Need advice on fleshing a cape

Submitted by Bill on 11/23/99. ( )

I am fleshing a cape and canonly work on it in the evenings after work. I started skinning and fleshing Sunday night, put it in the refrigerator until Monday night, and put it in the refrigerator again. Is the refrigerator cold enough to retard the decomposition process or should I freeze it until I can finish it at one time.Also when I turn the lips, nose eyelids, there is a thin layer of red meat I cannot seem to get without putting a small cut in the skin. Should this be left on? Is it normal? Thanks for your time.

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You Have to Hustle...

This response submitted by Bob Mead on 11/23/99. ( )

When I'm fleshing a cape and it gets late, I also put it in the 'fridge until the next day. I don't usually take more than one session when fleshing deer sized capes, but on elk and other large capes, it takes me longer. I haven't had any problems keeping a cape in the refrigerator for two days, but I wouldn't leave it for longer than that. If it is taking more time than this, I would recommend freezing it until you have a day off when you can finish it all. As for the red meat, it has to come off, especially in the nose and eyes. If you leave it there, the skin may not tan properly, and you risk shrinkage and slippage problems when you mount it. On the meat around the lips, you can wait until after the skin has been pickled to clean up the small stuff, but if you are commercially tanning your capes, you should get it fleshed off before you salt the hide.
I don't think there is anyone reading this forum that has not cut a nose (or eyelid, or lip, or ear tip...dang it!) while fleshing. It just takes time and practice to become comfortable with your tools and the hide. Good luck!

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