Preserving fox tail

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
Hi there, hope so,some can help.
i have preserved squirrel tails before by simply dipping the cut end in borax powder and leaving to dry (for use in fly tying). This seems to work quite well.

has anyone tried this for preserving a fox tail? Can't be bothered to try skinning it or anything like that.....

All the best,
​mike
 

Benc

Well-Known Member
I have to do them all for work to go in the shoot lodge, i use ktan and freeze them as i shoot them then do one batch a year. You can do them in meths as well, not sure borax would be enough to penetrate the thicker skin but i stand to be corrected.
 

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
I have to do them all for work to go in the shoot lodge, i use ktan and freeze them as i shoot them then do one batch a year. You can do them in meths as well, not sure borax would be enough to penetrate the thicker skin but i stand to be corrected.

Thanks Ben,
not sure i will be getting ktan for just the one tail (I don't really shoot many foxes), the meths sounds interesting tho, do you,just soak the whole thing in it, then dry it out?
 

Eric the Red

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ben,
not sure i will be getting ktan for just the one tail (I don't really shoot many foxes), the meths sounds interesting tho, do you,just soak the whole thing in it, then dry it out?

Yes Mike. Just strip the bone out and soak in meth for a week. Then a good wash in some of the wife's finest shampoo and conditioner and jobs a good one. The leather remains a little stiff until you pull (with the fur grain) over a hard edge or similar to break the fibres down a little.
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
+1 for the meths but I have in the past pushed a piece of dowel or wire in the cut end so that a mounting can be glued in at a later date
 

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
Yes Mike. Just strip the bone out and soak in meth for a week. Then a good wash in some of the wife's finest shampoo and conditioner and jobs a good one. The leather remains a little stiff until you pull (with the fur grain) over a hard edge or similar to break the fibres down a little.

Ok, is there a really easy way to get the bone out? Or can it just stay in?
 

perdix

Well-Known Member
I've always cut all the way around the skin at that tails base and then fastened the bone and flesh to a big wooden block I had for the job(and splitting logs on) with a fencing staple.
I'd then ease the skin all the way around the cut and once I had enough to get a good hold of.........................PULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
​It can be a bit of a job but it does work
 

Gaz

Well-Known Member
After shooting the fox just lightly cut around the bottom of the tail, until the inner skin is showing. Then just put a looped piece of string/cord around the cut area and with your one foot on the foxes body (as an anchor) just pull. Only takes seconds.
 

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
So I will end up with the tail pulling off the bone and turning inside out?
I presume I then just push it back the right way then preserve with meths for a week or so, then hang to dry?
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Easiest to do when the animal has just been shot.
As previously stated nick around the base of the tail. Get two rough twigs, put one on each side of the tail near the cut.
Stand on the Fox, firmly grasp the twigs and pull like hell.
The tail will slide off the bone. Submerge in a jar of meths or formadehyde, leave for a couple of weeks then take it out and shake it dry. A stick or thin dowel can then be pushed down the hole and allowed to dry, then an eyelet can be screwed into the end to hang it up.

HWH.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
You can do it quite easily by hand. Cut all the way around the base of the tail, but not too deep! Just enough to cut through the skin. Next, run the tip of the blade under the skin and seperate it from the bone for an inch or so. Then put one foot on the animal and grab the tail firmly at the cut and pull! It just slides off in one piece and doesn't turn inside out. Submerge in meths ensuring that plenty goes inside the hole. Leave it for a week or more, remove and dry.
MS
 

palmer_mike

Well-Known Member
Update!
just went out to garage and gave it a go. Tied cord around bone at end and eased back the skin till I could get some pliers on it. Pulled like buggery and thought it was all coming off ok...... Until it split into 3 pieces and left the end of the tail on the bone. Oh dear.

Soaking the bits on meths now but a bit disappointed with how it all turned out, in hindsight I should have done as suggested with a looped bit of cord to peel the fur off
 

Eric the Red

Well-Known Member
So I will end up with the tail pulling off the bone and turning inside out?
I presume I then just push it back the right way then preserve with meths for a week or so, then hang to dry?

No need to turn it inside out - some good methods for stripping here - I like Gaz's string idea - shall be trying that!

Sorry Mike a bit late on the post and didn't see your update. You can sew it back together.......
 
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keith@honda

Well-Known Member
the last one i did i split a hazel stick at one end for about 12 inches out of 18 then scored the skin,peeled the cut open enough to get the stick in ,i then held both ends of the stick to lightly pinch and pulled upwards whilst standing on the foxes feet.having done this i then got a syringe and squirted meths inside the tail until full.put the rest of the meths in a large coffee jar in put the tail in for a fortnight turning regularly, after this i put a thin garden cane about 5mm thick done as far as possible and leave to air dry. hope this helps
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Bare end in a vice and use the handle end of a pair of scissors around the flesh end and gently pull backwards and it will come off the bone. Or a split hazel branch around it and pull the same way.

If you can get some formic or citric acid use a weak solution (water, salt and acid)inside the tail and leave it for a while and then tip out and put a thin dowel inside the tail and hang to dry. The acid will fix the hair and it will not fall out, this is the first step to tanning, and will preserve the skin and hair fixing it to the pelt.
 
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