Can I skin a coyote, coon, fox, etc. and put it right into the freezer or are there some steps in between that I need to do? I,m just getting in to some small mammal tanning and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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You can skin it and freeze it. Don't roll it up in a ball right away or fold it. Lay it flat, spread out in the freezer for a few hours to get cooled down first, and then I usually double bag it in plastic for longer term storage. If it has blood on it, make sure you use paper towel or something to get off as much as possible before you freeze it.
The longer it stays warm and the longer it stays "green" (not fleshed and unsalted) at room temperatures, the more likely it will have problems. Bacteria like warm,wet environments and that is what you want to take away from them. Keep this in mind as you skin your animals.
Also, I have customers bring in whole frozen small mammals all the time, and if they were froze right away after they were killed, there is usually no problem putting them in the freezer to skin at a later time.
Yes, you can go straight from animal to freezer if you let the skin cool out a little first and fold it skin to skin then double bag in plastic bags to protect it from freezer burn. Just don't let the heat stay in the skin too long from being attached to the animal. If you have a fridge that you can put it in a bowl in there it would be best. All my skins are attached to the animal in a walk in fridge and cooled that way before freezing.
Thanks for your quick response! I'm really looking forward to getting into the taxidermy world, one little step at a time. Thanks again!
Just a thought...Zip-lock has a 1-gallon and 2-gallon size bag. They are reusable, just rinse out in soapy water(or lysol water) and hang up by corner to drain(clothes pins ARE the taxidermists friend).-Susan