I have been asked about this several times so as I was skinning a couple cats I figured I would do a photo tutorial. When I sell cats to taxidermists I want to minimize my time and maximize the money I make. One way I do this is to skin the critters myself. Most taxidermist's prefer a dorsal skinned specimen, which is completely opposite of the way most trappers are used to doing busines. It may take a couple times to get the hang of it but it is a fairly easy process once you get it down.
1. I hang the subject up by the back legs just as you would if you were case skinning it.
2. Make an incision with a sharp thin bladed knife, starting at the back of the neck and finishing at the base of the tail.
3. Get in around the mid section and work the hide free with your fingers until you have it freed completely around the animal.
4. Work the hide down off of the shoulders and push the elbows up to expose them.
5. Work around the front leg and peel the hide down to a point a few inches above the paw.
6. Cut the leg bones off, I use bolt cutters for this, and repeat on the other leg.
7. At this point you can cut the head off leaving the skull in the pelt. Once that is done flip the carcass and hang from the front legs.
8. Continue to peel the hide down until you reach the tail bone. Cut the tail bone off close to the carcass and leave in the pelt. With a sharp knife, separate the anus and genitals leaving on the pelt, cut close to the carcass as not to put any holes in the pelt.
9. The pelt is pretty much free at this point and you should be able to peel it right sown to the feet. Once at the feet cut the leg bones off again leaving a few inches of bone in the pelt.
10. With a sharp knife cut as close as you can to the skull and make an incision up through the eye, taking care not to slice the lip or eye lid. Insert tag.
11. Roll up pelt and vacume seal. I atatch a label with the cat number and measurements for quick reference when going through the freezer.
12. Freeze until ready to ship.
This 21lb cat will now fit in a flat rate shipping box, saving you and the custome alot of money. I pack mine with a couple .99 freezer packs and wrap well in newspaper to insulate them. I hope this post helps some of you.