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I Forge Iron

Best shape for skinning


Strine

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I'll get straight to the point. I'm not a knife maker. I'm a finder of road kill kangaroos. My question is what shape blade is the most practical as a skinning knife and why so? It would be great to be armed with some 'good oil' before I hit the shops.

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Obviously everyones opinion will be different, but I prefer something along the lines of the Loveless style drop point knives. I don't own a loveless, but I've used several "clones" or knives with that shape. Very effective for removing some poor creature's peel. My quarry these days is soda cans and 2 liter bottles filled with water. Don't have to skin them, cause you can't eat them anyway. :lol:

Example:
http://www.agrussell.com/knives/handmade/dozier_knives/dozier_loveless_design_drop_point_hunter.html

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Strine
I would assume that a roo is easier to skin than a beaver or otter that we have over here, so heres my two cents worth.

It doest take much of a knife to skin untill you get down around the head assuming that you are case skinning and not open skinning.This can be done with something as simple as a dexter pelting knife which cost only a few dollars and a not to sharp semi upswept bladed knife.Most of the skinning will be pulling the hide from the carcus and not much actual cutting involved untill you get to the head area where you will have to do some cutting / especially around the ears, eyes , nose and lips.

You can do a reasonable job on most of the carcus with a knife made out of wood if you have to.It all depends what you want to get done / the amount of skinning that you will be doing and how cool you want to look.

You can also skin a roo size animal with a boat winch or your truck / I guess you could say theres more than one way to skin a cat or roo.

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- I have used the hides for a stockwhip, a wallet, an apron and as a
bodhran drum skin. The fur is also useful in making fishing flies.
- "Roo" is the strongest leather for its thickness than any other leather known to man.
- You, as a foriegner have a far greater chance of securing a high quality hide than I have, and I live here.
- To procure a roo hide through the back door is very difficult and not worth the risk
- Kangaroos abound (no pun intended) in Australia and have very poor road sense. So why waste an opportunity when it arises.

Footnote; Sadly it was only yesterday morning, in the pre-dawn, on the
way to work that I contributed to the kangaroo road fatality statistic. That's my second in twelve months.

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For pure skinning, a curved blade with not much point is best but that same design isn't good for general work around areas you want to cape out. My grandma's brother was a taxidermist and had only a couple of knives to do all his work - one was a "Green River" style skinner and the other was a common, small pen knife. With those two blades, he could peel anything from a sparrow to an elk. He kept a kitchen steel handy and kept the edges in good shape as he worked.

BTW, another uncle was a rancher and made whips as a sideline. He said kangaroo made a great whip although I believe he only ever worked with rawhide. I'd love to have some 'roo hide for a gunbelt but that's another project for a later date.

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As I said H. If we both went to a kangaroo hide shop in our own countries. You would get a much higher quality than I would. It's a bone of contention to a lot of leather workers here, especially those that will skive the skin down to paper thin. A mate of mine makes Stock Whips as hat bands. They are no more than 1/4 inch diam and consist of twelve strands.
A gun belt eh. Roo hides are not very thick :?

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  • 2 months later...

I just recently joined the forum and was looking at past clips. I was curious as to what the problem with getting the hides was. Are they protected or is there a season for harvest? Here in Ohio in the U.S. it is illegal to pick up certain animals at certain times. The law is fuzzy enough that they can use it if they want to give a reason for giving a hard time to a sportsman. An example would be to pick up a dead raccoon for hide money and probably nothing would be said but if you cut the antlers off a road kill buck, they could use the "Possesion of illegal game parts" law to take them away and give a fine. Also from my liking, a thin, short, sharp knife skins the best. Thanks for listening :wink: Brad

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Well, Im assuming its because he lives in australia, that he has trouble getting hides. There arent as many cattle herd and such in AU, I'd imagine.


Edit: quote of the preceeding comment removed as we just read it in the post. No use to quote and read it again. Save the quotes for several posts back to remind us of the conversation.

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Gobbler and Nolano.

Don't know whether you've noticed but along with the Emu, the Kangaroo is part of our national coat of arms.

coat_of_arms.jpg

He's the one on the left. Why? because neither species is physiologically able to take a backward step. ie to walk backwards. Cool eh? Oh and the foliage is "Golden Wattle"

They're hard to get because any culling etc is strickly controlled. They are indeed a protected species. I met a shooter in the bush one time and asked/pleaded for a skin. "Oh no I can't" he said "I'd lose my licence if I don't have the right paperwork etc etc.

On the other hand I met a bloke in a pub and we arranged to go out the next night to his mate's farm. Farmers can knock a few on the head from time to time and it's all above board.

But go to a leather shop and all you can get is the skin john west rejected.

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