How To Skin A Whitetail Deer
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Use a stout rope or a tree-stand safety belt or harness to drag out your buck.
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The tools of the deer-care trade: a couple of skinning knives, a sharpening steel and a handsaw.
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Years ago hunters used to pack home bucks on the hoods of their trucks, but don't you do it! Carry your deer in the bed of a pickup or on a steel grate that attaches to the back of an SUV.
 
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Hang a field-dressed buck in a cool (40 - 50 degrees) place as soon as possible.
 
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Cut up and through the hide on the inside of the hind legs.
 
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Make a circular cut around the joint of each leg.
 
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With the sharp point and blade of a knife, skin out the hindquarters.
 
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Saw off the hind legs below the joints.
 
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For easy skinning, hang a buck from a gambrel.
 
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To open the rear of a deer for cooling and skinning, saw a little ways into the pelvis.
 
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Skin down toward a deer's neck. Grab the hide and pull-much of it will peel right off.
 
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In spots where the hide sticks, skin with your knife.
 
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Cut off the tail. Don't let the long hair get on the meat.
 
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Keep pulling and skinning the hide over the ribs and down to the shoulders.
 
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Keep pulling and skinning the hide over the ribs and down to the shoulders.
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Assuming you ARE NOT going to cape a buck for mounting, cut down into the brisket as far as possible. Saw off the front legs at the joints.
 
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Cut along the insides of the front legs and skin them out. If you DO PLAN to mount a buck, make the two primary caping cuts: around a buck's body behind the front legs, and along the back of its neck and out to each antler.
 
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Pull and skin the hide down over a buck's head.
 
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Saw off a buck's head with long cape intact. Take your trophy to a taxidermist or freeze it asap.
 
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Check for any dirt or hair and if you find any remove at once. Cut away any blood-shot meat around the bullet holes.
 
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If you want the hide tanned, now is the time to wipe the bloody side clean with a towel...
 
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... lay it flat and spread borax or salt on the inside of the hide. Fold it lengthwise, hair out, roll up, tie, package and head for the taxidermist's shop. Or again, freeze it and bring it to him when you can.
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