Intro: Your Own Squirrel Pelt - the Envy of the Neighborhood
In this articale/tutorial I will show you how to skin and preserve a squirrels hide. Watch for my later tutorial on how to gut and prepare the carcass for the freezer.
Step 1: Items Required
1 x Dead Squirrel
1 x Sharp Knife
1 x Lb of Salt
2 x Rags
1 x Cutting Board
1 x Non Queasy Stomach
Step 2: Preperation
Try to spread the squirrel as flat as possible. Rigor mortus may have set in so you will have to take your time spreading the limbs.
Step 3: Cut
Start your cut under the chin.
Draw the knife back towards the anus.
You might have to turn the knife over to help break the skin after you get a cut started.
Step 4: Peel
Start peeling the skin back from the body. I find it easiest to pull it at a right angle. You might have to wiggle the knife around under the skin a bit to help part it from the flesh.
When you get to the legs you have to slit the skin from the center of the body out towards the feet. It helps if you make a circular cut around the ankle/wrist.
Step 5: More Cutting
You need to cut the skin back from the neck below the head to prepare for the next step. When you are doing this mind your fingers. I do not want anyone to complain to me that they chopped off an apendage.
Step 6: More Peeling
Slowly and gently pull the skin straight back along the length of the body. It should come off without to much trouble. If you have an issue use the knife to gently convince it to come off.
When you get to the tail all you have to do is tug along the length of it and the tailbone should slid free.
Step 7: Preservation
Fat and other tissues left attached to the skin are your enemy. They will rot causeing the pelt to decay over time. As you can see in the first picture there will be lots of fat on the skin when your done with it. At this point you could scrape it with a knife a bit, but I am lazy so I use salt to dry out the fat a bit before I scrape it.
When i say salt it, I mean salt the living heck out of it. I normally use one pound of salt per pelt. You should have a good quarter inch of salt on it to soak up the water in the fat and tissues left.
Make sure you stick some salt in the tail. If you dont your tail will rot off.
After the salt sits for a day it will have a crust. You will need to remove the salt and GENTLY scrape at any remaining fat. You have to repeat this process till the pelt is dried out and is stiff like a board. I would check it in the morning when you wakt up and then again at night before you pass out.
Step 8: Enjoy
You should now have a nice little squirrel pelt to call your own. Use it how you see fit. I use mine to display items I have liberated in my travels around the world.
This may not be the fastest way to do this, but as I have never seen a site with directions on how to do this I figured what the heck as it is how I go about it and I know it works.
As it is my first tutorial go ahead and flame it as you see fit.