I'm a beginner at fleshing and tanning muskrats and had a few questions that someone might be able to help me out with. I've tanned my first muskrat with paint on tanner and it seems ok but the hide is not as soft as I'd like though. I have another one to skin and tan and since there's not much info out there on tanning muskrats from start to finish I thought I'd ask here.
1. When I skin the muskrat it still has it's "saddle" (strip of pink flesh) on the pelt. Apparently fur traders want the saddle to be left on when you dry the skin for sale. However, I'm not selling them so should this saddle be cut off prior to tanning?
2. How thick should the pelt be before I tan it? I could sit there all day and strip off membrane layer after membrane layer. I dont want to go to thin and loose the hair. Fur traders warn of cutting to thin.
3. How do you get the muskrat smell out of a muskrat. I think when I skinned the muskrat I cut a vent. =(
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a muskrat skin has a very tight cell structure and is a more difficult animal skin to tan properly. granted they are small. but i think a fox would be an easier animal to learn to tan on.
I have muskrats, they are in a pond I have and I remove them because they dig holes everywhere. Usually I just toss them but I thought I'd get some use out of them this season.