When I used to process my own liked to skin as soon as I got deer home. Seems the sooner the deer was skinned after shot, the easier it was to skin and the silver skin would mostly comes off with the hide.
Process I used (when not going to have a mount made):
1)AFTER knives are razor sharp. Just a note on knives. For skinning, I like a more flexible blade similar to a fillet knife with about a 5" razor sharp blade.
2) Hang deer via a singletree placed between hind legs, singletree hooks in slits cut in skin just below knee between leg bone and leg tendon. The rope/cable attached to singletree over something and winched up so the hind quarters are eye level.
3) Starting just above the knees and tarsal gland, cut the cape around the leg, then cut the cape down the leg bones enough to start peeling the skin down towards the hind quarters. Slowly pull cape down as far as you can making sure hairy side of cape stays away from meat while watching for the silver skin to stay on the hide. If silver skin starts to stick to the meat rather then the skin, stop. Take knife and cut silver skin down to the hide and try to get silver skin to again start coming off with hide.
Some just shed the skin and worry about the silver skin later. I try to remove it with hide as much as possible. This is the way I just prefer to do it.
I may have to use the knife again on the hide around the tail area depending how deer was field dressed.
4) Pull cape down as for as comfortable for me to pull. Deer is usually half naked . If I'm not saving the cape, I use my field knife and cut excess cape off but leave about 6-8" of loose cape remaining to get a handhold for the rest of the job.
5) I then stop , hoist deer up to a height comfortable to finish the rest.
6) At this point, grab a front leg, take knife and cut hide around leg and also up the back of the leg to the armpit and out toward the center of the chest.
Do the same with the other leg. Cut the hide from center of chest to throat.
7) Using either hacksaw or large tree pruners(sawzall works really well for all bone cutting), cut off front legs at start of skinned area.
8) Finish pulling cape down as far as I can. Usually around where the upper part of the leg/shoulder meet.
9)Finish pulling cape down till cape is around throat. Use your knife to cut around neck meat down to the bone. Use hacksaw to cut neck bone(spine) to remove head and attached cape.
10) Hose/wash carcass down at this time. After carcass has air dried, pick or torch remaining hair from meat. Re-hose carcass.
11) I had a small flatbed trailer I hooked to the riding mower that I would put a clean tarp on and lower carcass and cut rear legs off just above where I started skinning. Then trailer over to processing table for quartering to put in cooler and prep for processing.
Think all the steps are here. This sounds like a lot but once set up, from the time deer was strung up till it was quartered and in the cooler was usually 15-20min.
Last edited by shortwave; December 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM.