Tips on skinning and cleaning animals

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Here are some tips for skinning and cleaning smaller animals such as rabbit. This method is the one taught on British Armed Forces Survival Courses.

You will need a rabbit, a tree, some twine or string and a sharp knife.

First, find your tree. You are looking for a tree that has a ‘Y’ shape in the branches above the trunk at about waist to chest height. You need to tie your rabbit’s back legs to these branches, one to each of the arms of the ‘Y’.

The rabbit’s stomach will be facing you with it’s head pointing downwards.

Now dig a hole at the base of the tree under the rabbit carcase. This gives you an excellent place for waste to be deposited in and of course should you wish to obscure what you have been doing, once the hole has been covered over again, no trace is left regarding your actions.

cut the skin completely around on the rabbit’s back legs just below the twine holding them to the branches. Then cut the skin down each leg to the rabbit’s groin. You will find you can then peel the skin down this far leaving the flesh exposed. The fact that the carcass is tied in such a manner will help you when it comes to pulling the skin downwards.

Now cut the skin downwards across the stomach and chest until you get to the neck. Next, simply pull the skin all the way down the carcass until it bunches at the neck. Simply cut the rabbit’s neck clean through and the head and skin will fall into your awaiting hole.

Now cut through any flesh, sinew and muscle that prevents access to the carcass contents. Scoop all entrails etc. into the hole below, making sure you rescue the livers as these are excellent eating. Make sure you cut around the anus and remove all intestine that leads to it making sure you do not contaminate the carcass with any fecal matter that is in the intestine. Again, drop anything you remove into the hole.

You can now choose to either take down the rabbit carcass as it is, ready for spit roasting whole, or you can progressively butcher the carcass starting at the front legs and working your way up to the rear ones.

Now that you have finished skinning and butchering your rabbit, remove the string from the tree and cover over the hole at the base of it. As you can see this is an efficient method of cleaning and skinning small game out in the field. It also avoids any contamination to the meat as you do not have to work on the ground.

Enjoy your meal and do not forget those rabbit livers, they contain excellent nutrition and taste really good.

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