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Thread: Ever skin animal with an axe?

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    Default Ever skin animal with an axe?

    Have any of you ever skinned or cleaned a moose or caribou with an axe? There is a you tube video of guy skinning a lower 48 white tail with a Grasnfors Bruks hunter's axe.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic6bGzO3KZw

    I saw one of these at Barney's week or two back, it has a rounded poll (back side of the axe head, opposite the cutting edge) that is polished to a sheen, mirror-like. Supposedly, it is that rounded part that makes it able to to skin hides. The premise is that, by using the rounded poll, you can't tear your hide as with a knife.

    So my questions are if you have done this before, how did it go? How does an axe compare to various types of knives?

    Do you think this could be done with a standard axe, with a squared-off poll? (The polished, rounded poll is really ice, but you loose the "hammer" function of the axe.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I didn't watch the vid, 'cause my connection is slow, but I imagine it's accurate(?). I have two of these, and they work well for skinning and butchering. Holding and using the axe for cutting is a similar to using an ulu, and as described, the poll makes quick work of separating hide from carcass . Like any specialized tool, it's pretty handy once you're accustomed to using it. This IS a specialized tool for skinning and cutting, and is NOT intended for hammering, or chopping wood, or striking bone, and such abuse will cause serious damage in short order.

    Prior conversation on the subject: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hunter%27s+axe
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    Not familiar with that axe, but I've used a "cruiser" axe for skinning most of my life. Too big for deer, but perfect for cattle and elk. Never seemed to have it handy when moose were on the ground, and I missed it.

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    That ole boy is working way to hard on a simple task.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    That ole boy is working way to hard on a simple task.
    That's what I was thinking! Grab and pull....
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    That ole boy is working way to hard on a simple task.
    Yeah- it looks like he's working hard. It also looks like it's frozen- the times I used a skinning axe went way faster.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I didn't watch the vid, 'cause my connection is slow, but I imagine it's accurate(?). I have two of these, and they work well for skinning and butchering. Holding and using the axe for cutting is a similar to using an ulu, and as described, the poll makes quick work of separating hide from carcass . Like any specialized tool, it's pretty handy once you're accustomed to using it. This IS a specialized tool for skinning and cutting, and is NOT intended for hammering, or chopping wood, or striking bone, and such abuse will cause serious damage in short order.

    Prior conversation on the subject: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hunter%27s+axe
    Thanks for the link. Your post spoke to the heart of my post, but didn't exactly answer my question. As you stated, using the special hunter's axe for other than skinning will wreck it in a hurry. So I wonder if you can skin and butcher without a flay poll, using a more standard axe that could do double duty as butcher and skinning tool as well as wood splitting and hammering tool?

    I read the related thread, but didn't see an answer there either.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    , using the special hunter's axe for other than skinning will wreck it in a hurry. So I wonder if you can skin and butcher without a flay poll, using a more standard axe that could do double duty as butcher and skinning tool as well as wood splitting and hammering tool?\.
    While I wouldn't want to hammer anything with the flay poll- I couldn't see any reason you couldn't use the blade side to cut wood or kindling. We cut the sternum and split the pelvis without difficulty. Other than being the usual sharp Gransfors Bruks edge it didn't appear remarkable in any way. That's specifically the GB…other makers may be different.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Thanks for the link. Your post spoke to the heart of my post, but didn't exactly answer my question. As you stated, using the special hunter's axe for other than skinning will wreck it in a hurry. So I wonder if you can skin and butcher without a flay poll, using a more standard axe that could do double duty as butcher and skinning tool as well as wood splitting and hammering tool?

    I read the related thread, but didn't see an answer there either.
    Well, you "could" us a woodsman's axe , in the same vein as you could use a straight bladed screwdriver as a wood chisel, or a claw hammer for breaking rocks or to dig in the garden, or your hunting knife to hack down a tree and chop it up for firewood; not the right tool for the job. The poll of a woodsman's axe (regardless of size, style or weight) is generally sharply squared and not conducive to gliding between hide and flesh; it's going to snag and catch, tear things up and not be efficient; the blade is shaped, and sharpened to be best suited for chopping and splitting wood, not holding a razor edge and slicing meat like a knife... The only time you really ever wield the hunting axe with a swinging motion, is when using the poll to remove a hide (and with two people working a moose, one pulling the hide and the other wielding the axe, you can skin an animal FAST), otherwise the axe is held by right at the juncture of the head and handle, with the poll cradled in the hand between thumb and index finger, very much the same as holding an ulu and used in much the same way. It's like a heavy duty ulu with an extended handle for extra leverage. The shape, size, balance of a wood axe head and handle are not conducive to being held and used that way. When considering your compliment of tools, you would consider the hunters axe to be redundant to your larger skinning/butchering knife, not redundant to your camp axe. Sorry to be so wordy; hope that was more helpful.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    While I wouldn't want to hammer anything with the flay poll- I couldn't see any reason you couldn't use the blade side to cut wood or kindling. We cut the sternum and split the pelvis without difficulty. Other than being the usual sharp Gransfors Bruks edge it didn't appear remarkable in any way. That's specifically the GB…other makers may be different.
    You can use it for some light duty on wood, especially green wood, if you're careful, but the blade is much thinner than a wood axe, and has almost no "cheek". It's thin like a knife and intended to hold a very sharp edge. Chopping dry wood or heavy bone with it will roll, ding, chip, flake and dull the edge, and generally trash it to the point of having to be reground and re-edged from scratch. There are lots of complaints online from guys who treated it like a camp axe, trashed it immediately, and then complain about it being "cheap" and not withstanding their abuse.... I acquired a used one once, the poll of which was all peened and mangled. It looked like somebody had driven nails with it. It broke my heart to see that done to a fine tool. Same guy who did that would probably think nothing of using a fine blade as a screwdriver too... to tighten the screws on his scope rings....
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I packed my grünsfors brüks a couple times on kodiak this year, but I am so comfortable with my Finnish Sammi knife I never got the axe out. I keep hoping to have a chance to use it on a moose, but the deer were so little (in comparison) and I'm so quick with the Sammi (two deer skinned quartered and in the pack in under 45 minutes) it won't happen on deer.
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    Not to change the subject but on the skinning note, I have always skinned deer hanging head down, probably for no other reason than thats the way Dad did it and taught me. Any advantage that you know of hanging and skinning head up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawanna View Post
    Not to change the subject but on the skinning note, I have always skinned deer hanging head down, probably for no other reason than thats the way Dad did it and taught me. Any advantage that you know of hanging and skinning head up?
    I don't know anyone where I live who skins their deer head up. It's easier to just skin out the hindquarters to the rump; and front legs, and then pull the whole hide down to the neck. Neck always requires a little more skinning as it is tough like the rump. Then skin out the neck, take a meat cleaver to the head and your done!

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    Exactly how I do it. The bucks get that hide tight around the neck but still no big problem. When I saw that deer in the video with the head up it made me wonder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawanna View Post
    Exactly how I do it. The bucks get that hide tight around the neck but still no big problem. When I saw that deer in the video with the head up it made me wonder.
    Perhaps that's why he had to use an axe!?
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2K7sV-K74

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    I have a Gransfors skinning axe. the round-poll is not much use on moose as the hide is on pretty tightly ...and on caribou your fingers work better to remove the hide. a knife is better for nearly all cutting tasks except for taking the ribs off quickly if you like sharp shards.

    It is a great tool for making a fire and on very rough and quick cuts on rib and head removal. Not a knife substitute IMO.

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    I bought a Nor Mark skinning Ax to use as a small machete to cut a trail through heavy alders. It's head is very sharp and thin like a knife so it would work on a moose if you did not have a knife.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=nor+...w=1458&bih=733

    If you like it I will sell it to you.

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    What's wrong with a Knife??

    If it aint broken why fix it

    or

    KISS - keep It Simple Stupid

  19. #19

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    When the guy in the video gets done skinning it will take him longer to pick the hair off the meat than it would of took to skin it right the first time. I skin my deer with the intention of eating the meat. Any thing you can do to keep the meat clean and free of hair and dirt will cut down on clean up time a lot.

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    It wasn't an axe, but a friend of mine helped me skin a deer last night using an ulu. Worked great.

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