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Harold Ray

Cleaning dirty fox tail

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My 2 cents :-

 

1st off, I'm no expert on the tanning of hides/tails etc.

 

But, I bet all you guys all share my fear that some strip of fur or tail

you got from a hunting buddy is going to infest the rest of your fly tying

materials with bugs - right ?

 

Here is a tip that will help you get some sleep without having to throw that

nice tail/hide away :-

 

Put the offending item into one of those plastic 'SpaceBags' and squeeze/

vacuum all of the air out. Then store in the freezer for a month or so.

 

If this doesn't kill those little critters then nothing will !

 

Fly-Tying Scotsman

 

 

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Not all critter will die in the freezer. There are many different kinds of bugs and eggs that prefer a cold dormant time like a freezer. But that said Ill freeze them and then bag them in a Tupperware for a week or two then inspect them for bugs casings and munching litter. They can eat through bags but not sealed Tupperware. Some guys will nuke them too. I haven't tried this yet.

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Oh God ! How am I going to sleep tonight ?

 

I hadn't figured for the dormant eggs ...

 

I had heard about the microwave nuke technique - that sounds like

it should work but with consequences for overdoing it ....

 

 

Not all critter will die in the freezer. There are many different kinds of bugs and eggs that prefer a cold dormant time like a freezer. But that said Ill freeze them and then bag them in a Tupperware for a week or two then inspect them for bugs casings and munching litter. They can eat through bags but not sealed Tupperware. Some guys will nuke them too. I haven't tried this yet.

 

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Hello I have two fox tails (departed from fox about 4 weeks ago) that have been sitting in a closed container with salt for the 4 weeks. I am eager to start cleaning them. I've read a few threads on here and understand it sounds best to use dish soap to clean and a blow dryer.. But wondering why I cant use my expensive hair shampoo (with fragrance) to wash them? The tails I have been keeping do not smell, but has a slight musty smell, otherwise the fur looks beautiful and clean.

 

Thank you! 

- Kim from PA

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the only thing stopping you is you

give it a try on one tail and report back your results

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The only reason I can think of for not using the shampoo is the fragrance, but most dish soaps these days have some sort of fragrance associated with them.   So go for it.  Definitely, make sure you use a blow dryer to dry them

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1 hour ago, Kim t said:

hair shampoo

Kim it should be fine, dish soap is more concentrated. Add a little borax (Walmart) to it and dilute it with warm water. That will help to kill bugs and eggs and preserve the tails.

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Agree with above.  I would think that dish soap would be more effective at removing any grease/grime, but shampoo should be okay.  Good suggestion from @cphubert to mixing in some borax, that should take care of bugs/eggs and it is also a deodorizer.  

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I have cleaned many type tails and furs, that said it is important to remove the the fat and grease by hand.
Any remaining fat and grease will cause the tail to smell in time.
Dawn Dish Detergent Is by far the best for cleaning & cutting grease.
If you can find it Dawn Oxi Is even better. Not only does it clean & cut grease, it also removes stains and leaves material with a fresh smell (sounds like a commercial right).
For really dirty or stained material I will soak overnite in the detergent
As a last step using a hair conditioner will make the fibers more manageable and stacking much easier.

As CPHubert says borax will take care of bugs/eggs. I cover my material with borax instead of salt, then allow to dry and shake off after thoroughly dry.
Borax= 20 Mule Team from Wallmart.

Material cleaned with Hair shampoo will have a fragrance and will not hurt your material. In my opinion the fragrance is not strong enough to offend the fish.
However Dawn is better for reasons stated.
 

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$.02.    Tails need to be deboned if to be tanned and then carefully opened up with a knife.   Kinda trick to it.  Too late for that.   Carefull about rewetting a bone in tail.  If I had to wash one I’d make sure it dried quickly.   Try just wash the hair.  ie try not to get the whole thing soaking wet.  Most people collecting tails for people just lop them off and let dry.  Lotta meat to dry on a lopped off fox tail.

Dried coyote.....coyote crab fly.  Coons, yotes, possums are nuisance.   I hate to harvest the foxes and bobcats.   Can’t get yotes  in live trap for some reason,  so hesitate with the steel traps.  Would get back into trapping, retired, but the fur maket is pitifull.

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I always just wash them in luke warm water and dawn dish soap and use an old hairbrush to comb out any dirt, squeeze between paper towel then I cover in borax to really dry them.  

Flank Feathers I put in Maxwell House coffee cans with a squirt of Dawn and some borax.  Shake the hell out of them and let them soak for an hour and shake them again! Let sit for 1/2 hr.  then use a strainer and rinse.  Squeeze between paper towels then put in an old pillow case put a knot in it and throw it in the dryer on air dry and dry them.  The guys that send them to me just pull right off the ducks and I sort them first.  Have lots of feathers and I learned how to dye and have many colors!! 

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