Submitted by Damon on 8/31/99. ( )

Is there any way to tell before skinning, pickling, and tanning, if a hide is going to slip? I picked up a road killed redfox pup earlier this spring, in the early AM (5:00'ish) that I would like to mount.
It was a relatively cool night, he was still limp (no rigor mortis setting in yet), and was put in the freezer within 1/2 hour of when I picked him up.
I would be bummed to go thru the process, only to have the hair slip during the mounting process. I can and do get plenty of grown redfox come winter time, but thought a pup mount would be neat.
So, are there any clues to look for, that may head off this problem?
Thanks in advance, to all of you. Damon

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This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 8/31/99. ( )

Your first clue to slippage will be an offensive smell. Look for wet areas and rub litely with you finger if the hair starts to peel off It is already slipping. Slippage is caused by bacteria. And Bacteria usually needs Moisture, warmth, and something to eat. That being the animals upper layer of dermis or skin. You can stop or slow this process by killing the bacteria. A product called Stop-slip works great for this. or an industrial strength bacteriacide.
remove as much meat as you can turn the ears split the lips and eyelids and salt heavily. This will stop the slipping process.

But First trust your nose. If it smells putrid it probably is.
Areas to check first The back of the ears, the face or muzel, and the belly and vent areas. I'm sure others can add to this info.
Best of Luck

The Best Method To Stop Hair-Slippage ...

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 9/1/99. ( )

Hi Damon,

Tony is correct about how to test a skin for slippage.

The message here concerns itself with a method of tightening-up a skin after it is removed. However, you can also use this mixture during the actual skinning step, to fully insure against the slippage that most wild canides are notorious for.

Just lightly apply this to the skin, rubbing it in as you proceed through the skinning steps, including during the turning of the ears. Then follow through as next described.

The BEST remedy for outright stopping the slippage of hair or fur, and for the tightening up of the skin and hair folicles, is to rub a "mixture" - or "blend" - of 50% salt and 50% aluminum sulphate into the flesh side of the skin. (Aluminum sulphate is available from many suppliers, including WASCO.)

This, of course, is rubbed in during the "regular" salting step. As you are rubbing this dry mixture into the skin, you will witness the skin actually begin to tighten and pucker-up. This locks the loose hair folicles into place.

Once locked in, they are more often than not, PERMANENTLY locked in, even through the tanning phase. Also, you should let the tannery know that the skin was so treated, and why. If they are made aware of any problems, they can treat the skin accordingly ... that is, with a little more care. But this will only happen if you notify them of any problem that YOU took steps to rememdy! Just salting and drying will not be permanent! Don't forget, once the skin is rehydrated, the problem will become just as bad as before. This is a PROVEN remedy for this situation. I suggest everyone try it!

I have used this "remedy" or "treatment" with great success on mammals that have been slipping ... in both mild and severe cases. The milder cases always yeilded the best results, but even the worst cases were able to be stopped. In those worst cases, there was already a "balding" of the skin, even before the treatment, and those areas did need to be cut out and stitched closed. But on the surrounding areas where the hair was still loose and slipping out, the treatment tightened up the skin, and further slippage was stopped cold! What I'm saying is, this method works ... and pretty darn well, I might add!

Take care and best wishes to all ... John B.


This response submitted by Damon on 9/1/99. ( )

Thanks, guys! And, John, Idid read that answer in another post, and if you had the patience to give the same answer twice, it must be good advice!
I'm sorry I didn't apply it to my question the first time around. Thanks for the advice, and your patience! Next time I'll read into questions a bit further to see if I can apply it to my situation before I ask my question.
I guess the idea you are trying to say is "better safe than sorry"!
Thanks again!

Better Safe Than Sorry ... You Are Correct! :)

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 9/3/99. ( )

Hey Damon,

You flatter me! But, oh please don't fall under the assumption that I have Saint-like patience ... :) In fact, I very simply do a copy-save, switch it to another place on the forums, and "tweek" it a bit to suit the person asking a specific question. I did notice that the issue of slippage seems to be a concern of many, so I feel it is knowledge I can share to help others, through a somewhat heartbreaking experience, of a nice specimen starting to slip.

I think I need to clarify something for a particular someone out there, who is not thoroughly reading this posting! Below are the last two lines of full-paragraph # 5:

**Just salting and drying will not be permanent! Don't forget, once the skin is rehydrated, the problem will become just as bad as before." **

In answering the original question of hair slippage, I was trying to make the point that when one salted the skin and it dried, the slipping seemed to stop. I point out, in these last two asterixed sentences, that just salting the skin will not be a permanent solution to this problem.

Also, that upon rehydrating the skin that has just been salted only, the slippage problem will still be there when the skin is rehydrated. NOT after treatment of the salt and aluminum sulphate compound. This treatment DOES more-or less permanently lock the hairs in, by tightening the skin around the hair follicles, and really drying out the skin and killing the bacteria, much more efficiently than salt alone.

In those last two sentences, I was referring to using salt alone to stop slippage, and how -- when the skin is rehydrated after just using salt -- the slipping will reoccur!

I hope this clears up ANY confusion about that posting for ANYONE who may be confused. My BEST suggestion to ANYONE, is to THOROUGHLY read, and if necessary, re-read a posting until it is clear.

Best to all ... John B.

Mr. Patience....

This response submitted by SOMEONE on 9/4/99. ( he he he )

John, Did you SAY something?!!
Lots of Sunshine and Flowers to you,
Your problem child!!!!


Sometimes apickle works

This response submitted by Ernie on 9/7/99. ( )

I found in some studies this past season especially with
fur bearers fox coyote etc. If you do not freeze them
with carcus still intacted you're allready in much better
situation for things to come out in your favor. Puting a
whole fox in the freezer takes much longer to freeze than
only the skin . Bottom line TAKE THE TIME AND DO IT RIGHT
the first time. If freezing is necessary let the mammal
lie in the freezer flat on a piece of newspaper until
partially frozen than and only than put it in a bag.
Many factors can cause slippage' but most of the time
a wet fur in a sealed plastic bag means TROUBLE[BACTERIA
GROWTH] ALMOST IMMEADEATLY. If you are tanning the skin
youself have a pickle made before you take the specimen
out to thaw and out of the bag and immediately place it
in the pickle still frozen. It works great .This eliminates
the possibility of your problem occurring during the thaw-
ing process. Good luck from the TAXIDERMINATOR

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