Bear hair slipping in pickle

Submitted by Big Tim on 9/15/01. ( mathena@gte.net ) 63.21.255.42

I am interested in learning taxidermy and was starting with a bear that I just shot. I salted well but the temp was 90 plus. The hide dried well but the hair around the nose slipped badly in the pickle. It was in the pickle 11 days ph2 while I was fleshing by hand, big mistake I think. How long can you pickle? I have read it is ok for long periods. I have 1 more full hide in the freezer and don't want a repeat. Any ideas? thanks, Big Tim

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The heat is what did the job.

This response submitted by John C on 9/15/01. ( ) 208.44.115.60

I see Amateur taxidermist, both, part timer and many full timer that do not understand that bacteria grows very fast in warm weather. Minutes at 90 degreea verse hours at 70 degrees.

THe heat is what killed you, you should have also droped the pH below 2, I find this will help, yes I have two of my own bear that have been in the pickle for over two years checked them yesterday and there is no slippage, the temps of the pickle even climbed to the high 90's last year. The key thing was they were salted and dried at about 70 degrees f.


Tricks of the trade

This response submitted by Gerard Tessier on 9/15/01. ( fleshing@atreide.net ) 207.96.128.102

Hi Big Tim,

I have done quite a few bears in my taxidermy shop here in Quebec. I had a lot of problems with skins that shed at the bigining. John's comment is right, temperature is very critical. I fallow these rules: if a skin is smelly, take that fat off A.S.A.P.and salt. If you see green on the skin, I would flesh off the fat and apply a solution of alum and water before the salt. Alum makes the pores shrink around the hair roots and stops slipping. For good mesure, I alwas put a half pound of alum per ten gallons of solution in my pickel. Finaly just dont spread the salt on the skin, it must be rubbed in, espacialy on the face, on the nostrils, on the lips and put a hand full in each ear and in each claw, never lost a claw since I started to do this.

Hope these tips will help you as much as they helped me.

Gerry


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