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Thread: How long will a salted cape keep?

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Default How long will a salted cape keep?

    I'm going on my first sheep hunt this fall in the Brooks. The trip will be a twelve day trip total but a probably the first day or two and last day or two will be walking in and out. So probably more like 8 days of hunting. So how long can I expect a salted/fleshed sheep cape to last?

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    If properly fleshed prior to salting, it will last for many months.
    Even "imperfectly" fleshed, a salted sheep cape will easily make it to the taxidermist or tannery following your two week trip.
    Keep it as cool as possible. Attempt to get blood off of and out of the hair and skin. Salt bloody areas well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    I'm going on my first sheep hunt this fall in the Brooks. The trip will be a twelve day trip total but a probably the first day or two and last day or two will be walking in and out. So probably more like 8 days of hunting. So how long can I expect a salted/fleshed sheep cape to last?
    Something to think about...how much salt are you considering taking in with you? I bring this up for two reasons: 1) Most sheep hunters go to extremes to trim ounces from their packs. Adding pounds of salt to your pack may seem innocuous right now, but the suck factor can go way up as the hike up the mountain progresses. 2) A "lightly" salted cape and a "well" salted cape may not keep the same, especially depending on weather (temps go up) and how well the cape is fleshed.

    Just stuff to consider.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    I work at D&C expediters/ taxidermy every fall and we handle alot of sheep capes that come from the brooks, and we usually ask the hunters how their trip was and how everything worked out....If you plan to flesh it in the field, be sure and bring a good sharp ulu/roundknife, which is what we use in the shop for all fleshing purposes. it will save you a ton of trouble and go much quicker and do a much nicer job ( especially if you find yourself a good flat boulder for a stable work surface, just work the blade at a slightly downward angle, and just keep it easy and smooth). also, you will need to turn the ears, eyes, lips, and nose out (which you need to salt very thoroughly) when you do the fleshing, because these are the most critical parts that go bad fast. a small and very sharp havalon or scalpel like blade will do the trick for this. as for the brooks range weather factor, figure in rain, snow, and likely some weather over 60. you need to bring a brand new tarp (4x6, something small and light) and take really good care not to put any holes in it to cover or wrap your cape in to keep it out the elements. you will want to salt it down pretty good, twice in the field. figure about 15-20# of salt for the whole trip should do it, 8 days should be no problem. the most crucial thing is to do a good job fleshing. Note: Sheep Skin is very thin, and they are easy to cut. Dont let this scare you, small holes are no problem to fix.

    Hope this information helps you. If you want more advice, call your local taxidermist



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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the advice. I'm flying with Wrights and have a 750 lb weight maximum. I think I'll take some extra things such as a bunch of salt and have a base camp set up near the airstrip and hike way out from there. That way when I get a sheep I will have some salt with me and when I get back to base camp I can salt it heavily once back, hopefully in a day or two.

    I have a brand new havalon knife that my wife got me. Is there some kind of light weight round knife that you would suggest Hunt&FishAK?

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    I generally take two plastic 16 once (?) Gaterade drink containers full of salt per (expected) sheep cape with me into my sheep camps. That will be only 6 pounds of salt, which is good for two saltings on the cape. It has worked just fine on the last 27 ram capes, 2/3 of which were shot in Aug and 1/3 in early Sep.
    Surprising how much fluid drains out of a ram front-cape.
    I sometimes have a few more pounds of salt at the drop-off/pick-up place.
    ...hope this helps some...
    dennis

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    If you have a steady breeze and some cover from the elements, you don't need much salt at all. It is amazing how fast a sheep cape will dry if hung out in the breeze. I have gotten by with just salting the head. I try to "clean skin" all my game animals that are to be mounted. That will leave you with minimal fleshing, too. Make sure to secure your horns and cape at night, too. I have heard of bears and wolverines thieving at night. I have been known to tie horns to the tent.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossyhorn View Post
    Thanks guys for the advice. I'm flying with Wrights and have a 750 lb weight maximum. I think I'll take some extra things such as a bunch of salt and have a base camp set up near the airstrip and hike way out from there. That way when I get a sheep I will have some salt with me and when I get back to base camp I can salt it heavily once back, hopefully in a day or two.

    I have a brand new havalon knife that my wife got me. Is there some kind of light weight round knife that you would suggest Hunt&FishAK?
    havlon has a round blade also for skinning and capeing
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    Ok thanks, I've never actually gone through the turning of lips and ears. I've caped animals for head mounts only in the respect of taking the head in and the taxidermist caping the skull out. I've done the rest and the taxi said I did good. I watched some videos on turning lips and ears and doesn't seem too bad. So we'll see. I just want to be as prepared as possible.

    Thanks for everyone's help.

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