Skinning and putting up Muskrats are not hard. The key is to learn the basic’s before you worry about speed. I know a lot of trappers are very competitive by nature, and they hear of guys that can skin and flesh of muskrat in a couple minutes. While this may be true, skinny and flushing muskrats when one is learning, quality is what counts. Another fact about guys that skin and flesh will click all that they have done this hundreds and hundreds if not thousands and thousands of times. No one starts off being a speed demon, so slow down and enjoy working with a natural product, the muskrat pelt.
One thing a lot of new trappers do that hurts the value of the pelt is to over flesh a muskrat. You do not want or need to get all the red meat off the pelt. This will cause the pelt to feel thin to the grader or buyer and may cause the hair roots to show through the hide. After saying that, you don’t want to leave huge clumps of fat and meat on the pelt. Under the arms and on the side of the head, plus the belly fat is normally all it needs to be flushed off.
One big debate between muskrat trappers is does wire stretchers are wood stretchers make a difference. I haven’t still use both, but I can tell you a muskrat that is put upon good looks like it is a better muskrat to the buyer. A wise stretcher is then, but the will to stick, so this gives the illusion to the buyer that the muskrat pelt is heavier. Most of the time you will also be able to get a longer pelt off of the wood stretchers and this will mean extra dollars when you sell the muskrats. If you only have wired stretchers, go ahead and use them and when you get a chance try to get a few of the wood stretchers to see the difference for yourself.