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Discussion Starter #1
So ive been doing fairly well for a first timer and Ive mostly been selling in the round. Well I caught a little coon that wouldnt be worth much and figured why not practice skinning fleshing and hanging.

Skinning went well. Kicking myself for not doing it to all the big boys i had earlier on. So I bought a half dozen #4 sleepy creek wires today. I need a little guidance for the intial shaping and setup.

Also help with appropriate way of mounting the pelt to the stretcher. How to mount the nose and tail etc, dimensions across at critical points.

Probably all been covered here, ive watched some videos and read a lot of posts but nothing like a little 1 to 1 with you good folks. Thanks in advance.
 

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Skinning as you found out is pretty easy once you learn to pull tails and learn where to find ears, eyes and corners of mouths and how to pull the front legs etc...really not much to it...

Wire stretches, should come ready to go...keep the fur in and put the pelt on in...center the ears/eyes/front legs/tail...clip the tail to one clip and both back legs to the other and pull them down tight..not super tight...

Clothes pins on the wire on both bottom edges will hold the skirt down..

I like to hang coon by the tail end..

Only problem with wire is getting the tails to dry nice...but there are ways to do it...

Once you try it you will see there isnt much to do with wire...but if you run into trouble ask and you will likely get good answers...

My coon issue is fleshing the back of their necks...i cant get em clean..driving me nuts...
 

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mauser06 said:
Skinning as you found out is pretty easy once you learn to pull tails and learn where to find ears, eyes and corners of mouths and how to pull the front legs etc...really not much to it...

Wire stretches, should come ready to go...keep the fur in and put the pelt on in...center the ears/eyes/front legs/tail...clip the tail to one clip and both back legs to the other and pull them down tight..not super tight...

Clothes pins on the wire on both bottom edges will hold the skirt down..

I like to hang coon by the tail end..

Only problem with wire is getting the tails to dry nice...but there are ways to do it...

Once you try it you will see there isnt much to do with wire...but if you run into trouble ask and you will likely get good answers...

My coon issue is fleshing the back of their necks...i cant get em clean..driving me nuts...
They really don't need to be totally clean, and there is no advantage to getting them clean.....it shouldn't affect the price....

This is all the cleaner that they need to be...

 

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Buckshot1822 said:
They really don't need to be totally clean, and there is no advantage to getting them clean.....it shouldn't affect the price....

This is all the cleaner that they need to be...

I've always been told to scrape them from the base of the ears down completely clean to white leather. The only red should be on the head, and all that grizzle has to go. An ULU knife works really well on that neck grizzle.
It looks like that coon needs alot of work to satisfy my buyers.
 

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X2 with fairchild #17 on cleaning them better...Instead of useing a ulu knife I use a fillet knife,BUT THAT WHAT WORKS FOR ME
 

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Fairchild #17 said:
Buckshot1822 said:
They really don't need to be totally clean, and there is no advantage to getting them clean.....it shouldn't affect the price....

This is all the cleaner that they need to be...

I've always been told to scrape them from the base of the ears down completely clean to white leather. The only red should be on the head, and all that grizzle has to go. An ULU knife works really well on that neck grizzle.
It looks like that coon needs alot of work to satisfy my buyers.
To be truthful, I usually clean them up a little better than that one, but I never have went the whole way up to the ears..........and my buyer seems to be quite happy with the put up, so I guess it is just a matter of the buyers personal preference?? I don't know.......

For scraping in that area I also use a sharp knife, or the sharp edge of a fleshing knife......
 

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i will have to post pics in a couple days before i head off with my fur..

i know the random missed spots here n there need cleaned up and now that i realized today there is a right and wrong way to use the dull side of my necker, those random spots will clean up now i am sure...but the back of the neck i still cant get...ive even been using a knive and trying to get it by hand..i put more time in 1 coon than a good flesher would spend on my pile..

them big boars are the worst! they are a different critter..bad thing is thats mostly all i shoot..occasionally a good sized sow..once in a while i will be tricked...i shot a true dink a week or 2 ago...looked like a biggun till it hit the ground..that happens once in a while..still went large..

i need to work on it i know that...i am working hard at it...each one i do looks better and better..except that spot i just cant get..and really looks OK till days 2 or 3 when it is getting dry..

buyers seem to hammer me with green coon and at the tail end of the season most dont wanna mess with green coon...so i gotta learn to put em up...then i can sit on them, ship them, sell them local or whatever i wanna do...if i established a connection with a buyer and they felt they could trust they were getting good green fur they'd probably pay better..we used to have that..but they both retired..but when a random guy comes in with green coon, a buyer isnt gunna pay much..i understand that..

i will get it right! im sure i will have another dozen or so to practice on by the end of the year unless we actually get a winter...if this weather keeps up i might have a pile..anything above 30 and i can plan on skinning 1 or 2 a nite if i want..

funny you can look at my coon and pretty much put them in order based on looks...1 has a big window when the knife caught a boar...my buddy skins fast and leaves me too many presents to deal with later and i knew right away that was the 1 he skinned one nite..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info so far, unfortunately i need to back peddle a bit. First attempt at fleshing was a total flop. Luckily this was a tiny coon, but i majorly failed at that. I started out good, got t down to white leather but just wasnt able to get into the meat on the back.

Heres where I think I went wrong. First off I have no official flesh beam. What should I make, seemed like it I had something with more concave to it the knife would bite better and I could scrape away easier. I was more or less on a flat board and I cut too many small holes.

I skinned yesterday and couldnt source a fleshing knife til tonight so the hide sat until I was able to get back out there tonight. Maybe its a tad easier going right after skInning?

I ended up getting a necker knife and the dull side wouldnt do a thing.

Im determined to get this down!
 

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look into maybe making a PVC or hard wood beam...or buying a hardwood beam...some love a PVC beam...i might make one to try...a flat board with a curved knife like a necker just dont work...

you should be able to pretty easily push off everything except the meat and fat on the back of the neck...as long as a you dont hit a tit or [censored] or burr or tick or folded up pelt etc you shouldnt rip a hole with the dull side...i havent..always brush before fleshing or you will hit a burr and blow a hole..same with tits, [censored] etc..dull side of the necker will get everything clean except the back of the neck....when you are holding the knife the coon on the necker knife should be up...wish i knew that when i started lol...makes a world of difference!


i actually prefer to let my coon freeze slightly before fleshing...i skin and if its below freezing that nite i leave them in the truck bed leather out...if its warmer i freeze till morning..wake up and thaw for an hour or so and start fleshing...somewhat frozen seems to flesh easier for me...warm just makes a slimy mess of grease..when its cold its more solid..

small coon are also a different animal than a big boar...a small coon is more like a fox to me..a little more fleshing required..but all pretty easy to get off..thinner leather than a bigger boar IMO..i thought practicing on small coon or early coon was a good thing..then i got to a big primed up boar and realized they are a different critter...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A greasy mess for sure. I had more slime and crap on my knife than actual flesh coming off. Ill have to look into the pvc setup for something quick to make until I can get or make a nice wooden beam. Ive got a ton of DPs out and have a good feeling for tomorrow morning.

And good to know about the right side out, I wasnt sure. Eventually trial and error will teach but sometimes its nice to just learn and skip the dumb mistakes in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks trappin, ill have to get one on the way. Im not really counting pennies this year as im still getting myself the basics materials to get rolling.
 

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Backroads said:
So ive been doing fairly well for a first timer and Ive mostly been selling in the round.
If you don't mind sharing,who did you take it to and how much were they paying in the round?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I live about 2 minutes from Rodgers Hides + Supplies in honey brook PA. Ive seen multiple posts complaining about him being a bit on the low side for pricing, but I like Dave and I dont mind supporting his business if hes making money off my fur. Now that I have skinned (skun?!) I would probably sell them green if I was to take some to him again. Coon round were $3 for runts or uglies, $5 for average and $8-$10 for big boys.

On a side note I got a 5' piece of 6" PVC and cut out a fleshig beam from it. I still need to make a base but I managed to flesh up another little crapper of a coon tonight. This time I only managed to rip a small hole around the leg and a tiny one where I caught her teet.

Leaning curve is kicking in, it took me waaaaayyyy to long to do it but I feel I learned a few good things that should make the next one go quicker. Most importantly is a more upright angle to the beam as my back is screaming right now lol! I will post some pics and show you all y creation in a day or so if anyone cares to see.
 

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Couple more questions for you guys.

How detailed do you guys get around the ears and head?

What about nose cartilage? When i cut the nose theres always a chunk left in there, just leave it?

How long to hang on the stretcher and what to do with dry pelts once their off the stretcher?
 

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Backroads said:
Couple more questions for you guys.

How detailed do you guys get around the ears and head? I like to clean it all up, to each there own. Self pride I guess..What about nose cartilage? When i cut the nose theres always a chunk left in there, just leave it? Don't know what chunk you mean unless you cut your nose off high. Trim it up..How long to hang on the stretcher and what to do with dry pelts once their off the stretcher?
Depends on your heat. You can tell when to take them off. Does not hurt them to stay on a long time either, unless you have limeted stretchers. Once they are off you can store them flat.

As soon as they are on the stretcher, I always run a beaver knife down them head to tail both sides ( milking them ) this will help pull alot of " grease " out. Get yourself some burlap to rub on them as well. Burlap will absorb the grease.

Your putting a product out there to sell.. You will only get out of it what you put in it...
 

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backroads,seen some of your questions i like to flesh from the behind the ears down make sure to get heavy flesh on neck.be careful around the front leg armpits thin leather and make sure all purrs are combed out hit one with a fleshing knife its a sure hole.as far as letting them dry hang in 40 to 60 degree heat with fan check base of tail area its usually one one of the last areas to dry.i like to hang coon pelts in a dry cool place for storage just run string thru eye hole and hang several together.i'll put up picture of finished coon if i can figure out how to
 

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John epler at eplers fur trading makes a good video on fur handling...It is pretty good.. I averaged $26 on male mink $12 on females and $9 for muskrats.. The video made it easy. Good luck
 
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