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Thread: Salting the hide

  1. #1
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    Default Salting the hide

    When I get a bear this year, do I need to do anything special to the hide? My taxidermist charges a little extra to remove the skull and paws. He showed me some hides where people pulled them own their own, with not so great of results (visible cuts around eyes, nose etc) He told me that it will end up costing more to make a bunch of repairs than to just pay the removal fee. I have never caped an animal before. I have taken moose and only get the meat and antlers.
    Since I don't plan on removing the skull and paws myself, do I need to mess with salting the rest of the hide? Btw, I will be able to get the hide to the taxidermist within a day.

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    If you don't remove the skull or paws, there is no need to salt the hide. However depending on temps you will need to keep it cool and dry and get it to the taxidermist within a day or so. The hair will slip if not cared for properly. Check with your taxidermist about sealing as the skull will have to be removed to be sealed.

    Steve

  3. #3

    Default Don't salt...

    unless you are going to flesh it. Do like Stid said, keep it cool and take to taxidermist. No reason to salt unless you have it fleshed, paws out, head out with ears, lips, eyes, turned.

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    It's really not that hard to get the skull out and doing it the right way and same with the paws. I had never done it untill last fall and I did both of my bears, and a few others of the guys I was with and had no problems. When I got it to the taxi he said it was fine and showed me some good tricks but said I did fine and had no holes or slips of the knife. I think you can do it yourself if you feel up to it.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I would really recommend that you learn how to cape, and remove a skull and paws as well as making the required cuts correctly. Also make arrangements with a taxidermist before you need one. Many remote hunts will require you to preserve your trophy. I can only speak for myself when I say that I will admire the trophies on my walls for as long as I live and I sure don't want to have to look at an animal and know that it could have looked better if I had been more prepared. A sharp scalpel and patience will get you there. Most taxidermist should be taking in bears soon and some are willing to show you how to do it. If you salt the hide before all the flesh and fat are removed it is possible that the salt will not penetrate to the hide to lock in the hair. Plus someone will have to remove the salt and properly flesh the hide and the salt will kill the edge on a knife. Plus the salt hardens the hide and makes it hard to do the fine work around the face. There are several videos available for sale in the forum store that are good learning tools also. I always use my fingers and cut towards them as I work around the eyes and ears, this makes me go slow and careful. Always wear gloves because some bears can cause you to get infections if you cut yourself. Hope to skin a few more in the coming weeks myself, or at least watch other do it...

    One other tip, if you ever have to leave a dead bear in the field always lay it out so you can make your cuts when you get back, because a stiff bear is sure hard to skin right.
    I also try to leave something on the carcass with my scent on it as well as urinating in the area. This will help prevent other predators from chewing on your prize. However nothing seems to stop the eagles from tearing up anything they can find.



    Good Luck

    Steve

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    Thanks for the info and advice. I will get with my taxi and see if he willing to let me watch the process. I really want to be independent on this one. I don't want to do the tanning and/or mount work though, not much of an artist.

    Stid2677, I agree about admiring the tropy's on the wall comment. Knowing that I did the work makes it a little sweeter. Just like with running my dog in field trials and hunt test. I did all of his training. The pro dogs do it with a lot more class, but my dog is getting it done and all because of the effort that I put into it.

  7. #7

    Default Wilderness Taxidermy - by Larry Bartlett

    Take my advice and go to the storefront above and order the 3 DVD pack "Wilderness Taxidermy" - by Larry Bartlett. ($29.95) Once you receive it, watch it at least once before you go hunting.

    The DVD's are a mixture of hunting with Larry and professional instruction on skinning Black Bear, Caribou and Moose from trigger pull to taxidermist. It's one thing to be told how to skin a bear and/or see a photo, but another to watch it 'hands on' so to speak before you go as many times as you want. I watched the ears, lips, and knuckles portion of the DVD 3 times because I never had done it before.

    IMO the hunting portion of the DVD is "ok" (the highlight for me was watching the Pro Pioneer in action).. the instruction, however, is outstanding and will help you help your taxidermist. Rich Hamilton did a great job and the money was well spent!

    Highly recommended for any hunter before heading into the field.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanOutdoorsman View Post
    Take my advice and go to the storefront above and order the 3 DVD pack "Wilderness Taxidermy" - by Larry Bartlett. ($29.95) Once you receive it, watch it at least once before you go hunting.

    The DVD's are a mixture of hunting with Larry and professional instruction on skinning Black Bear, Caribou and Moose from trigger pull to taxidermist. It's one thing to be told how to skin a bear and/or see a photo, but another to watch it 'hands on' so to speak before you go as many times as you want. I watched the ears, lips, and knuckles portion of the DVD 3 times because I never had done it before.

    IMO the hunting portion of the DVD is "ok" (the highlight for me was watching the Pro Pioneer in action).. the instruction, however, is outstanding and will help you help your taxidermist. Rich Hamilton did a great job and the money was well spent!

    Highly recommended for any hunter before heading into the field.

    I second the recomendation for this set of DVD'd. Great instruction!

    Will

  9. #9
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    My taxidermist would rather people brought him the whole bear if you can get out of the field quick enough. His biggest problem he runs into (besides messed up eyes and lips) is the belly and leg cuts not being square. It makes for a lot of work or an ugly rug. Another problem is people want body mounts then cut the pads to remove the feet.

    I kept a Brown bear hide in great shape for 8 days with salt. I removed the toes turned the lips and ears did minimal fleshing and used about 10 lbs of table salt. It made for somthing to do during the day at moose camp pull the hide out of the game bag and flesh for a couple hours during the heat of the day add a little salt a hang it up again.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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