioactive iodine. Young children and people with low stores of iodine in their thyroid are also at risk of thyroid injury.

Infants (including breastfed infants):

Infants need to be given the recommended dosage of KI for babies (see How much KI should I take?). The amount of KI that gets into breast milk is not enough to protect breastfed infants from exposure to radioactive iodine. The proper dose of KI given to a nursing infant will help protect it from radioactive iodine that it breathes in or drinks in breast milk.

Children: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that all children internally contaminated with (or likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine take KI, unless they have known allergies to iodine. Children from newborn to 18 years of age are the most sensitive to the potentially harmful effects of radioactive iodine.

Young Adults: The FDA recommends that young adults (between the ages of 18 and 40 years) internally contaminated with (or likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine take the recommended dose of KI. Young adults are less sensitive to the effects of radioactive iodine than are children.

Pregnant Women: Because all forms of iodine cross the placenta, pregnant women should take KI to protect the growing fetus. However, pregnant women should take only one dose of KI following internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine.

Breastfeeding Women: Women who are breastfeeding should take only one dose of KI if they have been internally contaminated with (or are likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine. Because radioactive iodine quickly gets into breast milk, CDC recommends that women internally contaminated with (or are likely to be internally contaminated with) radioactive iodine stop breastfeeding and feed their child baby formula or other food if it is available. If breast milk is the only food available for an infant, nursing should continue.

Adults: Adults older than 40 years should not take KI unless public health or emergency management officials say that contamination with a very large dose of radioactive iodine is expected. Adults older than40 years have the lowest chance of developing thyroid cancer or thyroid injury after contamination with radioactive iodine. They also have a greater chance of having allergic reactions to KI.

When should I take KI?

After a radiologic or nuclear event, local public health or emergency management officials will tell the public if KI or other protective actions are needed. For example, public health officials may advise you to remain in your home, school, or place of work (this is known as “shelterinplace”) or to evacuate. You may also be told not to eat some foods and not to drink some beverages until a safe supply can be brought in from outside the affected area. Following the instructions given to you by these authorities can lower the amount of radioactive iodine that enters your body and lower the risk of serious injury to your thyroid gland.

How much KI should I take?

The FDA has approved two different forms of KI—tablets and liquid—that people can take by mouth after a nuclear radiation emergency. Tablets come in two strengths, 130 milligram (mg) and 65 mg. The tablets are scored so they may be cut into smaller pieces for lower doses. Each milliliter (mL) of the oral liquid solution contains 65 mg of KI.

According to the FDA, the following doses are appropriate to take after internal contamination with (or likely internal contamination with) radioactive iodine:

• Adults should take 130 mg (one 130 mg tablet OR two 65 mg tablets OR two mL of solution).

• Women who are breastfeeding should take the adult dose of 130 mg.

• Children between 3 and 18 years of age should take 65 mg (one 65 mg tablet OR 1 mL of solution). Children who are adult size (greater than or equal to 150 pounds) should take the full adult dose, regardless of their age.

• Infants and children between 1 month and 3 years of age should take 32 mg (½ of a 65 mg tablet OR ½ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and nonnursing infants and children.

• Newborns from birth to 1 month of age should be given 16 mg (¼ of a 65 mg tablet or ¼ mL of solution). This dose is for both nursing and nonnursing newborn infants.

How often should I take KI?

A single dose of KI protects the thyroid gland for 24 hours. A onetime dose at the levels recommended in this fact sheet is usually all that is needed to protect the thyroid gland. In some cases, radioactive iodine might be in the environment for more than 24 hours. If that happens, local emergency management or public health officials may tell you to take one dose of KI every 24 hours for a few days. You should do this only on the advice of emergency management officials, public health officials, or your doctor. Avoid repeat dosing with KI for pregnant and breastfeeding women and newborn infants. Those individuals may need to be evacuated until levels of radioactive iodine in the environment fall.

Taking a higher dose of KI, or taking KI more often than recommended, does not offer more protection and can cause severe illness or death.

Medical conditions in which taking KI may be harmful

Taking KI may be harmful for some people because of the high levels of iodine in this medicine. You should not take KI if

• you know you are allergic to iodine (If you are unsure about this, consult your doctor. A seafood or shellfish allergy does not necessarily mean that you are allergic to iodine.) or

• you have certain skin disorders (such as dermatitis herpetiformis or urticaria vasculitis).

People with thyroid disease (for example, multinodular goiter, Graves’ disease, or autoimmune thyroiditis) may be treated with KI. This should happen under careful supervision of a doctor, especially if dosing lasts for more than a few days.

In all cases, talk to your doctor if you are not sure whether to take KI.

What are the possible risks and side effects of KI?

When public health or emergency management officials tell the public to take KI following a radiologic or nuclear event, the benefits of taking this drug outweigh the risks. This is true for all age groups. Some general side effects caused by KI may include intestinal upset, allergic reactions (possibly severe), rashes, and inflammation of the salivary glands.

When taken as recommended, KI causes only rare adverse health effects that specifically involve the thyroid gland. In general, you are more likely to have an adverse health effect involving the thyroid gland if you

• take a higher than recommended dose of KI,

• take the drug for several days, or

• have preexisting thyroid disease.

Newborn infants (less than 1 month old) who receive more than one dose of KI are at particular risk for developing a condition known as hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone levels that are too low). If not treated, hypothyroidism can cause brain damage. Infants who receive KI should have their thyroid hormone levels checked and monitored by a doctor. Avoid repeat dosing of KI to newborns.

Where can I get KI?

KI is available without a prescription. You should talk to your pharmacist to get KI and for directions about how to take it correctly. Your pharmacist can sell you KI brands that have been approved by the FDA.

Other Sources of Information

The FDA recommendations on KI can be reviewed on the Internet HERE

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emergency Response Site is available at CDC HERE

October 6, 2007 Posted by | Nuclear, Supplements | , , , , | 1 Comment