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Dressing Beaver

If the pelt is to be prepared for the market, care should be taken in skinning the animal. Lay the beaver on its back and cut the legs off at the first joint. Then, with a sharp knife, slit the peltstarting at the lower lip. Insert the knife in this slit and with the sharp edge up cut the pelt in a straight line down thew chest and belly to the vent. Work out from this centre line cut and with short strokes seperate the skin from the flesh. Carefully pull the legs through the skin leaving four round holes in the pelt. Cut off the tail where it meets the fur. Skin carefully around the eyes and cut off the ears close to the skull. Finish removing the pelt taking as little flesh and fat as possible, then lay it on a flat surface fur side down and sponge off all the blood marks with lukewarm water.

Beaver meat is dark red, fine grained, moist and tender and when properly prepared similar to roast pork.

Cut the head off and eviscerate: make a cut through the thin layer of meat from the breast bone to the vent, encircling the vent and being careful not to pierce the intestines. Lay the body cavity open and remove the viscera by grasping above the stomach and pulling down and out from the cavity. Carefully cut out the musk glands from under the skin on the inside of the legs and be sure to remove the castor gland under the belly near the tail. Trim off all the fat and wash the carcass thoroughly with warm salted water.

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