Need some help, apparently I can’t clean squirrels

HoLeChit

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Alright, I need some pointers, because apparently I have no clue what I am doing. Started off the day great, popped three squirrels the first 2 hours I was out. Two and a half hours after I shot the first squirrel, I get back to the truck to clean them and make some breakfast. I’ve never been shown how to hunt squirrel, nor clean them, so the majority of my experience is trial and error, as well as good ol YouTube university. So I go to clean the squirrels how it seems everyone does. Cut the base of the tail, make sure you get through the tailbone, and then follow that cut down on both sides in front of the hindquarters. Then, stepping on the rear legs, pull the tail up, you should skin the squirrel like you’re taking off his shirt. Then you take off his pants, and gut/wash the sucker. Well, with these three, as well as the squirrel previously, I end up ripping them in half when pulling off his “shirt”; making a huge mess. Why!?

Is there a better technique? What am I doing wrong?



The squirrel before these was ferret sized, and he had been dead 4 hours before cleaning, three of those hours on ice. These three were a good average size, fresh, and had been dead less than 3 hours, no stiffness yet.

oh and @Beau B i got everything sorted out with the Henry and I swear this thing doesn’t miss living targets.
 

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MacFromOK

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It's a lot easier with two people, and easier to keep the meat clean and hair-free.

Start off with a buddy holding the hind legs, with the squirrel face-down (you still start at the tail the same way you did). Once you get the shirt and head off (with the shirt off and still attached, twist it the head to break the neck, then cut it), have your buddy dust his hands off and swap ends so he's holding it by the front legs. Pull the pants off and then gut 'em.

Sometimes you may have to take a knife and cut the membrane enough to start the skin peeling off, but it should come off fairly easy. Sometimes being stiff is a little more trouble, but not that much.

Luck. :drunk2:
___
 

HoLeChit

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It's a lot easier with two people, and easier to keep the meat clean and hair-free.

Start off with a buddy holding the hind legs, with the squirrel face-down (you still start at the tail the same way you did). Once you get the shirt and head off (with the shirt off and still attached, twist it the head to break the neck, then cut it), have your buddy dust his hands off and swap ends so he's holding it by the front legs. Pull the pants off and then gut 'em.

Sometimes you may have to take a knife and cut the membrane enough to start the skin peeling off, but it should come off fairly easy. Sometimes being stiff is a little more trouble, but not that much.

Luck. :drunk2:
___
How do I get the shirt off without ripping them in half though?
 

THAT Gurl

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It's kinda like skinning a rabbit. Try using your fingers to loosen the connective tissue before you "rip" the shirt down. You can stop halfway down (when you feel resistance) and reach up under the skin to loosen the tissues lower down (just like you did at the "top") and then finish pulling the skin off.

It's kinda an artform. The more you do it the better "feel" you get for "ripping".

Nice take btw ... 👍
 

MacFromOK

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How do I get the shirt off without ripping them in half though?
When you make the cut in front of each hindquarter, make it go clear around to the belly and connect to the other side cut in a V.

You also may be cutting too deep, you just want to go through the skin itself.

FWIW, I never saw one ripped in half while skinning. And we're probably talking hundreds of squirrels.
:drunk2:
___
 
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