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skin a squirrel

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Unread 01-17-2010, 06:50 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 260
Re: skin a squirrel

i take off the head and feet first, lay them on the belly, cut down the backbone to the tail.

then "undress them" like taking a coat off a sleeping kid, peeling skin off towards the butt, leaving the skin hanging on the tail.

i'll then remove the entrials, and any "material" left over gets pulled out with the rest of the skin. i then trim off the bare tail.

then go into the ribs and get the vitals out and quarter them, keeping the "back strap" section seperate by sperating just behind the rib cage.
...that's what i like about toe tags; one size fits all...
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Unread 02-19-2011, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 260
Re: skin a squirrel

To do it methodically and to retrieve the most I can for the pot, I usually skin and dress out my squirrels as such:

1. After harvesting, I'll remove the head and feet. This can be done several ways, from continous cutting witha small bladed knife, to one chop with a larger "Rambo" knife (my preference, quick and easy), to using a set of pruning shears.

2. Once that's done, I start back up, belly down, usually on a log, from the point of the neck area. For ease of removing the skin, I leave the entrails "in" at this time.

3. I move down the backbone toward the tail, seperating the skin away from the cut:

4. I then start working the skin away from the body, usually behingd the front legs / shoulder blades and at the point of my first cut at the neck:

5. I work it down the body, using my fingers to loosen and turn "inside out" the skin around the front legs:

6. Using the front legs for leverage, I hold it up and start pulling down:

7. I work the rear legs much like the front legs, getting the skin worked away with my fingers (like a finger in a glove) between the skin and legs, then pull and turn inside out:

8. Once clear of the legs, IU'll pull past the base of the tail about 3/4", then remove tail the same method of removing the head / feet.

9. At this point I'll remove the entrails, finding the point on the ribcage that comes to a point:

10. I'll make an inscision there and work my way to the anus area. On males, i'll go to one side of the genitals, then using the front legs for leverage, pick the squirrel up, work my index and thumb into the chest cavity breaking the membrane there, and remove the heart, lungs, and gastro tract all at once:

11. Once the entrails and anything deemed undedible is removed, I'll trim out the belly flaps:

12. I'll split the legs / hip to remove any other unwanted "inerds", and to set myself up to remove the legs:

13. I'll hold the squirrel upside down by the rear leg, and start a fillet near the backstrap to get the most meat off. I'll then trim around the leg socket, then a simple twist and pull to remove:

14. Moving back up the body once the legs are removed, I'll trim up both the sides of the rib cage, making an arrowhead look. A simple breaking, twist and pull of the vertabrae seperates the two:

15. I'll remove the front legs just as the back, starting a fillet from the meatiest part where attached to the rib cage, under the shoulder blade, them trim around the socket. I'll also make the breast meat a part of that fillet.

16. You are now left with 5 pieces:

17. This is a total of 6 squirrels on 2 platters. Platters are slightly larger than a standard dinner plate. Unfortunately a few of the quarters had to be discarded due to too much damage from an off shot.

...that's what i like about toe tags; one size fits all...
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Unread 02-19-2011, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 308
Re: skin a squirrel

I do the cut at the base of the tail and pull it over his head like a T-shirt...

One of the best things about this method is that you can almost eliminate getting any fur on the meat...try getting that fur off by handling it too much while skinning it. The fur all over the body and all over your hands is a pain...

Matt Roth
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Unread 02-21-2011, 10:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 60
Re: skin a squirrel

YouTube - How to Skin a Squirrel Video

Best video by far. My buddy Squacks showin' how it's done.

I've been skinning them for years and used several different methods and this is by far the best. just remember, don't stand on the tail. Stand on the flap of skin. And pay attention to where he puts his fingers to pull off the pajamas. It makes a difference.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: N.W. Montana
Posts: 119
Re: skin a squirrel

I've taken many of these and found the tail method to be the best. Also have tried soaking them in water first then skinning. Will almost always eliminate a single hair on the meat.

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Unread 12-24-2011, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 270
Re: skin a squirrel

after gutting them..i cut through the skin along its back, then start pulling like your taking off a jacket..we can only use shot gun for them here =\ for that reason i dont know of a lot of squirrel hunters
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Unread 01-04-2012, 07:44 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 37
Re: skin a squirrel

+1 on wetting the squirrel, I get a pail and fill it with water then just put my squirrels down in the water and let them soak, Also wearing latex gloves while dressing small game seems to keep the meat cleaner ! If you get some hair on the gloves just dip the gloved hand in the water and the hair will be gone..Hope this helps..
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