How to Flesh a Beaver with a Pressure Washer [Video]

Trappers have different ways to get things done.  This true when making sets, types of traps, skinning and even fleshing beaver.

This video from Coyote Trapping School shows how to flesh a beaver using a pressure washer.

See how to flesh a beaver hide with a pressure washer. You’ll see the tools you need and the best technique to get a top quality beaver pelt that will fetch top dollar when you sell your fur. To find out more about beaver trapping check out


Milwaukee’s Hidden Gem – Trout Through the Ice [Video]

When you think of ice fishing for big trout, the last place you probably expect to head is Milwaukee.  If you haven’t experienced fishing with the Milwaukee skyline as a backdrop, you are missing out.

Getting the call from Pat Kalmerton, owner of Wolf Pack Adventures, stating he had a cancellation for a couple days was all I needed to hear to drop what I was doing and point the truck north from my home in southern Illinois. My wife Lotte was quick to start packing, and my nephew Jordan Blair quickly jumped on board too.

 Arriving in Wisconsin, the cold temperatures and snow on the ground screamed ice fishing.  It was a restless night as we anticipated what the following day would bring. 

Winding our way through the streets of Milwaukee, we could only hope our GPS was taking us to where we were supposed to be.  After a few stoplights, we spotted waves bashing against a rock wall.  Then there it was, the marina had ice, and ice shanties were visible in the distance. 

Parking the truck, we made the short walk to the Wolf Pack crew that already had their Frabill shacks in place, and the heaters putting out enough heat to stay comfortable from the brutal elements outside.  Tip-ups belonging to numerous anglers dotted the ice, all with the hopes of a flag waving proudly in the near future.

With an explanation from Tyler Chisholm, Jordan Bradley and Jerrad Kalmerton what to expect throughout the morning, we went to face Mother Nature to get our rigs baited.  Our bait was going to be one of two things; shrimp or eggs that were milked from previously caught and released trout.

Having our bait lowered to the proper depth, it was just a matter of waiting.  If you like to toss a football, there is no better time to do it than when you are waiting for a tip-up to spring to life. Or, maybe grilling a burger on a portable grill better suits your taste.  Within 30 minutes, shouts of “fish on” came from our guides.

As they ran to the flag, us southerners gingerly made our way to the hole.  Not wanting to lose the fish, they set the hook on the big trout as they patiently waited for our safe arrival.  I’m sure a few jokes were made on our behalf but at least we didn’t fall.

My nephew Jordan was first up to bat.  Having never ice fished before, he was anxious to pull a fish through the ice.  Jerrad and Tyler did a great job coaching him as he worked the fish to the surface.  When they realized he was being a little to forceful with the fish, they got him calmed down.  After a few minutes of reeling and lifting, a glimmer of silver shown below the ice.

Jordan holding his ever fish through the ice.

It was easy to realize that this was a nice trout that we were about to get our hands on.  Within seconds, a nice Brown Trout immerged through the hole.  The fish was quickly taken to a live well that had been chiseled into the ice.  This would allow us to get the fish in the water, and prevent the fins from freezing.  Then, it was a simple task to get some photos of the fish as time allowed before releasing it back into the cold depths of the big lake.

A hole chiseled in the ice preserved the fish until they could safely be released.

The action continued for the next couple hours as we caught trout, both Brown and Steelhead.  By noon, we were ready to pull our lines and to get someplace that was a little warmer.  The shack was heated, but with all the action we were having throughout the morning a seemingly permanent chill invaded our bodies.  Our hands received the brute of the punishment from holding fish, and wanting to get first hand instruction on baiting the hooks.

Wolf Pack Adventurers can get you on all types of fish.

Wolf Pack Adventures based out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin offers ice fishing for other species including whitefish, walleye, panfish and more.  Fishing out of one of their many boats from spring through fall is another option for anglers looking to land walleye, trout, salmon, musky and more.  And, if turkey hunting suits your fancy, they do that too.


Get more information about Wolf Pack Adventures at

Year round fishing can be had with Wolf Pack Adventurers






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.

What To Do With Those Deer Hides? [Video]

Deer season is well under way, and with any luck you have filled a deer tag or two.  A few venison dishes have been enjoyed, deer camp has been cleaned, waiting till next fall for the fun to begin all over again.  However, you probably have a few deer hides you do not know what to do with.  Sure you can take them to the back 40 and let the coyotes have their way.  Or, you can utilize the hides any many different ways.  Lets explore the options you have.

Whitetail hides make exceptional leather garments especially gloves and coats.  There are many companies in the United States that will trade gloves for your deer hides.  One of the biggest in the country is North American Trading in Wisconsin (715-695-3533).  If you would rather not have a new pair of gloves they will also purchase your deer hides.  Give them a call for more details.

Not in the mood for gloves?  How about a nice wall decoration?  Most taxidermists can tan a deer hide at a minimal cost.  A soft, tanned deer hide looks beautiful hung on the wall.  A couple of years ago I shot a nice buck and had the head mounted and the hide tanned.  I hung the hide on the wall and directly above the hide I placed the mounted buck .  I have received countless comments on how nice this looks.  If your taxidermist does not want to bother with tanning the hide, which some do because they are busy with more profitable projects, there are several tanneries that will do it for you at a reasonable rate.  In the past I have used Moyle Mink and Tannery with great results (208-678-8481;

For the do it yourself person you can still come out with a nice tanned hide.  Just do not expect the softness you would get if it was done by a professional.  This past fall I purchased a bottle of Deer Hunter’s & Trapper’s Hide Tanning Formula for $8.00.  This one bottle is enough to tan one deer hide and is easy to use.  I imagine you have seen these little orange bottles in your favorite sportsman’s catalog trapping supply house or outdoor shop.  In about four days you will have a hide ready to display.  Not only will this product tan deer hides, but I also used it to nicely tan a bobcat and red fox this past winter and still have a half of bottle left.

A word of caution.  I do not recommend using a tanned deer hide as a floor rug.  It does take long before the hair begins to fall out after being walked on.

It is possible to even make a profit on your deer hides.  Many local fur buyers purchase deer hides.  Contact your fur buyer to see how they would like it prepared.  Many would just like them salted, rolled and frozen, but check first.

There are many companies who purchase deer hides to tan and later sell at their store or on the internet.  Without a doubt one of the biggest in the country is Moscow Hide and Fur located in Idaho.  They pay top rates of any company I have worked with and a whole lot more than your local buyer.  The only thing is that they may be a little more picky than others.  This is because they are a reputable company.

For example, my local buyer pays $5.00 for a frozen deer hide.  Moscow Hide and Fur will pay $25.00 for a large hide that is at least 55-inches long and $15.00 for a small hide that is only 45-inches long.  However, they want the hides they purchase to be fleshed.  Go to their website for more information.

Groenewold Fur & Wool Co. travel the Midwest stopping at many locations buying all types of fur including deer hides.  They will grade your skins and hides on the spot and give you a check immediately.  This company normally pays more than a local buyer, but less than Moscow Hide and Fur.  However, Groenwold does require that the hide be fleshed, there are no shipping fees and you are paid on the spot.  Go to their website, or call 815-935-2381 for more information and the routes they have scheduled this spring.

No matter the route you take with your deer hides, rather to sell them, have them tanned or trade them for gloves always make sure you have your deer permit and hunting license available.  It will be very difficult to do anything without these two documents.

Coon Creek Outdoors has a good video on preparing a deer hide for tanning if you want to tackle the job.

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.

Successfully Bowhunt the Whitetail Rut [Video]

The whitetail rut is gaining speed and will be here before you know it.  Are you ready?

More big bucks are killed during the rut than any other time of deer season. Some hunters luck into killing a big buck, and others put the odds in their favor. Here are 5 tactics that will help you be a successful hunter during the whitetail rut.


This is the time of season bucks are constantly looking for does. The best place for a buck to begin his search is where the does spend the majority of their time during the day, bedded down.

Begin by going to a favorite food source of the deer, and enter the surrounding woods and other terrain. Search for probable bedding grounds like slightly brushy benches, groves of pine trees, overgrown pastures, CRP fields, and tall grass fields.

Try and locate the does actual beds on the ground. They are easily recognized by their oval depressions of various sizes, and matted down areas on the forest floor.

Mark the bedding areas that you locate on an aerial photo or topo map of the area you intend to hunt. Next, look on the photo or map for possible travel corridors connecting the bedding areas you have located. These routes could be creek beds, through thick vegetation, and gullies.

Bucks will always cruise downwind of a bedding area hoping to catch a whiff of an estrus doe. This is the perfect place to hang a stand. As the rut heats up, mature bucks will go from bedding area to bedding area along the travel corridors you found on your photo or map of the area. You need to hang stands along these routes, too.

Not all does come into estrus at the exact same time. If you come across does that seem to not have a worry in the world, that are content to just eat likely means they are not “hot” yet. Move on until you find active does that can’t stand still, and are often looking to see what is going on behind them. These are the does that are more than likely ready to mate.

If you do not kill a buck by the time these females are out of estrus, return to the carefree does you located a few days earlier. They are likely in estrus by now.


Hunters tend to stay away from the deer woods when the winds are fierce, and for good reason. Deer can’t hear, see, or smell as good as they would like.  Whitetails often stay bedded down until the high winds subside. But, when the rut is in full swing, deer do strange things, and hunters should to.

High winds seem to get bucks on the move for a couple of reasons. First, smart does that have not yet come into estrus yet think they can avoid the bucks with the wind concealing their movement and noise. Second, high winds often bring in a cold front following hot temperatures. Whitetails enjoy the cooler temperatures, and take advantage of them by getting up and moving.

Bucks will eventually smell these does that are in heat as they try to outsmart an old buck. Before you know it, deer are all over the place.


Most of the bucks you see early and late in the day will be smaller bucks. This is the time of the day does will be moving a lot, and it is difficult to narrow down where they will be. Mature bucks know this, so they save their energy until the does return to their beds. When the does bed, big bucks will begin to cruise downwind of known bedding areas.

Hang your treestands in funnels, and along overgrown fencerows that connect deer bedding areas. The best chance to kill a buck is the first time you hunt from a stand. For that reason, save these stands until the very best time, the peak of the rut.

You might go a couple of days without seeing a buck, but when you do he will likely be a mature buck.


Hunters are going to have to get aggressive with their tactics, and this includes when you are calling. When it is all said and done, calling will provide more shot opportunities.

Calling softly with dull grunts with long intervals between calling is not aggressive. In order to call in more, and bigger bucks, you have to add some emotion. When you spot a shooter buck that is out of range, call with a series of deep grunts with lots of bass to get him interested. This might be enough to get him to commit.

If a few deep grunts are not enough, sound off with a series of blaring grunts, and finish off with a snort-wheeze.

Most of the bucks will respond positively to calls, but some bucks will feel threatened, and hightail it out of the area. But, what do you have to lose if the buck does not respond to the call, he wasn’t going to offer you a shot anyways.


As the rut progresses, and the chase and breeding phases begin, smaller bucks are not seen very much. Rub and scrape lines are not seeing much activity. Mature bucks can be seen cruising for, and breeding receptive does. Decoys work well near field edges, food plots, doe bedding areas, and travel corridors that connect these locations.

A buck and a receptive doe decoy is a good choice during this phase of the rut. Use a dominant buck scent for the buck decoy, and estrus doe scent for the doe. Place the scents on the ground around the decoys. Keep the decoys upwind of your position, and within shooting range. Keep the decoys clean, and spray them down with scent elimination spray.

Your calling sequences should be a combination of buck grunts and doe bleats. This should be enough to get any monster buck in the area excited.

Decoys alone will help, but add calling and scents to the mix, and you have a potentially deadly combination.


There is no magic tactic that will allow you to kill a mature buck during any part of the season. But, these 5 tips I have shared with you will put you in a better position to fill a tag.

Realtree Outdoors has some good advice in this video about bowhunting the whitetail rut.


Successfully Bowhunt the Whitetail Rut [Video]

The whitetail rut is gaining speed and will be here before you know it.  Are you ready? When it comes to hunting mature bucks during the rut, you have to try to understand what he’s after and where he will be. Obviously the big bucks, and even smaller ones, are seeking and chasing does in estrous to find one or more to breed with during this exciting time of the season. But why are they in specific areas and what’s the difference between the biggest mature bucks and younger ones trying to sow their oats? Steve Bartylla provides his insights on this fascinating autumn ritual in this latest episode of Hunt ’em Big.
Hunt ’em Big, Season 3, Episode 4.

The Best Chile Con Carne Recipe [Video]

The days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are rapidly dropping.  This means three things are currently happening.  Hunters are looking for that big buck, Chile con Carne is on the stove, and maybe some football.

Do you have a favorite Chile con Carne recipe?  If not, check out this recipe from the folks at Deer Hunting.


A Better Way to Skin A Deer [Video]

Ok, so maybe there is not wrong or right way to skin a deer as long as you get the job done.

But, it is always nice to see a quick, effective way to skin one without getting hair everywhere.

Dearmeatfordinner has a good video you should watch if you are looking for a better way to skin your deer.  Check out this video.