Sporting Shooter - - Contents - G. J. Lorne, via email

I found Tim Mad­dams’ One for the pot ar­ti­cle and ad­vice on clean­ing and skin­ning rab­bits of great in­ter­est (Septem­ber is­sue). I have seen the method ad­vo­cated by Tim used by the staff of a game dealer a few years ago and I must ad­mit it was a far more ef­fi­cient way of skin­ning rab­bits than when I was a kid in the 1940s. How­ever, there was a good rea­son for re­mov­ing the skin in one piece in those days. Be­tween WWII and 1954, meat was on ra­tion, so rab­bits were of great value off-ra­tion. Us lads would be paid 10 shillings for a clean-fer­reted rab­bit, while the rab­bits that con­tained shot­gun pel­lets only made 5 shillings, and old bucks and ‘milky’ does made a shilling. The pelts were also of value as the fur was re­moved and pro­cessed into felt and the skins boiled to make glue.

I re­mem­ber a lo­cal dealer toured the area with a pony and cart un­til the mid-1950s on a weekly ba­sis; he would pay 3p for skins from shot rab­bits and 6p for clean-fer­reted skins. This was a good way of earn­ing some ex­tra pocket money, even if it was a lot slower than Tim’s method of halv­ing the skins prior to skin­ning.

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