coyote incisions...too many??

Submitted by Barry on 11/16/99. ( )

I'm mounting my first coyote and was wondering if I've made too many incisions. I've made a cut along the belly running from the hind legs to the front legs and additional incisions from the base of the paws back to the belly incision running the length of the entire leg. Basically, a large I incision. Have I made too many incisions and created more work than worth the effort when it comes time to sew them back up..?? Also, I gather from other comments that I should split the tail and then sew it back up also..?? For future reference if someone thinks I should scrap it and hope for another one, how should I have made the incisions for a standing mount..?? I truly thank you for your time, info here is so very helpful. -Barry

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This response submitted by Frank on 11/16/99. ( )

Sounds like you did fine. As far as what cuts to make I like to think or even look at the mount that I'll be doing. This aids me on making the best and effecent cuts on on speciem that I'm doing. Also split the tail to get the fat and flesh out. Then sew it up.

For me, you did.

This response submitted by George Roof on 11/16/99. ( )

Roger Martin recently told me that he hated stitching as badly as anyone. I know he's lying. I am the crappiest seamstress alive and I would live to skin an animal out through its mouth if I could.

On small animals, I cut across the back legs like a trapper and cut the manniken apart like a puzzle to eliminate stitching. On 'yotes, I use a dorsal incision so that I can slip the hide on like pajamas on a baby. The hair along the back is heavy enough to hide my shoddy sewing. IF I slit the legs at all, it is from the elbow to the wrist to get clearance to remove the feet only.Slitting the tail is a charm on a "fully plumed" prime coyote and fine thread can sew it up where the incision will never be seen.

Do Not "Waste" This Animal ...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 11/16/99. ( )

Hey Barry,

You did fine! NEVER, EVER waste a specimen. It's life has been taken for the express purpose of your study ... don't let it be for naught!

Right now, as you are starting out, it is best to go with the "old standby" ... an open skin. The "open" skin, as you did it, will allow you to see where all the various portions of the coyotes' hide place on the mannikin. It will be a terrific learning experience for you. And, like it or not -- and most of us don't -- you will learn how to sew an incision closed.

Remember to keep the stitches close and tight ... not so tight that they tear the skin as you pull them closed ... but snug. Close the stitches off with a small knot every few inches. This way if the thread breaks, the whole thing won't come undone.

Later on, as your skills improve, you can "case skin" the animal, and -- depending on the pose -- you can actually mount the thing through that incision alone.

These kind of mounting procedures involve removing the limbs of the mannikin, slipping them into the leg skins, inserting the body into the skin, then reattaching the legs to the body. Like I say, that can come later in your education.

Then maybe, just maybe, it will be YOU that develops the method of skinning the critters out the mouth and mounting them. Then you can pass that info on to George, and really make his day! Ha ha!! :)

Best of luck to you, and keep on the path ... John B.

feel stupid

This response submitted by Sam on 11/17/99. ( )

Whats the difference between case skinnig and dorcel cut
Thank you

There Are NO Stupid Questions!

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 11/17/99. ( )

Hi Sam,

First of all, don't EVER think asking a question about something you have no knowledge of makes you feel stupid ... please! It is the way we ALL learned this art. It shows you are smart enough to ask! :)

A Dorsal incision, is made down the entire length of the animals' back ... usually from the juncture of the neck and the head, along the spine, and ending at the root or "base" of the tail. The front legs are opened for a short distance ... from just behind (above) the foot pad and for only a couple of inches.

A Case incision is made starting first at one hind paw - just behind the pad - OR - just above the rear heel or "hock" (the point of the Achilles' tendon).

The incision continues up the back of the hind leg, and ends under the tail - above the anal opening. A second incision opens the other hind leg - starting at either place mentioned - and also continues up the back of the leg to meet the first incision under the tail, above the anus.

Skinning continues by working and cutting the skin from around the hind legs, forward over the body, turning the skin inside-out as you work.

By the time the skin is removed, it appears much like a pouch or a "case" ... thus the term "Case Skinned."

As in the Dorsal method, in the Cased method of skinning, only small incisions are made on the front legs, again at just behind (above) the foot pad, and continued for only a couple of inches.

In all skinning methods for medium-size mammals (mink, otter, skunk, raccoon, wolverine, fox, coyote, etc.), and in all large mammals (deer, moose, bear, cougar, leopard, lion, etc.), the tails are split open for their entire length.

If not, the fat and tissue cannot be scraped out, the tail cannot be properly salted and allowed to drain, and slippage will occur. So, always open those tails!

I hope this has furthered your education a bit. Remember, there is no reason to not ask a question if you do not know the answer. How else will you learn?

Best of luck to you ... John B.

Foot pads

This response submitted by Barry on 11/17/99. ( )

Does the meat inside the foot pads need to be trimmed out and clayed or is it OK as is..??

Take it out!

This response submitted by Lloyd on 11/19/99. ( )

Take the fat and meat out of the pad and replace with critter clay.

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