Skinning the Deer

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Hoist the deer high enough so that the head isn’t touching the ground. If it is a small deer, hoist high enough so the tail is at eye level.

Skinning prep cuts

You will end up pulling the skin down from the tail toward the head. It is easier if the release cuts are made ahead of time, before the skin is hanging down over the the deer’s head! From your field dressing cut along the chest, continue that cut as far up the neck as possible. At the base of the head, make another cut across and around the neck. This will free the skin from the neck once you get there. Make a cut through the hide from the front ankle down the inside of the leg till you meet up with your field dressing cut.

Cut the lower front legs off

This can be done with a knife, working through the ankle joints then bending the leg back to break it free. A quicker way is if you have a good set of limb trimming loppers and just cut right through the leg at the joint.


Now you are ready to skin the animal. It helps to have a buddy, but you can do it alone. Skinning is easiest when the hide is warm, but can still be done when cold. When skinning, pull the hide off as much as possible avoiding using the knife except to free it up where it gets caught.