The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
I thought I would pass along a diagram or description of how to skin a squirrel this week since many of us are making trips to the bird feeder now and in some cases sharing more than we would like with the squirrels. Plus there are still several weeks left where you could enjoy a day in the woods with your squirrel gun, so a little review won't hurt. Turns oput, there are not a lot of simple drawings out there to illustrate the how-to of squirrel skinning. There are lots of videos. Here is a pretty good description from Outdoor Life. The big thing is getting started with the first cut. It can go pretty quickly with a little practice.
You simply take the squirrel by the tail and stretch his hind quarters out. Holding the tail, you clean the hair away from the base of the tail with your thumb and knife. Cut through the tailbone and be careful to cut the hide as wide as possible at the base of the hind quarters. You will then be able to grab the hind feet with one hand, and place the base of the tail under your opposite foot, i.e, right hand, left foot.
Then you gently pull upward, ensuring that the hide is tearing at the widest part of your incision. Continue to pull upward until the hide is pulled all the way to the front feet. Use your pointer finger to pull the arms out, and cut the front feet off at the joint. You can skin the head out, or simply cut it off.
Next, you grab the body under the front legs with the belly pointed towards you. Then grab the point of belly skin and pull until the hide stops at the back feet. Simply cut the back feet off at the joint, and then remove the entrails.
The job is complete, and the harvest is clean; rinse and store. The entire process takes approximately one minute for beginners, and a limit can be cleaned in less than five minutes. Take a minute to watch a video, or someone actually skinning a squirrel after you read this and you'll be all set. Happy hunting.