If you are a new hunter, then one of the first tasks you want to learn is how to skin deer. Skinning and field dressing your own deer can save money on deer processing fees. Knowing how to skin a deer is also a tool that will make you a valuable member of any hunting party. With the right tools and a little practice, you will be able to skin a deer in a short amount of time.
To skin a deer you will need:
Hang and drain the deer. You will want to hang the deer carcass in a cool place as quickly as possible. Drain the blood from the deer completely. This will make the cutting and removal of the deer hide much easier. You will want to make sure you hang the deer in a suitable location to complete the skinning process.
Cut the hide from the legs of the deer. The best way to start skinning a deer is with the legs. Using the tip of a skinning knife, make a small incision just above the knee on each inner leg of the deer. Be careful not to pierce the meat. If you cut too deep, you will damage the meat of the deer.
Perform the remaining incisions. You will need to make incisions at the neckline of the deer just below the chin. If you are planning on mounting after skinning the deer, then you will need to avoid this incision. There should already be an area of the deer stomach that has been cut during the dressing process. You will need to make this hole larger and move the incision downward along the original line of the field dressing incision.
Skin the deer. Start at the neck incision. Place the tip of the skinning knife just inside the neck incision cut and pry the skin down slightly. Move the skin down slowly and begin rolling the skin as you pull it down the deer body. Do not cut the skin or cut to deep during this process. Use your body strength and weight to pull the skin downward from the neck to the legs.
Clean the carcass. After you have skinned the deer, you will need to take a wet warm cloth and wipe down the deer. This will remove anything left behind from the skinning process.
The number one priority with skinning a deer is safety. A part of that safety is keeping your skinning knives sharp so that cutting the skin is smooth and does not require abnormal effort. Many wilderness tool companies, like Cabela, offer knives specifically for skinning. You can also purchase a sharpening steel to help you maintain the sharpness of your deer skinning knives.
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