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  • Bear Rug

    How long can I keep a bear hide in the field without salt? How long can I keep it if I salt it? I will be heading up the haul road this weekend and I am hoping to get a bear in coldfoot. I am wondering how to take good care of it if I get the bear first then finish the haul road trip to dead horse and back ( were planning on a week trip). Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Taxidermy preference

    I forgot to ask...what taxidermist do you guys recommend in Fairbanks?

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    • #3
      Talk to a taxidermist...

      ...BEFORE you go! It doesn't matter which one--just find one and ask for advice BEFORE going afield. Most are more than willing to give you helpful tips. As a licensed taxidermist, my mantra is "Advice is FREE". Again, I don't care which taxidermist you use--just talk to one in person before you go afield. You will never regret it! Before you pull the trigger, or release the bowstring, on an animal, you owe it to that animal's "spirit" to have put forth the effort to preserve its memory. But then, I view any game animal a "trophy", regardless of P&Y or B&C score. est of luck on your hunt!!

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      • #4
        A week seems like a long time without salt. I've had sheep for 3 days without salt, but beyond that seems to be a stretch. It'll be cold, which helps, but I'd talk to a taxidermist first.

        By the way, why wouldn't you bring salt and put it on the hide just in case? I sometimes don't carry salt on backpack hunts due to weight, but why on earth wouldn't you bring it along on a vehicle-based hunt?

        -Brian

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        • #5
          You can also use that salt substitute, suppose top work well. Its called TTC I think. LArry Bartlett at Pristines Venturres sells it and so does Marc Taylor at Wiggy's Alaska here in Anchorage.
          Flesh the hide well, roll it flesh side together and roll it up, put in in a game bag and keep it out of the sun and warmth. Best would be hang it in the shade with ventalation. Next day unroll it and let any liquid drain off and then repeat. It would be immesnly better if you salt it if you are going to be out that long.

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          • #6
            A week is fine...

            If the hide is well fleshed and you've turned the ears, split the lips and nose, and have turned all the toes properly, you should have no trouble at all getting it to keep a week up there. I would make sure it stays cool though.

            To properly do the fleshing and detail work on a bear hide, it's gonna take most folks 4-5 hours' work (at least). So plan on spending some time at it. You should salt it twice; once after you finish fleshing and splitting, and again the next morning (let it sweat overnight, tightly rolled skin to skin, then shake the damp salt out in the morning and re-apply).

            Make sure you put it somewhere where another critter won't end up chewing on it!

            -Mike
            Michael Strahan
            Site Owner
            Alaska Hunt Consultant
            1 (907) 229-4501

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            • #7
              Good advice

              Mike, this is probably the first time I have read about good fleshing. If you dont flesh it right and just salt it, you get nothing but jerky.

              If you flesh it right and salt it (it wont take much) you will be fine.

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              • #8
                One more thing-

                Originally posted by Blink View Post
                Mike, this is probably the first time I have read about good fleshing. If you dont flesh it right and just salt it, you get nothing but jerky.

                If you flesh it right and salt it (it wont take much) you will be fine.
                Blink,

                Thanks for the kind words. I should mention one more thing; probably not a big deal on bears, but perhaps. In warmer weather I also split the eyelids. This is especially important on antlered game with longer eyelashes (deer, moose, caribou, etc.). If you don't split the eyelashes they can slip too, and you end up with a goofy-looking mount. Folks will know something's wrong with it, but may not notice exactly what until you show it to them. It's worth the effort. I usually don't worry about it in cold weather, but I do salt the area thoroughly just the same.

                -Mike
                Michael Strahan
                Site Owner
                Alaska Hunt Consultant
                1 (907) 229-4501

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tips

                  Thanks to everyone for their advice. And I do plan on taking salt out with me just in case. I was just wondering if it would be neccessary to do it if it was nice and cold. Better safe than sorry so I will bring enough to do it twice. Thanks again.

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                  • #10
                    Where can I find a good resource on the proper technique for splitting the lips and nose, and for turning the toes, etc....

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                    • #11
                      Knight's Taxidermy

                      Originally posted by Frankie_2_Times View Post
                      Where can I find a good resource on the proper technique for splitting the lips and nose, and for turning the toes, etc....
                      Frankie,

                      Russel Knight put together a series of laminated cards that are pretty helpful. He made them small so you can carry them into the field with you. He also details the process on his website. HERE'S THE LINK. Scroll to the end of the page to order the guide.

                      Hope it helps!

                      -Mike
                      Michael Strahan
                      Site Owner
                      Alaska Hunt Consultant
                      1 (907) 229-4501

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Russell Knight has good advice and a pocket book he sells.

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                        • #13
                          Go see a taxidermist for sure...

                          If you plan to do a rug, you need to see a taxidermist on the correct way to cut the bear when you skin him in the field. This is crucial to the final product! If you cut it wrong, in order for your taxidermist to make the rug look symmetrical, he will have to end up trimming off parts of your hide...which in turn, gives you a smaller rug. You'll see what I'm talking about when he shows you.

                          As far as splitting all the parts on the face, there is no easy way to explain it, it would do you much good to go watch someone do it and this time of year you shouldn't have a problem finding a taxidermist with a critter that he's fleshing.

                          Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Chris Batin's Bear Skinning Video

                            Originally posted by Frankie_2_Times View Post
                            Where can I find a good resource on the proper technique for splitting the lips and nose, and for turning the toes, etc....
                            Frankie,

                            There's also an excellent video covering this entire topic, from skinning, where to make initial cuts, etc, to turning ears, splitting lips and noses, to fleshing, salting, etc. This is the single best resource I know of. HERE'S THE LINK to order it. You have to scroll down the page a bit to get to the video.

                            -Mike
                            Michael Strahan
                            Site Owner
                            Alaska Hunt Consultant
                            1 (907) 229-4501

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Same DVD available on this site...

                              The same "bear care" DVD is available here...

                              http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/pro...inning_dvd.htm

                              The taxidermist in the video is Don Rodreguez (sp) who guides for Jim Bailey on Kodiak and in the Talkeetnas. Both are fun guys who know bears and how to take care of them. The DVD is well worth the cost, IMO.

                              Comment

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