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Opossum and Ground hog

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by BOBTRAC, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. BOBTRAC

    BOBTRAC New Member

    Never done either of these and need to know if I can use black bubble eyes for both of these and what is the best way to skin the tail on the opossum
     
  2. ShastaDonegan

    ShastaDonegan Lets start with ridiculous and move backwards.

    Yes on the bubble eyes, they will usually suggest the size to get when you order the form. they are smaller than rabbit eyes. To skin the tail just use a tail stripper or go slow and use a scalpel, I have done it both ways but since there is no fur I prefer the scalpel.
     

  3. BOBTRAC

    BOBTRAC New Member

    do I turn the tail inside out or just pack it with salt
     
  4. AMCTaxi

    AMCTaxi Wholesale Small Mammal Taxidermist

    Ugh, those bubble eyes. I'm surprised people still even use them. For the groundhog I would use a squirrel eye with the oval pupils. For the possum, a really DARK brown eye. As for the tail of the possum, strip it out while skinning using a tail stripper and then make a cut on the underside to facilitate removal of the tendons and membranes inside and allow salt to penetrate. You could also make a cast of it in one of a dozen ways, but that is in a topic in and of itself.
     
  5. ShastaDonegan

    ShastaDonegan Lets start with ridiculous and move backwards.

    Adam when I remove the tail with a scalpel the tendons stay with the carcass and it is already inverted when I'm done and dries out very easily with salt...nothing but skin left. And I personally like the bubble eyes and how they look when they are done which is why I use them with small mammals....but to each their own. :)
     
  6. Possum tail: Pull it out (no cuts). It will pull right out, and you can easily turn it inside out if you want to for salting. When ready to mount, poke a hole in the tip for air to escape and then fill the tail with pink silicone (silicone with red acrylic mixed in) and then insert wire. Let that set up for 10 minutes or so, the acrylic will catalyze the silicone. That will give you a nice smooth tail with no seam, no painting, and once the silicone cures you can bend it however you wish.
     
  7. AMCTaxi

    AMCTaxi Wholesale Small Mammal Taxidermist

    Those possum tails can be tricky...especially if they were frostbitten in the winter or otherwise damaged throughout life. Sometimes the skin and membranes stick hard to them. Most of the goodies will pull out but they really do need to be split open. You can get away with not splitting tails on things up to the size of a squirrel, but anything larger needs to be opened up. And yeah, I just personally hate those HB eyes. They are just dead and lifeless archaic style eyes to me. I don't know of any animal that has an all black eye where no pupils are visible at all.
     
  8. BOBTRAC

    BOBTRAC New Member

    k, thanks very one