Yes I should have said “at least a day”. No problem three days or even more if it’s cool enough. I had a young man I was showing the ropes to and was sharing my shed with. He brought in a couple of beaver and put off skinning and they froze thawed kind of froze again. After about two weeks, I skinned them. They smelled a little funky but fleshed very easy and dried fine. Lay them belly up.
Last Edit: Aug 15, 2020 5:22:13 GMT -5 by kytrapper
UTK Life Member NRA Life Member Still trapping but getting slower
Yes always lay any critter belly up - they keep far better that way. A beaver that has been sitting for a week will smell a bit, but their fur is super slow to slip if its cool. They do flesh much better after sitting. All of the beaver I catch are hatters so I skin them fast (holes don't matter, so if you slip no big deal), flesh them fast (again, holes don't matter), and board them fast (pretty doesn't matter). With hatters it is all about speed and efficency. The buyer is literally going to throw those pelts on a scale and buy them by the pound. I do cut the ears out as this is preferred on hatter beaver, and trim off the nose and lips but that is about it. Beaver are the only critter I try to pace myself on as a far as catch goes. I like to aim for 6-8 a day as I can keep up with handling them without killing myself. There are days though when I catch way more than that and those are the days I am thankful that beaver can sit for awhile.
A couple other things about skinning and fleshing beaver. I find I can skin and flesh a beaver far faster than I can clean skin a beaver. A rounded beaver knife is nice to have but not essential for skinning. I skin plenty out on the line with a Wiebe folding knife. For fleshing be sure yo have a good quality knife that has a razor sharp edge on one side and a good square dull pushing side. I use the sharp side of my knife for 90% of the pelt and only push the fat off of the last couple of inches around the edges. Once you get a feel for using the sharp edge a beaver can be fleshed in 10-20 minutes depending on size. After you flesh a 100 or so it gets easier.