There is More than One Way to Skin a Rabbit

By GPS1504, Jun 23, 2014 | | |
  1. GPS1504
    There is more than one way to skin a rabbit. While the concept remains the same, there are variations in the methods used from one person to the next. This could include a preferred way of rabbit positioning and specific choices in tools used. Whichever methods and means you utilize, the goal is the same: a cleanly skinned and gutted rabbit.

    Photo: Deak's Farm

    One of the ways to begin the process of skinning a rabbit includes hanging it upside down from a sturdy point of contact, such as hooks through the hocks or securely tied hocks. With the rabbit in this position, you can begin the skinning process by cutting around the tail, anus, and legs near to the hocks and pulling the pelt free in a downward motion with the knife or other tool of your choice. The pelt can be pulled downward until it reaches the head and front paws, which at that time can be removed.


    Photo: The Wenatchee Word

    Another method of rabbit skinning involves laying the animal on a flat surface, such as a board or table. To make this method easier, you may prefer to remove the head and feet before you begin the skinning process. Since the rabbit is resting on something flat and not braced or held into position, removing these parts ahead of will create less resistance as you pull the pelt away.

    Photo: Calguns

    Lastly, you can forgo having a place to secure your rabbit and simply do all the work with your hands. With a firm grasp on the rear legs with one hand, it is possible to pull skin away from the body of the rabbit with your other hand. At times you may have to brace the rabbit against your body, but in the case of a fresh kill, the pelt should pull away with relative ease.

    Photo: Outdoor Life

    Once the skin is removed, the remainder of your efforts will include taking care to puncture the abdominal cavity. Paunching the rabbit is essential to keep it from spoiling and must be done soon after the animal has passed. Depending on how you have chosen to position the rabbit, this could be a messy job, but the goal is to keep the innards intact. Do not puncture the bladder, intestines, or spill stomach contents as these actions could contaminate meat. When you locate the rabbit's liver and kidneys, set them aside with the edible components for use in a delicious meal.

    Photo: The Guardian

    With your rabbit free of fur, skin, and internal organs, giving it a thorough rinse in water should be your next step before freezing or prepping it for a meal. Depending on your preference and the meal you desire, the rabbit can be kept whole or sectioned for cooking. If sections are your preference, the most common cuts include splitting the two front legs (and sometimes leaving a section of rib cage attached to each one), sectioning off the saddle or midsection, and splitting the two hindquarters down the center. Once your rabbit is trimmed down to your eating preference, or kept whole if you so choose, all that remains is preparing a delicious recipe you and your family will enjoy!

    Do you have a suggestion we did not mention? Share it with us in the comments below!

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  1. WoolyBully
    We gut in the field and hang the guts in the tree. Makes the rabbit lot easier to carry. When we get home we fur, cut he feet, cut the legs and rib meat. Then give them a general cleaning, then soak over night. Fillet out the backstrap and back legs then soak them in salt water over night. Then freeze them.
  2. barnold1
    We pull the fur, clip the feet and head with shears, cut off the legs and fillet out the backstraps. No messing with the guts and minimal meat loss on the ribcage.
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