Tail Zippers and Tail Strippers: Are they worth it?


For a trapper when you are skinning out a critter it seems the tail can be one of the toughest things to make come out right. I’ve heard claims that a tail zipper makes doing the tail like working a zipper on your coat.

Well, after finally struggling with tails for a few years I bought a tail zipper. Turns out they are not quite as amazing as people claim. After you start the tail you can use them and they work pretty amazing down until the last 1/3 of the tail when the knife blade won’t contact the skin anymore. So you end up back using your knife again. Worth it? For $3 dollars or so I think so. It does 2/3s of the tail for you so I’ll take what it gives me.

tail_stripperTail strippers on the other hand have surprised me. I had really thought the tail zippers would be amazing, but I was skeptical about the tail strippers. I got two different strippers. The metal hinged type that has just one whole in the center. Then I got a plastic one that had a smaller and a larger whole. I tried the metal one and was very unimpressed. It just didn’t work well, but just dug into the flesh. The plastic stripper on the other hand is amazing. After you split the skin on the tail and start the tail for the first few inches you can get the bigger hole over the tail and it just pulls right off. You may or may not need to use the smaller hole. It doesn’t do the whole tail, but its the end anyways that is the most trouble. All in all I’d say the plastic tall stripper that came for free with my tail zipper was my best buy.

I bought my plastic stripper and tail zipper from ebay. Cabelas has the tail zipper on their site if you are willing to buy 5 or more or some silly number like that. They also had the metal stripper for $3.99. For the plastic stripper and tail zipper set though on ebay it was only $4.95 so its a decent deal there.

2015 Rifle Season

Well, I had a great rifle season this year. I shot a buck up by Watersonville then a few days later I shot a doe there as well.

buck_2015When I shot the buck I was approaching a gully where I often see deer on the other side. I heard something coming from behind me so I turned around and saw a buck trotting along about 50 to 75 yards away. With a quick look for points I found 3-points on one side to make it legal then I shot with my 30-06. Its tail dropped and it ran off. There wasn’t any snow, but I was able to track it by the ruffled leaves and spots of blood here and there. My brother saw it then my father got to shoot at it and miss. Then I had a quartering away shot and tried for its head twice, but only hit once. It would go for a distance then lay down until you jumped it again. Finally, just before dark my brother was able to shoot it in the neck and finish it off. My initial shot had been more of a gut shot which was why it had been so much trouble. Unfortunately, it was not as much of a fast clean kill as you would hope for.

doe_2016On the flip side my doe only took one shot and dropped on the spot. I was watching a little ways up the road from where I had shot my buck a few days later with one of my friends. Then as evening came I saw two does come running in the woods about 100 yards away. I was sitting up against a tree so I had a good stead aim and after checking to make sure there were not antlers I shot with my 30-06. The doe instantly fell where it stood.

I had a good season. I never expect to fill my buck tag anymore with the antler restrictions, but I’ve been blessed with a buck two years in a row now.