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How to Skin a Deer with an Air Compressor

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015

hunterIf you’re a hunter, you know that one of the trickiest parts of deer hunting—aside from finding and shooting a deer—is cleaning and dressing the deer once you’ve shot it. It’s a messy, time-consuming job, and every step of the way, you run the risk of going too far with your knife and damaging the meat. If you’re planning on both eating the meat and using the deer’s hide, that means hurting both parts of the animal that you were planning on using.

One way to get around the problem is to separate the skin from the meat before you start cutting, which will make the job a lot easier and cleaner. Believe it or not, an air compressor can help you do just that – however you’ll need a great quality portable air compressor. If you’ve ever seen a cook make Peking duck, it’s the same principle—use air to get the skin off the meat, then cook it—so this isn’t a completely crazy idea.

Here’s what you’ll need to do.

First, hang the deer as you would normally do. This time, however, instead of starting to skin the deer as usual, take your knife and make a small hole in one of the legs. Make sure that the hole is big enough for the nozzle of your air compressor to fit inside.

Second, place the nozzle of your compressor into the hole. If the hole is too small, you’ll obviously need to make it bigger. If the hole is too big, then wrap something around the end of the nozzle (a towel, cloth, or something like that) so that it fits tightly inside the hole. A tight fit is essential in this case, because otherwise the air will just escape through the extra room in the hole and you won’t be able to do the job properly.

Third, turn on the air compressor. You’ll notice that it does a pretty quick job of separating the skin. That’s because the compressor is generating enough psi to break the connections that hold the animal’s hide onto its muscles; this is the really messy, time-consuming part of the job if you’re trying to do this by hand.

Fourth, repeat the process as needed on the rest of the animal. When you run the compressor through the hole in the deer’s leg, you’ll see where the skin stops separating. That’s because compressed air can only go so far. It’s not a problem—just move a bit further down on the deer (or on the opposite leg), make another small hole, and start again.

Fifth, skin the deer. Compressed air can make the job easier, but it can’t do the job for you. Once you’ve separated the skin from the muscle, you’ll still need to go in with your skinning knife and finish the job. Fortunately, with the skin separated as it is, skinning the deer will be a lot faster.

It may sound a bit strange, but using compressed air really does make skinning deer a lot faster, easier, and cleaner. Try it once, and chances are you’ll be convinced.