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Preparing a squirrel tail for tying


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Undertow

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:21 AM

I shot a squirrel today with a big bushy tail and I want to use it for tying so how I do I preserve it for use.
Thanks
Undertow

#2 Ashby

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:10 AM

Undertow, the only thing I do is wash the tail really good. Then where you cut the tail from the squirrel, sprinkle some salt on it. Once you do this, hang it up from the tip, cut end down. Make sure you put some paper or a towel under the tail while this is being done. The sale draws out all the moisture and after about two weeks it should be good to go. You may also want to stick it in the freezer for a couple days to kill any bugs that may be still in the fur. That is how I do, and have done it and it works just fine. Some will split the tail on the tail bone, peel it off and then salt it, but either way is fine. I like my tail to be on the bone biggrin.gif

Ashby
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#3 MIKE*A

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:11 AM

Until you have that first good hard frost, you have to be real concerned w/bugs.......Ditto what Ashby said as far as salt or borax on the tail to dry it out......I freeze my fur/feathers twice to kill all the bugs.....put it in freezer for a couple days.....take it out for a day or 2 and then back in for a couple more days....that should kill all the little critters.

Mike

#4 Undertow

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:52 AM

Tails in the freezer, I will salt and hang it in a week or so. I have one more question. If I was to cut a piece of the hide out for dubbing would I do it the same way or is there a different technique.
Thanks
Undertow

#5 JSzymczyk

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:59 AM

I'm gonna say YOU NEED TO GET THE BONE OUT OF THE TAIL. It's not difficult,especially when it's still attached to the critter. But you're OK still. Work the skin back from the bone and muscle at the base of the tail, clamp a set of vise-grips on the bone/muscle. then use a couple of long bolts, nails, or pieces of dowel in your other hand, one on each side of the skin. Squeeze them down hard and pull back away from the vise-grips. The bone and muscle should zip right out. Now, the next thing is to carefully split the tail skin with a sharp knife. The tail is a tube-shaped piece of skin. Insert the knife EDGE-UP in the tail and carefully work it toward the tip, splitting the tail into a flat piece of skin. there is also handy tools called a tail stripper and a tail splitter that you can get from a trapping supply or taxidermy supply place. After that, you can salt or borax the skin side of the tail. This whole procedure will greatly reduce the chance of rot and hair loss. You can even go through a tanning process if you want, which makes the skin into leather.

Tanning is not too much trouble, but it isn't worth it for one squirrel tail.

You can probably get by trying to just dry out the tail with the bone and meat still in, but you run a good chance of rot, stink, and hair slippage, especially if you live where there is any humidity. Properly taking care of a tail is really fairly quick and easy, and you owe it to the critter and yourself to do it as best as you can. BTW it works for all kinds of animals, I have a bunch of coyote, fox, and deer tails I've done this way, and they're several years old but still in perfect shape. You'd also be amazed how much nicer the hair is if you wash the tail a couple of times in cold water and some cleaner such as Woolite. It's amazing how much dirt comes out of a wild animal tail!

You can find much better directions and pictures of what I'm talking about on trapping and taxidermy websites. oh, one other thing, the fresher the animal, the easier it is to do... If you unzip the tail right after you kill it, the tail usually slides right off.

Joel

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