The tools of the deer-care trade are a couple of skinning knives, a sharpening steel and a handsaw. Hang a field-dressed buck in a cool (40 – 50 degrees) place as soon as possible. For easy skinning, hang a buck from a gambrel. sing your Skinning Knife, cut up and through the hide on the inside of the hind legs. Make a circular cut around the joint of each leg. With the sharp point and blade of a knife, skin out the hindquarters. Saw off the hind legs below the joints.
To open the rear of a deer for cooling and skinning, saw a little ways into the pelvis. Start by skinning down toward a deer’s neck. Grab the hide and pull, most of it will peel right off. Cut off the tail. Don’t let the long hair get on the meat. Keep pulling and skinning the hide over the ribs and down to the shoulders. If you ARE NOT going to cape a buck for mounting, cut down into the brisket as far as possible. Saw off the front legs at the joints then cut along the insides of the front legs and skin them out.
If you DO PLAN to mount a buck, make the two primary caping cuts, again using a Buck Knife, around a buck’s body behind the front legs, and along the back of its neck and out to each antler. Pull and skin the hide down over a buck’s head. Saw off a buck’s head with long cape intact. Take your trophy to a taxidermist or freeze it as soon as possible.
Check for any dirt or hair and if you find any remove at once. Cut away any blood-shot meat around the bullet holes. If you want the hide tanned, wipe the bloody side clean with a towel lay it flat and spread borax or salt on the inside of the hide. Fold it lengthwise, hair out, roll up, tie, package and head for the taxidermist’s shop. Or again, freeze it and bring it to him when you can.