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Need some serious advice

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Bones88, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    So I am an amateur taxidermist, I've done 7-8 deer heads, 2 lifesize racoons, a couple of wild boar game heads and a bear rug.

    I get a guy asking me to do a 1/2 lifesize black bear, I get it from him in October (frozen) thawed it and finished skinning the head out, I kept it in a pickle and would take it out to flesh a little more here and there. Part of the hand, just under the pads was still in it so I was finishing this part last night and came across a nasty wound under one of the pads. It smelt bad and was gray/black, there is a hole in the pad.

    The problem now is that there is some hair coming out of the back of this paw right where the infection must have been. The other one is fine, what the heck do I do now?? I have checked my pickle weekly and never had a problem, I need some suggestions, I'm pretty sure I can't glue the hair back on ha ha.

    I put some Stop Rot on it last night and I am worried about it. Any suggestions from the seasoned taxidermist??

    I am sure can dye the skin and it won't be soooo noticeable but really what can I do??

    Thanks for any advice given,
  2. jorgy

    jorgy Member

    If I understand what you did here is you didn't flesh this bear clean and salt dry it prior to placing in a pickle. You just left part of a paw in the foot and stuck a green hide in the pickle. The infection isn't your problem. The problem is you have let the foot rot while in the pickle.

    Bears are very difficult to tan yourself anyway. Doing one wrong makes it worse. You should have fleshed it clean, salt dried it, and sent it to a tannery.

    I am guessing the hair will continue to come out easier each day, but once it starts you don't just make it stop with a magic chemical

  3. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    Well, once I took the head out and fleshed the arms down to the wrist it was salted, layed out with new salt for a day or teo but yes I think you may be right, the flesh that was left seems to be the problem. The only thing is that the other paw that was left the same doesn;t seem to have the same problem , that was why I was thinking it was an infection problem. Will it help to salt the inside of the paw now??

  4. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    One other thing, how in world do you tell the guy???
  5. BDT

    BDT New Member

    Strap on a set of balls, be a man, and tell him that you screwed up.

    Do some studying and learn to do things the right way before you take on customer mounts.
  6. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    I'm pretty sure I said AMATEUR TAXIDERMIST when I started this thread, by the way I would have to strap on balls, I'm a woman.

    I have learned alot on my own as well as from some informing people on here, On the bear rug I did, maybe I just got lucky, I left some flesh in all 4 paws with no problems, my question was to see if this problem came from the infection on this paw, since both paws were skinned the same and only the one with the hole in the paw and nasty smelling has the hair coming off.

    I know I am not part of your daily "Clique" but most people are very helpful on here, but thanks anyways!
  7. gab

    gab Active Member

    she's admitting she screwed up and is asking for advice on how best to handle it.does it make ya'll feel big to rag on people just because you can?If you haven't screwed up ,you haven't been doing this very long.
    I'm sorry i don't tan my own so i can't be much help,but it sounds like you should be able to patch with some of the skin off back feet or backhide.
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Just dye it black, tell the customer that the infected area didn't hold hair. Or cut it out and sew in a patch of fur, then keep your mouth closed. Customers are so geeked up and looking forward to bringing it home, that they will accept it in almost any condition as long as the face is done right. Stop worrying. Just fix and go. It's just a small boo boo, not a disaster.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Bone, doing a bear was a bad move with your lack of experience - lesson learned. You didn't flesh it properly - lesson learned. So the experience has provided invaluble lessons for you. Now, don't get excited. Take a breath and let's try to fix your immediate problem.

    I tend to agree that the infection exacerbated the slippage. It happens on any animal, not just bears. Let's HOPE that your pickle was strong enough to lock in the hair on the other paws from the outside. Finish fleshing out the feet and take the toes down to the claw joint. Don't bother with the salt. It's past that.

    Add some acid to your pickle and make sure your pH is down to 1.0 to 1.5 if possible (Formic acid won't go that low). Let it pickle for a few days. Then tan it and mount it. Ignore those slipped spot. Let it dry.

    Once dry, find either another bear hide or a place on the hide where you can scavenge hair similar to the foot (the upper legs are a good place, especially in areas that are tucked or the hair between the toes around the paw pad areas.) Paint a thin coat of epoxy over the slipped area and then start "transplanting" hair. Start at the bottom of the slip and work up so the last hair can be tucked under the "good" hair that didn't slip. Let cure. Now airbrush around you repair and no one, save you, will ever know.
  10. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    And one other thing, why the snotty attitude? YOU made the mistake, take the criticism as helpful. Why in the world do you think coming into a site full of taxidermists and saying, for all intent and purposes, that you were practicing and learning on a customer speciman, wouldnt get you the obvious reaction you got? If you think these folks were being rude to you, talking to your customer about this is not going to go too well either.

    You got good advice here, look at it as constructive criticism and move on. Thats life, not just this forum. These same folks MAY have a spare bear paw to fix your problem with, dont forget. Good luck and dont forget to put degreaser in that pickle!
  11. deerhunterdon

    deerhunterdon New Member

    Is it normal for a bear to lose patches? I saw a well known experienced Taxi do a bear skin once and it had about three spots the about the size of a saucer that lost hair. he was sewing patches in the cape . I don't remember exactly how he put it but, I took it as you better know your stuff when doing bear. I would like to be involved in doing one ,but not be the one doing it! lol.
  12. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Post pics PLEASE!
  13. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    Re: Need some serious advice (with pics)

    Thank you for all your advice, I thought I should post some pics, again, no problems with one paw and only problems with this one. You can see the hole in the pad, it had a nasty smell under this, this is why I starting asking these stupid questions.

    For all that posted Ideas thank you,

    Attached Files:

  14. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    And another couple,

    Attached Files:

  15. jorgy

    jorgy Member

    When you skin out the paw you need to cut around the pad on all but one side so it will open up and allow you to skin each toe out to the last joint. There is no acceptable amount of meat you can leave in one.

    Bears are a greasy mess. They must be fleshed very clean and salted well.

    If you were going to tan it yourself you would want to use degreaser in a wash and in the pickle, but they just aren't the kind of thing to do if you don't know what your doing.
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Are the feet still in this Bear?
  17. Bones88

    Bones88 Duthill Tanners

    No the feet have been removed, right down to the knuckle above the nail.

    The picture may not be so good, I did cut it right down the side of the pad and turned it inside out to remove all the meat between the toes and around the bones, about an 8" cut.

    What are your thoughts on how much is missing?? Do you think it is possible to repair??

    I did as George said and made sure my pickle was at 1 - 1.5 PH and it is back in the pickle right now. I will leave it a couple of days before taking it out and checking for slippage again.

  18. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    There Mike, you got your pictures. LOL
  19. agla0047

    agla0047 Member

    In my experience more than 85% of problems are not caused by the taxidermists but how the animal was handled in the field.. No matter how much training or advice we as taxidermists receive sometimes the best lessons are the ones we learn the hard ways. There has been some very good advice given in this forum and some snotty replies given as well but take it for whats it worth and learn from it
  20. coyote4

    coyote4 Member

    As long as no more hair falls out, I don't think it will look nearly as bad as the pic shows. If you form your toes properly, probably half of the slip spot will be down between the toes and not seen. Make sure you don't over fill the feet with clay.....this would highlight the slip . Good luck.