Fred Eichler is a jack of all outdoor trades – outfitter and guide, hunter, trapper and television host of “Easton Bowhunting TV” on Sportsman Channel. Fred joins us on the radio this week for a wide-ranging look at big game hunting, predator hunting and the how-to’s of finishing and selling your furs.
Fred says that this season has been incredibly successful for his elk hunting clients with more than 30 of them filling their tags. It’s often said that when you get an elk down on the ground, regardless how difficult the hunt was, that is when the work really begins. Elk are huge animals and being able to break them down quickly and effectively is a good skill set to have. Fred says that all too often he sees hunters approach the task of quartering their elk with big knives, bone saws and even axes, however, he says all that is really required is a small knife. If you know what cuts to make, Fred says it’s easy to remove the backstraps, front and hindquarters and pull the tenderloins out through the back without gutting the animal. Through an extensive collection of “how-to” style videos that you can find on his YouTube page, Fred does tutorials on exactly this type of situation – quartering elk, field dressing animals, skinning predators and so much more. Fred says that the intent of his videos is to share the knowledge, wisdom and experience he has gained over the years. He notes he has learned many things the hard way and hopes that these tutorials can help save other hunters hassle in the field. Fred also highlights how learning to field dress your game animals is an important skill and one that can make you a better overall hunter. Understanding the anatomy of game animals helps a hunter better identify where the vitals are and as a result, that can translate to more well-placed shots. The field dressing process is also fascinating for kids and Fred says it’s a great way to get them involved by letting them watch and learn.
In part two of this fun talk with Fred Eichler, he turns his attention to fur and says that the fur trade is a big part of the history of North America, an old way of life that needs to be embraced, remembered and passed on to today’s hunters. Today, furs are still worth something and can fetch good prices if you know what you’re doing. A lot of hunters would like to be able to turn their hobby of predator hunting into a way to make a few extra bucks. Fred will talk about how to determine if a fur is prime or not and he’ll also highlight the difference in furs geographically and explain how they vary as will the prices they bring. Any hunter can shoot a coyote or other furbearer, but it takes someone who knows what they are doing to skin, flesh, stretch and finish a fur. Fred says that coyotes are a great animal to get your feet wet with when learning how to handle furs. The skin of a coyote isn’t as thin and doesn’t tear as easily as a bobcat or rabbit and that makes them a good canvas to learn the basics of skinning, proper fleshing, stretching, and repairing techniques. Fred will talk about navigating the more complicated areas like ears, noses, feet and tails and he highlights the videos he does that show others exactly how to tackle these obstacles for a better outcome on their furs.
Finally, Fred will talk about an exciting new show that will be airing beginning in January called “Everything Eichler”. He says the series will highlight his whole family, some of the clients and hunts from his outfitting business, plus follow the daily outdoor adventures from the Eichler crew.
Be sure to catch “Easton Bowhunting TV” on Sportsman Channel, Thursdays at 5:30 pm ET. In addition, look for his new series “Everything Eichler” to begin airing in January. Plus, be sure to check out the MyOutdoorTV app and type Fred Eichler into the search box to find tons of great programming with Fred.
Happy Fur Hunting