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Wanted to tap the vast knowledge on the forum.  Does anyone know of good source of information on skinning game?  Mainly interested in something on the web, but book titles would be good also.  Have tried varmint hunting and have heck of time skinning them out to have a nice pelt.
Thanks,
JT
 

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Hi Jeff,

The guys I know that still skin their coons and cats do it as close to one piece as they can get with just a opening at the vent of the animal. It's usually called taking his drawers off in our circles cause thats kind of what you do. Skin him quick in the field if you can, but 2 people are helpful. If you take it home you need to have a gambrel that will hold the animals back legs so you can have both hands free to pull.

Do just like the books say for any animal. Start at the vent and cut a line out to about the back of the knee, just far enough to get the back legs out. Just pull his legs out like you were taking off a kids coat. The skin will start to turn inside out down to the paws. There you have to work as slowly as you want to get as much of the paw as you want. I ususally just cut the paw off short. Hang his legs on the gambrel and start taking his pants off. Work the tail out like his legs and pull on down. The slower and more careful you are the more of the details you can save,down to the ears eye brows and nose.

What you do with the thing from there is usually the arduous part. Not many fur brokers out there anymore. The guys used to just roll them up and freeze them until they had enough to sell. Now the low price is not worth the work.

Go to the public library and get a book on tanning and such. If you want to go the indian route save the brains. Each animal has just enough brains to tan it's own hide.

Good Luck.
 

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I used to trap Coyotes and Bobcats. I have found a few books to help you get started:

" ON THE PROWL FOR BOBCATS"
" FUR TRAPPING IN NORTH AMERICA"

I would have to say the hardest thing about skinning is the head, I use a small knife with a blade that is 1 1/2  long and is narrow 1/4. Skinning around the eye and ear is the hardest part but cleaning a coyote hide under the leg is the difficult.

 There is a trick for big game: It is so fast yo will have to try it for yourself:

  Cut a small hole 1/4 on each quarter and just insert teh air pump. PUMP IT UP... The air seperates the hide from the meat. You can do a few holes in the neck if you want. Then skin normal. You will be supprised how easy it is. I have done this on bobcats, coyotes and beaver makes skinning a snap.
 

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Just a short tidbit...

I keep a long choke chain (for large dogs) handy. They make a GREAT gambrel for most critters. We used to hang them over the strut of the aircraft when hunting wolves and needed to skin the varmint to lighten the load for short takeoffs on frozen ponds.

Make a loop in each end of the choker, slip over the foot, and hang up on a handy strut, branch or nail. You can pack the choke chain in little space and they will hold a good sized critter. If you need a spreader, a simple notched stick will suffice.

The sooner you skin the rascles, the less fleshing you will have to do!

Scotty
 
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