AHR 29: The Beginner's Guide on How to Hunt, Field Dress, Skin, and Butcher Wild Game with Fisher Neal

 Fisher Neal
The biggest barrier to entry is your desire.
— Fisher Neal

Think about this for a second: More Americans hunt and fish than play baseball.

What a trip, right?

That's more than 38 million Americans.

And if that doesn't surprise you, this will: 

Hunting—overall—brought in more revenue ($38.3 billion) than Google ($37.9 billion) or the Goldman Sachs Group ($36.8 billion).

Now ask yourself this question: "Why don't I hunt?"

Really think about this for a second. Mull it around for a few minutes, hours, days, whatever. But really think.

Is it because of the blood, guts, and sinew? Is it your ethics or morality? Is it the fact that you live in a city or suburb and feel like you don't have access to the wild spaces needed to hunt? Or, maybe, it's as simple as a lack of money for all that expensive new gear.

Whatever your reason, hunting is a huge undertaking in and of itself. Period. And for the novice not accustomed to growing-up in the hunting lifestyle, the process of learning and developing this fundamental life-skill can seem downright intimidating.


Should you join me and accept the hunter's call to bravely enter the chase, you will be handsomely rewarded with the first-hand experience of accepting another animals life into your own. This experience often catalyzes into a deep, life-altering relationship between you, the natural world, and the entire two-legged and other-than-human community.

And to make this particular transition easier, I've invited my newest friend—Fisher Neal of LearntoHuntNYC.com—on today's episode of Ancestral Health Radio.

In today's episode, you'll learn...

  • The absolute first thing you should do if you're interested in learning to hunt,
  • What a typical day of hunting might look like for the average hunter,
  • The basic (yet graphic) process of how to field dress, skin, and butcher a deer—from start to finish, and...
  • Much, much more.

Episode Breakdown

  • Fisher shares some of his earliest memories of his father and their relationship with hunting

  • Fisher explains why dove hunting is perfect for young children

  • How Fisher went from red-state hunting culture to liberal arts major in New York

  • What Fisher says your first step in your hunting journey should be

  • Fisher explains the Hunter Safety course and exactly what that test entails

  • Fisher answers my question regarding how young you can be to take the Hunter Safety course

  • Fisher tells me that the most dangerous place in the wild while hunting has nothing to do with wild animals (this surprised me)

  • Fisher explains the unique opportunity American hunters have versus those around the world

  • Fisher speaks about hunter etiquette and the many negative stereotypes surrounding the modern American hunter archetype

  • Why Fisher says a large portion of the work happens prior to to the day of the hunt

  • What a typical hunting day looks like through the eyes of Fisher and a client

  • Fisher shares the heavy amount of research it takes, beforehand, to ensure a successful hunt for he and his clients

  • Fisher goes through the different types of tree stands and the process one would take to make it available for hunting (note: It ain't easy.)

  • Fisher briefly speaks about the barriers to entry for would-be hunting aficionados (hint: private land access, money, and, of course, personal time and general sovereignty)

  • Why America is special due to public (hunting) land access

  • Why Fisher says bow hunting is like entering a video game on expert mode

  • Why Fisher doesn't recommend vertical bows for beginning or novice hunters

  • Why Fisher likes crossbows rather than recurve or compound bows (especially for newbies and newcomers)

  • Fisher speaks about the challenges of hunting small game with slingshots

  • Why Fisher recommends you hunt invasive species, provided you have the means

  • Fisher explains the importance of Unlimited agencies and how these non-profits help protect both wild spaces as well as the wild animals that inhabit them

  • Fisher explains why, in the hunting world, people tend to say, "Now the work begins."

  • Why you want to immediately field dress an animal (hint: it's not what you think)

  • Why Fisher says, if you had to, you could figure out how to butcher an animal all on your own

  • Why gutting an animal can sometimes be tricky

  • Fisher tells us the basic (yet graphic) process of how to field dress, skin, and butcher a deer—from start to finish

  • Why you should be aware of, and avoid, the tarsal gland of deer

  • Fisher describes where the prime cuts of meat are, as well as the "burger meat" of an animal (in this case: a deer)

  • The gear list

  • Fisher's personal thoughts on camouflage 

  • Fisher's Call to the Wild

  • Why Fisher forages when he's not outside in the wild hunting game and beneficial crossover between the two 

Questions I Ask

  1. "How'd you get into hunting and what exactly is your background?"

  2. "What is the first thing you think our audience should be doing?"
  3. "What is the earliest you can begin hunting at?"
  4. "Can you run through exactly what they do through the safety courses?"
  5. "Can you give us a sneak-peek? Kind of, like, a day-in-the-life-of...?"
  6. "What does it look like to actually put up a tree stand, anyway?"
  7. "Do you primarily hunt deer or do you have a methodology for what kind of animal you're going to be hunting?"
  8. "What are the pros and cons of rifle hunting versus bow hunting?"
  9. "How do you feel about simple, homemade slingshots?"
  10. "Are you into advocating hunting for invasive species?"
  11. "What is an unlimited?"
  12. "How long does field dressing, skinning, and portioning an animal out take (on average)?"
  13. "Do you have thoughts on camouflage?" 
  14. "What is the most beneficial piece to being a forager when it comes to being a hunter?"

And many more...


Mentioned Resources

Learn to Hunt NYC-01 SMALL.png

Who is Fisher Neal?

Fisher Neal is the owner of Learn to Hunt NYC,  the only hunting guide service that specializes in teaching people who've never hunted in their lives how to go out and harvest wild game on their own.  Based just outside of Manhattan in Jersey City, NJ, Fisher takes first-time hunters for in-field hunting and shooting lessons, foraging trips, and fully outfitted hunts for deer and wild turkey.  Fisher is also a professional actor and a contributing columnist with Paleo Magazine.

Contact Fisher, Here:

Website: www.LearntoHuntNYC.com

Social media: Facebook (Learn to Hunt NYC), Facebook (Personal)

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Thank you.

James Broderick