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How to gralloch a deer for your DSC2

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This write up on how to do a gralloch will help would be novices who have completed their DSC1 and are in the process of starting their DSC2 portfolio.


It is not meant in any way to be a definitive method and is not posted telling the more experienced stalker how to suck eggs.


I have posted it with good intentions to help those who appreciate a guide in the right direction and I hope that the administration team on the forum pin the article as I am sure it will benefit members here and elseware in the future.


I also reserve the copyright of any photographs inc in this article and under no circumstances may they be copied without my permission as it is my intention that they may be published at a later date.



The following is record and sequence of events of me acting as a credible witness whilst a candidate was carrying out his DSC2 Facial shots of the candidate have not been included to protect his unanimity .




It is every deerstalkers aim to obtain a clean kill with the first shot but sometimes it is inevitable through circumstances out of his control or otherwise where an animal does not die instantly .

A set sequence of events are put into place to reduce as far as humanely possible lengthy suffering and such procedure should be adopted by all stalkers to cater for this eventuality, I should point out however in the case history of the individual in question in this article all animals dispatched/culled were done with utmost speed and the demise of the culled animals in this article was with first shot placement events.


It is important that every stalker after taking a shot should re load immediately in case a culled animal is wounded or dazed and tries to stand and make for cover where such would require a further shot, no one wants to track a wounded animal if they can help it and we as stalkers have a duty to prevent unnecessary suffering.


If such an event took place and a deer was wounded it is bad practice to immediately try to follow the wounded beast up as such action will only push it deeper into cover and lengthen its time of suffering, A stalker should wait at least 20 minutes whereas the beast will have stiffened up from its injuries and be lying hopefully just in cover unable to stand where it can be dispatched proficiently with a knife with a cut to across the axis joint and artery in the neck.


On approaching a shot deer it is imperative to check that it is dead and a downed deer should be approached down wind so as not to frighten it should it still be alive.

No reflex action touching the eye ball indicate death, the candidate in this instance shows this by touching the deer with his stalking stick.




It is imperative that the carcass cools down as quick as possible so to preserve the quality of the meat this procedure is known as gralloching and involved removal of the Rumen and Viscera(Internal stomach intestines) and pluck (Heart and Lungs Liver kidneys) and Anal and urinary tract .


During this process it is imperative that the internal organs and viscera are inspected for signs of disease


It is also important to observe if the deer acted abnormally or not prior to taking the shot as this declaration will need to be made on the certificate of compliance when placing a carcass into the food chain,


Visually the external skin and cleaves of the deer will need to be inspected to see if there was any evidence of foot and mouth along with the inside of the mouth , if such were present blisters would be in evidence, Along with all orifices of the deer if brown discharges were in evidence this would be an indication that possibly anthrax was present and as for both these diseases the deer should remain in its position and the state vet notified immediately

of your possible findings who will then after examination instruct you as what to do next.

If your suspicions are of Anthrax being present seek medical attention immediately as this disease can kill human being very quickly if treatment is not administered.

I should point out that there has never ever in this country been one case of deer being infected with Anthrax but there has been cases abroad and stalkers must be aware of the dangers associated with Anthrax.


You will see in the picture below the candidate checking cleaves etc for foot and mouth and possible warble fly







The most important procedure next is to make an incision in the neck to remove a section of the esophagus

a 100mm cut is made running in line with the tracia the esophagus is the food tube from the gullet that needs to be tied off so the contents of the rum en do not come back up the tube as the minutest trace of these on the meat contaminate the carcass with enzymes and bacteria that are harmful to human health if eaten.


The esophagus is about the thickness of a pencil and can be seperated from the tracia by inserting your thumb between the two and pulling it away like a elastic band, once this has been done tie off with sterile wax thread in two places then cut in between the two which keeps any unwanted stomach or gullet contents contained within the tube.

Then cut out a 100mm section of Tracia which is like a convulated pipe and remove from the carcass as photographs show.






The next cut is the most important of all as it is at this stage you could render the whole carcass unfit for human consumption if the rumen gets punctured and its contents contaminate the internal body cavity so extreme care is required..

Place the deer on its back lift a small section of skin on the stomach by pinching between you thumb and forefinger by bringing the skin away fro the abdominal wall by gently lifting the skin.

gently cut a small hole on the deers skin just under the area held with the thumb and forefinger, then release

You will see an area of skin of a green colour that looks like a blown up football ,this is whats called the Rumen, under no circumstances must this be cut or punctured, the art is to place two fingers in the incision 1st and 2nd finger and lift the deers skin gently , place your knife between your inserted fingers with the cutting edge upermost then gently run the blade all the way up to the sternum which is the bone joining all the ribs together when you do this keep lifting the skin keeping the back of your hand on the rumen pressing it down so it does not get punctured which is easily done if you dont concentrate. See pictures





The next procedure is to remove the contents of the body cavity the gralloch roll the beast over onto its right and side to aid the procedure as picture





Remove the viscera


It is important to examine the vicera for any signs of disease and this is done by making sure the Duodenum and Ileum rings are facing smooth side up when placed on the ground the MESENTERIC GLANDS are more visible dotted around the inner circle and should be smooth plasticine texture to the touch and grey in colour not showing any signs of enlargement or inflamed if disease free.



The next stage is to examine the pluck for any signs of T.B or other abnormalities

Cut around the diaphram attached to rib cage and gently pull down the pluck with heart and lungs attached and the remains of the tracia, inspect the lung tissue for hard white calcified lumps which would indicate possible T.B infection if such was found this should be bagged and the State Vet Notified of your suspicions also if blisters were present on the rib cavity this again would indicate suspected T.B

Inspect the MEDDIASTINAL and Bronchail nodes on either side of the tracia where it meets the lung tissue and the Portal Nodes to the liver.




Its most important to check the glands in the throat as the SUBMAXILLARY glands on either side of the inner jaw bone and the RETROPHYNGEAL glands should they become inflamed would indicate possible disease being present and requires further investigation see pics.




I trust this information helps those furthering their carrier in deer management.

I will include further photos of DSC2 witness proceedings that may be of interest if you would like to see more detail

Thanks Caprelous

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Looks like a useul article but what's the craic with phtotbucket? Do I need my own photobucket account to see the embedded images or what am  doing wrong?

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