Grouse skinning question

Submitted by Derek Mynear on 9/25/04 at 6:29 PM. ( )

Okay, I am able to "skin" a bird like the grouse I just finished but only to the head and that is where I run into trouble. Am I supposed to leave the skull ATTACHED or do I have to completely take it off of the skin? Also, when I dried the skin using borax the area around the head seemed to shrink/dry enough to where the skull was too big for me to stretch the dried skin of the head back around the skull. What is the best technique for properly skinning the head so I can get the skin back around it? This stuff is alot of fun but these dang heads are giving me PAINS! I have practiced now on three ruffed grouse and always have problems with the head. I'm getting the entire skin peeled clear back to the skull but even when I do manage to get the skin off of the skull it seems to "shrink" after I apply the borax.

Cheers and thanks for the help!

Derek Mynear

Cheers, Derek

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This response submitted by gordon on 9/25/04 at 6:57 PM. ( )

A little dab of liquid dish washer soap on skull and skin will help. Also you can wet( re-hydrate ) the skin (inside) and the skull with a little H20.

Shrinkage prob.

This response submitted by Sean S on 9/25/04 at 7:19 PM. ( )

Also Derek, you can keep the skin around the skull moist by stuffing wet cotton inside while you work on the rest of the bird. The skin in the head area is very thin and prone to drying out quickly.

Best Regards,

Sean S

split the head

This response submitted by up north on 9/26/04 at 3:57 PM. ( )

You gotta split the back of the birds head..get use to it?
It's necessary

not on a grouse.

This response submitted by gordon on 9/27/04 at 9:56 PM. ( )

Not. There are no absolutes in taxidermy, just different ways of approching tasks. This is evident. So I never cut relief cut a grousea and I'm from up north.

Too funny ,,,WAY TO FUNNY

This response submitted by Wally on 9/29/04 at 7:20 AM. ( )

Again I see that some still cut when its not needed ..Yep if ya ball the feathers up on the inversion it will not go BUT if ya allow them to roll over the head and just like a pheasant the head will slip right through the skin....
Rehydrateing not a problem you'll have plenty of moisture when ya WASH the skin..Yep after seeing Owens do it and then Luke do it to a dove,,, its a given..Makes a huge differnce on the finish also.. remember one thing go slow and be paitent it does work..

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