How do you handle pelts?


May 26, 2009, 01:43 AM
I do a little coyote and fox hunting from time to time and on the occasion I get one. I have allways processed the pelt with the only way I know how. I will decribe it but my question is , how do you do it and what would you recomend.

After the inital skining I strech the hide on a board, then with a sharp knife and a steady hand I trim the meat as close to the skin as possible.
Next I wipe the underside of the tissue with clean water on a washcloth to clean it.
Lastly I gently rub on a layer of laundry soap covering all exposed tissue and let it dry as needed.

After that I brush the fur and trim as needed.

To be honest I dont really like the final product, it seems really brittle. So if you have any advise I would love to hear it.

If you enjoyed reading about "How do you handle pelts?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
May 26, 2009, 05:09 AM
Your methods look good to me except that laundry soap thing. I'm not sure why you do that.

You need to turn the ears by separating the cartilage from the skin so they dry, a rather tedious process so the hair won't slip and also the lips need to be split.

Anyways, once you get the hide fleshed and cleaned up the way you want, turn it fur-side out and put it on an appropriate sized stretcher to dry and get it to a tannery or fur buyer.

May 26, 2009, 09:23 AM
I assume , from the way you phrased it that you are 'flat skinning' the critters, ie: belly cut from stem to stern, then tacking the hide to a board.

I used to trap muskrat, mink, fox & various other fur bearers when I was a boy & always 'cased' cut from **** to rear foot end on both sides and peeled off the hide to the nose, (you'd closely trim the nose and ear cartlege at this point of the peel) and then reversed the hide and mounted it on an "A" frame wire strecher for fleshing and drying.......worked well & substantially aided the curing process.........I imagine one can still purchase those drying frames, but if not they are quite easily constructed.

That 'brittle' effect is natural and will occur with any hide that is just dried.........if you want to soften and finish it for a trophy you'll need to tan can purchase several products that allow you to do so with the fur on.....believe I've even seen 'em advertised in Cabelas catalog.

By the way, mods, precisely what is wrong with using the SCIENTIFIC term for an animals posterier opening..............

Good heavens, talk about uptite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 26, 2009, 04:34 PM
I AM NOT one of the MODS., but the correct word for an animals rear opening, in the fur buying industry, is the "vent". I've been buying fur since 1992 and thats what we call 'it'. Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources Commercial Permit Stamp #1238 Fur Buyers Permit.

May 26, 2009, 04:37 PM
About the laundy soap, I was shown this method as a young boy and the person who showed me had died some years ago. If the reason for the soap was told to me, I dont remember what it was.

May 27, 2009, 10:01 AM
I'll bet it was the old 20 mule team borax.

May 28, 2009, 01:13 AM
I'd wager that it was just nailed--Twenty Mule Team Borax = laundry soap a few years ago. It was the borax they were after, not the soap, so any modern day "soap" is at best useless, likely harmful. I reckon you realize that unless you just want the pelts for yourself, the current market doesn't warrent the effort of skinning/stretching. And, of course, at this time of year, they are worthless in an up market, let alone a down market!

May 29, 2009, 10:59 PM
I have heard of grating one bar of Fels-Naptha and melting with one gal. Of water and then soak the hide for thirty days.... it's suppose to tan the hide.

If you enjoyed reading about "How do you handle pelts?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!