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 Post subject: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014, 19:34 
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Joined: 19 Nov 2014, 14:16
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Location: South Central Indiana
Ok. This is our (me and son) first attempt with our first possum. We screwed up at the front legs and around the ears. The wire stretcher isn't big enough. So I know we have those problems. But does it look clean enough? Picture isn't great but please let me know. Thanks and please be gentle.

Also, this is my first attempt to post a picture and first time using photobucket so I am not sure there will even be a picture. But here goes!

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014, 19:35 
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Location: South Central Indiana
Well the picture is there but awful small on my computer. Any input on how to make it bigger?


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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014, 23:41 
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Hoosier you did better then me, i couldnt get a pic to upload. Hate to say as when i zoom in it gets real fuzzy.

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014, 01:27 
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009, 15:09
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H71- Glad you're trying to put up your fur. From reading an article in Fur, Fish, & Game last year, there seems to be less folks who are. I don't see any major cuts in the hide or ripped front armpits so that's good. Hard to tell from the small scale how clean the leather is of fat. Grinners flesh fairly easy but a person can also scrap too hard and go through to the hair roots. The pouch area on females rips fairly easy. You can check out either NAFA's or Fur Harvesters' guide to various critter fur handling for a good many tips. The FH one has more step by step pictures in it. Hope you get your dollar :)

P.S. I usually resize by pixs using Paint to 15% of the original size. That seems to work well for posting on WAT. I also use Photobucket for pix hosting. Upload them and then copy the little url that each pix will get when on Photo bucket and paste it into your WAT posting. Good luck!!

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014, 11:08 
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First let me say congrats on the catch and memory with your son. Congrats on you taking this pelt the distance too, you are in rare form these days doing that and esp with it being your first catch. Very refreshing to hear.

What size or number wire stretcher was used?

It looks as if the pelt may have needed pulled downward farther on the stretcher which will also cause the sides of the pelt to become more narrow plus adding length to it. You don't want it guitar string tight, just enough to take out the bulk of slack.

I will not critic your pelt because its a process of learning how to improve the put ups more and more, until you reach a point where you can look at it and say "that is one of the best looking put ups i have personally seen." Just be honest with yourself and strive to be the best possible and you will be.

Here are some things that I know and have learned about possum put ups. Glean what you can from it and try to let some things guide you. If only one or two things stick with you then you have gained!

Possums should be perfectly scraped clean just like coons or skunks, of not only outside loose fat, but also any meat, membrane, neck gristle, and layer of fat under the membrane.

If using a metal blade be very careful to hold the dull pushing blade at as low of an angle as possible with back of blade down instead of up high, and still be able to get a "bite" of material. Use only just enough downward pressure to get down to clean leather and no more. If possible, see about scraping them with a teflon scraper as these are superb over metal for possum. Ask on the forum or search it in old post to learn more about it.

Part of the problem people have with possums and fleshing is they think they pushed too hard at times and hair roots become exposed. Though that is possible, most of this is not self induced and cannot be altered no matter how light you push. On all but perfectly prime and heavy possums, the hair roots are already going to be exposed because the leather is thin and still unprime. Thats why they sometimes only bring $.10-$1.00. If caught in mid December through end of season the leather is thicker and you can be somewhat more aggressive with them and with the old big males you will HAVE to be or you will not get them clean. If anyone doesn't take too this and has doubts, take the time to remove the outer membrane using extreme caution without scraping the fat layer under it. I done this by fleshing a portion, find the trouble hair root exposure areas start, then by hand pull the membrane away from the pelt and off which leaves the under layer of fat. Then use your fingernail or something you know you cant pull hair through with and you will find the hair roots still exposed underneath the fat. Prime pelts are key to better possum prices.

You will find female possums rarely hit that state of prime where no hair roots exist. Same goes for smallish possums. Large older males are where the most value is at, and are most often caught late season more often anyway as compared to the number of female or young possums.

Possums do best on wood red fox boards.

Once in a while a particular possum will have a reddish stain to their leather. Don't mistake that for membrane or you risk over scraping.

On the chest dead center between the front legs is a musk gland area most noted on males. Do not try to take all the material from this half dollar sized area or the hair will fall out. I carefully remove it down to a thin layer but unless you are very experienced with a knife just leave it. Do not try to push off this area or hair will still fall out....it must be gently cut loose with the sharp side to save face so to speak.

Large males in grey color that are mid to late season primed are good money catches and can buy gas. I get $6.50-$10 regularly under a normal NAFA auction.

Do not brush possums after fleshing cleanly, esp if hair roots are exposed... that is if the pelt is not dry yet. Brush BEFORE fleshing on any pelt, and on possum wait until fully dry before brushing again (inspection window) or the hair will come out.

On the neck some old timers require the cutting instead of pushing edge. Be careful. On the vast majority of perfect prime boars, i can get very aggressive with the Teflon scraper and bust through the gristle without doing damage. Once you are under it, it peels up but requires aggressive force. Do not do this on any other possums less then old big boars perfectly prime. You must gently cut loose, with the sharp blade, the gristle... if it exist on lesser grades.

A good possum pelt done correctly is very similar in leather color to a coon but with a slight yellow tinge to most.

Don't worry about fleshing the head....only remove material that is very blood shot or bruised but that's it. Start right behind the ears/head.



Here is my youngest son working a nice prime boar possum. The marr you see at the front shoulder blades area was either from the body grip trap, or a scar...I can't remember. But it was in the leather, not ON the leather.

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My oldest with a nicely done XXXL possum.

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Hope this helps. Any questions just speak up. Good luck!

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Last edited by Amak on 27 Nov 2014, 12:09, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014, 11:47 
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Great photo demo on the possums Amak. We need to work on getting Russ to smile a little more. It is good seeing Wyatt at work on the hides.

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014, 12:08 
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Swamp Rat wrote:
Great photo demo on the possums Amak. We need to work on getting Russ to smile a little more. It is good seeing Wyatt at work on the hides.



Thanks Swamp. I've given up on Russ and the smile for the photo thing. Even when he does smile, It's because I rail him and he forces one out, and it looks like he is constipated. Normally he is always happy go lucky and always smiling and joking around. Something about a camera put a stone face on him. These are older photo's, but on topic so I felt they might help someone. Wyatt is about a foot and a half taller now! :roll: :lol:

Sorry Hossier, back on topic now..... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014, 08:08 
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Joined: 13 Dec 2011, 16:50
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Location: South Eastern NB
Amak wrote:

I will not critic your pelt because its a process of learning how to improve the put ups more and more, until you reach a point where you can look at it and say "that is one of the best looking put ups i have personally seen." Just be honest with yourself and strive to be the best possible and you will be.

Don't mean to take away from the thread, but this year I finally did up a rat and looked at it and said exactly that, It was a proud moment :wink:

You'll definitely get there Hoosier, you should have lots of possum to practice on, all these American folks keep saying theres possums everywhere :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2014, 13:23 
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Joined: 19 Nov 2014, 14:16
Posts: 24
Location: South Central Indiana
Thanks Amak for taking the time to show and tell your procedures on possum. That info is great. After looking at your photos I can see mine wasn't near clean enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Putting up possum
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2014, 13:27 
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Joined: 19 Nov 2014, 14:16
Posts: 24
Location: South Central Indiana
Actually I should have thanked everyone that posted a reply. Didn't mean to leave anyone out!


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