CategoryCooking

If I got up to some culinary experimentation you can find it here.

Skinning My First Rabbit… Join Me in the Fur Shed!

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Welcome back everyone! After the satisfaction of my getting my first catch, it’s now time to put this natural resource to use. I’m after a pair of rabbit fur mitts for next season. That means getting my first catch skinned out and eventually tanned. Join me in the fur shed. Let’s get to work skinning that rabbit.

WARNING!! This video contains graphic images of animals being processed for fur. Images may include blood and/or animals with their fur and skin removed. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!!!

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Welcome to the Fur Shed.

Ah… the fur shed! With it’s kerosene heater, bottle of whiskey and unmistakable feeling you’ve gone back in time! It’s awesome. Very nostalgic. Furs, traps and gear line the walls, and bits of scrap fur lay here and there on the floor. The fur shed is purpose built, and there is no mistaking what goes on there. This is a man cave, if ever there was one!

Skinning in the Fur Shed

Welcome to Tyler’s fur shed. Tyler was kind enough to let us film this video in his warm and comfortable fur shed. The atmosphere was awesome. Traps, furs, whiskey! It was great!

You can see in the background of the shots above and below, a coyote and two foxes that we had just skinned prior to beginning the rabbit. These were my first canine skinning jobs and I enjoyed the work immensely. It was a great learning experience. These furs were donated as practice furs for me to work on. I have one of the foxes tanned up and hanging on my wall at home now.

Anyway back to business. I admire my catch one last time and then get to the business at hand. Turning that catch into a rabbit pelt.

Im going to be skinning this Snowshoe Hare

Here I am, still so proud of my first trapping catch, admiring the beautiful specimen.




Let’s Get to Skinning .

Now the step by step process is much more fluid in the above video, but here are the basic steps I follow when skinning a rabbit. I’m sure I could break it down into even more detailed steps, but to be honest I feel that would over complicate things. It’s actually not rocket science and you just gotta get in there and go for it. Your first skin or two might be a little jagged but you will learn really fast. It’s a simple learning curve.

Step 1

You need to start somewhere and most trappers start skinning from the hind end. The first thing you need to do is cut a ring around both ankles and remove the rear feet.

Skinning Step 1... Making the Ankle Cuts

The first cut you make is a ring around both ankles.

Step 2

You need to open the pelt up so you can pull it off the carcass. First identify the line from the ankle to the vent. You can see a fairly slight change in the color and direction of the fur on most animals along this line. Use this line as your guide. You open the fur from the ankles to the “vent”. The vent is the skinning term for the poop shoot. But we don’t say poop shoot. We never say poop shoot! Unless we do say poop shoot. In which case we just say poop shoot. Anyways… it’s the vent.

Skinning Step 2a... Identify Ankle to Vent Cut Line

You should be able to easily identify a change in color pattern following a line from the ring cut at the ankle to the “vent” of the animal. This is the line the next cut will follow.

Skinning Step 2b... Making Ankle to Vent Cuts

After removing the feet you now place the knife under the skin. Make a cut, following the fur color line, to the vent. Do this for both hind legs.

Skinning Step 2c... Ankle to Vent Cut Finished

Here is what it will look like after you open the fur from the ankle to the vent. Do this for both hind legs.




Step 3

Now it gets easier. You will feel you’ve really gotten somewhere after completing this step. You’ve already opened it up on one end so now all you need to do is pull the pelt away from the flesh. You can basically think of pulling off a sock. Just roll it down off the carcass.

Skinning Step 3... Removing the Fur

Now that the lower portion is opened up it gets really easy from here. Simply pull the fur off the rabbit as if removing a sock.

Step 4

Remove the front feet and pull the front legs out. The only tricky bit to this part is getting it started. What you need to do is poke your finger through the sinew under the “armpit”. Right between the skin and the meat. Once you have this accomplished you can use the front legs to pull against, removing them from  the pelt. Do this for both front legs.

Skinning Step 6... Pull Out the Front Legs.

Once you roll the fur down as far as the “armpit”, remove the front feet and then pull the front legs out of the fur as if pulling them out of a sleeve of a coat. Do this for both front legs.

Step 5

Now you just have to finish up and cut the pelt free of the carcass. Basically just continue pulling the pelt off as you did before up over the neck and as far up over the head as you can. For species like mink, muskrat, otter and others this is a must. These species must be perfectly removed from the carcass to be marketable. In the case of rabbit, they aren’t even typically sold at large fur auctions, so it doesn’t really matter. I was trying to see if I could do it on this rabbit but I blew it. Rabbit skin is very thin.

Skinning Step 5... Finishing Up Over the Head

This last step is just a way to get all the usable leather and fur you can. Continue to pull the fur off over the head as far as you can.

Step 6

Once you have the pelt free of the carcass you simply split it straight from vent to chin along the belly to open it up… Then open the front legs, identifying the same sort of fur patterning as you did for the rear legs.

Remember to open your pelt up and salt it well to remove moisture and preserve it till tanning. Lay the pelt fur down and salt directly on the bare leather, making sure to cover all areas of the pelt. I did not show this in the above video. I should have, I’m sorry. I will show it in the tanning video I have planned for the near future.

My Furry Prize.

With the skinning done and opened up I admire how clean and soft it is. A job well done I’d say. Typically with farmed rabbits I had been cutting the heads off and going in from front to back, so this was a bit different for me. I’m sure I’ll get more proficient with time.

Beautiful Fur

Again I beam with pride. I have skinned rabbits before, but this was special. I’ll never forget my first catch as a trapper!

So again, I’d refer to the video above for more detail, but there you have it… Rabbit Skinning 101! As mentioned above, I plan on doing a tanning video in the near future. Stay tuned as this future article and video will complete the process of turning my catch into usable fur.




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Getaway Weekend @ The Cabin

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

Life at the cabin at its’ best… Lots of snow and a full wood box! Don’t forget the beer and gruel! A great weekend at the cabin with friends and family. Why not come join us? Get your wet boots off and get yer’ feet up. Grab some slop and listen to the stories. Welcome to the cabin!

At it’s core the content for this video has some examples of easy to prepare camp meals made from extremely basic canned ingredients available in any convenience store. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be tasty. Everything tastes better at the camp with warm fire and good friends!

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Making The Trek.

One of the not so relaxing parts of a relaxing weekend is always the load in! Trekking up the hill laden with gear is a chore to be sure. It’s worth it though. Once you get a nice fire lit and crack that first beer it’s paradise! Especially if you are spending time with good friends and family.

Joel's Gear Skid

Joel is pretty hard core when it comes to the backcountry! He made this sweet gear tote from odds n’ ends. He carried most of our stuff up. BEAST MODE!!!!




My buddy Joel was out hiking around Mount Carleton that same weekend. We met at the camp. He had his homemade trail tote with him. The harness is made from the belt out of a tool pouch, the poles are fiberglass chimney sweep poles and the tote itself is a deep kids toboggan. Really well built and genius design. I thought he had purchased it. I asked him where he got such a sweet setup, to which he informed me he had just made it himself. Very cool!

Arriving at the Cabin

Our beast of burden, AKA Joel, lol, pulls into the cabin dooryard. Don’t think I wasn’t pack laden too, I was! I always over pack. Somebody has gotta carry the beer!

Loaded down myself with gear and supplies, the trip is difficult but well worth it. I actually like that it’s a little hard to get to. Makes it so much more rewarding!

Cabin Time With Friends.

Obviously a warm cabin atmosphere is made even warmer by the company of friendly faces and happy chatter. My son Chris and nephew Avery were up. Joel obviously, our pack donkey was there as well as Aaron. Much laughter and smack talk was par for the course.

Relaxing with friends

One of the best parts of getting up to the cabin is time with friends. Just chilling out, a few beers, and talking about nothin till the am! Love it!




Cooking Up Some Cabin Grub.

After all the trekking and laughter, you gotta feed the troops! A hodgepodge of beans, wieners and alpha-getti was on the menu. I also did up a batch of “Expanded Ham”, a silly made up fancy recipe for roasting up a a can of ham on a stick. A cabin specialty!!!

Back in Cabin Life : Episode 3 – “Cabin Cookin'”, I outline my theory for camp gruel or as some call it hodgepodge. Simply put, you take what you or others may have brought and throw it all in the pot. Good themes are things like beans, chili and meat based soups or stew. I usually try to add as many meats as I can get my hands on. It all depends on how well I’ve prepared. My gruel can range anywhere from bacon, steak and sausage miracles of the culinary arts, to bean and cocktail wiener discount slop! But it’s all good at the camp! The fire, friends and the fresh air fix everything!

Beans N' Wieners

A typical Hodgepodge of Beans n Wieners and other things. Anything goes!

When it come to “Expanded Ham”, the idea is to get the meat spread out well on the stick or skewer so that it can dry roast all in around the delicious fingers of ham! It’s a great one to have in your recipe book. You dirty zero dishes and it works just as well over an open fire as it does over the stove.

Expanded Ham

“Expanded Ham” is a made up name I gave to fancy up the simple task of sticking a canned ham on a skewer! It may not be fancy French cuisine but its amazing at the camp!!!!!

The real secret to good food has always been the company and atmosphere. I’d rather eat slop in the house of Kings than eat delicacies with the swine!

Get Out There!

Maybe you don’t have an old shack in the woods, doesn’t matter… Grab some buds and some lawn chairs and go get a bonfire going! Have a few brews, cook up some slop, enjoy that adventurous atmosphere! Carpe Diem!!! That wasn’t too cliche was it?! Who cares, get going!




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Bush Camping & Knot Instruction

New Video @ Outdoor Adventurecraft on YouTube!

In part one of the video, Jesse my brother in law and I head out for a night in the bush. We cook up some grub, have a drink, relax and get plenty of smoke in our eyes. It was a great night! Come along and join us!

In the second part of the video I get down to business demonstrating the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot and the Lark’s Head Knot. If you would like to skip straight to the knot portion of the video you can scroll to 9:09 in the video and get right to it. It’s up to you, but you’ll miss a great night in the bush.

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A Chance to Get Away from it All!

It’s nice to escape, even if just for a while! I had an opportunity to get away for the night to do some bush camping, so I took it! It was totally worth it, what a great night! I also took the opportunity to show you fine folks a few more knots.

Join me for a night out in the bush. I promise you will enjoy! Welcome back to Outdoor Adventurecraft.

Hiking In

Being in the Boreal Forest in Canada, our woods truly can be referred to as bush. Thick undergrowth and dense softwood can make travel difficult at time.

Semi-Permanent Shelter

After a little hike in we arrive at my semi-permanent shelter.

Rub a Dub Dub, let’s Cook up some Grub!

You guy’s n gal’s know I love my gruel. This night was no exception. Some deer steak and maple beans were the main course of the evening. I fried up the steak in olive oil and Montreal steak spice, then cut it up into the maple beans. It was heavenly but as Jesse noted, had the appearance of dog chow! Hey, it’s not always about what it looks like, it’s all about how it tastes!

Deer Steak

After fighting with wet wood and finally getting a decent bed of coals, we cook up some grub, deer steak and maple beans! Delicious!

Eating Deer Steak and Beans

Eating our dog food…er… I mean beans and steak! It did however look a tad like dog food, good thing it tasted amazing.

Waking Up is Hard to do!

With a full belly and a little whisky in us, dealing with the smoke burning our eyes out didn’t even seem that bad. It was still nice to eventually get to bed, and climb into the embrace of a gently rocking hammock. We shot out of bed the next morning at the crack of dawn! No not really, it was 9:30 before we got up. Life is hard in the bush.

Hammocks among fir

We stayed up pretty late despite the smoke burning the eyes out of our heads, so these comfy hammocks were very welcome.

Flint and Steel

Got another opportunity to practice my primitive fire making skills.

Purifying Water

I set my shelter about 150 feet back from a small river. It’s nice to have water close by.

To the Business at Hand…

So after waking up… slowly… and getting some breakfast and a hot beverage, I set about the instructional portion of the trip. I had after all come out here to create new content for my YouTube channel. It can’t be all fun and games, can it? So I set about showing a few more knots that could be useful for setting up a tarp on a ridge line. Basic stuff I know, but fundamentals are important.

If you’d like to see how to set up a good taut ridge line before you set up a tarp on it, check my article here… https://outdooradventurecraft.com/two-ideal-ridge-line-knots/

Demonstrated in this session are the Double Fisherman’s Bend, the Prusik Knot, and the Lark’s Head. Together with a good taut ridge, these knots are ideal for helping set up a tarp.

Double Fisherman's Bend

To make a loop for use in the Prusik Knot, the double Fisherman’s bend works well.

Prusik Knot

The Prusik Knot has been a long time favorite of mine for rigging tarps among other things.

Lark's Head

Here we see the Lark’s Head form after creating it.

Lark's Head Use

The Lark’s Head can be used to hold a button rock or toggle in place in a tarp for easy set up of shelter.

All in all it was a productive and relaxing night escape. Good food, good drink, and good times… what more could you ask for?  See you next time.

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Hunting the Elusive Chanterelle

I needed an experienced guide!

Finding and identifying wild edible chanterelle mushrooms can be very rewarding, but requires experience and expertise. I had the reference material, I had done the homework, but I lacked the real world experience. I jumped at the opportunity to get some time out with someone who had experience in identifying the chanterelle mushroom. Having lived in the area nearly his whole life, Ken Budaker was well equipped and familiar with picking chanterelles. I was grateful for Ken’s time and experience.  Thanks to his guidance I was rewarded with a bountiful harvest of delicious delicacies.

Chanterelle

Chanterelle Pay Day! Our efforts were rewarded with a bounteous harvest of beautiful mushrooms

The Old Whopper Hollow Lodge.

Martin Budaker, 94 years young, built the Whopper Hollow lodge in the 1980’s. Closed now, it was once a hot spot for hunters and anglers from all over Europe and North America. Located on the serene Dungarvon River, it’s blissfully cut off from modern civilization.

Whopper Hollow Sign

A quaint hand painted sign identifying the lodge.

Ken Budaker, son of the original owner, maintains and manages the lodge now as a cottage and family retreat. Located deep in a predominantly coniferous forest it’s in an ideal location to start a hunt for wild chanterelle mushrooms!

Whopper Hollow Lodge

With 12 bedrooms, the Old Whopper Hollow Lodge makes a great family retreat! Thanks again Ken for your hospitality!

The Hunt Begins.

Unloading the troops for a mushroom hunt

Going on a mushroom hunt is a great opportunity to get the kids out to the woods.

Unloading the troops, Ken and I began searching while the kids ran amuck in the forest. Taking the kids on a mission like this is a great way to generate interest for the outdoors.

Some of our finds.

Chanterelle Patch

One of two very large patches of chanterelles we found

Larger Patch of Chaterelles

One of the other very large patches we found. In addition to a few big patches we found many other individual mushrooms and small clusters

Large Chanterelle

One of the largest we found. A beautiful specimen!

Our Day’s Adventure on YouTube

Check out my newest video offering on YouTube! Rather than trying to be an authority on mushroom identification, this video highlights the fun and adventure of searching for wild edibles.

Disclaimer

This video is not intended to be an authority on mushroom identification! This video is a documentation of my observations only. Any wild edible, mushrooms in particular can be difficult to identify. As such, identification requires careful examination and expertise. Wrong identification could lead to sickness or even death!

A True Delicacy

Getting those chanterelles home and cleaned up was a real treat! My first successful chanterelle hunt! Ken says his favorite way to cook them up is sauteed with onions and garlic. I didn’t have any onions but I did have lots of garlic and real butter!

Examining the Chanterelles

Once we got back to the camp we examined and cleaned the chanterelles, making sure all were of the right species.

Cooking Chanterelle

Slow cooking over low heat is recommended. This will give the flavors time to blossom and for the sweet taste to develop.

Delicious Chanterelles

I love sauteed mushrooms! Any variety! But this was new, a treat, a rare delicacy! I was excited to try them for the first time!

Since then I’ve cooked up the rest. My favorite way so far is sauteed with butter, onions, garlic, shao xing cooking wine with garlic salt and onion powder and then scrambled up with eggs and cheddar cheese! Amazing! Words wont do the flavor justice!

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Good Grief, Let’s eat!

Making a delicious meal while camping doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe you have lots of different ingredients or maybe just a few. What really matters is sticking to a theme. For me it’s lots of smokey themes, brown sugar and BBQ flavors. Tender meats, sausages, stews, chili, and beans all are welcome fare.


When making camp meals be adventurous, no one will hold it against you. Remember, the candle light makes everything taste better.

When it comes to my camp gruel, the more variety the better! I love lots of different meats and beans. Sometimes to stretch it out, to feed more people, I will use cheap cans of tomato, vegetable, or beef n’ barley stew to expand the mix. That way the main flavors still are predominant and the filler doesn’t speak too loud. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’d be surprised with the varieties you can come up with. Most of all have fun!

In this video we cook up some grub, cabin style! Come join us. Lots of meat and beans and chili! It was a nice night with lots of food and family. No one went to bed hungry, and we just woke up and kept right on cooking!

You like meat? Who doesn’t?! Personally I’m all about cooking over hardwood coals, and I’m a sucker for Montreal Steak spice! Just make sure with chicken and pork you cook it well done. Beef… Just wave it over the fire and it’s ready! But seriously, the only way to ruin a good steak is to over cook it… In my humble opinion.

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Remember sometimes it’s the company we keep, not the food, that can make a meal.

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Skills Development… an ongoing process!

Join me as I spend the night out with expert survivalist Wayne Russell from Kullcraven Bushcraft. Wayne shares skills such as how to properly construct a long fire, tips on shelter building, how to dig a gypsy well, and innovative ways to quickly purify water.


Come with us as we enjoy some good food, good times and some lovely scenery. New Brunswick is such a beautiful place.

Thanks for joining me here on Outdoor Adventurecraft!

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I recently purchased The Kelly Kettle Trekker and a new knife, the Camillus Bushcrafter

Out today for tea and deer steak in the bush. Brought my new Kelly Kettle Trekker and Camillus Bushcrafter in 1095 high carbon steel with Scandi grind. Not so much of a gear review, as much as just being out using this equipment, and making a few comments about their functionality. Great weather and delicious steak!

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