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niveker

Ground Hog Pelt

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Came across this little ground hog laying in the middle of the road today.  Seemed fresh and I couldn't resist.  I don't have alot of experience skinning mammals, but this one was a bit of work.   Pelt might be about 14" long, just a young thing I would guess.  

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You did a good job skinning it.   We don't do much hunting these day.  All the pheasants, grouse, quail, dove, rabbits that went into the pot and the skins and feathers went into the trash.  I didn't get into fly fishing till several years later.   Some of the guys did ground hog hunting.  I didn't have the appropriate rifle so when I went with them I acted as a spotter when they were shooting so they could adjust their aim.  Still do some squirrel hunting, but not the last couple of years.  Hopefully we'll get out in the fall and if we get any I'll try and preserve the skins and tails. 

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53 minutes ago, niveker said:

Came across this little ground hog laying in the middle of the road today.  Seemed fresh and I couldn't resist.  I don't have alot of experience skinning mammals, but this one was a bit of work.   Pelt might be about 14' long, just a young thing I would guess.  

 

 

That looks like a nice silver one. Glad he didn't go to waste. Be sure to salt it or borax it to keep the flesh eating bugs off. Nice job.

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Thanks all. 

I gave it a quick rinse to remove any blood, as her stomach must have ruptured when she got hit.  Maybe I nicked it, but I don't think so.  Squeegeed off the water and she's in the deep freeze until I have time to properly scrape the skin, then another wash, with soap this time, squeegee, and under the borax for a week or two, just in time for the caddis hatches. 

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1 hour ago, niveker said:

Thanks all. 

I gave it a quick rinse to remove any blood, as her stomach must have ruptured when she got hit.  Maybe I nicked it, but I don't think so.  Squeegeed off the water and she's in the deep freeze until I have time to properly scrape the skin, then another wash, with soap this time, squeegee, and under the borax for a week or two, just in time for the caddis hatches. 

Time to tie up Eric Leiser's Woodchuck Caddis patterns. I tie them without the hackle, more like an EHC. Since Woodchuck hair is solid, the hair does not flair when tied and the pattern has a more realistic flat tent wing of a caddis.

Imagine the pattern below without the palmered hackle.

woodchuck_caddis.jpg.40bf4c1883c9471052a965dde512341c.jpg

 

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11 hours ago, niveker said:

  Pelt might be about 14' long, just a young thing I would guess.  

14' long! young thing? id hate to see the big daddy!

giphy-downsized.gif

thats sasquatch size!

 

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The guard hairs make good hair hackle wet flies.  If you tie them on in front of a bead they flare out like a woven hair hackle.  Without the weaving.

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Be aware that woodchuck (groundhog) skin can be very greasy, more like chicken than mammal.  Looks like some fine tying material all you have to do now is turn it into fish!

Kim 

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2 hours ago, WWKimba said:

can be very greasy

I didn't find it to be overly greasy, maybe I got a clean one, haha.  However, I was surprised to find that the hair on the pelt is much less dense than it appears from a distance.  

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This is a cub and would have been good eating as that is what the PA Dutch used to eat in the Lehigh and Lancaster Valleys. The cubs haven't goon through a fattening up yet. and wouldn't be too greasy yet. Back on the farm I shot adults up to 25-30 lbs. They were smelly and gross.  Silver Creek thanks for the info on the quality of the fur. That is really a sharp fly. 

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9 hours ago, Baron said:

cubs haven't gone through a fattening up yet

That probably explains it.  

 

22 hours ago, salmobytes said:

The guard hairs make good hair hackle wet flies.  If you tie them on in front of a bead they flare out like a woven hair hackle.  Without the weaving.

Yes, similar to Rosborough's Casual Dress.  I do this, with and without the bead, with a Finn Raccoon collar I picked up at  a yard sale a while back.  Makes a good looking fly, especially in faster water where a softer feather would collapse and lose its effectiveness.    

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