How To Skin A Rabbit
How To Skin A Rabbit
Over the years, I've had a lot of people ask me how to skin a rabbit. While many experienced hunters are used to gutting and doing mild butchering, they rarely do much skinning. There are two methods I use to skin a rabbit, one that involves using a knife and one that does not. In this article, I'll be writing about the easier and cleaner method that uses a good, sharp knife. Once you know how to skin small game, you never have to disrespect another animal again, skinning and eating it instead of letting its body go to waste.
Hang and Band First, it is recommended that you hang the rabbit's body in the head-down position, where the rabbit is hanging at about the level of your chest. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a ring of flesh entirely around the area just above the leg joint. This is the first joint past the long, flat part of the rabbit's rear paws. Cut as shallowly into the skin as you can, only going as deep as necessary to cut through the hide.
Cut Leg Flaps Facing the rabbit's back, use your knife to cut a long downward stroke from the ring you just cut above the rabbit's legs.
Stretch and Spread Set your knife down for a moment and use your hands to begin pulling and removing the hide away from the leg joint, over the backside and "crotch" area of the rabbit. Even beginner rabbit skinners can usually perform this task rather easily.
Off With The Tail Rabbits have strong bones in their tails. Use your knife and cut through the bone in the tail, but be extremely careful because if you cut too deeply you can puncture the bladder. Since the tailbone of the rabbit protrudes rather prominently on the back side of its body, it is relatively easy to remove and locate.
Banana Peel Set your knife down once again and use both hands to now peel off the hide from the rabbit's body. Many experienced skinners compare it to peeking a banana, as the hide should slip right off the body with minimal resistance.
Untuck those Little Arms Use your fingers to carefully wiggle into the hide and pop the arms free. Be patient as there is a bit of a trick to doing this right.
Up to the Neck Once you've freed the smaller front paws, tug the hide down all around the rabbit's body until it is bunched up at the base of its skill.
Chop Off the Head Pick up your knife and carefully cut the head off at the top of the spine. If you do this correctly, the hide will now also be completely detached from the body of the rabbit.
Breaking Bones Set your knife down and use your hands to snap the arm and leg bones of the rabbit's joints. After that, use your knife to separate the skin from the bone.
Dress, Clean and Enjoy Your rabbit is now ready to be cleaned and dressed. If you're eating a wild rabbit, I recommend that you look at its liver to make sure that the meat is safe to eat. If you're like me, you can save the hide for tanning or making useful products later. Cook and season the meat any way you like, and enjoy the uniquely delicious taste of fresh rabbit.
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