Gutless spine down or legs up?

Bob-WY

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Feb 24, 2020
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I'm fairly new at gutless, did 4 antelope this fall. Did all starting on the legs and skinned up to the spine, take of meat, flip and repeat.

Videos here and other places often show spine down.

I don't plan on mounting so caping isn't an issue, what's the reason/advantage of spine down? Problems I see:
- I use the skin to put meat on, when skinnign legs up, it's laying right there to lay things on
- no need to figure out how to pull legs through

Why would you do one over the other?
 

2rocky

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Because it is ingrained in a lot of people as the way to do it.. Gravity helps pull the hide away and the prime cuts are the last uncovered. It also gives you a backskin with the prime sections intact so if resale of the hide is a priority. Commercial slaughter small scale operations use Cradles to support animals on their back when skinning...

1582651732916.jpeg
 

Gr8bawana

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Because it is ingrained in a lot of people as the way to do it.. Gravity helps pull the hide away and the prime cuts are the last uncovered. It also gives you a backskin with the prime sections intact so if resale of the hide is a priority. Commercial slaughter small scale operations use Cradles to support animals on their back when skinning...

1582651732916.jpeg
I can't see anybody dragging that contraption up into the mountains or across the sage flats or anywhere for that matter. A commercial slaughtering cradle has nothing to do the what the OP is asking.
 

Goatshoes

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All other things held equal I say from the spine down as this gets the hide off of the thicker portion of the animal faster and begins cooling.
 

VAspeedgoat

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I'm not trying to be disagreeable, but spine down would offer more open hide quickly due to the length of the side and ease of skinning there. For me, skinning down at the hock is the most tedious so I do it last.
 

Cheater

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From the spine down you can make quite a bit of progress with a few big cuts and and pulls -- and seem to have better leverage to do so. Legs up doesn't offer that advantage in my opinion.
 

devon deer

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Just gut 'em and drag 'em like we do in New England ;);)
Delete the 'New' please, its how we do it in 'England';);)
Mind you even a big red stag has got nothing on the weight of a Bull Elk!

Only done gutless once on a bull Elk, and as already said above its where the final resting place dictates how you do it.
For me it was skin off one side, roll over and repeat.

Cheers

Richard
 

2rocky

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I can't see anybody dragging that contraption up into the mountains or across the sage flats or anywhere for that matter. A commercial slaughtering cradle has nothing to do the what the OP is asking.

You know what? I interpreted "spine down" to be "ON THE BACK" totally misread it.

The reference was to Split them at the BACK...rather than the belly. My mistake...

In my experience the commercial processing methods are usually the most efficient, and most cleanly in a controlled environment out of oft repeated processes. The cradle was to illustrate that on the back was a common method. i didn't intend folks should use one in the field.

N'dio Bwana. i've skinned a few critters commercial and in the field...lighten up...
 
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ntodwild

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I have been starting at the base of the skull, split the hide straight down the spine to the tail then work down toward the legs. Works really well for me.
 

BearFoot

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Before I had the ability to pick up a whole moose, gutting or gutless, we always rolled them on their back. The hide became a tarp or blanket to help keep sticks,leaves away. Moose is heavy, work, had to come apart in several pieces for handling. When gutless, I always finished by recovering the tenderloins.
Skinning Moose.JPG
 

JTHOMP

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I prefer to "uncuff" cut rings around the hide where the feet will be cut off. Then "unzip" by going up the back leg to the spine above the tail, towards the neck, and back down the front leg where it is uncuffed. The knife seems to flow better through the hide in a solid motion when cutting from tail to neck. With most videos I see people making cuts along the spine, the length of the cut is the length of the blade. I want to the knife to run.

Work the hide down starting at the neck and remove:
Front quarter->back quarter->backstrap->neck meat-> tenderloin

Flip the body over. Uncuff the feet and unzip from back leg to spine and front leg to spine.
Front quarter->back quarter->backstrap->neck meat-> tenderloin ->heart

As I remove the quarters I place it 3/4 of the way in the game bag then cut the feet off. I find it more convenient to move the quarter from the body to the bag when the foot is still attached to the quarter. Using the leverage of the ground helps to break the legs after first cutting the joint. The saves the blade from hitting as much bone, and the bag keeps the meat clean while doing so. Sometimes I'll take the feet off one at a time, two at a time, or do all 4 in the end. It just depends. When we had 6 pigs on the ground we had a pile of quarters with feet on and cut all 24 in a final step to save the knife blades until then.

I'm by no means an expert but this is the method I found works best for me after cleaning hogs on the ground using the gutless method almost every weekend for 2 months.
 
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