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Thread: My Wolf Hide (on the cheap).

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    Default My Wolf Hide (on the cheap).

    Since my wolf recently taken was another of those not so great quality hides, I decided to again do some work on it myself to see how it would come out. I thought I would share my method in order to give others ideas and get input from the pros on some things I maybe should do different.

    This pic shows last years tube skinned young wolf I took and processed myself. In the foreground is this yrs wolf just skinned w skull still in place along w the paws. ( I let the taxi do the skull and paws).
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    The Black one looks very realistic.

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    So before we brought it to the taxi for the skull and paws work, the wife and I screwed the hide to a five eighths sheet of plywood and went to work on the fleshing work. Our knives could be better/sharper, for sure. In fact I just bought a new Edge knife the other day for future work. Despite our less than perfect knives the taxi gave us kudos for our work. With two people working it, it went quick.


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    So I bought a bag of salt from Save u More for like, eight bucks(?)
    Doused it semi heavily w salt on the plywood and ground the salt into the hide with pumice stones the wife got off the beach at some time. We had a few diff shapes and sizes a the coarseness of the stones helps to scrape loose flesh and fats off the skin. I try to do the whole skin once a day for as long as it takes to start drying the hide out and until the hide's flesh starts to shred off. Some parts of the hide begin that process ahead of the other spots.


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    Having diff shaped/sized rocks helped in using certain ones for fitting into crevices and spots that others may not work as well.


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    Here's a leg area where u can see how the flesh starts to 'shred'. This is good.


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    Each day I remove the salt from the day before by using a wisk broom and dust pan. I screen the salt thru a red strainer that sits on top of another fine screen filter. The filtered salt sifts into the five gallon bucket. That way a guy can keep reusing the salt.


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    I probably worked on this hide at least an hour a day for better than a week. Lots of arm work. I like to keep trying to get as much of the hide to dry from the salt as I can. Some places on it never dry completely. Be aware of how 'stiff' the head/ ears area gets so that you can always turn the hide/head.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    The Black one looks very realistic.
    Ha! You mean my 'decoy'? Just stake her out in the swamp and hope my aim is good. It should really pay off when she comes into heat soon! Plus, I might get a pretty cool litter of pups!
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    Here u can sorta see the thinner spots thru the back of this animal. I thought my tube skinned wolf from last year turned out quite good. The underside was thin from the lice but the rest of the hide looks good. It doesn't have the real long hair but the hair along the back is pretty uniform. Better on the back than this yrs 5 year old (or so) male wolf.
    I didn't split my tails on my coyote, last yrs wolf, or this one. I just stuff salt down the tail (deboned) and they have maintained their flexibility.
    Last years wolf still has some wolf smell (stink) so I have been spraying Fabreeze on it this past week. Seems to be helping. (Any other ideas welcome to rid smells).


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    So here's about what the finished product looks like (in background, AGL). After working on it a fair amount over a couple weeks, a guy could still lay it out and scrape some more. The more work u put into it, the lighter and more flexible it is.
    Any taxis on here that could give me some good hints. Borax? How to shine up/ clean up the fur? How to reduce smells on the hide?
    I'm also wondering if a guy should try a soap like Dawn or such early on to remove some of the oils. Would that help? Seems u can never get the hide to dry out completely. Any help there?


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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post


    So here's about what the finished product looks like (in background, AGL). After working on it a fair amount over a couple weeks, a guy could still lay it out and scrape some more. The more work u put into it, the lighter and more flexible it is.
    Any taxis on here that could give me some good hints. Borax? How to shine up/ clean up the fur? How to reduce smells on the hide?
    I'm also wondering if a guy should try a soap like Dawn or such early on to remove some of the oils. Would that help? Seems u can never get the hide to dry out completely. Any help there?


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    I'm not a taxidermist, just done a little trapping and tanning fox furs and Marten, but I wash my furs in a five gallon bucket with a good dose of greased lightning and water which is a great cleaner/degreaser before the furs go into my tanning solution. I use a fleshing scraper knife to remove the fat and flesh uploadfromtaptalk1457644956685.jpg. The pumice stones seem like a good idea after the tanning solution, but I would think that they would get clogged up by the fat and flesh before a preliminary scraping with the knife.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post


    So here's about what the finished product looks like (in background, AGL). After working on it a fair amount over a couple weeks, a guy could still lay it out and scrape some more. The more work u put into it, the lighter and more flexible it is.
    Any taxis on here that could give me some good hints. Borax? How to shine up/ clean up the fur? How to reduce smells on the hide?
    I'm also wondering if a guy should try a soap like Dawn or such early on to remove some of the oils. Would that help? Seems u can never get the hide to dry out completely. Any help there?


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    I also after the skin is mostly dried apply with a cheap paintbrush 100% neatsfoot oil to the skin, it will help keep it flexible and help to preserve the leather, and when you are handling it, some of the oil will rub off from your hands onto the fur, which gives it a nice sheen it seems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by libertyinspirit07 View Post
    I'm not a taxidermist, just done a little trapping and tanning fox furs and Marten, but I wash my furs in a five gallon bucket with a good dose of greased lightning and water which is a great cleaner/degreaser before the furs go into my tanning solution. I use a fleshing scraper knife to remove the fat and flesh uploadfromtaptalk1457644956685.jpg. The pumice stones seem like a good idea after the tanning solution, but I would think that they would get clogged up by the fat and flesh before a preliminary scraping with the knife.
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    I will have to try actually tanning a hide. Sounds like that would be the way to go and buy a 'scraper'.
    Is 'greased lightning' the name of a product? Is it the tanning solution?
    Yes the pumice stones pick up the fats/tissues. I put them in the bucket after wars with warm water and then a quik scrub with a brush cleans them good again. Even when clogged tho, the rocks push the salt around into the hide pretty nicely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    I will have to try actually tanning a hide.
    Maybe you should try it the old fashioned way and use the critters brains......lol

    I once tanned a mule deer hide (hair on) with alum....
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    Curious as to how much time elapsed from death till the taxi took the head and feet out? Why did you turn the head back out? Is that the way your going to display it in the house?
    if your just going to have it as a wall hangar you could have air dried it w/o the salt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Curious as to how much time elapsed from death till the taxi took the head and feet out? Why did you turn the head back out? Is that the way your going to display it in the house?
    if your just going to have it as a wall hangar you could have air dried it w/o the salt.
    Wolf was killed about 4pm Sat and I got it to the taxi Mon noonish. I think he didn't do the work till Tues, maybe even Wed as he had some personal issues he was dealing with.
    As for the "turn the head back out",..... U mean hair, eyes, nose, etc on the outside so u can see it? (Maybe I misunderstand?).
    As for the display, it will probably end up hanging on a nail in the garage. Did the project more on a 'learning process' hoping I get a little better at skinning/processing the hides in case I might actually get a decent hide eventually.
    My take was that w/o salt the hide would smell and rot. Do u have a better idea(s)?
    My coyote hide I did my way a few yrs ago, I was happy with. No smell, very flexible. I use it sometimes as a decoy when calling. Last yrs wolf, same thing. (Ok, a bit of smell till recently.).
    4mres suggestion to use brains was actually a consideration. ( any wolf that can get shot by me probably doesn't have enough brains to do the job, tho). I am mostly still experimenting so would welcome any ideas.
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    Using a lesser hide as a learning experience is a good idea.
    If you can get the wolf stiff enough to stand up it would make a great decoy I bet and as a decoy, wolf smell would be a plus!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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