How to Skin a Deer With an Air Compressor

How to Skin a Deer With an Air Compressor

How to Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor

Learn How to Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor in 6 easy steps. Graphic created by Scott Huntington

Skinning a deer is something even seasoned hunters probably do one way and one way only. Would it surprise you to learn that there may be a better way? A way involving compressed air, of all things?

It’s true! Just as there’s more than one way to skin a cat (not that you’d want to), there’s more than one way to skin a deer. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the clean and efficient method of using an air compressor to skin that trophy buck you bagged this season. After you’ve tried it, you may never go back!

Step 1: Hang the Deer

The air compressor method begins just as you normally would: by hanging your deer. There are different schools of thought about the merits of hanging head-first or feet-first, but when you use an air compressor, you can choose whichever orientation works best for you. Just don’t forget to hang it an appropriate height so that you can reach the entire thing without straining yourself.

Step 2: Make the First Cut

Before you start using your air compressor, you’ll want to use a knife to make the first incision. Create a small hole in the deer’s thigh — one that’s just large enough to fit the nozzle of the air compressor.

The idea is to create an airtight seal between the skin and the nozzle. If you end up with a hole larger than you need, close the gap with cloth or a piece of tape so that no air escapes after you begin your work.

Step 3: Place the Nozzle

This step is the simplest. When your hole is ready, place the nozzle at the opening and check one more time that it’s airtight. Again, you can create a better seal using cloth or a tape.

Step 4: Turn on the Air Compressor

Here’s where things really get going! With the nozzle in place, you’re ready to turn on the air compressor. Don’t be surprised if the skin of the deer puffs out slightly like a venison balloon! The ballooning effect is caused by the air being pushed between the skin and the meat underneath. The consistent flow of air allows the two to separate cleanly, ensuring that no meat goes to waste in the process.

Step 5: Repeat If Necessary

In most cases, step four will be the final step. Once in a while, though, you’ll need to readjust and make another pass if sections of the skin are still adhering to the meat. If you need to, you can seal your first hole and cut another in one of these trouble spots. Repeat each of the steps above as necessary to make sure all of the skin has separated cleanly.

Step 6: Skin That Deer!

Finally, once you’re certain the deer’s skin has separated cleanly, you can get your knife out again and finish removing it. Before you start cutting, make sure all of the skin is hanging loosely. You’ll know if it isn’t. Using your knife, start cutting at the top and work your way down, peeling the skin away as you go. It’s possible that some small sections of the skin may still be attached, so simply use your knife to work them free.

Once the deer is skinned, you can start quartering. And it really is that simple! With a little bit of practice, this method could serve you well for years to come. Good luck, and happy hunting!

Check out more videos of skinning a deer with an air compressor.

PJ Cashman

PJ is the co-founder of and is an avid hunter and lover of all things outdoors.

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