Bert Christensen's Weird & Different Recipes
Skinning Muskrats
(basic methodology may be used for other animals)

The muskrat should be skinned as soon as possible after being trapped. Slit the skin on the inside of the hind legs from the paws to the vent and cut off both hind and fore paws and the tail. Then work the skin off inside out using the knife as little as possible, taking particular care when skinning around the eyes and lips. The skin should then be scraped with a dull knife to remove all flesh and fat, washed with lukewarm water to remove the blood, and placed fur side in on a wedge-shaped stretching board made of soft wood, to dry.

Remove the head from the carcass, then eviscerate the animal. Insert the knife blade, sharp edge up, at the tip of the breastbone. Cut through the thin meat over the belly down to, and encircling, the vent. Lay the body cavity open and remove the viscera by grasping them above the stomach, pulling down and out from the body cavity. Remove the heart and lungs, and wash the muskrat thoroughly with warm salted water. With a sharp knife, cut out the musk glands from inside the legs, the white tissuey skin, and all fat. Soak the meat for two or three hours in a weak brine solution (1 tbsp. salt to 1 quart water) to draw out the blood, then drain and pat dry.

Source: Ellis, Eleanor A. (1973) Northern Cookbook. Ottawa: Information Canada.

Collected by Bert Christensen
Toronto, Ontario