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Squirrel taxi

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by zackzeigler, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. zackzeigler

    zackzeigler New Member

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    I was mounting my second squirrel and the hair fell out when I was putting it on the manikin. What happened?
     
  2. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

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    What happened, bacteria broke down the soluable proteins in the area of the hair follicles and epidermis.
     

  3. Chinbeard

    Chinbeard New Member

    Muscle-
    What would have been the best way to prevent that?
     
  4. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

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    Fire Water : Bacteria action starts as soon as the mammal dies, care should be taken e.g. remove skin off carcass s.a.p. , keep cool or freeze, if not possible to freeze skin, flesh, salt skin to remove moisture as bacteria needs moisture to survive, proper field care and reasonable care in handling, then proper preserving and tanning techniques.
     
  5. zackzeigler

    zackzeigler New Member

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    Re: Re: Squirrel taxi

    the squirrel was frozen when I got it. Then i skinned it out and rubbed dry preservative on the skin. I then froze it again and took it out of the freezer and took some little pieces of meat off and rubbed some more preservative onto it. Then I washed it and dryer it a little. Then I put it on the manikin and thats when things started going bad. I had to sand the form down so the hide would fit then that's when the hair started to slip. Could u give me a better idea of what I did wrong?
     
  6. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

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    zackzeigler : For one thing you do not really know the history of how the squirrel was handled before it was frozen, like I said bacteria action starts as soon as death occurs, also you are working on a raw skin, the time you spend working on the skin, even applying your dry preservative the skin is still raw and always will be raw, after the skin is dry because all the fats,grease, proteins insoluable, soluable, elastin, blood vessels,collagen, which will still attract dermestids and moths after the skin is dry, along with cracking,excessive shrinkage and worst cases will give off odors, I myself as a young boy back in the late 60s practiced with bess maid dry preservative on small mammals and I was not happy with the results, raw skins are subject to environmental conditions which will lead to deterioration and unfit for display, as of today I have none of these mammals as they were attacked by insects in one way or another by the middle of the 80s, so in 1968 I started practicing the art of tanning (fur dressing) I then discovered I could achieve good results with properly preserved tanned skins, quality and long lasting, as well as handling the skins while mounting e.g. test fitting on a form many times without the worry of the hair falling out. So my advise to you would be to start learning the art of fur dressing for permanency for taxidermy, whether you make it a career or a hobby it will be worth it, I still wish I would of been able to tan my first mink that I trapped and mounted, and my first porcupine, but if I would of known how, I would of tanned them and not just rub in a dry preservative, and still have them to this very day. Also I do not think that a client would want a raw skin in his trophy room if he new better, or a reputable museum as they know better. As far as bird skins go I have tanned them, and found that the amount of effort involved is not worth as for use of dry preservative or borax, this is adequate as bird skins are very thin skin, but removal of fat and grease is a must, I have mounted birds that have gone through many environmental changes and conditions to a point, with no damaging effects using borax or dp.
     
  7. zackzeigler

    zackzeigler New Member

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    Re: Re: Squirrel taxi

    Thanks for the info
     
  8. zack, It's been awhile since I dp'ed but you may want to check your steps in the process I think that could be the problem in your hair slippage. I used to skin, rinse in COOL water, get any flesh or fat off and rinse again with a degreaser. Then rinse one more time in clean water and towel dry. Then add your DP and mount immediately.
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I would suspect that this case was more that you man handled the fur to much, and to hard, since you gave out the clue that the form was to big, and you had to sand it down. Did you try to stretch it to much to get it to fit? You can slide the fur right off the skin just by grasping it to hard with your fingers.
     
  10. Mr. T is right. Just happened to me with a deer cape that was professionally tanned. Used a full sneak form with a somewhat short cape, did fine in brisket area, but not long enough at top. Test fitted cape and thought I would be able to fix once I mounted it. I tried to pull a little bit and some hair started to slip. It's a lesson learned.