top of page


There are several ways to skin an animal; it depends on how you intend to use and/or process the skin. Cutting in the proper place is less work and means less modification or repair will be needed after tanning. We provide you with detailed instructions, diagrams and photos for where to make your cuts to ensure the best mount, fur or leather possible. 

Outline of bear marked for skinning cuts


When skinning and quartering, place a tarp or sheet on the ground under the animal if possible. This will keep dirt and rocks out of your meat and out of the hair.  Immediately place the meat and hide in cloth bags - a pillow case works just fine. You can hang the filled bags in a shaded location with good air circulation or place in a nearby cold water source. 

For a life size mount or a rug make your preliminary cuts along the dotted lines as shown in the diagram to the left.

Photo of finished bear rug head
Photo of finished raccoon rug

We prefer that you cut the body off at the wrist and ankle joints - leaving the paws and feet in the skin. We will remove the toe and finger bones to ensure there are no extra holes or 'skinning accidents' for us to repair.  We also prefer you leave the skull in the hide in order to get proper measurements; let us skin out the head.


One more way we go beyond the ordinary with our work; we will craft a 'head in' rug for any animal...

Photo of finished elk rug
Photo of finished muskox rug head
Skining guide image for deer shoulder mount

You should cut around the center of the animal first  to make sure you do not leave your cape too short.


For the #2 cut
stop just behind the burs


For the # 3 cut
stay in the long hair that goes down the back of the leg.


Stay outside of the lighter colored belly hair and cut down the side of the animal.

Depending on how you intend to use the skin; there are 3 basic ways to skin a beaver.

Rabbits can also be skinned using any of these methods.

Hoop or Round:

Photo of hoop mounted beaver pelt

6 cuts: Lower part of the legs and tail are removed.

A single incision is made starting where the tail was removed; cutting through the anus and the lower jaw:

Diagram where to cut to remove pelt
Photo of beaver pelt removed for hooping


Photo of tanned, mountable beaver pelt

1 cut: A single cut is made starting from just above the anus; stopping at the neck. The animal is turned inside out as you go; removing the feet without cutting the legs:

Diagram where to cut to remove pelt

Flat Skin or Pelt:

Photo of taned beaver pelt

10 cuts: The tail is removed. A single incision is made where the tail was removed; cutting through the anus and the lower jaw. Cut from the belly incision outward to the paw pad of each foot and cut off the paws:

Diagram where to cut to remove pelt
Photo of skinning a beaver for lifesise mount
bottom of page