If anyone is able to help me out with this squirrel I just got, I would be most obliged. I purchased a squirrel mount kit from Van Dykes a while back, and my step mother accidently threw away the instructions from the kit on how to use the instant preserve. I'm not sure if I have to salt the skin first or what...
Now, I've never mounted anything before. This is just practice. It would have to be, because my dog tore about 1 inch of tail off accidently when she jumped up to catch the squirrel, who was hit in the arm but was able to climb. Anyways, it's a large female gray. I plan on doing a dorsal cut, am I correct? Like I said, all my instructions are no where to be found. I've got several squirrels in the freezer at this point due to lack of knowing what to do.
Any advice from someone who knows what they are doing would be appreciated.
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First, I'd still recommend you get a more "intact" specimen even if it is your first one. If you can't, I DO NOT recommend a dorsal cut on a squirrel. You'll never be able to hide it. Instead, do a case cut from back ankle across the anus to the other back ankle. Carefully cut the two front legs off with small wedge cuts (so they'll sort of lock in later.
Now to your squirrel. Flesh it as well as you can and then wash it. Towel dry carefully. Invert so the flesh side is out and cover the exposed skin liberally with the dry preservative (DP). Put small dollops of clay in the ear pockets and in the tips of the front feet. You can even run a wire up the tail at this point. Reinvert and slip those cut off front legs through the tube and into the skinned legs. Now push the legless mannikin up through the tube until the head gets to where it should be. Snap the legs into their wedges and with long pins, pin them where they fit. Install your tail and then sew up the back legs. Now you can work on adjusting the skin on the face, tucking lips and posing the animal. I use small insect pins to position it where I want it and once the skin dries, everything will be in place. No need to glue those front legs as the skin will drum them back to where they are. Remove the pins and paint as necessary.
I really appreciate the help, George! So I case skin the squirrel, flesh it, and THEN put the DP on it? How long do I have to wait for the DP to set in before I mount it, or can I go right to mounting once it's on there?
This squirrel is a really large and beautiful one. I didn't even notice the missing tail, I just thought there was blood on the end of the tail from the gun wound.
if you wait you take a chance of the hair falling out. There is a time frame where the hair is actually loosened up then it will set back.
ashleigh, you wont need the salt unless you wanna season up the squirrel tail for your dog! i would call Van Dykes 1 800 843 3320, and explain what your stepmom did and i'm sure they would be more than happy to email, fax, or send you some more instructions. you are correct on the dorsal cut to remove the skin. if this female is thawed, you could skin it now, for you will not need the preservative until you mount it and refreeze the just the hide. if its still frozen you can wait till they send you new instructions .good luck, after you get your new instructions let us know how things go.
p.s. what kinda dog do you have, she sounds fast!
I really appreciate the help! I'm gonna try to do it all today, I don't have much else to do other than laundry.
My dog... she's awesome, is what she is! She's half lab, and half a mix of hound and pointer. She's got it all! She's running around whining to go outside and get another squirrel as I type! Here are some pictures of her. Her name is Rosy.
With some squirrels
With a shrew she dug up
any one asks what kinda help you got on here tell them that all you got was some grumpy smart allek, old man that kept telling you to hit an oarange button-if you dont, you dont realize it but you and rosy will be ruining georges reputation! good luck girl to heck with the laundry, you cant hunt in clean clothes anyways!
Hahaha, I was running around outside in my pajamas with my bebe gun when I saw this squirrel. Well, I knew it was out there to begin with because Rosy was going insane at the window, so I set her out to tree it and I didn't have time to change... oh well, its all good! I'm off to mount a squirrel!