How To Skin A Coyote DIY – Step By Step!

Hunting coyotes can be fun, but did you know it can also be profitable. After taking down a coyote, you can make money by selling its hide. Coyote hides are a prized commodity in the fur market. On average Western coyote, hides go for ($56 +/-) while Eastern coyote hides go for $25 (+/-).

So instead of just killing a coyote with sophisticated optics and gears, why not go the extra mile and skin it to get its valuable hide or pelt. Needless to say, it is important that you learn how to skin a coyote. Fortunately, this is the subject of this article. In it, I will be discussing the art of skinning a coyote.

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While you have the option of selling a coyote carcass to a fur buyer, you will not get as much money as you would for the hide. All the same, there are some hunters who prefer selling a carcass to a fur buyer. After all, skinning a coyote takes time and requires a certain set of skills. Nevertheless, I believe that skinning a coyote yourself and selling the hide later is the best way to go about the whole process.

So, if you are interested in learning how to skin a coyote, here is what you will need.

Now that we have assembled all the necessary parts let’s jump straight into skinning the coyote. Below I have compiled a list of coyote skinning instructions

The Process Of Skinning A Coyote

Before skinning the coyote make sure that it is still warm. Therefore, do not wait after killing the animal, start the skinning process immediately after the kill. If you wait, the membrane that separates the skin and the fur will thicken. When this liquid filled membrane thickens, removing the fur becomes almost impossible. Also, before starting put on rubber or latex gloves as a safety measure.

Next place the carcass on a stable and solid surface. Then cut off its four legs at the second joint with a hatchet or axe. The lower parts of the legs are not useful since they do not have a lot of furs.

How To Skin a Coyote Tail

The next step after cutting off the lower parts of the legs is to hang the carcass upside down. Tie a rope around the carcass’ hind legs and hang it from either a ceiling, a tree or a rafter. Using your fleshing knife cut up the back legs around the tail and the anus. This will expose the tailbone. Remove the tailbone from the tail, to ensure that it does not rot rendering your hide worthless. This is how to skin a coyote tail.

how to skin a coyote

How To Remove Tailbone of a Coyote Tail

To remove the tailbone, you will need to use the spike, which is a unique gripping tool, that can be got from most hunting stores. Also, you might need the assistance of another person who will hold the spikes in place. On your part, you will remove the tailbone.

How To Skinning a Coyote  At The Stomach And Back Area

Once this is done, you will have to work your way around the stomach and back. This should be done slowly ensuring you do not damage the hide. The fleshing knife should be on the membrane that separates the skin and the hide. This is to ensure that you do not cut the flesh or damage the hide.

Also, take extra caution when cutting around the stomach not to puncture it or you will have to deal with an unpleasant stench. Slowly work your way to the front of the carcass and in particular to the front legs. From the legs continue up to the neck and to the head.

How To Skinning a Coyote  At The Head Area

Take extra care when cutting out the eyes, nose, and ears. Once you have carefully cut out the eyes, ears, and nose, pull down the hide from the hide quarters. It should peel off smoothly without any problems.

how to strech coyote

After removing the hide set it up to dry. This is where a stretcher comes in handy. Stretchers can be got from specialized outfitter stores. The work of these appliances is to stretch the hide to allow it to dry. While stretchers can be bought some of the hunters I know prefer making their own. If you are a beginner, I recommend buying one as opposed to building your own.

How To Skin A Coyote With Air

One of the easiest ways of skinning a coyote is skinning a coyote with air. This method of skinning a coyote is preferred by many because it is less time-consuming. To skin a coyote with air, you will need a fleshing knife and an air compression tank.

  • Step One

The first step of skinning a coyote with air is to fill the carcass with air. To do this, make small cuts in each of the carcasses’ four legs. The cuts should be in the lower part of the leg. Once you have made the cuts pump the carcass with air through each one of these cuts. Next, make a small cut on the upper gum and also fill it with air.

  • Step Two

The second step is to follow the standard procedure of skinning a dear I have explained above. Remember to hang the coyote by its hind legs.

Benefits of Skin A Coyote With Air Method

  • There are several reasons why air skinning is preferred by many, and these are
  • With this technique, you can skin a coyote that has been dead for up to 6 hours
  • It makes the skinning process easy
  • With this method the sin around the head comes loose quickly, this part is hard to skin

How To Skin A Coyote For Tanning

Skinning a coyote is not enough to get the hide ready for the market. Sometimes it is a good idea to go the extra mile and tan your hide. That being said the answer to the question of how to skin a coyote for tanning is relatively straightforward. To start with you have to peel the coyote first. You can follow the steps I have outlined above.

Tanning A Coyote Pelt

After you have skinned a coyote, the next step is to prepare the pelt for tanning. Personally, I prepare my hide by laying it on the ground with the flesh side facing up. Then I salt it using non-iodized canning salt and leave it overnight.

This helps prevent the hide from getting damaged. This step is essential if the hide is not fresh. However, it is important to note that if your hide has started getting spoiled, it cannot be salvaged. This means no amount of salting will get the hide fresh again.

After the salting process, which is optional, the second step is to wash the pelt. Take a five-gallon bucket and fill it with water and add dish soap. Next, immerse the pelt in the water and slosh it around until the water is dirty.

After doing this fill another five-gallon bucket with cold water. Immerse the pelt in the water and slosh it around until the water is dirty. Repeat this rinsing until the water is fairly clean. Let the pelt dry for about an hour. The pelt should be placed somewhere cool and away from the sun.

As your pelt dries, start preparing the tanning solution. In a 5-gallon bucket put 2 gallons of white vinegar and the same amount of cold water. The add four pounds of canning salt into the solution. Use a broomstick or something similar to mix the solution thoroughly. After this take your coyote hide and immerse it into the solution. Leave the pelt in the solution for three days, and keep stirring it on a regular basis.

After three days take the pelt out of the solution and let it dry for about half an hour. As it dries, add baking soda into the tanning solution. The baking soda will make the solution to foam. Once the foaming has stopped get rid of the whole solution and rinse the bucket. Next, fill the bucket with 4 gallons of cold water and 12 ounces of baking soda. Take the dried pelt and immerse it into the baking soda and slosh it around for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Then remove the hide and rinse it in cold water and then hang it to dry. After this, apply tanning oil to the flesh side of the pelt. Let the oil soak in for about an hour. Next stretch the dry spots on the pelt to make it soft.

How To Skin A Coyote For Taxidermy

The process of tanning can also be done to prepare your pelt for taxidermy. If you want to mount the skin, it is best you take it to a taxidermist. This will save you time. The process of mounting a coyote pelt for taxidermy can be complex. So if you want to know how to skin a coyote for taxidermy, the process of skinning is the same.

How To Skin A Coyote For A Rug

If you are wondering how to skin a coyote for a rug, the process to be followed is that of skinning and tanning. After the tanning process pulls a piece of skin of the pelt, if it turns white, it is ready for rug mounting.

After this, you will need to rewet and sweat the head of the pelt. To do this fill a spray bottle with a mixture of saltwater and fabric softener. Spray the mixture on the head of the pelt and wrap it in a plastic bag. Then rehydrate the whole skin and mount the head and pelt on a rug stretcher.


Skinning a coyote has many benefits, from the profit that comes with selling it in the fur market, to using the hide to make a mount or a rug. Therefore, next time you kill a coyote instead of selling it whole to a fur buyer why not follow these skinning steps.

1 thought on “How To Skin A Coyote DIY – Step By Step!”

  1. I have tanned 37 coyote pelts, trimmed them and stitched some of them together for a rug. My question is this: how do I attach a cloth backing to the rugs ( I have 3 that are approximately 3×4). I don’t want a felt outline like you do for a carcass rug.

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