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Mink For Lifesize Mount

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jean M, Oct 15, 2022.

  1. Jean M

    Jean M Well-Known Member

    Hey all,
    A couple of questions about skinning/tanning a mink for lifesize mount.

    What would be your preferred approach? Case skinned or a short dorsal incision.
    Or would that be dependant on the pose.

    I'm assuming that the tail would be stripped off like a squirrel, not split. Can't imagine trying to sew that.

    When tanning a small mammal like this, do you salt first or just throw right into the pickle?
    I just wondered about getting salt into(and back out of the tail skin if it's not split like larger mammals such as fox or racoon.

    Is this any concern?
    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ok yes if the tail is not taken care of it will slip. To prevent this run a cord through the tail so that the pickle will get into that area. Just make sure you run it back and forth .
    As for skinning it’s the pose or pick what you like and deal with it.
    If you’re tanning, then flesh well, rinse and a good idea is a salt brine for 24 hrs then rinse and place in pickle.
    Robert Baker and Jean M like this.

  3. Jean M

    Jean M Well-Known Member

    Thanks Frank, appreciate you taking the time for me.
    When I get to the project I'll follow your advice.
    I've tanned a couple fox squirrels before and struggled with the salting of the tails.
    The brine is a great idea.

    I'm guessing you would just add salt to the point of saturation.
    Robert Baker and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    A quick word of warning if you have not started to skin the mink yet and in case you do not know… they have the same type of musk gland as a skunk (they just don’t spray like skunks). This is something I found out the hard way… the odor was horrible and drove me right out of my shop. You DO NOT want to cut into that gland!!!
    If it were me, I would not dorsal skin a mink. I think the seam would be very difficult, if not impossible to hide. I would case skin the mink and mount it using the technique described in a tutorial by George Roof “mounting small mammals” here in the tutorial section of this forum. Treat the tail as described above by Frank K. Good luck!
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  5. Jean M

    Jean M Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mike, great advice, I will watch out for that for sure! I was pretty sure they had a scent glands like weasels.

    I think i have read that tutorial, and will certainly review it and other resources before going ahead.

    I think I've got a couple of bear mounts to work on and maybe some others as deer season gets underway, before messing with this little guy. He's safe from me in the freezer for now.

    I'd like to use this as a chance to practice sculpting my own form.

    When I do get to it, I will post my progress.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    On squirrels, I took some cotton string and threaded it onto a large needle, ran it up the tail and out the end and left it I through the pickle as a wick. Then, redid the procedure to replaced the cotton string for the tanning. It was a submersible tanning solution.
    Jean M likes this.