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

Black Bear — Best Preservation Method...?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Honey the Bean, Nov 4, 2022.

  1. Hello everyone!

    So, I happened to come across a bear today. It’s not old, maybe was hit early this morning or yesterday/night. I’ve already done all the messy work on the side of the road, and just have to do the finer details of fleshing it better/removing fat.

    What is the best way to dry it out and preserve it...? I don’t have any tanning solution right now, and my freezer room is at full capacity... it *is* getting colder out, but I really want to preserve this the best way I can.

    It is a full pelt. Includes all paws, head, etc. I know I’ll have to either split the legs to clean the paws or turn them inside out (which method would be best..?)

    Any tips would be appreciated! This is my first bear! I’m excited but I would like to know what I have to do to do it best, and I know that you guys are the best of the best! ❤️
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    You can invert the toes, Take the toe bone out at the last joint, where it joins the claw. It is best to suspend each foot so that the weight of the skin will aid in inverting. Splitting the legs is OK if you plan to rug it. If it's to be mounted, I would leave only the ventral cut (or dorsal). Remove all fat and flesh, turn the lips eyelids, and ears. Salt heavily and allow to brain, then resalt and dry. I seriously recommend you send it to a tannery. Request a full tan rather than a wet tan. This way, it can be stored at room temperature until you are ready to rug or mount it. You can rehydrate before mounting.
    Honey the Bean likes this.

  3. Hey! Thank you for the info~

    It’s just below freezing here, and I’ve managed to get all but the shoulders and head fleshed tonight, going to take a short rest and get back at it again. I think it will be a rug, although there are a few places that will need stitching up from where she was hit and the skin broke :(

    I’m not too sure about any tanneries around here, but I have a few contacts and can see what they do with their animals. If I salt it heavily enough and make sure it’s dry, will it at least preserve until I can get it to a tannery...?

    Also, should I be doing any kind of washing before hand..? (I mean, the grease and blood etc.. or should I just leave as is, except for a wipe down with a towel or something..?)
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    You can salt dry them but prior to that they need to fleshed properly. That’s getting all that fat off.
    Reason being when bear fat dries on a hide it can and will lead to grease burn and give you a poor tan.
    Once cleaned of fat and membrane you can salt well, fold on an incline to let the fluids drain. The next day 24 hrs later shake off the salt , resalt it and hang to dry. Using a fan will speed the process up.
    Tanning bears isn’t easy but personally they should be done by a tanner with experience on bears as it’s way different than doing a deer.
    joeym and Honey the Bean like this.
  5. Thank you for your reply

    As you might have read, I don’t have a fleshing machine, but when I do my work, it is right down to the skin, and there isn’t any fat left. I can take a picture to show if you would like...?

    What does grease burn do to a pelt and is there a way to fix it...?
  6. tazzymoto

    tazzymoto Well-Known Member

    You don't fix grease burn, you can prevent it by removing all the fat before salting the hide. You will need to degrease the skin. I would highly recommend using the Trubond method for bears. You can find it on their website
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  7. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Grease burn ends up with the skin disintegrating in those areas in time . It can be 6 months to see it or a few yrs when your client asks you why is my bear rug or hanger getting holes in it.
    Most don’t witness this on mounted animals until they see hair falling out.
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  8. Oh, I never knew this! Thank you for explaining it for me :)

    So as I’m fleshing and cutting the fat away, as long as I’m right to the skin, I should be okay..? (Note: First bear)
  9. Trubond is a US company, yes..? Do you happen to know of any Canadian shipping/manufacturers..?
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  10. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Here’s a pic of a fresh bear I just fleshed . If you get it to look like this you’ll have no issues C1192BDF-4CD9-49F7-8033-18D099F2A5FB.jpeg
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  11. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    As for shipping or who carries it in Canada check with your association ( join it if you’re not a member) as they can help you with taxidermy supply companies .
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  12. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Honey the Bean likes this.
  13. Yes, this is almost what mine is looking like, I just have to go back over it and take the rest of the flesh/fat out.

    Thank you so much for sharing your picture with me! It gives me a perfect idea of how much I need to take off.

    Another question (I hope you don’t mind), when you mention “shaving” it (or shaving off the fat), how or what do you use to do that with..?
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  14. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I use a round wheel. Their necks are the thicker areas and they need it more than most any other body part on a bear.
    I own a eager beaver fleshing wheel
    It’s a commercial grade machine that’s used in the tanning industry.
    I always suggest if a person is seriously thinking of getting one it’s that one or raw hide. There two of the finest machines out there. There are others for sure but I’ve seen them , worked on them and they don’t compare. Jmo
    Honey the Bean likes this.
  15. Jean M

    Jean M Well-Known Member

    Just noticed that Lone wolf taxidermy supply in Alberta has the Trubond chemicals (think this used to be AAA supply)
    Look in the Shop supplies section. It's not in their online catalog.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2022
  16. Lucky man

    Lucky man New Member

    Hi, the best way to preserve a Bear is to send it to a tannery and get it tanned all the meat and fat should be removed and salted hang and let the fluids drain for a day and shake off all the salt and resalt is again . taxidermist