How To Skin A Coyote

How to Skin a Coyote: Mastering the Art of Hide Preparation

When it comes to skinning a coyote, it’s important to approach the task with the right knowledge, tools, and a touch of finesse. Before you embark on this journey of hide preparation, ensure you have the following essentials:

Sharp skinning knife: A reliable, razor-sharp knife is your best friend in this endeavor. Choose a knife with a sturdy blade and a comfortable grip for optimal control.

Safety gloves: Protecting your hands is paramount. Invest in a pair of thick, puncture-resistant gloves to shield yourself from potential nicks and cuts.

Eye protection: Coyote skinning involves delicate work that may cause debris to fly around. Wearing safety glasses safeguards your eyes from any unwanted surprises.

Apron or protective clothing: This not only keeps your attire clean but also offers an extra layer of protection against sharp objects.

Workbench or table: A stable and well-lit workspace ensures you can work efficiently and safely.

The Art of Skinning – Step-by-Step Guide

Once you’ve gathered your tools and prepared your workspace, it’s time to dive into the exciting process of skinning a coyote. Follow these steps to achieve a perfectly skinned hide:

Prepare the coyote: Begin by positioning the coyote on its back and spreading its legs apart. Use straps or cords to secure it firmly in place.

Make the initial incision: Start by creating a small cut along the inside of the hind leg, just above the paw. Extend this incision up to the chest area, making sure not to puncture the internal organs.

Free the hide: Gently separate the skin from the flesh using your fingers or a blunt-edged knife. Take your time to avoid tearing the delicate pelt.

Remove the limbs and head: Cut through the joints of the limbs and carefully detach them from the body. Cut off the head at the base of the neck, preserving as much fur as possible.

Tail and vent removal: Cut around the base of the tail, gradually working your way toward the body. Pay close attention to the vent area, ensuring it remains intact.

Finishing touches: Once the skin is completely separated from the body, trim off any remaining flesh or fat. Inspect the hide for any imperfections or damage, and address them accordingly.

 Preserving the Hide РProper Fleshing and Salting Techniques

To ensure your coyote hide remains in excellent condition, it’s crucial to follow the proper fleshing and salting techniques. Here’s how to preserve your prized possession:

Fleshing: After skinning, use a fleshing tool or a rounded knife to remove any remaining flesh, fat, and connective tissue from the hide. Be thorough but gentle to avoid accidental tears or holes.

Washing and degreasing: Rinse the hide with cold water to remove any residual blood or dirt. For greasy hides, you can use a mild degreasing agent to eliminate excess oils.

Salting: Liberally sprinkle non-iodized salt over the flesh side of the hide. Ensure every part of the hide is covered with a thin layer of salt. Fold the hide, flesh side to flesh side, and leave it to dry for about 24 hours.

Re-salting and stretching: After the initial drying period, remove the excess salt and reapply a fresh layer. Stretch the hide and pin it to a wooden frame, allowing air to circulate freely. Leave it to dry for a few days until it reaches the desired softness.

 Additional Tips and Tricks for a Pristine Coyote Hide

Skilled skinners know that the devil is in the details. Here are some additional tips and tricks to elevate your coyote skinning game:

Removing scent glands: Coyotes possess scent glands near their anus, which can leave an unpleasant odor if not properly addressed. Take care to remove these glands during the skinning process.

Tanning options: If you’re interested in transforming your coyote hide into a beautiful, supple leather piece, consider exploring tanning methods such as brain tanning or commercial tanning kits.

Patience is key: Skinning a coyote requires patience and a steady hand. Rushing through the process may result in a damaged hide or an incomplete job.

Seek guidance: If you’re new to skinning coyotes or simply want to refine your techniques, consider reaching out to seasoned hunters or attending workshops and seminars on hide preparation.


Skinning a coyote is an art that requires expertise, precision, and the right tools. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can confidently tackle this process while preserving the hide’s quality. Remember to prioritize safety, invest in quality tools, and be patient as you refine your skills. Whether you’re a seasoned skinner or just starting, the satisfaction of transforming a raw hide into a stunning work of craftsmanship is unmatched. Embrace the challenge, and let your creativity shine through as you master the art of skinning a coyote.


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