Are you or are you not suppose to wash a fox, cat, or ext. My dad is a trapper and says that it will mess up the fur. Is this true when it comes to taxidermy?
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if there not bloody then let them be,but if you have a nasty fox,cat or etc washing them would not hurt the skin at all.but make sure you use dawn dish soap as its a great degeaser and very safe soap.almost all of my colleagues use dawn as well and have never had a problem. i know i prefer the scented ones like green apple. when we get it we wind up washing them anyway and Dawn is what i use and it works great. hope this helps and helps you win the bet with your pops.
If I wash with dawn or any other kind of soap I always do it after I pickle it. I do this because I found it's difficult to get off all the soap from the hair before putting it in the pickle. If you don't get it all off it'll neutralize the pickle solution and bateria will take over, ruining your hide.
I almost got bit by this. I washed a hide in dawn, put in the pickle, tested PH, everything looked good. I came back two hours later and the PH was base. I freaked out because it was a hide that i had bought so I washed again applied stop rot and salted again. The hide came out great but I could only imagine what could have happen if I didn't come back in two hours :-)
thats how i do it but like i said rinse really good then put in pickle check ph then check ph again in a few min but if you rinse good youll be fine i just dont like washing after pickle because if you wash before you get out all the dirt etc and the pickle will stay clean and penetrate better wont have to penetrate throuth the dirt but check ph daily adjust as needed and shave the hide before you neautralize it cause if you neautralize before you shave you may run into slippage problems cause the hide is just like being raw after you neautralize.
...to rinse then no matter what tan you are using so that is the time to do it