Immediate care of predator skins to lessen hair slip?

Submitted by Joel on 12/18/00. ( JSzym@zianet.com ) 216.234.193.27

Hi everyone-- I do a little tanning every year of coyote and fox skins, and quite a few coyote and fox tails, and have a bit of a problem with the fox hair slipping. I use Basacryl in my hydration, pickle, and rinse solutions, knowing bacteria growth is the main cause of slip... Also I use kemsol degreaser, liqua-tan and liqua-soft and generally get good results on coyotes, but the fox slip. The fox usually are MUCH more greasy than the coyotes, I think this may be contributing to the problem, during the salting and drying phase.

I was wondering if using a Basacryl/salt solution... keeping the ph down with oxalic or vinegar even, and immediately, while still in the field, right after harvesting the animal, soak it's pelt down and work the solution down to the skin... Before skinning or anything, to try to kill skin-surface bacteria. Give the critter a little anti-bacterial shampoo right away. Would this be worth a try? Anyone have any other suggestions?

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fox

This response submitted by Dave at VanDyke's Taxidermy Supply Co. on 12/19/00. ( dave.belanger@cabelas.com ) 208.141.229.5

Joel,

I think that if it were me, I would skin the Fox out, split the lips, nose eyes and ears and imediately salt it down real good over night.
Dont try to work it too much in a green state, as the skin is so darn thin, that you can easily transfer too much heat from you hands and fingers which allow for the growth of bacteria.
The very next day, put it into you pickle, I would use Safetee Acid.
(4 1/2 teaspoons and 1 pound of non-Iodine salt per every 1 gallon of water). Allow the hide to soak for 3 days and continue with the fleshing. Skip the Bacteriacide with the use of Safetee acid, as it can make the ph unstable!
After the fleshing is complete, neutrilise, rinse and imediately put it into your tanning solution.
I've had very good success doing this.I feel that all these different soaps and what not can just bounce the ph too much.

If I can further help you, give me a shout at (1-800)843-3320 ext.105 or you may e-mail me at this address

Have a good day.......Dave at VanDyke's


what I do....

This response submitted by Dave on 12/19/00. ( stufer856@aol.com ) 64.12.96.235

What I do and some people will not agree...Is, skin the fox turn ears split lips,noes,etc. I wear rubber gloves on fox to keep the heat from my hands from generating bacteria growth.Now salt heavy for about 20 min. Shake the salt off and remove as much flesh by (pulling) with your hands.I don't worrie about a good fleshing at this time.Now I Place the fox in a PREpickle.2gal water,1lb salt,1.oz dawn dish soap and what I think is the most important, Is 3oz BASCAL-S. The Bascal will keep the p.h down at about 3.0 The use of Basacryl Nb-ku Is a very good idea. you said you used this and it would not hurt to add a 1/2oz if you like. But The Bascal-s Keeps the p.h low. I then let the fox soak for about 15-20min in this. then remove the skin & give it a good rinse In cold water and place in your pickle. I use formic acid.3gal water,3lbs salt & 2.75oz formic acid my P.H would be at about 1.5-2.0 let the fox soak 24hours.Then drain, flesh on a light wire wheel as fox are so thin,And a wire wheel does a very good job.well unless the fox gets pulled from your hands :) Then ya get to sew.Anyway I then mix 2.oz (tannery degreaser)to my formic acid pickle and place the skin back in for 24 hrs.Then drain, mix 3gal water 3oz backing soda and place your skin in this for about 15min. then rinse and drain.I like Lutan-f That's just what works for me. The avg.wet drained fox at about 3lbs, I would mix 3gal water 3oz lutan-f And one and a half pounds salt. let the fox soak 12 to 20hrs. remove and rinse. I then warm my #2oil from Knoblochs and brush on.place fox in a bag for an hour and freeze. when I am ready to mount I thaw and tumble for 10 to 15min and mount. This Is just the way I do my fox.I have never lost a fox that was good to start with by useing this method. It upsets me to see people having fox problems.Its a waste of time and It is very Aggravating and costly to have a hide go bad.Every time I do a fox I think of the people on the net that have them go bad. I generally don't reply to the forums as I have little time,However, I do take advise from the forums.(yes I am guilty) I do Not claim to be the best.However I do have grate Success with tanning and feel I should do my part to help If I can.If you are one that has problums with slippage give this a try. what do you have to lose? However I DO NOT claim to be a good speller!I would like to give a BIG thanks to all who have helped me when I needed it!


Thanks everyone!

This response submitted by Joel on 12/19/00. ( JSzym@zianet.com ) 216.234.194.113

Thanks for the advice-- Possibly I'm letting them sit around salted for too long. The gray fox I've been working with are so greasy that they don't actually "dry out" when salted, no matter how long I leave them. They never reach the "flinty dry" state like other skins. They keep an oily look and feel to them. I'll definately try with the next one to pickle after no more than 24 hours or so of being off the critter. I monitor the pickle and make sure the ph stays 1 to 2 using ph paper. Then degrease.

I'm not doing this on a commercial basis so I don't really lose any money when it doesn't turn out right, but it's a bummer nontheless. Thanks again for the good tips!


Thanks everyone!

This response submitted by Joel on 12/19/00. ( JSzym@zianet.com ) 216.234.194.113

Thanks for the advice-- Possibly I'm letting them sit around salted for too long. The gray fox I've been working with are so greasy that they don't actually "dry out" when salted, no matter how long I leave them. They never reach the "flinty dry" state like other skins. They keep an oily look and feel to them. I'll definately try with the next one to pickle after no more than 24 hours or so of being off the critter. I monitor the pickle and make sure the ph stays 1 to 2 using ph paper. Then degrease.

I'm not doing this on a commercial basis so I don't really lose any money when it doesn't turn out right, but it's a bummer nontheless. Thanks again for the good tips!


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