Fleshing a Squirrel

Submitted by Jason on 8/25/99. ( JSWLTHK@aol.com )

I getting ready to mount my first grey squirrel,How can I flesh it, and can I use borax to tan it with? Any help is appreciated. Thanks Jason

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This response submitted by Art on 8/25/99. ( hursey1@sota-oh.com )

I too am fairly new to this, but I have used scissors to flesh small
game and also used my wire wheel that I flesh birds with. It worked
pretty well. As for borax, you'll find that most of these guys on here
don't like to hear the word Borax and tan in the same sentence.
Borax will work on small animals ( also large ones :-).Tanning is also an option.
But borax or dry preservative is not a tanning agent. They only aid in the drying process.
I used dry pres. on my last squirrel and it worked fine, but I also am going to do one with tan,
to compare the results.One can't get tied down to one way of doing things.
Hope I've helped..

Squirrels, Squirrels, & more Squirrels

This response submitted by Adam on 8/26/99. ( MammalSpec@aol.com )

Jason, I mount LOTS of squirrels, and I only use borax on them. i find it works very well for similar sized animals such as weasel, muskrat, and chipmunk too. Fleshing should not be a problem, as squirrels arent a fatty animal. When i flesh i use a combonation of wire wheeling, and hand fleshing. I prefer to use scissors to hand flesh around the face and lips. it is important to get as much flesh off the hide as possible. since dry preservatives are notorius for shrinkage. a good fleshed hide should not shrink much, but you will have some shrinkage. Make sure the skin around the lips and whisker area is thin with no meat. these areas are the first to show signs of heavy shrinkage if not fleshed properly. Next, you have the ears, which should be no problem at all you dont have to skin them as they are thin and dont shrivel up while drying. Just keep a close eye on the ears while drying...if they start to curl simply straighten them out. Next you have the feet. you have 2 choices on what to do with them: skin them out or leave the bone in. I prefer to leave the bone in, as it looks more natural. Simply inject some formeldahyde into the foot. you may have some shrinkage but it is not that noticable. If you do choose to skin, do it S L O W L Y just go carefully and take your time. When readt to mount, fill the foot with clay and form to a natural shape. Just watch you dont over stuff the feet with clay. Next you must choose a form. There are some good suppliers of squirrel forms. I prefer to use those sold by Joe Coombs supply co. I find they fit accurately and are easy to mount on. WASCO sells Ellzey squirrels which are fairly good and it also sells those sculpted by John Bellucci which have excellent detail. For eyes, i prefer to use a hollow bubble eye. you may have to grind out the form some to accept the eye, bt its worth it because hollow bubble eyes are very lifelike. Now we come to what kind of incision you are going to use. For standing mounts i use a dorsal cut [down back]its an easy incision to work with. If you do a climbing mount, use the ventral cut [down belly] this is also a fairly easy incision to use, although you may have to split the skin on legs somewhat to get it on the form. it should not show if you take time sewing though. there is one more incision you can use, the cased [split between the back legs] which is very hard to use but provides excellent results. One thing i cannot stress enough is to USE GOOD REFERENCE! if you dont use reference, you will never be able to capture the look of nature.

Good Luck Mounting those Squirrels!!!!!!!



This response submitted by Mark on 8/27/99. ( fishguy@scc.net )

Just wanted to say excellent response Adam and good luck Jason on your endeavers in this Art. Adam keep up the good work very nice clean mounts on your website! I loved the one with the dead mouse, Very realistic! Mark

Trouble with tails

This response submitted by Mike on 9/14/99. ( Rackhntr@aol.com )

Making my first attempt at fleshing squirrels. Any advice on getting the tail out would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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