Friday, December 12, 2008

How to process a deer Part 1 Skinning

This is part 1 of 3 of how to butcher your deer.

I am processing my deer and will share the steps I take when I Butcher my own.
Normally it is best to hang and skin your deer while it is still warm. The meat will taste better and it will cool faster. This year I had too much wood to cut that day so I just propped it open with a stick so it would cool and then hung it in the garage. When I was younger we always left the hide on until it was time to butcher. It takes a lot longer to skin it when it's cold or frozen, but it is not the end of the world if you don't get it skinned right away.

To start the skinning process cut around the hind leg above the knee, then take the tip of your knife and split the skin down towards the tail.

Like this...

Do that on both rear legs and skin your way to the tail and cut through it with your knife.

Like this...

My knife is laying right below the severed tail bone. (the knife is a K-Bar 1100 I picked up at a flea market this summer for $2.50, I really like the carbon blades)
Once you have gotten through the tail bone you can probably pull the hide down to the front legs if the deer is still warm. My deer is mostly frozen so I had to help it along with the knife.

Grab the hide and pull down take your knife and make cuts along where the membrane is clinging to the hide .

Like this...

And this...

Continue skinning down the front legs until you get to the joint. I use pruning shears to cut off the leg and leave it attached to the hide.

Like this...

Do that to both sides and then continue all the way down to the neck. I use a bow saw to remove the head and the hide all in one piece.

Like this...

It should now look something like this...

But whats this????
There's hair all over my meat!!!

Never fear!
Propane torch to the rescue!!

Lightly go over the whole deer with the torch and singe off all the stray hairs.

Now you are ready to start cutting or letting it hang to age.

Still clinging to my God and my guns

1 comment:

scoutinlife said...

Great tutorial Randy!