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Fly Tying

Animal hyde/skin preservation

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LOL Troutguy. I don't even wear gloves when I am handling carcasses. I only put that on the thread for the hypochondriacs. On the other hand ... Mad Cow Disease would explain the behavior of a LOT of people I know.

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Hi - My son and I started hunting last fall as newbies. I was all excited about getting some fur and squirrel tail. SALT! Regular old table salt for cheap did the trick. My son stretched and salted the skins and it worked great. I posted the process here in FTF but I'll repost it here...


For a squirrel tail preservation, you can leave the bone in. Put the cut end of the tail into some regular table salt for 24 hours. After the 24 hours had ticked by, discard the used salt, brush off any salt stuck to the tail, and then put the cut end of the tail in a new batch of salt. We let that go for six more days. Again, discard the salt, brush off any salt stuck to the tail, you're done. While the tail may not need that long in the salt - no harm done as far as I know, no awful smell, and now you can tie a bunch of streamers.
For preserving the squirrel skin, here's how we do it:
1. Make sure there is no meat on the skin, if you're careful skinning the beast that should not be a problem.
2. Get a piece of wood large enough to pin the skin down onto. We used push pins to stretch the skin out until it's as tight as needed to keep it flat.
3. Same deal with the salt type as the tail preservation but be sure to cover all "the" of the fleshy side of the skin! Tick, tick, tick...24 hours...
4. Dump salt and scrape skin well to remove old salt.
5. Salt again... Tick, tick, tick...3 days...
6. Dump salt and re-salt once more. Tick, tick, tick...3 days...
7. Scrape skin to remove salt.
8. Unpin and make dubbing.
My son has two skins in his room and BELIEVE me they don't smell else they'd be OUTTA DA HOUSE!

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