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exploding fox tail????

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Miss Ishii, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. so today I was given 2 foxes shot about 4 hrs before I arrived at the site.... I had given my usual instructions of "keep cool, don't store in plastic, spray a little vinegar on the ears and eyes" When I arrived the foxes were still a little warm and the day was about 24C... (not too sure what that is in the US, but a warm but not hot day) The person who had hunted these foxes wanted a lesson on how to skin them for a full mount so I did both foxes at the same time on both showing him how to do all the bits and pieces... His was the dog fox and I took the stinky vixen! Finished everything on mine bar turning the ears and lips and went to use 2 sticks to strip the tail like I normally do and went for it... the tail slid off easily, it felt normal, but there was a tiny tuft left on the end of the bone, thought "oh well that is fixable, no one it gonna notice 1/2 cm square of tail missing at the tip, and the went to straighten the rest of the tail out.... at this point it broke in 2!!!!!!

    kinda freaked, then took a deep breath and figured that I had cut it or some of the shot had damaged it and it just split off... so I went to feel the broken off half of the tail and see what kind of damage there was at the broken end when the whole thing fell apart in my hands like a dandylion!!!!! it was crazy!!! I still dont understand what has happened!!! The tail bone was stripped clean, bar the very tip. The tail part that was attached to the fox was furry and then there was no naked skin missing hair... I dont know where the skin went for the tail... the fur looked like it had very very very fine skin on it but it didnt hold any of the fur together... I am so confused!!! I pulled on all the other fur and it seems fine, no silp... I then did the dog fox who was shot before the female and the skin came off the tail easily!

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what happend to the skin in the second half of my tail??? she was a perfectly good looking fox, nice and fatty, just starting to get her winter coat.... No skin diseases that I could see and not other hair dissorders like mange... I am completly lost!!!!!! It was uppsetting as she was a perfectly good fox!!!! but now she will have to be gloves!!!
  2. Aaron H

    Aaron H foxfiretaxidermy.com

    That's very curious. Unless the back half of the tail was somehow alowed to get hot -sunshine maybe just on the tail or the tail partly got tucked under the warm fox. Other than that, I can't see why the tail skin was so fragile. The epidermis was for sure damaged or possibly deseased.

  3. That is really bizarre. I have never had much luck skinning fox tails so I can't really help you, but still... Though I do agree with Aaron. I wouldn't be surprised if the meat contributed to the problem. Maybe the fox's tail got injured while it was still alive? I'm just thinking out loud. That is really strange though ???
  4. *HEAT. Not meat. My apologies.
  5. hmmmm I was thinking that it was a heat thing too... the last bit of the tail that I have is just a tube of skin... gave all the fur a good tug and none of it is slipping... never had one slip at the tail at this stage... Clara, a really easy way that I was taught is just to get 2 sticks about thumb width and skin the whole fox til you have done everything and about 2 inches down the tail, then put your foot on the body and your sticks on the tail bone, squeze, gently and firmly, at a steady pace pull the sticks up the tail... it should come right off!! then after that spit the skin and pack it with salt! It was a total pain till someone taught me that trick!
  6. I will defiantly try that next time I skin a fox. Thank you ;D
  7. dgats

    dgats New Member

    I agree with Aaron might have had an infection in the tail possible cause grass seed which would cause an infection and when you stripped the tail it burst like squeezing a pimple . that's my opinion
  8. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    You may be able to pick up a replacement tail pretty cheap on here or on e-bay...just as an option if you still want to mount it up saving a good skin. Sounds like the upper layer of skin split from the lower layer taking the fur with it as you stripped it. Basically the same as when a hide has slippage. It could have been borderline into slippage when you got to the stripping. Predators are notorious for slipping, and in my experience foxes are the worst. I am a HUGE advocate of stop-rot precisely for that reason.
  9. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    Common in some species of Foxes unfortunately if you do enough foxes you will run into this again.
    On some foxes in my case it is the swift fox that does this the most. You have to strip extremely carfully if you pull to fast the paper thin hide gets bunched up ripping to shreds and disintergrating like you describe. unfortunately you cannot prevent this on some but I have saved the hair in the past and reconstructed the end of the tail with super glue and a LOT of cuss words. This is not a slippage problem as there is little bits of hide at the end of the hair clumps and hasn't slipped...whole nother deal then. Just remember what species you have problems with and handle accordingly ( Might have to actually split and skin as you go instead of using a puller) in the future is all I can say.
    Good luck
  10. The fox that I was doing was a red fox... the only kind that we have here in australia... usually if I have slip issues they are around the ears and eyes but never the tail!!! thanks MLP for the suggestion... I have heaps of foxes... I am just looking for that special one for when I go to New Zeland to compete... you just kinda want something perfect... and the more you look for it the harder it gets and the more you stuff things up!!! The one that I just pulled out of the freezer today looks like a bloody mess!!! It had 2 broken legs blood coming out of its mouth and all down its side... I love fox fur... I just hate foxes!!!! ha ha they are such a pain! and the smell!!!! Give me a big sweet smelling Sambar deer anyday. My lovely mentor Dennis from Australian Taxidermy Supplies has a field day with me when it comes to foxes because I am terrible with the smell!!! I cant help it I always gag!!! The ones that dont make the cut for a full mount usually end up as rugs or I want to stich them together to make a blanket for the swag and some mittens for my sister country cafe... so I am kinda glad when some of them dont work out...