Skinning and Butchering Game
Bleed the animal by cutting its throat.
If possible, clean the carcass near a stream.
Place the carcass belly up and split the hide from throat to tail, cutting around all sexual organs (Figure 8-25).
Remove the musk glands at points A and B to avoid tainting the meat.
For smaller mammals, cut the hide around the body and insert two fingers under the hide on both sides of the cut and pull both pieces off (Figure 8-26).
Note: When cutting the hide, insert the knife blade under the skin and turn the blade up so that only the hide gets cut.
This will also prevent cutting hair and getting it on the meat.
Remove the entrails from smaller game by splitting the body open and pulling them out with the fingers.
Do not forget the chest cavity.
For larger game, cut the gullet away from the diaphragm.
Roll the entrails out of the body.
Cut around the anus, then reach into the lower abdominal cavity, grasp the lower intestine, and pull to remove.
Remove the urine bladder by pinching it off and cutting it below the fingers.
If you spill urine on the meat, wash it to avoid tainting the meat.
Save the heart and liver.
Cut these open and inspect for signs of worms or other parasites.
Also inspect the liver’s color; it could indicate a diseased animal.
The liver’s surface should be smooth and wet and its color deep red or purple.
If the liver appears diseased, discard it.
However, a diseased liver does not indicate you cannot eat the muscle tissue.
Cut along each leg from above the foot to the previously made body cut.
Remove the hide by pulling it away from the carcass, cutting the connective tissue where necessary.
Cut off the head and feet.
Cut larger game into manageable pieces.
First, slice the muscle tissue connecting the front legs to the body.
There are no bones or joints connecting the front legs to the body on four-legged animals.
Cut the hindquarters off where they join the body.
You must cut around a large bone at the top of the leg and cut to the ball and socket hip joint.
Cut the ligaments around the joint and bend it back to separate it.
Remove the large muscles (the tenderloin) that lie on either side of the spine.
Separate the ribs from the backbone.
There is less work and less wear on your knife if you break the ribs first, then cut through the breaks.
Cook large meat pieces over a spit or boil them.
You can stew or boil smaller pieces, particularly those that remain attached to bone after the initial butchering, as soup or broth.
You can cook body organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys using the same methods as for muscle meat.
You can also cook and eat the brain. Cut the tongue out, skin it, boil it until tender, and eat it.