Dry Preserve a Fox

Submitted by Jay on 8/23/01. ( )

I have a freind of mine who does taxidermy full time and I was asking him what the best way to prevent a red fox from slipping when I go to mount him and he tells me he uses dry preservative. Can this be done? I know how everyone feels about DP on here and I am planning to tan my fox rather than DP him. My freind said he has done nearly 25 fox and that he has never had one slip, and he uses DP on all his whitetails that he does. Let me say this- I personally rather tan all my hides and I have never used DP before- but his deer and foxes look really good. Wheter they stand the test of time, I guess only time will tell. Any Comments on this ?

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This response submitted by George on 8/23/01. ( georoof@aol.com )

DP is always a hot subject around here, but I use it on all my small game. Foxes are notorious for hair slippage around the ears using shop tans. I've sent them off and had ears come back slipped just as badly. I use DP on all small game. BUT, even that sometimes will still get ears slipped if you spend a lot of time on them and heat them up. I have foxes that were DP mounted 35 years ago still looking as good as the work I did during that period. IF you decide to use it, use very FINE stitches and pin and glue heavily in areas that will likely drum. Unless secured very snugly, they WILL DRUM. The hide also becomes more brittle in years to come than a tanned hide in my opinion.

DP fox?

This response submitted by Bob C on 8/23/01. ( bobswildlife@aol.com )

Hey Jay, I've been doing taxidermy for over 30 yrs. When I first started I used ONLY DP. I did have some heads come back split seams ,spliting around the eyes and nose. So guess what? I got away from it. I'd be lying to you if I said I haven't used it since. I have used it on SOME small game, but still prefer to tan them. In my opinion a DP'd skin will slip easier. Think about it, you powder the skin put it on a form and set it aside to dry. How long does it take for that POWDER to penetrate the hide? It the time it takes, the heat and humidity will take its toll on the skin. I have never mounted an animal with DP that IN THE DRYING PROCESS, didn't have some loose hair. It does tighten as the mount dries, but I just dont feel safe with it. As for fox, They dont slip as bad as many believe. If you have a good fresh specimen and you handle it properly, you shouldn't have any problems. Its a good idea to skin a fox and salt the hide as you go, especially in the warmer weather. Rub the salt in as you turn the ears and you wont have any problems. I prefer to pickle my fox in a formic acid pickle. It seems to penetrate the hide very quickly and set the hair very well. Then nutralize and tan with the method of your choice. I prefer ez100. Its easy to use and works GREAT! Good luck and I hope I didn't confuse you to much! Bob c

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