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Tips on How to Skin a Deer

Jun 18, 2008
While it may not be the most exciting job in the world, skinning a deer is important when returning from a hunt or when you are still in the field. If you have harvested the deer, elk, antelope or goat of your dreams on a hunting trip, you will need to know how to skin the deer and how to get the most out of your hunt. If you are just learning about hunting, these tips will be useful for that remarkable day on which you will finally be able to skin a deer.

Basically, the act of skinning a deer is thought of to be quite simple. The crucial guideline behind it is to follow the built-in lines of the body of the deer and work from that standpoint. The skin and muscle tissues of the deer are naturally separate from one another because of the protective membranes, making the process of skinning a lot more like following a built-in outline of the deer. The skin should easily peel from the meat because of these membranes, creating little danger of tearing the skin or tearing the meat.

The most essential aspect in skinning a deer is the use of your hands and the pull of your own body weight. With these two integral tools, the aspect of skinning a deer becomes amazingly simple. In fact, skinning a deer can typically be completed in about ten to fifteen minutes without any serious problems.

You should first hang the deer. This makes it easier for you to use your body weight in the skinning procedure and creates a greater leverage point for skinning the deer. This also ensures that the meat will stay clean. Whether you hang the deer from the neck or from the legs, there is no particular difference. It is essential to try to skin the deer within an hour or two of the deer's death, making the skinning procedure a whole lot easier.

A sharp knife will make this task easy. Supposing the deer is hung by the legs, find the large tendon linking the lower leg segment to the rest of the deer's leg. You should poke a whole with your knife in between the tendon and the bone there. Next use your fingers to feel the lump that is formed by the deer's double-jointed bone. Once you have found that lump, cut the lower leg at the lower end of the two parts of the double joint. Cut the skin and the tendons here and then snap the deer's leg over your own leg, using your body's leverage to break it.

After you have broken the deer's legs as detailed, make several incisions around and near the tendon areas. There should be a whole flanked by the tendon and the bone of the lower leg, as well as several incisions near the front legs. You will then sever and snap the front legs as well, making the skinning method easier. After you have made the initial incisions, you will begin the process of striping the deer of its skin. Use your finger tips and thumbs to get inside the skin near the lower leg incisions and begin to peel the skin off.

Essentially, the pulling of the deer's skin should work a lot like pulling a tight jacket or pair of blue jeans off. It may be a little bit uncomfortable, but the layer of meat revealed below the skin should be a more than ample reward for your work. After the skin is pulled off, you will notice the meat is ready to go and the separation of the meat thanks to the deer's membrane has made the whole process a lot easier than you ever thought possible.

Skinning a deer, while not particularly romantic, is a process that should take around ten to fifteen minutes and relies almost entirely on your own body weight and strength to pull the skin off of the deer's body. It really is that simple.
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Sportsman and Author Ethan O. Tanner explains the process of
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