Need advice on a customer's half salted half frozen bear hid

Submitted by Kevin on 9/17/99. ( )

I recently had a customer bring to me a bear, after he shot the bear, he skinned it, salted the hide, and he did not cape out the head. He put it on ice, brought it home and froze it. It's been in his freezer for a year. Is this going to cause me problems? Thank You.

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Bear Blues ...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 9/18/99. ( )


As you may know, the salted portion of the hide will not be thoroughly frozen because of the saltin step that was done. That is not even the biggest problem you may encounter.

The biggest problem may be due to the fact of the skin laying in a freezer in this state for so long, that it may have developed areas of "grease-burn."

This is a situation wherein the grease from the fat left on the hide, is able to "bleed" through the hide in certain areas. It is identified by dark yellowish-brown areas on the hide that are very greasy or "slimy" feeling. This in turn can cause the hair roots to loosen at these sights. Now this is worst-case scenario. The bear hide may be fine, but you need to be aware of this problem and its cause.

As to thawing a skin in this condition ... with the head and feet areas left intact ... it is best to thaw the hide in a refrigerator. This will insure that the head can thaw and the body skin will stay cool, therefore avoiding any spoilage.

Best of luck to you here ... John B.

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