Can you please tell me how to prepare a red fox tail so that it is dry and rot-proofed? Cars occasionally kill red foxes in front of our house. Today we cut off the tail of a carcass.
Does the tail need to be cut open length-wise to remove the tail cartilage? I should not be surprised to learn that it is fed by blood vessels and wonder if the souvenir tails I've seen have removed the cartilage? Also how should I dry or otherwise prep the tail?
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Charles Reilly, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
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Yes, you need to open the tail up, by slitting it down carefully on the underside, then skinning the bone part out.You must be very careful and go slow with a small sharp knife. Once its removed, wash the tail in soap and water, and rinse it well, this will get the dirt out, clean the tail up nicely.Then you need to dry the fur, so the tail fluffs up nice.You can then rub in borax ( 20 Mule Team brand from grocery store) inside the tail, hang up and let cure. It will dry somewhat hard, so if you want to use it to make something, you should really tan it, but thats a whole nother story.If you just want to hang them up for decoration, cured like that should be fine.