1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Why Do My Foxes Keep Slipping???

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by ForFoxSake, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. ForFoxSake

    ForFoxSake New Member

    Hi all, I've never had a pelt slip until recently. When I was originally tanning just for my own pelts I was doing a really rough job - no salting, no splitting anything, no fleshing, just skinning and checking it straight into the tan. None of these slipped and would come out great for just hanging on the wall.

    Now that I want to do a more professional job and also taxidermy some, I cannot for the life of me stop them slipping. My process is shoot, skin, freeze for a week until I'm ready. Then defrost, split everything and flesh all the chunks off, salt on an incline for 24-48 hours. Then degrease and wash, and chuck in the pickle (ALWAYS at 1.5 pH with plenty of salt). I havn't gotten further than this because they slip at this bit overnight in the pickle. My first slipped all the back fur, the second slipped all the ear fur and forehead, and my third slipped all the muzzle fur. It's driving me crazy, what am I doing wrong? I've done deer and rabbits with this process and had no problems, it's just foxes!!
  2. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    I have had foxes slip too and I suspect it is the defrosting step . Try to thaw the skin in water with bactericide or a pickle.
    rogerswildlife likes this.

  3. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    Foxes are notorious for slipping. Best advice I can give is shoot and skin as soon as possible. Freeze ( best to freeze kinda laid out, not rolled up) then thaw in a pickle. Brian Hendricks has several videos on this on You Tube. He's a trapper and mounts numerous fox and bobcats yearly. Fox and bobcat have really thin skins and just can't handle bacteria. The pickle eliminates the bacteria.

    If I'm thinking right...I think Brian actually freezes them whole...then thaws the whole carcass in a pickle before he skins....
  4. Skin and throw in denatured alcohol.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    After you skin, wet it down on the skin side with "Stop Rot". Get it inside the ears as you split them. Put the solution in a spray bottle and hit the skin while you work on it. Stuff works miracles and foxes slip too easily.
  6. ForFoxSake

    ForFoxSake New Member

    Is there a home made solution, or an alternative? The only way to get stop rot in Australia as far as I know is to get it sent over from the US and the shipping is twice the cost of the product. Might be worth it though.
  7. ForFoxSake

    ForFoxSake New Member

    Thanks. Would you skip the salting part, or thaw in pickle and then drain and salt, then pickle again after?
  8. Skip the salting. I do not salt any of my cats, foxes, or yotes. I try to skin (including all meat/membrane and turning/splitting) and throw straight into the pickle and proceed with tanning as usual . Have not had any issues. What are you using for your pickle? If you don't want to thaw in the pickle you can also inject some of the pickle solution in the ears (also the first to slip for me). One thing to also be aware of is the heat generated from your hands. Any type of heat will speed up bacteria growth. As for an alternative to Stop Rot, I have heard of some people using the concentrated Lysol you get at the store. I have only ever used this on reptiles so I cannot attest to mammals.
  9. ForFoxSake

    ForFoxSake New Member

    I'm using McKenzie safety acid for the pickle. I feel like the problem may be at the defrosting or salting stages so next time I'll skip the salt and defrost in the pickle. Hopefully no more slipping. And I'll give Lysol a go, thanks!
  10. I'm not a huge fan of the McKenzie's safety acid. When you need to restock try either Pro-1 or Rittel's Safety acid.
  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    The skins were bad before they ever got to the pickle, don't blame that. It is in your process or methods where the problem lies. Skin fresh, lay out in a freezer to freeze, don't fold, or roll until that skin is cold, if you must. You are trapping that heat in. I prefer to skin cool down and then split and flesh and salt and dry. Rehydrate in water and relaxer and wash at that time and into the pickle. pickle for a day or 2, wire wheel and then degrease, if I feel it needs it. Foxes typically don't. then return to pickle for a day, neutralize and then tan. On facebook there was a post by a taxidermist from your part of the world, who shared a recipe for his concoction similar to stop rot. search it out. I do use stop rot on all fur bearers prior and during working on them. PS, the brand of pickle has nothing to do with the problem as long as it gets the PH low enough and is compatible with your tan.
    Oryguncowgirl357 likes this.