Submitted by Justin on 01/13/2004. ( )

Ok, I bought a frozen ermine to skin/mount. Prior to taking him out of the freezer I skinned half a dozen mink and read what I could find in the archives. In spite of that huge amount of experience (LOL) I still had a major problem. Knowing that slippage would be a big issue, I pulled him from the freezer and and started skinning as soon as i could. I did a case incision and started working the skin off of the back end. A large area (2-3 square inches) slipped bad, all the fur gone. this was only about 15 minuts after I started and only out of the freezer an hour at this time. well for practice i finished him oput and had no issues with the face or the feet all the way to the nails ect. the slippage occurred in one thigh/hip area, not the feet or face or tail. either way it was a good lesson working with somthing that small and delicate. I tried to move quickly and not hold onto any part of him for very long. here are a few questions. tail....I got it skinned but it wasn't real pretty but we did it. how do you ever sew those little buggers back up? and on the slippage, I wonder why it slipped where it did, in an area that I did not mess with very long at all and so early in the process. I spent more time on the face/head and it did not slip. any one think of just taking these guys out of the freezer and soaking them whole in krowtan for a day before skinning? I send my tanning out but if I am ever to do one of these little guys I might have to do something at home with them. those of you that have done some, please lend me your thoughts. the archives talk about how delicate they are but don't offer a lot of though on how to succsessfully do it!


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This response submitted by Ermine on 01/13/2004. ( )

Mount the ermine as a half-lifesize, coming out of a burrow, maybe with a mouse in his/her mouth. That will hide his bare butt from view and allow you to utilize the whole pelt anyway.

Usually ermine tails for taxidermy are "pulled" - the bone is pulled from the un-cut tail - not slit. You can sew anything up with a fine needle and a lot of patience.

If the butt slipped 15 minutes from freezing, I would suspect the fur was "going" before you ever had anything to do with the animal. i.e. in-transit damage or damage while with the seller.

Ermines are very easy to tan, if you want to use the krowtan go for it, but I'd use EZ-100 and do the whole tanning process.

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