Coyote skinning


Active Member
Jan 4, 2009
Does anyone have any tips on skinning coyotes, that's quick and doesn't harm a pelt. I've skinned lots of them, and every time, I always say to myself that there has to be an easier way. Even if you skip doing the feet, the rest of the hide is just about welded on. Randy Anderson has all of these videos on how to hunt them, now he needs to film a professional skinner in action.
I never skin feet on a coyote unless the buyer makes it worth it, they are used for trim so feet and heads are of no real value to the fur trade.
I used to skin them in about 5 min but I was skinning an average of 15 a day so I had it down. I have always wanted to use a winch, all it would take is a four wheeler winch. I thought if I made a skinning pole that would extend to the ground then extend up, get the back legs started then hang, run the cable through a pulley at the bottom of the pole and attach with a snare loop to each leg then pull.
I built a similar set up at a game cutting shop I ran, I could run deer through at one every 3 min without breaking a sweet and an elk at one every 8 min. but I was using two one ton chain hoists and it was set up so the animal and the hide moved apart so that the knife work always stayed at one level, no bending over or standing on your tippi toes to skin.
Never seen one that the hide was on too hard even cold. The tail can get a little hard to pull when they have sat around a while but other than that ok. I can usually get one in 5-10 min easy. I carry a rope that I put on the back legs and skin right where I shoot them usually, as long as I have Sagebrush/tree/fence post to wrap the rope around. I see no point in carrying it all the way back to the pickup to skin. Never take the feet so not sure what could help you there. Video, good idea..
I used to run with a local trapper and we had a skinning setup on our front or back bumper, I also have a cable skinning loop in my pack but usually it was closer and easier to get to the truck and peel them. Our dogs hang on to there hide like none other later in the season, you really gotta through your weight into it, young dogs skinned hot you can usually pull down over the shoulders.
One tip is to break of the front legs then you just pull the hide of by jamming your foot between the neck and the hind and jump.
I'll have to look but I think Craig O'Gorman has a coyote skinning video. Look around the trapping web sites there maybe something there.
Depending on where you are doing the skinning at (aka if you bring it home or to your truck; this wont work in the field). Make a small slit in the back of the hind leg, use a air tank/compressor and a air nozzle, put it in the slit and shoot some air up there. It separates the skin from the muscle, saw someone do a deer and some goats like that, amazing at how well it works.
+1 with novaman64
I have seen how sheep, goats and hogs are skinned in 2 minutes using an air compressor, I dont see why it wouldnt work for coyotes.
Thanks everyone for your advice. A couple of years ago I started using the air compressor, which does help. The worst part is always the back legs, which by Christmas is just about fused on, at least where I'm at.
I slit from the hock to the vent, grab the hock with a pair of linesmen plier and pull down, then step on that section and pull the leg up till it's down to the tail.
i have skinned way over a thousand coyotes and in all this time have never found an easy way, especially if you want to take good care of the hide and have a sellable product. the only trick i have found is to skin them while they are still warm....much easier to peel than if they are in the back of a truck all day.... especially the big old males. our average size around here is 45lbs for males and 30-35 for females. it takes some doing to skin one. with fur prices what they are now, not worth the effort unless you just want to have them tanned as a trophy, then you will want to skin them down to the toenails...AJ
Hang a yote(s) by his rear feet, get out your tailer, strip of f the tail fur from tail; next small cut into the rear paw hide opening it a small amount'…, blow in the air separating the hide from the carcass as much as possible; separate the rectal fur {us your knife}… cut the rear leg hide down to the rectum. Cut a slit above the front paws {like you did with the rear} hit them with air… now pull the hide from the top down, tubing the yote's fur to the neck and head, continue to pull and cape out the head…. cut off at the noise.. You're done.
If you want the paws on the pelt… open the paws up and cut the knuckle joints using as set of pointed dike pliers; leaving paws on the hide.
100 pis; seems to work just fine.
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