Featured image: Skinning a coyote, bobcat or fox for pelts is a great way to capture a memory for your kids or grandkids.
Every predator hunting blog you read focuses on everything leading up to success. It’s a plethora of advice on how to tip over a coyote, fox or cat. That’s great because it’s the number goal of predator hunters from coast to coast. Of course if you do find success the advice ends there. Not any longer. Here are some after-the-hunt words of wisdom on how to wrap the hunt and preserve the memories.
1. Keep it clean
Skinning a coyote or even packing out a whole carcass of a freshly-shot predator adds up to a bloody scenario. Stuff several large trash bags into your pack. After skinning you can roll up the hide in the bag and it will trap the blood and provide a barrier so your pack doesn’t get blood soaked. I routinely stuff whole coyotes in a trash bag and strap them to my pack for the hike out. Trash bags also come in handy during the hunt. Use them to sit on to keep your bum dry or even as a pad to keep your chest dry if you go prone. They’re lightweight and universally useful.
2. Pack it out
As noted above you’ll be packing out your fur so bring along a backpack big enough to do the job. A daypack that could double as your elementary-aged child’s school pack won’t pass muster predator hunting. If you’re packing an electronic caller, an extra jacket, water bottle and other knickknacks, you’ll need the extra room for a beefy coyote hide. If the hike out is short and you’re blessed with snow or dewy grass you could drag a coyote or predator. Be aware that dragging fur over rough terrain could damage the pelt value. Nevertheless, I stow a ball of baling twine and a length of rope with an old lawnmower pull handle on it to drag the occasional coyote back to my truck.
3. Make a memory
Before you commence to skinning your predator prize be sure to snap a few pictures. They’re great memories to remind you of great hunts. You can share them on social media. And some day your kids and grandkids will relish in looking at your “old-time” images from great hunting days gone by. Bring along a mini tripod or work out a system where you can balance your camera or smartphone on your pack. Set the timer and jump into the photo if you’re hunting solo. Most of my field photos are shot with a timer and the camera resting on my pack.
Bonus Tip: Plan for success
The biggest blunder I see from hunters is not planning for success. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the backcountry elk hunting with friends or chasing coyotes. They always seem to have lunch and a rifle, but not the gear for the chores after a successful. For a fur hunter you need to bring along a sharp knife if you plan to skin a coyote in the field. You also need to review the steps of skinning a predator for fur value. Pack along several pairs of latex gloves to keep your skin safe and clean from predator body fluids. You also should bring along flea and tick spray if you plan on handling the fur extensively.