I doubt many of you get this magazine but this months issue caught my attention under the "Fur Market Report". The headline read:"Markets languishing without direction' taxidermists may pay more for select hides" It was talking about the drop in prices worldwide on furs and was admonishing trappers that their methods might need to be reconsidered. I'll transpose the article as best I can: Taxidermy shops can be a good place to sell select furs when the overall market is down. I am not sure why, but the fur hunters and trappers both tend to offer the lower grade goods to taxidermists and then sell the better hides to the fur trade. Yet these better skins are actually worth more to a taxidermist, because he needs top-notch specimens so he can charge the customer accordingly for the mounted work. If you offer only lower grade pelts to the taxidermist, he will soon ask you to stop coming around. Some taxidermists even prefer whole carcasses dropped off at their shop, saving you the skinning job. But you probably will need to skin the critters, especially if you're shipping. Be sure to discuss this with each prospective customer, as taxidermists have decidedly different needs than garment makers and you must handle the pelts accordingly. Individual taxidermists may have special requests. Ask the taxidermist exactly how he wants each hide handled before you start skinning. He may tell you he wants a dorsal or abdominal cut and then he may instruct you exactly how to do this. Most skins are cased the same for the fur grade. But for taxidermy, genitalia and anus areas are typically left on. When making the cut down the back of the rear legs, stop at a point at the rear of the anus and leave the anus and genitalia attached. Cut the tailbone off at the base but leave the tail itself also attached to the hide. Cut the rear feet at the ankles and leave them attached to the hided. You may split the front legs but then cut off the feet at the wrists and leave them attached too. Most trappers think they know how to skin out head. But few know how to handle them for the taxidermy trade, which prefers the inner eyelids and inner lips left on and the ears cut off inside the auditory canal. Many taxidermists ask that you just leave the skull in the hide so they can skin it out properly. When you are done with whatever skinning you do, most will ask you to simply let the green hide cool, roll it up with the head feet and tail inside, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it.