I've read through the archives (always go there first to save you time) and I'm still not sure on a couple of things. Recently I took in my first bear, it was killed in the morning and not skinned gutted or anything. It was a nuisance bear that the Fish and game brought to me. I was worried that it would start to slip because it was a warm day and I didn't get it until late afternoon and because it was my first bear it took me awhile to skin it. So I just put it in the freezer. The hair seemed fine and didn't detect any slippage. My questions- should I thaw it in salt water? When I salt a hide should it be in a cool place out of the sun? And I guess I'm just paranoid, but during salting the hair won't slip? This bear was really green and rank when I started skinning. I will be sending it to a tannery and want to prepare it the best I can. Hey also what do you guys use to do plaque mounts out of sheds? Thanks, the newbie
p.s. This will hopefully be a good money maker to prove to my wife that I can make a living at this after all I spent on school and supplies.
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It would have been better to salt instead of freezing,it took your bear several hours to actually freeze after it was placed in the freezer, and normally, it will take several more for it to thaw.
I recommend that you "quick thaw" this skin and then salt it.You can
thaw it in a water/denatured alcohol mix (50/50). this will kill any present bacteria and help set any loose hair.when the bear thaws, lay it out and proceed with salting(remember that you need to turn face and ears, and roughly flesh everything).
If your skin shows any signs of loose hair, make sure you let the tannery know.
subject #2---you can buy shed mount kits from several supply companies. they are probably easier to use than anything homemade.
Well if it slips, its their fault. But don't cut any slack, they still get to pay for your efforts. Educate them- they wouldn't leave a hamburger sitting around for 3 hours in warm weather, then eat it would they? And of all the people, these wildlife managers should know about this sort of thing, many of them hunt, fish or trap for themselves, and even if they don't, they had to take classes in biology to qualify for the jobs. Some of those biology classes even teach you how to make a taxidermy study specimen. You'd think they would know about the need for keeping a dead critter cold!
Anyway, Dave's suggestions sound as good as any, the denatured alcohol should help alot. GOOD LUCK!