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Question by squirrelgirl. Uploaded on November 29, 2012
Much easier job if the animal is still warm.
Is there a story you're not telling us?
It is very tedious and exacting work, that unfortunately can't really be explained in text very well. Basically, you take an exacto knife or similar instrument and skin out every little detail: each pad and claw on the feet, the ears, eyes and lips on the head, etc.
If you aren't in a hurry, There is a 3 DVD set called Wilderness Taxidermy by Larry Bartlett that shows you in great detail how to do it. They demonstrate on a bear, but it would be basically the same thing. I see that Amazon has it.
I saw one hanging in a cabin this past weekend, it was obviously not professional but it was really neat. We have plenty bobcat out here so I was wondering just how hard it'd be to skin something like that. I really want to learn to do my own taxidermy!
For taxidermy, cut the belly from chest to pelvis and gently skin the hide away from the carcass. Peel the hide back around the feet and hold it tight, forcing the skin to stretch away from the body inside the feet. As Greenhead said, use a very sharp skinning knife held perpendicular to the skin to gently carve away the tissue attaching the hide. Be careful not to slice through the hide. Gently carve around each pad and with bobcats, be careful not to cut the claws away from the thin membrane that holds them. Its better to leave more meat in the first pass so you don't separate the claws. You can always trim meat from the hide later if you don't get it all while skinning.
Once all the feet and legs are skinned, pull the hide over the head. Tie the hind feet to the ceiling (or a tree limb) and forcefully pull the hide down over the neck and head. You should actually be able to strip most of the hide off the carcass until you reach the ears. Trim gently as you go same as with the feet. As soon as you see the ears, cut them out deep in the neck/head tissue. You don't want to cut ear hide while skinning (again you can flesh that out later by trimming the cartiledge out of the inside of the ear; you will insert fake cartiledge as part of the taxidermy process). Same thing when you get to the eyes, lips and nose. Once skinned, you will remove all flesh from the hide very carefully. In incision on the inside of the lips and the inside of the eyelids must be made to remove meat from them. If you can do all this very carefully, it will come out fine. If you don't mount it, you can pickle the hide and make a nice fur. If you keep and clean the skull, the teeth will make a nice face mount on the hide too. Its difficult to teach taxidermy on a forum but you can look up techniques online if you like. Just order a kit from a taxidermy supply.
If the bobcat is from Charlotte, you could use Heat, a Hawk, a Clipper; heck, you could probably even do it with Raptor.
^ how many of you got that?
You might want to focus on killing it before skinning it. From what I have heard they aren't exactly easy to hunt.
Forgot to mention, you can snip the toe bones off with a pair of wire cutters when you get close to the end of the toes.
Ha! Nice NBA reference small game.
Scalpel, STAT! A small, flexible, sharp, sharp, and sharp blade is what you need.
I wouldn't get too sharp. A razor edge and quickly slip through the hide and ruin your pelt. You want sharp enough to cut but not too sharp.
Take your time and pull the legs and head through like you are pulling off a sock. Cut anything that pulls tight.
Definately easier when the body is still warm and loose.
If you are not mounting, case skin the bobcat. Cut down the back of the back legs toward the vent, then work your way down. Dakotaman's directions are right on. As for the paws, it is tedious. Use a small sharp knife to skin the hide as far down the toes as possible. Then use a side snips to cut the toes as close to the claw as possible.
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