Got a fox!
Sorry pics didn't turn out. First one! Got it in a snare by the back leg.
Having got that one, I have a slew of questions. I'll only ask two though..
Fleshing: What am I doing! I don't have a beam, so I am trying to make due. I case skinned it according to the "pelt handling" pdf (from fur harvesters) that is commonly recommended on here. I did a pretty good job i think! Fleshing is another story. I am going to tan it myself, so did a bunch of net surfing... A lot of people don't flesh red fox!! There is a thin layer of muscle and very little fat that I am trying to get off. I have a fleshing tool that I am using. The problem I am having is shaving too thin and one hole. That and it is taking forever! It is pretty cold tonight so I hung it in the shed for now. It will probably freeze tonight.
Washing: I got some blood on it from putting it down, and from skinning it. Will washing it before I tan hurt it? I read about one guy who throws it in the washing machine prior to boarding it... Do I need to finish fleshing before or after washing it?
Would help to know how you're going to tan it, if you're going to immerse the whole hide in a solution or not. If you are, you can first immerse in clear cold water to wash out any blood, rinse a couple times.
As far as fleshing, if you have a fox stretcher board you can slip the hide over that fur side in and flesh it on the board with a scraper, ulu, knife. We like to use a scraper, either bone or metal, a chisel end with some vee notches cut it in, run that down the hide to remove any flesh and fat. There again though, not sure what kind of tanning you are doing, if you are doing an acid tan you don't have to get all that off per se, cuz the acid will still get through and that flesh will come off during the process where you work the hide soft with the scraper after you pull it from the tanning solution.
It's just real easy to start tearing holes in thin skinned animals like fox when fleshing, only so much you can do prior to tanning. If I can't finish a hide, what I like to do is to roll it up fur side out, make sure any skin side is touching skin side, seal it up in a garbage bag and put it outside to freeze. If you do it that way, then it's just a matter of bringing it in to thaw, and then the hide is still green wet and not all dried out to where you have to wet it again. Otherwise if you hang it and freeze it it's gonna dry out and you're gonna have to wet it again before tanning.
Hope this helps some,
Thanks! It does help. I am going to use a tanning kit that includes pickling it in acid. I am going to try and tan it as is.
I'd hate to ruin it, but ya gotta start somewhere.