Talking Whitetails With Troy Landry, Plus: Skinning A Coyote (Episode 273 Transcript)

This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.

ADAM: They don’t get much prettier than that, I don’t think.

GRANT: Last week, we caught multiple coyotes, so this week, we thought we’d share with you how we prepare a coyote pelt.

GRANT: I don’t want to catch any alligators. I don’t like those things.

GRANT: In addition, we took some time to help some additional landowners with their deer management program.

GRANT: Yeah. I’m all about that.

TROY: We made it three time bigger than it was before.

GRANT: Yeah. Well, we’re getting ready to make about 10 more that big.

TROY: Cool.

GRANT: There’s a buck. Right there. See the buck on the right?

ADAM: Yeah.

GRANT: On the right.

TROY: He just joined in with them.

GRANT: Yeah. He’s over in the short grass.

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GRANT: We had a really successful trapping season and we received a lot of questions of what we do with the pelts after the trap line.

GRANT: A lot of trappers simply sell their green pelts, or raw pelts, on the fur market and that’s a great use of those pelts. We tend to prepare our pelts all the way out to a tanned hide and give them away as gifts. It’s a unique gift, in this society, so Adam and Daniel took our cameras over to my good friend, Pete Dickenson, and he’s an expert at preparing coyote pelts.

PETE: We’ve got to start here at the foot, go down the back of this leg to the tail. And then, we’ll split up the belly and out both these front legs.

PETE: You’ll have to, you know, split through this pad, because this bone, right here, is smaller than the foot. It’s hard to get out, but I mean, with being flat skin, we can pull that all out of there, so…

ADAM: Okay.

PETE: This is not gonna be a mounted animal, so that’s a different type of skin. I skin it different.

ADAM: Okay.

PETE: We are gonna – we’re gonna flat skin this.

ADAM: We always flat skin our pelts, because we use them for decoration, basically.

ADAM: Basically, we’ve split both the hind legs, all the way down to the hind end.

PETE: Yes.

ADAM: Drop, basically, right at the base of the tail.

PETE: We’re gonna put this blade, with that hook, and these Edge knives and try to work through there. Didn’t split it far enough.

PETE: And by using – the gut hook, just like you would on a deer, or whatever. See, we didn’t get into the gut entrails.

ADAM: Okay.

PETE: And what I like to do, while I’m right here, is kind of start skinning this out.

ADAM: So, once he’s split both the back legs, he’s removed the anus. He’s split right up the center of the coyote, all the way up to the middle of the neck, and he’s split both front legs. Now, he’s working on peeling that hide back and trying to completely skin the coyote.

PETE: What we’re gonna attempt to do is get one leg out to hang it up.

ADAM: Okay.

PETE: And then, we’ll be able to skin.

GRANT: Unlike caping a deer, one of the most troublesome areas of removing a pelt on a predator is around the paws.

PETE: You just keep turning that. You keep right on coming down them toes.

ADAM: You see here, he’s pulling and cutting.

PETE: Hmm. Hmm. Yeah. We’re gonna go plum down and when we get done, the only thing that’ll be left on there is that joint just where the toenails are. I can with this? Yeah. I can. Just pop. See that? It was, I just unjointed that right there.

ADAM: Got – yeah.

PETE: Just like that. Now, these two center toes – there’s – you’ve got to split just a little bit down in here.

PETE: And then, there’s the toe. Just the toenails, really.

PETE: Dew claw, which is a claw way up high here.

ADAM: Yeah.

PETE: If you can’t get it cut loose. That’s the way you do it is right there.

GRANT: On the other hand, very similar to a deer, Pete goes really slow over the head area, because it’s easy to mess up a cape around the eyes, the nose, or the mouth.

PETE: You see that – see that big blood vein right there?

ADAM: Yeah.

PETE: That one right there.

ADAM: Yeah.

PETE: You got to be really careful. Boy, you – you – if you clip them, it can be bad real quick. Okay. Now, we’re getting down to the ear butt. See that ear butt right there?

ADAM: Yeah.

PETE: Okay. We’re gonna cut that off right – if I can do that.

ADAM: Where’s that at? Oh, okay.

PETE: Right there.

ADAM: Cutting right up next to the skull.

PETE: Yeah. Yeah. See right there?

PETE: And right there, we’re getting real close to the eyeballs.

PETE: Now, we’re getting ready to go into the lip area.

ADAM: How’d you deal with the eyes?

PETE: I just stayed real – you just stay real close to that bone.

ADAM: Okay.

PETE: And that’ll let you come right down beside it, and on this lip area, you just stay real close to the teeth.

PETE: And there it is.

GRANT: Most trappers stop here, when the fur is removed. They simply roll it up and/or freeze it, and then, take it to the local fur buyer for the worldwide fur market. However, we’re gonna go a step further and prepare this pelt for the tanning.

PETE: What we’re trying to do is get most of this meaty part off of it. The salt will go ahead and cure it, if it’s not too awful thick. So you don’t have to be – and if you’re just gonna hang it up, it don’t have to be too precise here. If it’s going into the fur market, you really don’t even have to do this. You could sell that to the fur buyer kind of as a green deal, and he could do what he needs to do to it.

ADAM: So, when you sell a hide green, basically, that means it hadn’t been fleshed.

PETE: It hasn’t been fleshed. It hasn’t been cleaned.

ADAM: It’s, basically, just been removed from the…

PETE: Yeah.

GRANT: A big part of the process of preparing the pelt for the tannery is removing all the flesh, the muscle, the fat on the underside of the fur. Without removing that, the pelt won’t tan properly, and it may rot while it’s waiting to be shipped to the tannery.

ADAM: So, what Pete’s doing here is called fleshing, or removing any of the excess meat and fat off the back side of the hide. Then, he’s gonna cover the entire hide with salt, so anything that’s left, any meat, or fat that’s left on is gonna be cured. And it’s basically drying out the pelt and getting it ready for the tannery.

GRANT: Once the pelt has been stretched and salted really well, and you can tell it’s dry, Pete simply rolls it up. We store ‘em, wait til we get ‘em all ready, and then, ship ‘em to the tannery.

GRANT: When you ship your hides to the tannery, you need to specify garment quality or taxidermy quality. Both of ‘em will be preserved, but taxidermy quality will be a lot stiffer. It’s just pliable enough to really stretch over the mount one time. Garment tan will be very flexible and pliable, tanned very well, so it can be used in garments and last a lifetime.

GRANT: It’s a time of year when Adam and I help a lot of different landowners with projects and this time we headed out to eastern Kansas. Danny and TJ from Redneck Blinds, along with Troy from Swamp People, had a great day touring Troy’s property in eastern Kansas.

GRANT: They don’t trust me with Kansas.

TROY: We never go in the sanctuary. I swear to God, I’ve never walked in that pond.

GRANT: We might violate it today.

TROY: It’ll be the first time I walk in there with you and that’ll be two years next month that I owned this property.

TROY: You see we got a lot of cover down, which I think is good. Huh?

GRANT: Yeah. Oh yeah. You’re in the bedroom. There’s a lot of deer here in the daytime.

TROY: I think I’m the bedroom. That’s right.

GRANT: So, I was pleasantly surprised, when we got to the farm and found that there was a great deal of quality cover on this property. Now, Troy’s from south Louisiana, and stuff grows big, and tall, and rapid. But in the Midwest, oftentimes deer find great cover in native grasses that are, literally, a foot or two tall. Deer really enjoy cover where they can lay down and barely see over the top to detect predators coming. And that’s exactly what was on a lot of Troy’s farm, with the native prairie grasses that were still there.

TROY: Oh yeah. Oh, oh, oh look at that!

ADAM: See, they’re all down in that grass.

TROY: (Inaudible)

GRANT: There’s a buck right there. See the buck on the right?

TROY: Yeah.

GRANT: On the right.

TROY: He just joined in with ‘em, huh?

GRANT: Yeah. He was over in the short grass.

TROY: Oh, that is awesome. Ey?

TROY: You pumped up, or what?

GRANT: Oh, I love it, man.

GRANT: If we would burn that, we’d get a lot of regeneration of the – of the big blue, and it would out compete the smaller blue, and some of the other cool season grasses that’s just come in there over time.

TROY: Okay.

GRANT: But that is perfect bedding cover ‘cause the deer is 100 percent comfortable, if they’re down and they’re covered, and they can see about right here.

TROY: Yeah.

GRANT: That way, they can see predators coming, see what’s going on. They don’t necessarily want to be where they can’t see…

TROY: Right. Over their head.

GRANT: Yeah. And so, and another thing about this that makes it perfect. There’s thicker spots and thinner spots out there, and when it’s cold, they’re gonna be a little thinner, so the sun can get to ‘em and the radiant heat can warm it up.

TROY: Yeah.

GRANT: And when it’s thicker, or when it’s hotter, they want to get in the shade.

TROY: Yeah.

GRANT: I’m liking this.

TROY: Okay.

GRANT: I’m liking it. There’s some other things about your property I’m want to change, but I like this.

TROY: Okay, okay. All right. That’s why we got you here. You supposed to be the professional. You’re the deer man; I’m the alligator man. (Chuckling)

GRANT: And this is an easy place to burn, the way it’s laid out.

GRANT: I think that’s a bachelor group. I think they’re all bucks right there. Yeah. That’s all bucks.

TROY: (Inaudible) me?

GRANT: Some of ‘em have already shed, but….

UKNOWN: Some of ‘em have already shed. Yeah.

TROY: A lot of cover and we got a lot of open land.

GRANT: Yeah. You’re gonna be fine.

TROY: I just…

GRANT: You gonna to love it. You gonna…

TROY:  I just want to maximize it.

GRANT: You’ve got to love it.

GRANT: What we did find was a shortage of quality food on a year round basis. Troy had some great food plots, back in the fall, based on our conversations. But when we got there, the number of the deer in the area had reduced that food, basically, down to dirt level.

TROY: The turnips died and the cold weather killed the turnips.

GRANT: Yeah. They got the snot ate out of them. We need more food.

TROY: Okay. I’m all for it.

GRANT: We need more food.

UNKNOWN: There’s (inaudible) right there.

TROY: Huh? I’d have never seen that! Look at here. Look. They’re already eating on it. That’s this year’s or last year’s?

UNKNOWN: No. That’s this year’s.

GRANT: That’s probably this year’s.

TROY: That’s why we can’t find “em. Dude, look. They already got it half way eaten.

GRANT: We better find ‘em today, then.

TROY: Now, I got a new plan for this (Inaudible). (Laughter)

UNKNOWN: That get you all psyched up?

TROY: Now that we found one.

GRANT: Are you gonna let us burn?

TROY: Look at here. Oh. I want you all to burn.

GRANT: Cause we’re gonna burn this year, if you’re gonna let us burn.

TROY: I want you to burn. If you say we need to burn, I want you to burn.

GRANT: We need to mow…that.

TROY: I think, Doc, now, you – you the professional, I’m just your old swamp man, but in the morning, you’re gonna catch ‘em. If you got a west wind, you’re gonna catch ‘em in the morning coming from the corn and the beans. And in the evening, you’re gonna catch ‘em going.

GRANT: Yeah.

TROY: With a, with a Redneck.

GRANT: I actually…

TROY: You know somebody we can get a Redneck from? (Chuckling)

GRANT: I actually prefer setups like this more than the food plots for mature deer cause mature deer are 100 percent comfortable here. And because you can approach this way and never alert ‘em, you’ll see all kind of daylight movement here. I mean, I would – I would rather – if you said, “Grant, you can have one stand on the property.” From what we’ve seen so far, I would hunt right here, cause you can cover so many acres.

TROY: Yeah.

GRANT: And – but the deer are not alerted here. They’re perfectly comfortable. Where a food plot, they kind of…

TROY: There’s no pressure.

GRANT: …they kind of get a little bit edgy, coming out in the open.

TROY: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

GRANT: And food plots are great for destinations. We’re gonna use ‘em to make them go where we want ‘em to. But we want to cut ‘em off getting there.

GRANT: Troy’s property is a little bit rectangular shaped and he has great relationships with the neighboring landowners. So he can, literally, come to his property through the neighbor’s, if he needs to; approach from any direction, based on the wind direction that day, get in a Redneck blind right at the edge of the property, and look over cover, and/or food, at the same time.

UNKNOWN: Whoo. You're the man.

GRANT: Check that out.

TROY: (Inaudible) Hey. Take a picture on your phone and send it to Jacob. (Chuckling) Uh.

GRANT: Pretty young still ‘cause they don’t have much basal circumference. The bases get bigger with age.

TROY: Okay.

GRANT: Bases get big. The rest of this, you can’t count on.

TROY: You can’t count.

GRANT: But this base gets bigger with age.

TROY: Is that this year?

GRANT: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh, that’s this year.

TROY: (Inaudible)

DANNY: This, this is, this is got the genetics for that guy. 180” deer…

GRANT: Oh. Yeah. Oh yeah.

DANNY: …when he’s five years old.

GRANT: Yeah. Yeah.

TROY: Well that’s this year, for sure. Okay.

GRANT: I guaran – that’s fresh. Look at that. It’s still got moisture right there. Yeah. That’s…

TROY: Okay.

GRANT: (Inaudible) other antlers around here somewhere. You all go on that way. I’ll be over here.

TROY: The other one you think?

GRANT: We spent the day walking the entire property, and I got a really good feel for it. Adam and I are creating maps and designing a plan to move some of the Redneck blinds from where they are now towards the outside edge of the property. We’re adding several food plots and enlarging some others. So no matter what the wind direction is, Troy and his sons, who prefer gun hunting, can get there, barely enter the property, have a great view, and hunt undisturbed deer.

ADAM: Even though it’s super cold out today, Grant and I are getting fired up for turkey season.

GRANT: Here’s a great opportunity. Register to win the sweepstakes at and to double your chances for an all-expense paid trip to come hunt with Adam and I at the famous Redneck Farms. Lots of turkeys. We’ll be calling and filming, putting you right in front of a big old Missouri gobbler. Contest closes March 31st, but we’re gonna announce the winner April 1st.

ADAM: We look forward to hunting with you.

GRANT: The off season’s a great time to get outside and evaluate your hunting property. Do you need more food, cover, and water, especially, during this stress period? Do you need to move some blinds or stands? It’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy Creation, but it’s more important to take some time every day, find a quiet place, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching

TROY: This is what you look for?

GRANT: Yeah.

DANNY: This is what I want to grow on my place.

GRANT: Yeah.

TROY: No joke?

DANNY: Yeah.

TROY: Look at the trail. Look at the trail.

GRANT: Yeah. We’ve been driving on a (inaudible). We’re gonna get a flat tire on a shed here pretty soon.

TROY: You think? Oh, that’d be good, huh? (Inaudible).