how small to tan?

Submitted by brian k. on 1/10/00. ( )

I am a beginner, I've done several squirrels and ducks. I have a couple of minks to mount amnd was wondering what to use to preserve the hide? and also what do I use for a weasel. thank you

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This response submitted by Frank on 1/10/00. ( )

What do you mean bt preserving it? For mounting or till you can get to it. I dry all my hides out by salting them, drying them, rehydrate, pickle, then tan, no matter how small. Thats my choice, but you can use DP on them. Its quicker, preserves it but not a tan.

Early taxidermists used arsenic...

This response submitted by Craig on 1/10/00. ( )

even on some larger mammal mounts although this is no longer practiced. I have personally mounted mammals up to the size of a fox with a product called "instant preserve". It can be done. Mammals the size of a squirrel, weasel, mink could be done with DP or a good tan. They need to be fleshed extremely well so they don't become an attractant to dermisted beetles. I now try to tan all the mammals I do.

The important point is to use a tan you are familiar with and follow the directions to a "T" for consistant results. I think Frank summed it up..."It's a personal choice".

Who Lit the Fire?

This response submitted by George Roof on 1/10/00. ( )

This one small question always lights a fire. If there ever was a gnat's ass to be mounted, someone out there would insist on tanning it. I'm too lazy and thick skinned to buy off on that and I usually use dry preservative on all birds and small game. That doesn't mean you don't have to wash and degrease those fuzzy little suckers before you start, however. This is one that only you can decide and you'll have to reach that decision on your own. Good Luck.

My 2 Cents

This response submitted by glenn on 1/10/00. ( )

Last night I skinned and salted a 17in mink. I have a 35 pound female
coyote thawing and a red fox in the freezer. I also have 2 muskrat
and two squirrels. All of them will be tanned prior to being mounted.
I've done similar sized animals in the past using dry preservatives
(Calorax - there's one for the ages). Mr. Roof is correct about
washing and de-greasing these little fuzzies, especially a mink. I'm
tanning all of these animals because I've not tanned in the past and
decided to try it. Years ago it was a salt and alum pickle that
produced deer capes that were as rigid as concrete and required a lot
of elbow grease to soften. DP will work fine for the smaller animals,
just make sure all of the fat and meat are scraped off and you
degrease. You can always give hometanning a try if you decide to
stick with taxidermy. Best of luck with your minks.


Brian, dont forget...

This response submitted by Bill on 1/10/00. ( )

On weasels and mink, ou must de-scent them as well. You might have found that out, depending on how you skinned them! A simple pickle and tan isnt too much more time than DP, and the hide is alot easier to work with. Follow the directions given in most supply catalogs or on the label from the tanning supplies you choose. I like Rittel's.

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