Skinning rabbits

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Aug 4, 2013
866
3
Berkshire
Can anyone point me towards a simple guide to skinning rabbits?

Also gutting them - though that's less of a priority.

Also - I have some half-remembered idea that you have to empty a rabbit's bladder after killing it, by either slitting it (the bladder) or squeezing it (the rabbit). Does that sound right?

What happens if you don't do that?

And if you don't (and it causes a problem) is there any way to remedy the situation?

Thanks
 

artschool

Forager
Sep 14, 2014
111
0
chester
just squeeze downwards to extract the proverbial.

you then slit open from the bottom to the ribcage taking care not to puncture the internals. you can then either reach inside or flick out the intestines etc. you will probably need to fish out the heart and lungs.

skinning is pretty easy after that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIa7VnOjgcQ

this is pretty much what i do.
 

Bushcraft Yukon

Tenderfoot
Nov 8, 2015
59
0
Canada
The bunnies I skin and gut are either snowshoe hare or the domestic rabbits I breed for meat.

The snowshoe hare I either shoot or snare. If I shoot them I squeeze out the urine right away by holding the bunny against my legs head up (...me and the bunny...:). I then use my round fist and press it in a downwards motion down their belly. They start peeing right away...

If I snare them in the winter they are frozen stiff by the time I find them. No squeezing possible...and sometimes you can taste/smell it. I had one that smelled horribly like urine while cooking.

I skin first, then do the gutting after. I hang them upside down, quick incision around the ankle, then cut skin all the way legs down (inside of legs) to genitals on both sides. Pull skin down the legs (sometimes a little cutting needed), separate skin at the back with hand only, cut skin behind anus (incl. tail off), then pull skin like a sock all the way down past the head and down the arms. I cut the head off and the hands at the wrist joint. Now you have the naked bunny hanging in front of you. I then cut the belly (only the flesh, do NOT puncture guts) open, guts fall out, rip open diaphragm and remove heart & lungs. When removing liver, make sure you do not tear gall bladder (the little yellow sack attached). If you want to use liver you can pinch the gall bladder and rip it off the liver. Just make sure you do not spill any of the liquid. Some of the intestines will still hang attached through pelvis and attached at anus. I spread the bunny legs as much as possible and take a sharp knife to cut the pelvis open. There is a spot on either side a little off-center where you can go through easily. Once that is open you can remove the remaining intestine. Bunny is now skinned and gutted. The two kidneys are still attached along the back in the abdomen. You can leave in or take out - depends on you.

It only takes a few minutes to process a rabbit this way, so I never bothered squeezing urine from my domestic bunnies. Never had issues.

The skin on snowshoe hare is so fragile, you need no knife to tear it open for skinning. Couldn't believe it until I tried the first time.

Another curious thing about killing rabbits and the meat quality: The first domestic rabbits I killed, I shot in the head. The meat was terribly tough. A friend suggested that was because of the cramping muscles after the head shot, as he had experienced the same with a moose. The next batch of rabbits I killed by stunning with a blow to the neck and then bleeding. The meat was very nice and tender. Anything else in the process of skinning, gutting, freezing, cooking was the same. So I assume he was right. No more head shots for me...I mean for my rabbits, of course.
 

Hibrion

Maker
Jan 11, 2012
1,231
3
Ireland
Another option is the push gut methid. Just type 'push gut rabbit' into youtube for any number if demos. This method us great to quickly gut rabbits as you shoot them and a must if you shoot high numbers.

Skinning is super easy. Make a slit on each inside back leg and peel the skin down to the neck. Twist the head around and pull and head and skin will come off together.

You should be able to gut and skin a rabbit within a minute this way with almost no practice.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,738
1,000
64
Florida
Like Bushcraft Yukon, I skin them before gutting them Rabbits and squirrels too) However I usually skin from the neck downwards. Make an incision at the base of the neck big enough to get your fingers under the skin and just pull it downwards and off the body (stop at the base of the tail of squirrels if you want to keep skin on said tail to sell it later) Once it's been skinned, slit the belly from the base of the rib cage to the anus and pull out the guts.
 

GGTBod

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 28, 2014
3,210
23
1
I've found i only really eat the backstrap muscle meat of the rabbit so i don't even bother fully skinning or gutting at all. I lay the bunny on it's belly and stretch out it's legs, between the 'shoulders' i make a little nic with my knife through the skin and then use my fingers to tear the skin open down the whole of the back revealing the meat i am after, i cut off the backstrap fillets from the spine and ribcage and leave the rest for the foxes, takes about 2 minutes and if you want you can also access the thigh meat from the back legs
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
36
Norway
Skinning the rabbit before gutting it makes the process more "clean" I think. No hair and potential dirt and stuff entering the gut-cut or sticking to the meat.
But that´s just my opinion :) And to kill it, hit it hard in the base of the skull behind the ears, and bleed it out or take of the head.
Almost like when killing chickens :)
 
May 17, 2016
4
0
Hertfordshire
Skinning the rabbit before gutting it makes the process more "clean" I think. No hair and potential dirt and stuff entering the gut-cut or sticking to the meat.
But that´s just my opinion :) And to kill it, hit it hard in the base of the skull behind the ears, and bleed it out or take of the head.
Almost like when killing chickens :)

Agree fully with the above however I found snapping/ringing the neck quicker and cleaner.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Is it really worth skinning and gutting the whole rabbit?
Most of the meat is on the back plus the hind legs.

When I hunted hare i did the skin cut above the spine, exposed the back muscle, used sturdy scissors to cut through the ribs, then freed up the rear legs down to the knee joint.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Habit I guess?
I used only to take the breast meat from pheasants and ducks too. Kind of the opposite from the rabbits.
A cut through the skin along the breast bone, peel it away, two snips with scissors, a quick yank and it was done.
 
Jul 16, 2016
5
0
Scotland
Very easy once you get to the 3rd one :)

i'd say easier than plucking; i don't normally gut them before skinning them as it's easier to take all the guts out once there's only the thin layer of skin protecting the belly; depending on the skinning techniques, you will also remove the tail bit along with the rest so, no messing with any excrement or urine.

As for bresting, i wouldn't do it with nice mallards or bigger ducks as the taste is in the fat they hold and will keep the meet moist and juicy; however, for things like pigeon or when i have large quantities; yes, it's the best option.

For larger animals I use 'the Plucker' which really does the job.... last winter i shot 4 geese in one day and pluck them in less than 1 hour ... to supermarket standard!
 

Uilleachan

Full Member
Aug 14, 2013
585
5
Northwest Scotland
Very easy once you get to the 3rd one :)

i'd say easier than plucking; i don't normally gut them before skinning them as it's easier to take all the guts out once there's only the thin layer of skin protecting the belly; depending on the skinning techniques, you will also remove the tail bit along with the rest so, no messing with any excrement or urine.

As for bresting, i wouldn't do it with nice mallards or bigger ducks as the taste is in the fat they hold and will keep the meet moist and juicy; however, for things like pigeon or when i have large quantities; yes, it's the best option.

For larger animals I use 'the Plucker' which really does the job.... last winter i shot 4 geese in one day and pluck them in less than 1 hour ... to supermarket standard!

Yep, best way to do them IMO.
 

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