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Thread: how long will a frozen hide last in the freezer?

  1. #1

    Default how long will a frozen hide last in the freezer?

    I got a call from a buddy who has a black bear in a deep freeze, he is curious how long it can camp out in there before spoilage? any time lines for fleshed and salted vs just fleshed? I have heard flesh only is the ticket for freezing but honestly have no idea on how long is too long to store them.....anyone with some good advice?

  2. #2

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    ps it is going to be a rug.

  3. #3
    Member Alasken's Avatar
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    Not sure about the timeline, suppose it depends on packaging, but I do know for sure if it's going in the freezer for an extended stay, NO SALT.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i've heard taxidermists say take out out every year, wet it with a brush adn freeze it again, freezing will eventually freeze dry a hide and it won't be as good to work with, the guy i worked for preferred a wet tan so the freeze worked quickly and when they thawed it it, wasn't dry like plywood.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    i've heard taxidermists say take out out every year, wet it with a brush adn freeze it again, freezing will eventually freeze dry a hide and it won't be as good to work with, the guy i worked for preferred a wet tan so the freeze worked quickly and when they thawed it it, wasn't dry like plywood.
    so you are saying he has a year or better? what is the longest you have heard of when you say pull it out and wet it?

  6. #6

    Talking hide freeze

    Quote Originally Posted by highcountry View Post
    so you are saying he has a year or better? what is the longest you have heard of when you say pull it out and wet it?
    There are so many factors when it comes to freezing a hide. Don't salt and freeze...this draws out moisture, freeze drying paws and head to make it difficult to impossible to skin out and prep. I don't recommend thawing and re freezing because deteriation starts during thawing. A frost free freezer will dry a hide out in months and a regular freezer, depending on how it is rolled up and wrapped, can keep them good for a few years. If a hide is going to be worked on soon, I roll head and paws out to help speed thawing, if not then rolled tight inside AFTER HEAT is complely out. I always skin out, flesh and prep hide and head so freeze drying won't be a problem. I've worked on a bear the was froze for 7 years and it was almost like working on a relative fresh hide, and I got a cougar in that was froze 5 years with no problems. I've seen lots of animals lost in less than a year due to some of the problems mentioned.

  7. #7

    Default freezing

    I've had some hides in the freezer for a long time. I had a sheep cape in the freezer for 3 years before taking it out, fleshing, turning ears, spliting lips, etc. and then salted and dried, turned out fine. One thing for sure is bear hides may slip if the cold doesn't get to the middle of the hide when rolled up. I had a large black wolf that I was going to have a rug made out of and when I took it out of the freezer, somehow, this shoulder on the inside of the fur did not freeze and I had a big slipped spot ruining that hide for a rug.

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    Similar principles that apply to freezing meat apply to hides. Longest terms will be achieved by limiting exposure to air. I suppose it wouldn't be easy with a bear hide but a good thing would be to submerse it in water and then freeze. I currently have fresh skinned fox, mink, and beaver skins submersed and frozen in large mouthed plastic jugs. They should last forever. I've done this before when I get behind on the trapline and they are no more worse for the wear after I take them out a couple years later. A couple of the fox I have now have been there for 3 years and I'm sure they are fine.

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    good to know guys thanx

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    Where are you located I have a bear that has been in the freezer for 7 years and I can't find anyone who will attempt to mount it. I would really like to have it done.

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