go ahead and laugh

Submitted by justin on 02/19/2004 at 00:38. ( post )

I skined my first mink this morning and everything was going great. Made a nice dorsal cut, skinned to the toenails on the front feet skined out the head, got most of the body skinned,(and all with no holes or mistakes)then it happened. I cut some gland or something under the tail, and in an instant, puked on my shop floor. now when your done laughing at me, I need to know how not to make this mistake again, and what other animals have this gland(stink sac). Any input would be greatly appreciated. I probably even deserve some ribbing.

Return to Beginners Category Menu

I must admit

This response submitted by jon on 02/19/2004 at 01:07. ( jonathan@harlequintaxidermy.com )

it did make me laugh, but I'd probalby make the same mistake. I'm not a mammal perosn.. and birds don't have stink sacks.. hehe.

Sorry it happened to ya!

All Mustelidae(Weasel Family)

This response submitted by Old Fart on 02/19/2004 at 02:03. ( )

They all have scent glands, better invest in a good mammal book. It might just save your "cookies" next time.

That stinks!

This response submitted by Davy on 02/19/2004 at 02:07. ( )

The gland you are referring to is the anal sac. These glands are found on either side of the rectal opening, just under the skin, in all of the members of the weasel/skunk family. The membrane is usually very thin and therefore (as you found out) very east to rupture. I dont know the best way to avoid them, except to go slow and look for the glands as you peel the skin away. Hope this helps!

P.S.--Tomato juice helps remove some of the stink.

Laughing would be hypocritical

This response submitted by Wisachgak on 02/19/2004 at 07:16. ( )

On my part since I did the same thing, sad thing is I knew it was there and did an awesome job skinning it without hitting it with the knife. Then while stripping the tail I accidentaly popped one of the glands. My wife really appreciated that.

a few more

This response submitted by Travis on 02/19/2004 at 08:14. ( )

fox,bobcats,lions,tigers,mnt lion...wait till one pops and ya get some in your mouth...lol...


This response submitted by from another justin on 02/19/2004 at 12:14. ( jshein@bouldersci.com )

I have skinned 6 mink, one martin and one ermine this year and have not had a problem. I think this is because I used to trap and was used to skinning skunks. I case skinned everything and around the glands is one of the first areas that gets my attention. a good pair of forceps, a sharp new #15 scalpel blade and a small pair of sharp curved scissors is what I used. (the ones that Jim Allred sells are great!) go slow, make your leg incisions to the anus but stop about 1/2 inch to an inch away. using the forceps to pull just the skin up, carefully cut the skin away in the whole area. once you do this once, you can clearly identify the glands on either side of the anus, sort of at the back side towards the tail base. after you actually see them for the first time (without them being cut up) you should not longer have any problem with mustelids.

use a syringe

This response submitted by wetnwild on 02/19/2004 at 14:55. ( )

Go outside to do this. Take a hypodermic syringe, and gentyl insert it into the sac, and draw out the fliud, this should help a lot. Then get a pail of water and stick the hypo under water and push out the magic elixer of stink

Just Try To Be ......

This response submitted by Hovice the Novice on 02/19/2004 at 23:49. ( )

careful when skinning. As you approach the anal area you can see the
glands on each side of it. Just take your time and cut by them with
getting into them. If you can skin out the head of a mink and not
make a mistake on the eyes, you can get around the glands no problem.

The first mink I ever skinned in my life I did it my parent's basement.
I had no clue about the glands and proceeded to cut both in half.
Fluid all over me, the floor, etc. It stunk up the house for a week.
The weird thing is, my mom and dad still let me bring all of my trapped
animals in skin them inside even after this incident.

This is one mistake you make, learn from the hard way, and never make
again. LOL


This response submitted by justin on 02/20/2004 at 00:45. ( )

Thank you for all the responses, and for being gentle with me. The next one i do I will skin fom the underside and watch very closely as to not make this mistake again.


This response submitted by Bill Yox on 02/20/2004 at 02:05. ( )

Dont use syringes to suck it out (it wont do it the way you think it will), dont look for scent sacs in lions, etc. Just go around the sacs while skinning. It might not be a bad idea to learn alittle bit about these animals and some basic anatomy too!

Thanks for the warning - and question about roadkill

This response submitted by Jeanie on 02/20/2004 at 16:56. ( jean1164b@comcast.net )

I just found a roadkilled mink - in great shape - and I was just hoping to figure out how to tan it myself. I'm sure I would have done exactly the same thing, so I'm glad to have been warned. I have ZERO experience with hunting, trapping, tanning, etc. But my son is an avid naturalist and wants to preserve it - or at least keep the skull and teeth.

In general, is it even worth my time to get involved in this project? I know there is a permit involved, too. Do I need 'tanning for dummies' or should I just find a local taxidermist? It's in my freezer at the moment, and I don't want it sharing space with my food for too long! It might be worthwhile just for an anatomy lesson for my kids.

Return to Beginners Category Menu