Gaining popularity is using a golf ball to aid in skinning a deer. When I first heard of this idea, I chuckled. But it works. Here are the techniques, followed by a video.
THE RIGHT TREE AND GEAR
It all begins with finding the perfect location to hang the deer. The perfect setup will allow you to hang the deer, and have room to move a vehicle in and out. The tree or other support brace has to be high enough to hang the deer by the neck, keeping the entire deer off the ground. In order to keep an outstretched deer that is properly tied-off off the ground, it will take a limb, or other support brace that is 8 to 10 feet off the ground.
Whatever you tie the deer off to will have to be able to hold the weight of the deer, as well as handle the pulling force of your vehicle. You will need an area that will allow you to drive at least 30 yards in one direction without any obstructions.
More than a knife is needed to skin a deer using this method, but chances are you already have the items. A ball trailer hitch, a knife, two sections of rope; one at least 6 feet, and the other at least 12 feet (I prefer synthetic winch rope tested at 3,500 pounds), and a friend or two to help, and, of course, a golf ball.
HANG THE DEER
The process of hanging the deer, making the cuts, and skinning should take about five minutes. The deer needs to field dressed, and thoroughly cleaned out, including cracking the pelvis. Things will go more smoothly if the deer is still warm. If not, be ready to make a few cuts, and a couple of tugs when needed.
The deer should be tied to the tree limb with the shorter length of rope. All of the knots I tie are done using the Bowline knot. There are other knots that you can use, but this is the easiest for me. Google the knot if you are not certain how to make it.
With the rope tied to the branch, pull it tight. With a friend lifting the deer’s head up, tie another Bowline knot around the deer’s neck just below the skull. This is easiest done with the deer lying in the back of a truck. Pull the truck forward and let the deer ease out.
MAKE THE CUTS
Only three simple cuts are required to skin your deer. One cut is needed on each front leg. Cut completely around each leg just above the joint. Pull the hide up a bit to make sure it is not connected to the joint or lower leg. The third cut is around the neck about four inches below the ears. Be sure the skin is free from the neck, and pull it down so that you have a few inches of hide to use.
USE THE GOLF BALL
Place the ball in the center of the pulled down hide, and squeeze the skin tight around the ball. Next, tie the rope around the hide at the bottom of the ball using a Bowline knot. Pull the knot as tight as possible.
PULL THE HIDE OFF
With the truck backed up to the deer, and the golf ball in place, tie the other end of the rope to the trailer hitch using whatever knot you want. Drive the truck slowly forward as the hide peels off. Remember, this will be easier if the deer is still warm. You should be left with a deer free of its hide, just waiting for you to cut the backstraps out.
Knowing this new technique, you will never have to dread skinning a deer.