Trapping Conservation and Self-Reliance News

How long one wait to skin an animal? (video)
Nov 30, 2022 08:13 ET

New Coon Creek shirts


Notes from Video:

  • Best to skin day-of if you can
  • Weather and temperature will dictate the allowable timeframe to skin
  • Stu doesn’t have a bunch of freezers which could change the picture so he usually skins that-day’s-catch on same day, and scrapes yesterday’s catch on that day also (both things done on this day).
  • Critters with the most fat content will be the critters you can leave longest without skinning. The fat content is what protects the hair from slipping (what you don’t want). Once decomposition kicks in, the hair will slip, so the more fat, the more preserved is the hide.
  • Coons, skunks, beaver, have high fat content so you might let them sit a little longer. What causes the animal to break down comes from the inside of the animal (guts, juices, etc.) and not the outside.
  • Other end of the spectrum (say coyote) has very little fat. Now western coyotes will hold more fat. Predators plus muskrats don’t have a lot of fat. Coyotes, foxes, muskrats.
  • On coyotes, you’ll see the first slippage on the under side of the belly. Remember that coyotes really have to have some strong juices to be able to break down all the serious stuff they’re eating all the time.
  • One easy way to put off skinning a coyote until the next day is to simply hang it up by one back foot. So all the guts sort of go up into the chest cavity area.
  • Said mid-40’s is the best and will help you prolong the whole animal’s longevity before skinning. So if you have a floor, like Stu’s wooden floor that isn’t insulated and it’s in the 40’s or lower, you can just put the animal on the floor (out of the sun) and it will kind of act as a refrigerator. Concrete floor also good.
  • Another tip to preserve animal is to simply lay the critter on its back. That will protect the belly area. Best method though remains to hang the animal by its back feet as previously described.
  • Letting a catch sit for 30-48 hours is definitely not uncommon. Would not suggest letting a canine sit for more than “a day or day and a half.” You’ll start to see a green belly then, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. You can spray a little bleach on it he said. Or sometimes if it hasn’t gone too far, the decomposition will just stop after you skin it.
  • You can let a coon go several days before skinning, especially in colder weather.
  • Tip: If you’re skinning by-hand (and not a machine) it can sometimes be to your benefit to let the critter sit for a little longer.
  • It’s best to skin right after you harvest the animal but if you did wait, then wait until after it comes out of rigor mortis if you’re new to skinning. You don’t have to do that at all but it can help which would be I think he said up to 18 hours. Poster note: I don’t wait until after rigor mortis unless it just worked out that way.