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Thread: how do you case skin a coyote?

  1. #1
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    Default how do you case skin a coyote?

    i lucked into a coyote not paying attention to anything and would like to skin him and send to mink and moyle and hang him at home.
    can anyone tell me (dumb it down steps) how to skin, especially to save toes and ears and full tail.
    do i need to stretch him? he's frozen now if that's any consideration.
    thanks in advance.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    First off Congrats to you holly! Coyotes are one of the smartest critters to outwit!
    My first thought is to rec you go online and type in How to skin a coyote and you should get several short video's on you tube. They are tough and smelly critters so don't expect to go very fast especially if you want the toes attached. I might rec taking it to a taxidermist and tell them what you want and have them tan it for you - will cost ya a little bit but it will likely turn out much better for what you would like to do with it....
    Randy
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    There is undoubtably someone who will word it better than me or find a mistake in my method...but here it is:

    It pays to have it fully thawed out to skin it. You can wrap it in an ace bandage or somthing that compresses the fur will speed the thawing process. It should thaw in a relatively cool place, IMO, or it will thaw unevenly and it will stink even worse than it already does.

    I like to start by skinning out the mouth (separating skin from gumline) and work the hide back to the rear of the mouth or even to the eyes. Just makes the process cleaner for me.

    Then I make a cut from the rear of the rear pads right up the back of the leg and to the anus. Make the cut as straight as possible. Skin the hide off the leg and the feet. Skin the foot out to the toe bone that has the claw attached to it (so there is no joint left). This takes a bit of practice to get good at, but just takes some time and patience the first few times.

    Next I do the same for the front legs. Start at the pads and cut a straight line up the back of the leg to the elbow. Skin out the front feet just like the rear.

    Skinning out the rump and crotch area of coyotes is probably the hardest part for me, not that it is all that difficult. Usually lots of fat and it's sometimes easy to knick the hide with the knife in that area. You just have to take your time and work the hide off the carcass trying to leave more fat on the meat than on the hide so to speak.

    Once you get to that point it is a pull and cut affair mostly, work the hide down the body til you get near the front shoulders, then you'll have to pull the skinned front legs thru the hide so you can continue to the neck.

    When you get to the ear butts (bases), I skin around it a bit to give me some pulling room and then just cut the ear off right below or at the butt. Once you get the hide off the carcass, I'll turn the ears inside out using a stick or a blunted screwdriver as a pushing tool. Hard to explain how to turn ears, best to see it done firsthand. It really is not too hard, just basically try to keep tension on the interface between the two sides of the skin and touch that spot with the knife lightly, it will open up a tiny bit at a time. Some folks use a method that basically just rips the inside of the ear off, but I have not done it that way and I think it is more for garment use .

    The tail bone needs to be completely removed from the tail and the tail needs to be split all the way to the tip. If you skin the rump down the tail a few inches, you can often pull the tailbone right out by using a clothepin or something to pinch the tail hide and strip the bone out that way. Use an umbrella stay or something straight with a "V" guide to make sure you dont corkscrew the tail. The cut needs to be straight down the bottom of the tail or it will look screwy when it's tanned.

    Thats a very brief overview, but generally how I do it...Good luck.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    If you need a more visual idea on skinning a coyote, there is a bunch of good videos on youtube that are worth checking out.

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    I'd recommend doing it with a hobby knife or medical scalpel, particularly all the work on the head/face/toes. I also used a mini-ulu for some of the bigger work on the main body, it came from the tourist trap section at Wal-Mart and is actually very sharp.

    If your going to send it off to get tanned at Moyles it MUST be fleshed and dried because they store furs in bins in a heated warehouse where they will rot if they are not skinned and dried. I made my own streatcher from plans in the NAFTA handbook on their website. I made a fleshing beam from a 2x6 and the same profile dimensions as the stretcher. My first one took me about 4 hours to skin and about 4 nights after work to flesh. Going that slow I still had about 6 small holes and nicks to sew up but I was really happy with how it turned out for my first one!

    I also watched several videos on youtube before and during the time I was working on mine.

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    thanks dkwarthog for the details. also thanks for the reminder to stretch and flesh limon32. i'll thaw this weekend and give it my best.hopefully i'll have a neat outcome.

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    YouTube is your friend! How to skin a Coyote

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    Quote Originally Posted by holly View Post
    thanks dkwarthog for the details. also thanks for the reminder to stretch and flesh limon32. i'll thaw this weekend and give it my best.hopefully i'll have a neat outcome.
    Don't be intimidated, its not rocket science. I was very intimidated my first time but once I got going it just kinda made sense. Turning the ears was VERY intimidating to me too until i dove in and just started doing it. Go very slow on the ears and you'll be fine.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I agree, jump on in. You'll make a mistake or two I'm sure, but if your gonna wall hang it, those mistakes will just remind you how much fun it was

    Yea, I didnt mention fleshing and stretching. I love stretching, hate fleshing, especially coyotes. My skill level (read: time it takes me) fleshing canines is VERY slowly improving...but is still really slow...

    Have fun.

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