December 04, 2009
How to Skin a Deer With Your Truck
By Scott Bestul
I’ve always kind of enjoyed skinning deer, assuming I only have to deal with an animal or two. But on some occasions—firearms season in particular—it’s not uncommon to have multiple deer to disrobe, and getting the job done becomes more daunting. That’s when any shortcut is welcome. Including this one.
We’ve illustrated the technique of using a truck (or ATV) to skin a deer in the magazine before, but this is the first video I’ve found highlighting the practice. Basically, you start by making sure the head of deer is secured to a stout object (in this case, a tree). Then you make a horizontal cut around the deer’s neck to free the hide from the carcass and peel enough skin back that you can grab a good handful. Insert a rock or golfball in this wad of skin, and knot one end of a rope around the ball. Attach the other end of the rope to the vehicle and tie that securely. Pull slowly and steadily with the rig, and the hide peels off.
Obviously, this works best if your deer carcass is still warm, and it may take a well-timed cut or two to help free the skin from a tough spot on some animals. But for the most part, it’s a quick, clean skinning method that saves a bunch of time. One of my friends belongs to a deer camp that typically kills a dozen or more deer in a weekend. On Sunday evening they skin all the whitetails and hang the carcasses in a walk-in cooler for butchering the next week. Jeff says they auto-skin all their whitetails and he couldn’t imagine processing the volume of deer they do without this method. Anyone else had experience with this technique?