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Thread: bot flies in the skin?

  1. #1
    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    Default bot flies in the skin?

    maybe someone here knows, but i just got back from hunting and my partner shot a very nice caribou bull, the hide was thick and full so i decided to bring it back. during the skinning i noticed what i thought was a bot fly larve in the skin, i cut it loose and looked at it, small black pupae looking thing about the size of a jelly bean. is it a bot fly? can i even use this skin for tanning or is it toast? if there are flies in the skin is there anything i can do to save it. its in the freezer now in a trash bag, so they probably wont live through that, but i cant be sure, any help is appreciated. and......... the skin has lots of yellow/blood looking spots on the inside, is this where the flies are?

  2. #2

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    yep, sounds like a fly. The larvae are harmless now that's dead. Your tannery will be able to shave them out in the process.

    Curious, how did the leg joint look when you guys skinned it? There's another type of fly infestation that moose get on occasion, called the black fly. They lay eggs on the animal and the larvae hatch and imbed in the joints, where they thrive. The animals affected with these fly larvae will have spaghetti-like worms that are usually localized in the leg joints and shank area. The moose I shot last year had it bad...

    just curious.

    larry

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Larry, I can't speak to the caribou that the previous poster shot, but the one my friend shot two weeks ago had the fly larvae under the skin, but the joints were clean and appeared completely normal. As for the cape, we just fleshed it as usual and sent it off.

  4. #4
    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    shave them out? not sure what you mean, i was hoping to have the fur in its current condition full thickness and all. and as for the fleshing, i have seen on bear skin where they take it all the way down to the hair follicle, but the "leather" portion of this skin is rather thick, can it be left thick like that since i wont be mounting it or will it get fleshed way down into hair?

  5. #5
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    This is probably what you're seeing:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=disease.skin5

    Warble flies. They are almost always on/in the hide of caribou. Once the tanned leather hide is back from the tannery, it will be fine. There will be small dark spots all over the leather side, but no worries. The hair side will be fine if the hide is prepped and salted properly for the tannery.

  6. #6
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The Warble Fly and Bot Fly are the same critter according to a bit of googling. This is one of 150 or so species of the family Oestridae. These flies can infest the skin, nasal passages or the joints. Harmless, but icky.
    When confronted with multiple solutions or hypotheses, the simplest is usually the most correct (Occam's Razor) and Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity (Hanlon's Razor)

  7. #7

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    the shaving is something all tannery gurus do in the process. Fall bears will oftentimes have hair follicles pulled through during the process, whereas spring bears rarely have this result. The leather is supple either way, but results vary with species and time of year. The fur side will look the same with either "leather-side" results.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Who are you guys using for your tanning (in anchorage)?

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Who are you guys using for your tanning (in anchorage)?
    Alpha Furs

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