Red Fox slippage

Submitted by Steve Wallace on 10/28/99. ( )

Well here I go again. I have read most of the articles on hair slippage and still have a question? After using dry perservative as a means to do my mounts I learned from these articles and after attending a competition that I needed to use something different on my mounts. Well I used the 1 hour tan process from Authentic Taxidermy & Supply on a bobcat with no problems so I decided to use it on a red fox. Well the fox was a road kill that a new customer wanted me to do for him. The fox was frozen by him (don't know how long it was on the road)and was covered with blood. I thawed the fox out skined,fleshed,washed,rinsed and placed it in the 1 hour tan. Some hair come of in the tan but no more than usual, toweled dried and placed it in the tumbler then froze it for mouting at a later date. After all that work when I got ready to mount it the hair started turning loose. I am going to purchase a fed fox from someone to replace this one and try it again but I must first learn from my mistakes! So, since I do not intend on using DP, is the 1 hour tan process OK? Should I salt the skin before I start fleshing and draw out the moisture and what should I do differently so I don't loose another fox. This could get costly but that is business. Any all help is appreciated. Last but not least should I tell this indivdual that his animal set up bacteria or just replace it like I intend to? This person has seen some of my prior work and is interested in me doing other items for him. Sorry this is so long.

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Roads kill are tuff.

This response submitted by John C on 10/29/99. ( )

Heat heat heat, fur is a great insulator. It held the heat from the carcuss in. Also refreezing it and the slow thawing from refeezing, it may have been fine had you added a BACTERIACIDE to the tan. Tell you customer that carnavores that are road kill dont work out many times. Hope this has helped. The One Hour Tan is fine in most cases. I think for a road kill Spray tan will work fine but dont refreeze it. Also had you gone thru a complete tan, i.e. salting drying etc, it probley would have been fine. Good luck JC

Red Fox

This response submitted by Craig Rusin on 10/29/99. ( CRtracker )

"ALL TANNING IS DONE AT OWNERS EXPENSE". Make sure you have this printed at the top of your work orders and receipts. Learn a lesson from this. Even though the fox looked in good shape it was brought to you frozen therefore the first statement you make to your customer is,"I'll check it when it is thawed but there are no promises as to the final outcome". Many road killed animals are very badly bruised and this adds to hair slippage. Was it picked up in the early morning, late morning or afternoon? How long did the customer have the fox in his/her possession before getting it to the freezer. Was it placed in a plastic bag before being frozen? All of these things can have negative effects on the outcome of the finished product. Sometimes we are better to not accept items for processing or learn to accept them with contingencies.
I hope you don't plan on taking the money out of your pocket to purchase a new fox. Be up front with your customer. Tell him/her that you could have possibly made a mistake by not asking the appropriate questions before hand. We all want to do good work and accept new clients but at what expense?
I had a client bring me a coyote a couple of years ago. The animal was kind of scruffy looking and I had my reserves about accepting it, but he was a good client and he felt confident that I would do a good job with it. Upon fleshing the thing all the hair on the belly fell out. I learned that only prime specimens should be accepted and when in doubt don't take it in or at least let the customer know that there are no quarantees in this business. Upon calling the client and explaining the situation, he understood completely and there were no bad relations. Hope this helps...

Thanks for your feedback

This response submitted by Steve Wallace on 10/29/99. ( )

The fox was picked up in the morning hours,taken directly home,placed in a garbage bag and frozen. When I recieved it two days later I let it thaw and started skinning while it was still very cold in some places. It appears that I need to better understand want condition the specimen is in before accepting work and telling them up front it my be past saving. Thanks again for the feedback.

Don't forget the pickles.

This response submitted by JimTucker on 10/30/99. ( )

I use a full tanning with all of my small mammals. It is not that much more difficult and the results are GREAT! Skin, flesh, salt. Pickle in Bascal S. Oil with Liqua tan. Freeze. Thaw when ready, quick wash in plain water, towel dry, mount, blow dry till fur is dry and fluffy (backblow). Using this method I have NEVER had any slippage. Almost forgot I use the bacteriacide Basacryl NBKU in my pickle along with the Bascal S. Good luck!

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