Skin a Deer in 60 Seconds [Video]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Make Your Own Wood Stretchers [Video]

Are you tired of spending money on supplies?  Especially things you could make your own of for little to nothing, even wooden stretchers.

Coon Creek Outdoors has a video teaching how to make wood stretchers with some simple tools.

Make a Knife Out of a Lawn Mower Blade [VIDEO]

Looking for a useful DIY project? Here’s something unique: Learn to make a knife out of an old lawn mower blade.

How to Make an Alaskan ULU Knife [Video]

Alaskans have used Ulu knives for generations. The native Alaskan people crafted the first Ulu knife more than 5,000 ago. Inuit women primarily used the knife for skinning and cleaning fish. Throughout history, the Ulu knife played an important role in the survival of the Inuit people.

The Inuit originally made their Ulu blades of polished slate and gave them a bone, ivory, or wood handle. The maker of the knife will often inscribe the handle with their own distinctive designs or markings.

Now you can make your very own with these easy steps offered by Outdoor Life.


DIY Turkey Fan and Beard Mount

I love a good looking turkey fan and beard mount. You can either pay to have a taxidermist to the job for you, or you can do it yourself.

This is a project just about anybody can complete for very little money. The crew at Bone Collector has some good advice on creating your own tail and beard mount, one that you will be proud to display.

Hopefully the arrival of turkey season also means the arrival of a big ol’ tom in the back of your truck. After putting in the hard work to harvest a big gobbler, the best way to honor the bird and preserve memories for years to come is to mount it. To mount a turkey fan and beard, it’s easier than you might think, so give it a try yourself using these directions… [continued]

How To Can Venison

  • If you want to store venison for months, you’d be hard pressed to find a better solution than canning it. Yes, I freeze my share of venison, but I can a lot of it as well.

Canning venison might be new to some of you. If you’ve never tried it before, fear not. It’s easier than you’d think. Pure Instinct Hunting has some advice on how to can venison.

In my opinion, there’s no better way to keep venison for up to a year than canning it. There are two ways to can venison, either by hot packing or cold packing. Hot packing requires the meat to be cooked before canning. Cold packing is canning the meat without first cooking it. Whichever method you choose, it will take a pressure canner to get the job done…[continued]

How to Brain Tan a Deer Hide

Tanning a deer hide, or any other hide for that matter, often means the hide will be sent to a taxidermist or a tannery, or that you’ll have to purchase a kit.

Native Americans did not have these luxuries, and had to use what was available to them. The best they had were brains from the animal the hide came from. Tanning hides with brains is a lost art, but many traditionalists still use this technique.

Outdoor Life‘s Brad Fitzpatrick has good information to brain-tan a hide in eight easy steps.

Continue reading “How to Brain Tan a Deer Hide”

How to Make a Hay Bale Blind

 Hay bales are normal throughout much of hunting country. Deer, turkeys, and other big-game animals do not give them a second thought as they pass by them. So it only makes since to hunt out of a hale bale. But that’s not possible. Or at least it wasn’t until now.

You can purchase expensive hale bale blinds, or you can make your own for a lot less.

Andy Biddle from Paris, Kentucky submitted a reader project to Outdoor Life for a DIY hay bale blind project. This is impressive.

“We started by doubling over one fence panel to get rough measurements for the base, which we built with 2x6s. We braced each corner with 2x4s cut at 45-degree angles to reinforce the base. Once the base was finished, we doubled the panel over once more and tacked it to the inside of the base with staples, and then tack-welded the second panel to the open sides of the first panel. The sides made the blind pretty stout, but we added braces in the top portion of the blind…[continued]


Ginseng: A Profitable Cash Crop [Video]

The photo above is of a mature ginseng plant.  Photo: Jason Houser

Ginseng hunting has become even more popular the last few years after television shows portray ginseng hunters making tens of thousands of dollars every fall.

Wild root sells upwards of $1,000 per pound some years. This has caused for a decline in wild ginseng, but for the do-it-yourself types, planting wild simulated ginseng is profitable and enjoyable.

Many people believe that the only ginseng that’s available to dig and sell is wild.  It is true that wild roots are the most valuable, but there are other types of ginseng that can be harvested and sold.

Farmed ginseng is grown in beds like vegetables. Some use chemicals and unnatural methods to grow their plants under imitation shade; these farmers know the age of the roots in every bed before they dig them. These plants are not wild, so they’re able to pre-set their prices every season because they’re farm-raised. Therefore, they know the prices before season.

Woods-grown ginseng is slightly better than farmed, because it’s grown under the natural forest canopy. This ginseng may be fertilized or grown using tilled soil or chemicals. The seed is planted and not wild-sown, and so the harvesters know the year and age of every bed and can pre-determine prices.

Mature roots

Wild simulated is the best of these three options, and most likely will have been grown without chemicals or tilled ground. The overall quality is better. Harvested roots can also be aged with accuracy, as one knows how much seed was planted and when it was planted.

Ice Fishing for White Bass

Just because the temperature outside is well below freezing, a foot of snow blankets the ground and eight inches of ice tops the lakes in the area does not mean that there is not fishing to be done.  There is nothing like pulling a mess of panfish through the holes in the ice.  Especially when they average 17-inches long, and fight like a horse.  That is what you can expect when ice fishing for white bass.

The first thing in ice fishing is safety.  Do not venture onto the ice unless it is at least 4 to 6 inches thick.  This is the minimum thickness that will safely support a person and equipment.  Keep in mind that snow weakens the stability of the ice.  Do not test just one area of the ice and assume that it will be the same depth at all areas of the lake, it will not be.

 Ice fishing accidents can quickly become deadly.  Do not ice fish alone.  Always have someone with you, and let people back at the house know where you will be and when you expect to return.  That way, if you do not return on time, they know exactly where to go to look for you.

Also, frostbite and hypothermia are concerns that ice fisherman must be aware of.  You must be alert as to the amount of time you are on the ice and also of the weather conditions while you are fishing.  Do not get overwhelmed with all the excitement and stay out too long.

Consider some sort of ice fishing shack to protect you from the elements if you plan to stay on the ice for a long period of time.  There are plenty of commercially manufactured shelters on the market. Recently, I have been using a shelter manufactured by Clam.  It is easy to erect, and is well insulated. Even a deer/turkey hunting blind is better than nothing.

There is nothing wrong with building a fire on the ice to stay warm.  It will not weaken the ice, or melt through as long as the ice was thick as it should have been when you began.          

Ice fishing is not an expensive sport to get started in, and the gear is simple to use.  An ice fishing rod and small mechanical reel will cost you less than ten-dollars.  I highly recommend ice fishing gear compared to regular fishing tackle, fish bites under the ice can be difficult to feel with normal-sized outfits.  I suggest an ice fishing rig with 4-pound test for white bass

 There are many options available when it comes to what bait to use.  For artificial bait, start with vertical jigging spoons.  Tip these jigs with 3 or 4 spikes, waxworms, or a minnow head.  If the school has moved out, put on an entire minnow to try to grab their attention. 

The first thing to do is lower your bait to the desired depth.  If you are going to catch a big fish out of a hole it will happen rather quickly.  You have to be ready as your bait sinks on the first drop down a new hole. 

 If you do not catch a fish on the downward fall, let the bait sit for a minute, and then lightly jig it in a slow, smooth motion.  Do your best to maintain a rhythm in your jigging.  When you feel a bump, however small it might be, set the hook.  Because you are using light line be very careful not to break it. 

When using live bait, I prefer mealworms and wax worms for bluegill, and minnows when fishing for crappies.  Always use small in-line bobbers and watch for the slightest bite.

 It is very important to have a good fish locator.  This will allow you to see your lure, know where the fish are holding, and know when fish are moving in on it.  But, do not be one of those anglers that anticipates the bite by what the locator is showing, and set the hook before the fish actually has the bait.  Another great thing about a locator is that you will know when the school has moved out.  This is a good time to get a bite to eat, use the restroom, and more. 

When the white bass are biting, the action can be quick.  A few minutes of sown time is sometimes welcomed.  Your locator will show you when the fish move back in, and they will.

White bass lakes are traditionally dark or stained water.  White bass tend to school up on points, shoals, flats and even around brush piles.  Once you find a school, the action can be nonstop.  But, when the school moves you can either drill more holes to try a relocate them, or you can wait them out.

Some of the best advice when searching where to fish on a lake, and what bait to use can be gathered at the local bait shop.  They hear what is happening on the ice, and want you to catch fish.  If you are catching fish, you will be back to buy more bait, coffee and snacks.

Be sure you know the laws.  Some bodies of water regulate the number of holes, number of rods and the number of fish you can keep.

Stay safe and stay legal.