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#11554 - 03/08/06 08:28 PM Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
Trapping Fool Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Idaho
I have caught a beaver and some big coons. I really need help figureing out how to flesh them. They have so much fat and grease on them that it took me seven hours to flesh the beaver and three hours for each coon. What do I need to do to speed things up, or do you have to take that long? What knives would you recomend? Any good Videos?

Trapping Fool

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#11555 - 03/08/06 08:31 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
Chase M. Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 130
Loc: North Central Ohio
I just started out, that is how long it took me to flesh the coon'. I got on ebay and bought my scraper knife. Good Luck!

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#11556 - 03/08/06 08:46 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
RiverOtter Offline
Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 646
Loc: Monashee Mtns, British Columbi...
A good fleshing beam and a two handled fleshing knife. A video or someone who has lots of experience to help you out is a good way to shorten the learning curve. A beaver takes me 20 minutes, +/- depending on size. A coon 15 minutes tops.

The first 100 are the hardest. smile wink

RO smile

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#11557 - 03/08/06 08:49 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
Trapping Fool Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Idaho
Thanks guys. I guess I have a long way to reach the 100 mark. LOL

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#11558 - 03/08/06 09:35 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
badger16 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/05
Posts: 5
Loc: Ohio
My buddy dropped off his "necker" fleshing knife last night. I touched up the convex side of the knife with a file. I was amazed how much faster I was going through a beaver pelt tonight. Getting the right tool for the right job can make a world of difference.

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#11559 - 03/09/06 08:40 AM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9944
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
At the risk of being blatantly commercial:

Fur Handling 2000


Badger: Before you return that necker knife you sharpened to your buddy, maybe you better read this:

Sharpening your Necker 600

Reshaping Necker 600

I hope you don't owe him a new one.

smile -- Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#11560 - 03/09/06 01:25 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
NEbowhunter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 574
Loc: Holdrege, Nebraska
Hals video will help you. if you want my opinion, you will never get things sped up using a dull scraper on coon, badger or beaver. I personally clean skin beaver, but you can flesh them too if you have a good sharp side to your knife. All other animals i catch can really be scraped dull and that works the best, but necks and backs on coon, beaver and badger need to be somewhat "shaved" off with a sharp knife.

it will take some practice and don't get down when you cut hole, cause you will. try practicing on some road kills or bad ones. also, important to comb pelt real clean before starting. Alot of this is shown in hals videos.

I've been putting up fur for years and a person thinks why spend $30 to watch what i already know, but one little pointer you pick up can pay for that $30, 10 times over in one season if it makes your pelt more presentable to the buyer.

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#11561 - 03/09/06 02:52 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
bobkat Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 113
Loc: Ruckersville, Va
Get Hal's video on clean skinning beaver. It takes some practice but it will give you a great hide that doesn't have to be fleshed. I am down to about 45min per beaver and getting better. I use a scalpel with the #22 replaceable blades and use one blade per side. You can order scalpel handles and blades from a taxidery supply or buy at a farm store.

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#11562 - 03/09/06 06:15 PM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
Seldom Offline
Member

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 72
Loc: Midland, MI
Yes, by all means I’d suggest you purchase both of Hal’s videos. Fur Handling 2000 and “Clean Skinning & Stretching Beaver. Both videos are professionally done and Hal seems to take pains in the “showing & telling”. His narrative doesn’t fly over your head nor does it slide under the table.

I've been doing coon for a while but this is my first year putting beaver. My opinion of “clean skinning” is that it does take a while, for me at least but after a couple of dozen it's as Hal mentions in his video, about a tose up between the two methods. It’s easier to see the depth of your knife stroke then I thought it would be and the edges of the pelt are quite grease free when you’re finished which I like. I personally enjoy doing it but have some arthritic problems with my left wrist and forefinger (stiff wrist & crooked finger), that even with Motrin, only allows me to do a couple of beaver a day before the pain and grip says no more! It’s pretty darn important to have a good left wrist and forefinger if you’re right handed and wanting to clean skin.

At this time I seem to have greasier edges after beam fleshing and I can get myself in trouble with “pushing” a hole once in a while at the pelt edge, usually between a leg hole and the pelt edge. It’s also quite easy to flesh the gristle on the beam and I use a Necker 600 as well. Right now I’m at a happy medium by clean skinning the edges to the legs and beam fleshing the gristle.

To experienced hands at clean skinning this may seem silly because the gristle is actually nice to shave, in fact, I kind of look forward to getting to it after working out the legs! I can save my left hand and do another beaver or two and still be able to pick up the nails to board them. wink

One last note, I use one of those fish cleaning gloves (knife-proof) on my left hand while clean skinning figuring that if my grip left me while stroking I would save myself from a nasty cut. Hal points out in the video several places where you could cut yourself. Shortly after the initial cut when there is only limited freeboard, the knife has nicked the knuckle of my left thumb and a couple of times my crooked left finger down there at the tail points. No problem with that glove though and it doesn’t interfere with the “feel” of the clean skinning stroke. I use a 5” Forschner Skinning Knife and a small Dunn skinner in the tighter places and in the field. Though the Dunn is a fine knife, I actually favor the cheaper Forschner Skinner.

Since I rarely post or reply, I hope I haven’t overstated the answer.

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#11563 - 03/10/06 08:49 AM Re: Beaver/Coon Skinning and Fleshing?
bobkat Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 113
Loc: Ruckersville, Va
Seldom, I don't know if you have tried the catfish skinning pliers to make gripping the edge of the hide easier when you start. I have carpal tunnel and switching around between hand and pliers helps.

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