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Squirrel Tail Fur Slippage - Is The Tail Delicate Or Is It Rot?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by buffalobill20, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    hey everyone. I recently got me dead squirrel. I skinned them within 24 hours of death. I have done larger mammals such as raccoons but nothing as small a a squirrel.

    I want to ask if the tail is naturally delicate and the fur pulls out easily, or if it is rot?

    There is no slippage anywhere else on the squirrel, just the tail.

    I have read that sometimes the squirrel might have Mange which are mites that lead to hair loss on a squirrel.

    Everywhere on the length of the tail (regardless of whether it is fur close to anus or the tip of tail) the fur comes out if I grab a fingerful and pull.

    The tail seems to be the least likely to rot first because there isn't much muscle, hence little fluid and blood there in contrast to say the stomach or back where there is lots of muscle and fluid.

    If this is not a squirrel specific problem, then the only probable cause is maybe I didn't put salt down the hole where the tail is (I stripped the tail in one piece without having to split it in half).

    This doesn't make sense because I have poured a little denatured alcohol down there to make sure I get it in deep to disinfect. I also soaked it in a salt/acid pickle too, so even if the salt didn't get down, the pickle surely must have. This was all done within 24 hours at cool autumn weather.

    Can anyone with experiences with squirrels share?

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Don't tug on the hair until it has set. If the tail is too barren, you can always transplant the tail off another squirrel. They are super plentiful.
    buffalobill20 likes this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Just because you think alcohol or a pickle got down to the tip etc your wrong. There will be an air pocket and needs to be released. The best way to do a tail that isn’t split it to take a long straight needle attach butcher twine and send that through to the tip and out. Now once in the pickle the twins will soak up the pickle but you should work the twine to make sure you the pickle right through.
    jake7719, buffalobill20 and ARUsher like this.
  4. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    As stated above on the air pocket , I take a small wire up thru tail poking a hole thru the tip then I use a syringe and squeeze pickle into tail a few time To make sure it’s inside heavy, once pickled I do the same with tanning cream , inject with syringe.
    JL likes this.
  5. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    Thanks for the advice. I actually have a few bad squirrel skins. I think I will do a bit of transplanting lol
  6. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    Thank you so much for this. It was the case! I used a thick wire and i could see bubbles coming up while it was in the pickle.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  7. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member


    i think the syringe is a good idea. Thank you
  8. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    I all ways had trouble with the tip on tails mostly from freezer burn and not getting the bone out of the end. I started to split all tails from base to tip to flesh and preserve hide. A bit of work but job dun right, I would sew up the tail base and glue the tip to the tail support wire.
  9. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I use to have that , I started wrapping the tail with a wet paper towel and put in freezer , never had that issue again
  10. buffalobill20

    buffalobill20 Member

    oh i thought i would ask this as well. What are your thoughts on not splitting the tail?

    even though I was able to get the pickle thru, I am not able to remove the membrane in it because it is quite far down there. Wouldn’t thumid be a problem when tanning?
  11. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I don’t split them either but run a cord up through the tail and the same when tanning
    There isn’t enough junk in the upper part that would cause issues. Not getting the fluid there will.
  12. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I had experienced similar issues with animals with long thin tails (personally, I prefer not to split and sew back up). I began using a syringe to insure complete saturation and have not had any issues since.