Robin Barkes

People always laugh at me when I tell them I could skin a buck with a golf ball or round stone of the same size. I don’t mind the gutting part of hunting, but really dislike skinning. However, this way really makes it easy.

The first thing you do is cut a circle around the neck of your animal just below the head. After this continue with all the cuts you would normally make to get a full skin – like a floor mat. Once this is done, lift up the entire buck and tie its head to a tree. The carcass must face the tree (or pole) with its back pointing away.

With your skinning knife, loosen a large flap of skin around the neck and back and into the middle of the flesh side. Place your golf ball or stone and fold the skin around it so you get a hairy lump. Around this lump, on the hair side, tie the end of a thin rope very tightly. Tie the other end of the rope to the tow-bar or bumper of your vehicle and get in and drive off slowly. Provided your animal has been CLEANLY shot, the hide will peel off with a “thlooping” sound, leaving the neatly skinned carcass hanging from the tree.

You can do this entire operation by yourself with a buck up to impala size, but you may need help with the lifting part when it comes to bigger animals. Not counting the time it takes to make those first cuts you can cleanly skin an animal in about a minute. The old American buffalo hunters did the same thing, but of course they used their horses to pull the skins off the great shaggy beasts.

Updated: Friday, November 2, 2007 12:27 PM