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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2015, 16:53 
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Funny how a guy thinks he has things figured out then is humbled about how much he still has to learn.

The wash my coon hides after I flesh them. I think its gets the grease out of them a bit better. And I think my grades generally support that option. Last year, I didn't have much around April 1 then I do this year. I know water can gather in the bottom of the tail where the bone gets pulled out but I thought by turning upside down, squeezing a bit and out in a small stick to keep it open, things were drying out ok. Wrong. Now it looks like a good number of my remaining 20 coons may lose the bottom half of the tails because the inside never dried out decent and are tainting. I can open them up more with my zipper and sprinkle some borax on it but if the hair is slipping than its chop off time. Grades will probably be affected but I don't want any taint coming from my hides. So before putting them up, I'll zip the tails more and watch them more carefully.

I'm also getting mold spots on my wooden boards especially where the lower flanks are pinned tight. The last couple of times, I've taken rubbing alcohol to them between hides and I think that takes the freshest stuff off but I can see this as a problem in the future with more numbers. Perhaps a solution is to blow dry the fur side and make it as dry as possible (usually I hang it half a day or so to drip dry before putting it on the board). We'll see what I can do for next season...

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PostPosted: 29 Mar 2015, 17:08 
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I’ve also tried washing the ditch coyotes I got this winter. And I’m having a drag of time to get them dried without some areas, primarily the arm pits and the area between the front legs, starting to taint. I’ve tried to keep them leather out for as long as possible but the backs, necks, and bellies dry out and I don’t think I’ll be able to turn fur side out if everything gets totally dry.

I think the problem is that deep down in the fur its still fairly wet and it keeps or re-wets the leather, even after I did some blow drying of these problem areas. I think this current hide to dry enough to come off of the board and I’ll try to rub some borax up high inside and then blow dry through the front legs holes (these are fairly cut down so when they’re almost dry, they can be tucked inside. We’re talking maybe 3 inches up from the armpit.

But I need to figure this out because so far I’ve only been able to dry 1 out of 3 of these junker yotes without some smell developing. I need to learn my lesson on these before I mess up a Grant (maybe) next year…

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 02:48 
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PC i never board a pelt till the fur is absolutely dry. I doubt your bobtail coons will suffer much down grade. I never downgraded bobs because tails are a waste product to the fur industry most time anyhow. The portion of a coon they fret over is right behind the ears to the base of the tail, basically the back as a long rectangle. I always allowed up to 3 .22 size holes there too before lowering the grade/value(if then). A fan running continuously on them helps drying too. I love how your doing your dangdest to salvage those ditch yotes by the way. I had an argument this evening while fishing with a bunny hugger that was bicycling along the creek trails and thought of how "bloodthirsty" and "wasteful "we outdoorsmen(and women)are accused of being and you and your yotes came to mind.

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 11:07 
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NPc, IMO,
Stop washing the pelts unless they are a complete bloody, mud mess. Moisture is the death of any pelts. The pelts that you are forced to wash, make sure they are 100 percent dry before boarding. Keep a fan going in your drying area constantly. Borax can be used for smaller area of blood stain on the fur side. It can also be used on the leather. All my k9 take a complete borax bath before boarding. I stopped using borax on coons all together. I thought it was causing the leather to become to dry and changing the appearance.
Sounds like your drying area may have a high moisture with your mold issue. That probably has to do with the washing as well. All the guys that wash pelts around here have a drumming machine to completely dry the fur before boarding. It's an expense but makes a huge differnce in pelt appearance. Remember, if you send to auction they are drumming your k9 automatically.

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 11:48 
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Im not trying to sound arrogant, just stating the truth. I have washed all my pelts save rats and a few beavers for a number of years. Done correctly, it makes a difference in color grade many times, as well as texture becomes more silky. Every coon gets washed no exceptions. Every coon and every pelt with tails also get split to the very tip, like NAFA suggest. I do make sure the hair is dried, but not a single problem with washing and boarding. Again, not bragging, but i have many many top lot awards for three different regions. I think washing and drying my coons is working. I will say i wash before fleshing and that seems to wring the last bits of excess moisture from the pelt. I use other methods to keep grease off the fur during fleshing.

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 11:58 
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Amak wrote:
Im not trying to sound arrogant, just stating the truth. I have washed all my pelts save rats and a few beavers for a number of years. Done correctly, it makes a difference in color grade many times, as well as texture becomes more silky. Every coon gets washed no exceptions. Every coon and every pelt with tails also get split to the very tip, like NAFA suggest. I do make sure the hair is dried, but not a single problem with washing and boarding. Again, not bragging, but i have many many top lot awards for three different regions. I think washing and drying my coons is working. I will say i wash before fleshing and that seems to wring the last bits of excess moisture from the pelt. I use other methods to keep grease off the fur during fleshing.


That's so typical of this business. Someone asks a question and you will get five different answers. :--o what works for one person may not work for someone else.

Amak, I value your opinion greatly and have learned a ton from your posts. But NPc said he is having issues with mold and spoilage. Would you think his issues are due to the washing? Drying environment? Season change?

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 11:59 
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Thanks for the input guys!!!

WCS- The taint smell in the second ditch yote seems to have gone away after I removed it from the board and hit the damp leather areas with borax. I think the last one will get your borax "bath" before I board it. BUT I will use the hair dryer more on the fur side to get more of the moisture out and see if that makes a difference.

Done with washing coon this year. Maybe I figure up my own homemade drumming methods (as a hobby scrapper, there are offers for working or almost working dryers at least a couple of times a month for free on CL). Don't know what the eifey would say of a drumming dryer out in the garage (she's not too fond of my scrapping efforts anyway) but maybe at some other place close by. Something to think about...

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2015, 22:25 
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WCS- 100% certain the tail spoilage is from not being split to the very tip. Washed or unwashed that is a risk with unsplit tails. Mold virtually always indicates humidity. Whether from damp fur, higher room humidities, or combo of both. Warped and cupped boards also can indicate high humidity if they were properly thick and straight boards to start with. Washing isnt the problem really, drying is. Its important on water animals such as rats and beavers to be certain they are dry before boarding. Other pelts are the exact same. I flip all my wet pelts hard like a bull whip, only up and down. That gets a lot out. Then I hang in front of fans for several hours drying, brushing, and flipping again. I want to stress that I wash before fleshing. It makes a big difference. There really isnt any difference in a washed coon or a drown one, both are wet and both need dried fur before boarding. Thousands of coons are taken in drowning sets and are put up every season. No difference if you think about it.

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