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Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

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Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Fallguy » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:40 am

I am trying to set up a skinning system in my garage using a boat winch. I got this idea from a predator hunting magazine a few years back. The article said you could skin a frozen coyote with the setup, and I tried to reproduce it exactly as I had seen, with a few other adjustments I stole from other places. Today xdeano brought over two semi-frozen coyotes and we gave it a test run. Here is what we discovered.

First here is my winch on the bench. I had to mount it like this due to my garage setup (lots of stuff stored on the walls--I have a small house :D ). The only problem is when I release the tension on the winch I get alot of backlash. Any ideas how to fix this?

winch_(1).JPG



Then I started skinning like normal by slitting the backlegs, and skinning past the tail and stripping the tailbone, as seen in these pictures:

skinstarttwo_(1).JPG




After getting past the back hips, I slipped a golf ball under the hide on the FUR side, then secure the slip knot on another skinning gambrel. I put one ball on each side of the midline, as was suggested in the mentioned article. This skin SHOULD be the toughest hide on the animal right?

golfballattach2_(1).JPG


Then we started cranking on the winch. It started to peel great. You can see however the angle that was starting to form, and you can probably imagine the stress on each part of the carcass. Here are three sequential pictures:

peel2_(1).JPG


maximum_(1).JPG


After getting past the shoulders, we had the worst case scenario happen: BOTH COYOTE HIDES RIPPED IN HALF! So back to the drawing board for me! :pissed:

I have a couple of ideas:

First, xdeano and I thought the pulling needs to be more vertical than how it turned out horizontal. I am thinking of mounting a pulley a few inches off the floor on the leg of my tool bench, under the winch. Then the angle will be different.

Second, perhaps the pressure or force on the hide while pulling is too great on the dorsal side of the coyote. Maybe getting the golfballs on the SIDES of the coyote would be better, spreading the pulling force out more.

Third, maybe there is a better way to attach the coyote to the cable winch gambrel.

If any of you out there have made a similar system, or have any ideas for me, I do appreciate it. Thanks.

Disclaimer: If you want to see more pictures, please go to another website that I frequent and moderate at. I could only upload 5 pictures to a post on coyotehunter, whereas on the other site I can upload 10 pictures, so it gives some other views if you need to see them.
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Tim Anderson » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:21 pm

First off get rid of that nasty cable and use a good rope. In the 4th pic. the hide is binding under the legs, you need to just grab the hide and help it along to get past the elbows..

Here are some short vid.'s of how i skin my coyotes with the winch system..
Image
Image
Image


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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Tim Anderson » Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:27 pm

Part two::
Image
Image
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby lyonch » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:52 am

I know it is a coon below, but you need to see where i hooked up the vice grips. Also you need to use a little common sense that when the tension is getting a little tight you need to help the hide along. Im suprised you didn't tear the coyote itself in half. On another note, i dont fully understand why you are trying to skin a frozen coyote. If it was feasable to skin a frozen coyote, most of you furbuyers would already be doing it. I use a cable in mine, and the uncoiling is just part of it. When your rig is in your garage i would stick with a rope like TA said. My rig is for the back of the truck and goes all over with me and if the rope gets rotten on me in the middle of north dakota i would be pretty mad about the situation.

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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Fallguy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:19 am

lyonch wrote:you need to see where i hooked up the vice grips. Also you need to use a little common sense that when the tension is getting a little tight you need to help the hide along. Im suprised you didn't tear the coyote itself in half. On another note, i dont fully understand why you are trying to skin a frozen coyote. If it was feasable to skin a frozen coyote, most of you furbuyers would already be doing it.


Like I said lyonch, I was just following what I had read in the article. I followed the instructions of where the guy positioned the golf balls, and in the article they said they used it to skin frozen carcasses. I am a big fan of following written instructions EXACTLY AS WAS WRITTEN. That's what I was doing. Maybe the author wasn't telling the whole truth. I could believe that.

The coyotes where not completely frozen. I would say not even close. xdeano can comment on that.

If we had torn the whole coyote in half I would not have cared. They were worthless hides anyway. We were just trying to see what the capabilities where of the system. Now we know some of the faults, and are just trying to fix them.

xdeano has some experience with a skinning system that is almost fully automatic...hardly any helping along at all.

So you are hooking your vice grips on the sides then?
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Fallguy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:23 am

Also...why a rope?

I thought a guy would want to eliminate stretch. That is why I like to use a chain skinning gambrel when skinning. Or am I wrong to think that?
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby lyonch » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:04 am

The hardest part of skinning a coyote is when you get to the shoulders. The small area between the two legs alwas seems to be the hardest point to get through. So when you hook up on flanks like i did you are pulling more on the sides and not the back. I would eliminate the golf balls and just use a pair of vice grips on each side with rebar welded on both jaws to act as a gripping agent. When you get to the point where the tension seemed too tight and you tore hide, you need to take the knife and help a little, or grab the shoulder plunger out and get those legs done. When you get the legs done get back to cranking. I'm not the fastest coyote skinner in the world, but the last batch i did was 15 of them and i did them all by hand (dont have my winch system set up yet; summer project) but i averaged 10 minutes a coyote.
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Fallguy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:22 am

Lyonch

I will have to try that vice grip method. You are right I think gripping them on the side would be better. Plus easier all around to hook it up when you only have two hands (getting the golf ball, and chain loop around it, all while it is pivoting wasn't the easiest I will admit)
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Tim Anderson » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:05 pm

[quoteAlso...why a rope?

][/quote]
By useing the rope directly you can eliminate some of the extra hardware. The rope is soft and flexable and will not rust or get those little pieces of wire that puncture youre skin.. Its also flexable like a rubber band when you have tension on it.. When you put the loop around the hide you will get a somewhat of a even pull on the hide.. The vise grip method is fine just more stuff to buy and drag along..Also with the rope you can turn the carcass in any direction to get the hide loose with the knife if it binds.. For field skinning the winch can be mounted to the hitch and the gambrel can be mounted to a pole with a extra choke chain.. There are about 4-5 different ways of doing it so just use what works best for you...


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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Fallguy » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:10 pm

Hmm that is interesting with the rope. I don't think I am going to make a winch system to drag along. I have a pretty simple method I use to skin a coyote on a fencepost using my yote totes and elbow grease. What I am trying to do is find a solution for those coyotes I shot this winter when it was so cold by the time I got home the faces and tails were solid blocks of ice from the ride home in the back of the pickup. Maybe there is no easy solution. I will have to think about the rope though...you brought up some good points Tim.
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Tim Anderson » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:31 pm

When dealing with a frozen coyote about the only way you are going to skin it is if you thaw it out, mainly the head and legs.. Things you can do to prevent it from freezeing..If you have a truck with a topper then put the coyote inside the back of the truck and not on top of the topper. A plywood box could be made big enough to keep them in also.. I just kept mine in the back of my truck with a topper and they road around for 5-6 days and only had one or two that the face froze on and this maybe due to the long walk back to the truck.. At the moument i just have a eletric heater for my fur shed so i just hang the coyotes up and put the heater close by.. When skinning if i encounter a coyote thats still a little froze around the head i will use my hair dryer to thaw this area out so i can get the hide off..Its a slow process but it works...


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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby RandyRoede » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:20 am

Fallguy, I've been using a set up like you have for years, only difference is the rope, about a half inch nylon rope, pulling about the same angle as you are. It's pulled a lot of coyotes. You have to open them about to the start of the ribs, grab a handful of hide, attach rope that has slip knot in it, crank and each coyote is different, when pressure gets to a point you may have to use a knife to get it rolling again. You can't man handle some or they will pop. The winch will keep pressure as you trim with the knife like an extra set of hands. You will not peel a frozen coyote something will break. If they are somewhat frozen on the head when you get to it just leave a little tension on it and it will slowly let loose, don't force it. The tension will allow a much cleaner skinning of the head area. Cut the front legs off at the elbow when starting, unless you are tanning them it will allow that area to slide thru easier. Tim did you forget that part? No need for them if you are selling the hides for fur value and leave them inside.

You may want to cross brace your braces in the garage and you can put a good deal of stress on them, they tell me they are much stronger toward the walls than the middle. Very weak in the middle. Run a board across to put the load on two or three of them. Chris's skinner is a level up from this, there are some commercial models with the tower and the vice grips etc. electric motor runs the gambrel up very slick but a few $$$$$ more than this setup. I have seen homemade versions with an electric winch and a achoring point in the floor to hold the hide as it raises or even ahchoring it to a vehicle of some kind in the garage etc. The one I saw was a skid loader for an anchor. It had a foot pedal for operation of the winch to keep hands free. Nice outfit. This was a commercial skinner set up. Winch was from a silo. Fast gear setup etc.

You will luv it when you get the hang of it, a lot of guys that have seen it here and were pullin them before have one now. My son and I came up with it one day after gettin dam sick of pullin them and seeing the commercial one and having an old boat winch laying around. Wasn't a year or so after that I see that article in TPC, my son's all who have been involved in skinnin always say we should have had that earlier, or that article should have come out 20 years ago. Much less manual labor involved. Amazing something so simple was not being more widely used.

Remember if you have some snared ones to get the cable off, I HEARD :lol: , you can pop those!!!!

I have a friend who comes over to run the crank and drink a beer or two who is going to build a better metal mount to hold the winch on the bench. It has to be offset so the handle will miss the front of the bench. I just have it now on a 2X4 screwed thru to the bench very portable to remove when not fur season. I think a metal bracket bolted to the bench would be a little safer. About killed Rheborg one day when it left the bench LOL. His wife Jackie runs the winch better than anyone I have ever seen, don't know why but she does. Also she adds to the overall scenery in the garage 10 fold!!!!!!! Not often you get a pretty gal to spend anytime in this garage, "IT STINKS IN HERE" and they are gone!!! MANCAVE!!!

Fallguy if you want any other info PM me.
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Re: Trying to perfect a skinning winch...need advice!!!

Postby Tim Anderson » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:42 am

Cut the front legs off at the elbow when starting, unless you are tanning them it will allow that area to slide thru easier. Tim did you forget that part?


Yes and no Randy LOL.. My clipper finally broke or i would of had it in the video. I've been just makeing the cut around the front legs with a knife and then pulling the hide off..
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