How to Skin a Deer with an Air Compressor

How to skin a deer (courtesy

From Ammoland:

Hang Your Deer

You start out the same way you would normally skin a deer. There are different thoughts about if it’s better to hang the deer head up or head down, but we’ve found that when you’re using an air compressor it doesn’t make a difference. Pick whichever way you’d like or are used to and hang the deer at a level where you can easily reach the whole critter . . .

Cut A Hole

Once your deer is hanging securely, it’s time to make the first cut. Use a knife to cut a small hole in the skin that covers the deer’s thigh. This hole should be just big enough to fit the nozzle of the air compressor. Ideally you want to make it so that no air can get out once you have the nozzle in. If you find that you’ve made the hole too big you can put a piece of cloth or tape around the nozzle so it fits.

Insert Nozzle

Next, simply insert the nozzle from the air compressor into the hole you made in the deer’s thigh. If it doesn’t fit, either make the hole larger or use tape or cloth around the nozzle to make it air tight.

Turn On The Air

Now it’s time for the fun part. Turn on the air compressor and watch as the deer starts to puff up light a balloon! What happens is that the force of the air pushes under the skin and causes it to push itself off of the meat. The air separates the skin cleanly and neatly without causing any meat to go to waste.

How to Skin A Deer With An Air Compressor by Quincy Compressor

Repeat As Needed

Usually this works very well, but every once in a while there will there will be parts that are still stuck. If that happens, simply cut another whole near that spot and repeat the previous steps. After doing this a couple times you’ll have the skin completely separated from the rest of the deer.

Skin The Deer

Last, all you have to do is cut the skin along the deer’s back legs and then start to peel. The skin should be very loose from the air. Start at the top and peel the skin downward. Use a knife to cut through any spots that still might be stuck. Then just like that, you’re done! You’ll have a perfectly skinned dear without any wasted meat. Happy Hunting!

About Quincy Compressor

Quincy Compressor: Manufacturer of world class reciprocating and rotary screw air compressors, vacuum pumps, air dryers and parts. Visit


  1. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Just be careful not to get any on ya.

  2. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Just be careful not to get any on ya.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Get any what,… air?


      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Actually, BLAMMO, be careful not to get any *in* you.

        It can *literally* tear you a painful new one…


  3. avatar B says:

    While the premise seems sound, I can’t help but feel like this is a trick to make someone blow up a deer in their garage.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I’ve not heard of this before. It does make a bit of sense.
    If all goes well, I’ll be trying this on an elk next weekend. That is, if the ghost of the woods allows me to see it.

    1. avatar Will in Oregon says:

      I’ll see you there

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Will be a bit south of Newport, hunting inland towards Siletz and the LOG area.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    See, air compressors aren’t just for sex toys.

  6. avatar Brentonadams says:

    You can adjust the foam handlebar covers on your beach cruiser the same way

  7. avatar barnbwt says:

    Just like in the Swiss Family Robinson!

  8. avatar Bob201 says:

    Who thinks of these things? 🙂

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  9. avatar Kirk says:

    Aaaaand… Watch the idiots contaminate their meat with oil and other crap out of the air compressor tank.

    About the only way I’d do this would be if I had access to a medical-grade or scuba compressor, one that would have clean air coming out of it. The typical construction or mechanical shop compressor your average person has access to ain’t going to have that little feature.

    I would strongly recommend people doing this to carefully examine the contents of their compressor tanks, and then ask the question “Would I want to eat that…?”.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Aaaaand… Watch the idiots contaminate their meat with oil and other crap out of the air compressor tank.”


      Compressor oil isn’t nice stuff. The SCUBA tank is an excellent choice for clean air and portability. Just use a new hose and nozzle.

      And zero mention in that article on compressed air safety. In a nutshell, treat a compressed air nozzle roughly the same as a gun muzzle at short range, compressed air can *literally* tear you a new one. I’ve seen the pics in yearly OSHA mining safety classes, it ain’t pretty.

      That method would be good for mass-processing vermin hogs.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        EDIT- should read:

        “…treat a compressed air nozzle roughly the same as a gun muzzle at short range…”

        TTAG, the edit function fails about 50 percent of the time now, it’s getting WORSE…

    2. avatar stoneboat says:

      That was the first thought I had too, oil contamination – however minimal it may be. I have a deer hanging right now and it’s very tempting to try it. The only way I would consider doing it is with an oil/water separator like for use when spraying automotive paints. The line after the oil/water separator and blow gun would have to be new and free of oil as well. I once knew a butcher who used harborfreight air compressors filled with salt brine for injecting sausages – I don’t know how any health inspector would ever let that fly. I vowed not to eat anything he made after that. Once you have petroleum oil in a compressor head, it will never be close to food grade clean again.

  10. avatar David says:

    Try to avoid inserting the compressor into existing orifices…

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Any practical experience with this you’d like to share?


  11. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I bet this works with people too – and just in time for the holidays!

  12. avatar thx855 says:

    Seems like a prank, maybe one of the hunters should try it on themselves first and see if it works.

  13. avatar jwm says:

    If this don’t say Redneck, nothing does.

    1. avatar Chris in SC says:

      …not as redneck as swapping “don’t” for “doesn’t”.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Exactly. Wondered if you’d catch that. You pass the grammar police exam.

  14. avatar Ed Miller says:

    Ever watch Swamp People?

    This is how Bruce Mitchell skins alligators.

  15. avatar McCann says:

    I saw Iraqis skin goats this way.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      It’s also SOP for separating the skin off a Peking Duck.

  16. avatar Roymond says:

    Next: how to gut your deer with a pressure washer.

  17. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    We need Tim Allen to do a how-to video on this.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      “What this needs is a little more power.”

  18. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    a) I wouldn’t use my normal compressor for this without an oil trap/filter on the line. There are compressors out there that use no oil, or have filtration on them.
    b) some kill floors do something very much like this to jerk the hide off cattle when they’re processing them.
    c) this isn’t a new technique – it’s been around since, oh, the 50’s or so.

  19. avatar Paelorian says:

    I’d try this is I had access to clean air (as mentioned in previous comments), like SCUBA equipment. However I skin carefully as I keep my hides (rugs and buckskins!), so I might only be able to do this part-way as I’d only make new holes in parts that won’t leave me with another hole in my hide. But still, this might reduce the amount of peeling I have to do.

  20. avatar Rambeast says:

    Meh, a golf ball, knife, rope, and a trailer hitch. Skinning made easy, and contaminant free.

  21. avatar George says:

    This works! We’ve been selling Air Skinner kits, which are made for just this purpose, for 15 years. Works on deer and other game animals, as well as big game and predators. Also works really well on frozen deer.

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