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#3107654 - 06/17/09 06:41 AM Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail
Sakoluvr Online   content
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Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6471
Loc: Where the wild things are.
I have a couple of tails in the freezer that my kids want. What is the best way to remove the tail bone, and keep the tail looking good without losing a bunch of fur in the de-boning process?
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#3107691 - 06/17/09 07:03 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Sakoluvr]
bender Offline
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Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 2788
I think you will find the coon a lot easier than the fox, so practice on that one first. Fox skin is a lot more delicate. I used to put a loop on the end of a straightened out coat hanger (a little electrical tape over the sharp parts) and use it to push up beside the bone to break up the connecting tissue a bit. Made it easier to skin. Never did a frozen one though - hopefully it will still be supple enough to skin out like a fresh one. Stay close to the bone!

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#3107764 - 06/17/09 07:42 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: bender]
Sakoluvr Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6471
Loc: Where the wild things are.
I will try that. A quick defrost and it should be good to go. I think I will use a razor blade.
_________________________
Peace be still! Don't ever forget who is in the boat with us.

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb


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#3107925 - 06/17/09 09:17 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Sakoluvr]
Okanagan Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 3874
It is easier to slip and then split a fresh tail before it is frozen, and a lot easier when the tail is still connected to the carcase. So you have a double difficulty, but not insumountable.

I have skinned a few tails out by clamping a vice grip on the stump of the bone and hanging the vice grip up on something solid.

If it will strip off, you are way less likely to cut the hide or pull it too much while skinning and break it off. The hide on the tail is weak compared to the rest of the animal's skin.

If you don't have a tail stripper, you can make one out of a straight stick of wood the diameter of a broom handle. Round or square stick doesn't matter. Take two pieces of the broom handle about six inches long, and cut matching notches on one side in the middle of each stick. With the two sticks held together, the notches should form a hole between them. Eyeball it to get the notches to be a little smaller than the big end of the tail bone, so the two sticks aren't quite touching when clamped together with the tail base between them. I'm guessing start with a notch 3/4 inch wide and 3/8 inch deep on each side. Maybe smaller for rqccoon and fox, as I'm more used to coyotes. None of this has to be precise but too small a hole is better than too big.

With the tail completely thawed, skin the tail down about two inches from the stump end. Grip the tail bone end with the vice grips and hang them on somethign solid, with the tail hanging down. Then clamp the two notched sticks around the skinned section of the tail bone and pull down toward the tip of the tail while squeezing the stripper sticks together. If done correctly, the hide around the bone will suddenly give and the entire tail skin will slip off the end in one piece.

Then with a thin, razor sharp knife, lay the tail straight, insert the blade in the open end of the tube and split it to the tip. Be careful to split it all the way to the end, a delicate job but essential to get salt or tanning solution on the inside of the hide all the way out.

Plan B for me would be to skin it down and split the hide on the way. As with any skinning, a curved blade is far less likely to cut the hide where you don't want. A straight edged blade, like a razor, is much more likely to cut the hide. An Exacto knife with a curved blade would work better, though a razor will work. It just takes a little more care with the razor blade.

It has to be thawed completely. I'd soak it to thaw it fast. Otherwise the hair insulates it for many hours while the stump end begins to go bad.

Good luck!




Edited by Okanagan (06/17/09 09:23 AM)

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#3108024 - 06/17/09 10:15 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Okanagan]
Sakoluvr Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6471
Loc: Where the wild things are.
Okanagan, awesome. I will try that this weekend. I wonder if I can just bore a hole in some wood (1/2-3/4"), then rip it on the table saw? Maybe hang a pair of vice grips on the side of a tree?
_________________________
Peace be still! Don't ever forget who is in the boat with us.

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb


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#3108093 - 06/17/09 11:03 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Sakoluvr]
bender Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 2788
I would not use a razor blade! A little skinner would work better. You are just cutting connective tissue, nothing heavy duty. Should cut real easy. Once again, be reminded how thin and delicate fox skin is, the tail being the thinnest. Think bunny. Okanagan is right on about the curved blade. Makes all the difference.

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#3108136 - 06/17/09 11:22 AM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: bender]
Sakoluvr Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6471
Loc: Where the wild things are.
Gotcha
_________________________
Peace be still! Don't ever forget who is in the boat with us.

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb


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#3108451 - 06/17/09 02:40 PM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Sakoluvr]
Okanagan Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 3874
 Originally Posted By: Sakoluvr
Okanagan, awesome. I will try that this weekend. I wonder if I can just bore a hole in some wood (1/2-3/4"), then rip it on the table saw? Maybe hang a pair of vice grips on the side of a tree?


You bet. That's plumb fancy. Make two and sell me one! \:D (Just kidding.)


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#3108459 - 06/17/09 02:45 PM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: Sakoluvr]
jpb Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 06/30/01
Posts: 6859
Loc: northern Sweden
How about taking pictures and posting them here?

From time to time I have needed to skin a tailed critter, and it would be great to have pictures to save on the hard disk along with the instructions above.

John

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#3108462 - 06/17/09 02:48 PM Re: Tips on skinning out a fox tail/coon tail [Re: jpb]
Sakoluvr Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 6471
Loc: Where the wild things are.
Hey, I will do that................if it comes out OK. Will try this weekend. Thanks for all the advice. I have messed up a few, and got tired of doing that.
_________________________
Peace be still! Don't ever forget who is in the boat with us.

After the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box.
Italian Proverb


Top
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