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Best Way To Preserve/tan A Fox?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Honey the Bean, Dec 16, 2021.

  1. Hello!

    So I found this beautiful fox on the side of the road. It has been cold out, and the best thing, there was barely any damage to it! So I did what I was supposed to, removed the guts etc, and I salted it until I could move on to the next step. Which could be now if someone can help me.

    I always hear of this amazing stuff like Stop Rot and tanning stuff you rub on... The only things I have are mink oil and Neats.. (And egg tan but people are on the wall about that one...)

    So what should I be doing..? A Pickle? If so, can someone walk me through one so I don’t mess up..? (I’ve wanted a fox for so long, it’s like a miracle to me.. I don’t want to mess up at all...) I haven’t ever done a pickle before, so I don’t know what goes into it, or what I’d need. I’ve seen videos but they’re all different...

    Help a beginner please....?
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Purchase the Breakthrough Tanning manual available at some supply companies and Breakthrough Magazine website. Purchase a tanning kit from any taxidermy supply company and follow the directions exactly. That's it. That's all you need to do.

    My opinion has always been that you don't want what you have very much if you are not willing to spend money to preserve it correctly. If this fox is the miracle you say it is, you should be willing to spend some money and time to learn it correctly.

    I hope it goes well with you.
    Honey the Bean likes this.

  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Did you skin and flesh the hide ? Should never salt anything if it isn’t skinned and fleshed correctly, lips eye ears paws and tail bone turned and or removed. If you don’t know how to do that you should have put it in freezer till you learned to do that . Then you could have also read up on a proper way to pickle and tan , instead of some home recipe Harry homeowner came up with that works 64 % of the time .
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As Tanglewood stated above, if this is important to you, then spend the money to do it right. Mink oil and Neatsfoot do nothing to tan your hide. I am assuming that when you said you salted it ... you took the skin off the carcass and prepped it properly? You do not salt the carcass with the hide on it. Foxes slip very easily, especially the belly and ears. If you don't have a bottle of Stop Rot .. get it. In the meantime, you should be scraping and cleaning the hide off until nothing remains but the skin. No flesh or fat anywhere. There is a lot of info on here on proper hide care as well in books that should be in your library .. or buy them online. You need to have the knowledge before you make the jump. Get that hide scraped clean and into the freezer until you can do it properly. There are kits you can buy that have everything you need. Frank pointed out a site with a good one.
  6. Yes, I made sure to scrape and remove all flesh and fat, I watched a tutorial on how to properly split the legs down to the paws (and used a wolf pelt that was bought as reference as well), split and removed the tailbone (minimal fur loss in the tail), and everything else that was supposed to be done. She’s a small fox too, so she salted and dried nicely too, but a question I have now is: will she be okay/stay preserved alright in that salted state until I can acquire the other stuff I need? (Such as the stop rot, etc. There are no supply companies nearby so I have to look for it online and buy it, with whatever else is needed, which may be after Christmas...)

    I need as many books — hardcover, softcover or online — as I can get my hands on, but it’s hard to get the actual books here, and with online, there’s so many to choose from, or you need certain readers for this and that. It’s crazy! I’m hoping to get a few e-books with the money I scrounge up (or can persuade a certain mother to buy.. Hmm..) and hopefully I’ll be good.

    I mean, this is just a super special pelt that I don’t want ruined, that’s all.. I’ve skinned animals before and learned how to flesh them, how to do their ears (well, experience on a deer, sheep and goats for that), I’ve done a few birds... oh, and I have a dehumidifier in that room — which I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it’s helped with almost all my pelts (as the salt was getting wet, even after drying)

    Hello Frank, I’ve been waiting to finally meet you :)

    I will gladly read anything you tell me to or think I should read. I appreciate any help you’re willing to offer~


    Thank you, to all of you for responding to me. I have the utmost respect for all of you, and I hope to learn from all of you as I continue growing and learning this wonderful and beautiful art. Thank you again for taking the time with me~
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  7. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Yes if fleshed and salted correctly it will be fine till you learn a tanning method.
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    You have done well so far. Keep it going and you will see success!
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    For books, positively look in your local libraries. You might be surprised. Ebay is also a fair source of books. Sometimes there are some good ones on there. I have some that date back to the 1920's and before but, though there is some good info in them, newer books deal with more modern methods as well as chemicals. Still, the older books have good instructions on wrapping your own bodies and this is still the best way to go for lifelike mounts though it takes more time and a good eye for form and positioning.
  10. Vulpes Vulpes

    Vulpes Vulpes Active Member

    I found Brian Hendricks’ YouTube channel to be extremely valuable to me when I was getting into taxidermy. Buy the TruBond kit and Watch Brian’s Red Fox playlist on YouTube. Split the tail or the hair will fall out.
  11. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Also join your Canadian taxidermy association . They have a good bunch of folks there. There are two suppliers up in Canada and the association will help you there. Go to their competition and try and see the seminars to learn a lot from some top taxidermists and ask plenty of questions.
    Ps thanks and hopefully someday we will meet as I get up there every now and then to judge.