If you’re just getting started trapping and fur handling, you may not be familiar with fleshing beams and what they do. A fleshing beam is quite simple, but it’s a critical tool for processing fur. It’s basically a piece of hardwood or pvc in a specific shape or size that holds a fur pelt while you ‘flesh’ it, or remove the fat and meat from the skin with a fleshing knife.
Fleshing beams come several different shapes and sizes. The largest and widest beams, usually up to 7″ wide and about 4 feet long. These are typically used to flesh larger animals like beaver, coyote, otter, raccoon and badger. These same species can be fleshed on a narrower beam (I prefer a 5″ wide beam for most species).
Smaller fleshing beams are used for other species. For instance, a 24″ long by 5″ wide beam is typically used to flesh muskrat pelts, while a 30″ long by 2.5″ wide beam is typical for mink and marten.
For more information on tools used to prepare and skin furbearers, check out these posts: