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#2851534 - 11/25/11 11:33 PM Marten fleshing and boarding question?
Farm Boy Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/15/10
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
From what I understand, buyers want marten to be boarded with the front legs inside the fur-out pelt. So, do you cut the feet off (ring the feet where they join the leg) or leave the top hide on the feet attached to the leg. One reason I am concerned about this is, when you leave the top of the foot attached, there are some very thick areas that don't seem to get very dry before the pelt is turned fur out. So, worried about spoilage, I have been cutting the front feet off the pelt. Is this correct or wrong???

Also, do most of you board marten with the hind legs on one side of the board and the tail on the other?

Thanks!!!

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#2851545 - 11/25/11 11:52 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
I ring the front feet and make an incision from the wrist to the armpit. (I hope that makes sense). I board marten with the hind legs split between the front and back. I will upload a couple of pictures for you.
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2851550 - 11/26/11 12:05 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
This is how I do the front legs. I pin them open onto cardboard until I turn the hide. When I turn it they remain on the inside.


Here is a shot of the hind legs.

You can see that they wrap around to the other side.

Once they are turned they look like this-
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2851561 - 11/26/11 12:30 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Nice looking fur FishinHank. I do mine a little different. I just make a slit from the wrist to the elbow on the front legs. Then when I pull the hide off the front legs pop out. I then just pull the hide off to the foot and cut off. I used to ring the front feet, but cutting into the fur you cut a lot of fur off. The slit eliminates that. I also do not pin the front legs, I just let them hang. They dry fine. I use a tail spreader for the tail, saves putting in all those pins. Screen works good too. A grader from Fur Harvesters told me to keep the rear legs on one side of the board so thats how Ive been doing it. I like the way FishinHank does his rear legs, think I will start doing mine that way. Looks much better to me.

The biggest thing I have found with marten is to mark measuring lines on your boards for the different sizes. Then when you board a pelt pull the base of the tail to the nearest line ( stretch a little) But make sure its pinned straight across the back on that line. A grader told me when they measure a pelt they will measure from the nose to the base, so if your not straight across it could cost you a size. Even pulling it a little past the line wont hurt just make sure its straight. Will try to post pictures next week.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2851565 - 11/26/11 12:41 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
The slit is a good idea Yukon, I will have to try that. I usually use screen, I just didn't have a piece laying around that was convenient. Once the marten is turned fur side out, I brush it from head to tail and then tap the nose onto a hard surface. This stands the hair up straight and it finishes drying like that. When the grader snaps the hide all the fur stands straight up and it looks very full.
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2851567 - 11/26/11 12:45 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
I do it like Yukon describes but I pin the back legs on the tail side similar to Hank. I like pinning out the tail, it makes it easier for me to get the hind legs pinned alongside. That way you can stretch the hide right to the tail so when its turned it looks longer than it really is...

Until last winter I skinned out all the feet, what a waste of time that was!! BTW, i have a big bag full of marten feet fur and claws if anyone ever needs any, lol...

Farm boy, the ADF&G put out a terrific skinning video that show the best, IMO, way to skin marten. THey also clean skin beaver, skin lynx, wolverine, and wolf I think. They will send you a copy for free, at least they did for me. I think someone found a place where you can download it online for free too. Joe Mattie does the skinning in the video if Im not mistaken.


Edited by Pittu (11/26/11 12:47 AM)

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#2851568 - 11/26/11 12:48 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2851569 - 11/26/11 12:54 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
That looks like it, but I cant seem to view it right now.


Edit: I got it to play and it is the video I was talking about. I really like the marten skinning method he uses.


Edited by Pittu (11/26/11 12:56 AM)

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#2851572 - 11/26/11 12:56 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Aknative Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/10/09
Loc: Fairbanks AK
Yeah that's the one I got from F and G. Good stuff!
_________________________
Rumors of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated.

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#2851602 - 11/26/11 02:32 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Farm Boy Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/15/10
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
Thanks fellows!

I have been cutting the front feet off using the slit method like Yukon 254. The results look nice to me.

The Fur Harvester and NAFA websites request that the rear legs be boarded opposite the tail/back. Until now, I have been placing them down each side of the board. This method is used in the ADF&G video and leaves a little leg on each side.

I guess I will have to adjust to boarding the legs all on the belly side. Seems the belly stick is always in the way.

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#2851603 - 11/26/11 02:52 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
Put the legs wherever you want. Doesn't really matter much. Just be sure and pin the base of the tail first, as this maximizes the length. DON'T board by putting back legs on the belly side of the board, and tacking them out first. This would shorten your Nose to tail measurement, possibly making a smaller size grade. Leave front legs in when you turn. One thing no one has mentioned yet, right after boarding, while pelt is still wet, pull the front legs toward each other, this pulls the thin armpit fur around to the belly side, so it doesn't show thin on the back. Here's a pic of one each way. Legs on backside, legs on front side, and legs wrapped around edge. I personally think legs on belly side is the worst way.




Edited by trapped4ever (11/26/11 02:55 AM)

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#2851802 - 11/26/11 09:04 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
I leave all my feet on because I think the animal looks better that way. I pin out the legs on the tail side of the board. I don't pin out the tail. Just split it and put one pin in the end.



_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2851813 - 11/26/11 09:19 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
W17 have you ever used those red plastic tail spreaders? Takes only 1 pin and a rubber band, but keeps the tail spread just like pins would. The graders from FH and NAFA that have put on fur handling clinics here told us the best way to get your fur downgraded was to not pin out the tail.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2851814 - 11/26/11 09:22 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
No I never have. Haven't even seen one. If it was a mink I could see it but there's no stretch in a marten tail. What's the advantage ?
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2851885 - 11/26/11 10:50 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
I will post a picture of one next week. The advantage according to FH/NAFA is you get more $ on average by pining the tail out. I know a guy who goes to the trouble to pin his weasel tails out as well. His average is always higher than most. Ive always pinned the tail on all fur out pelts except squirrel, and the only fur handling course Ive ever taken the graders made it clear that was how they wanted it. In the end it doesnt matter what we think looks best, its what the graders and buyers want:)
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2851891 - 11/26/11 10:56 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon



Here it is. Will post some next week of it in action, but you can see how it works.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2851892 - 11/26/11 10:57 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
I thought squirrel was fur in.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2851922 - 11/26/11 11:34 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Farm Boy Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/15/10
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
I agree with trapped4ever, the legs on the belly side do not look as good to me as the others. However, the real question for me is; what do the buyers want?

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#2851932 - 11/26/11 11:45 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
The buyers for the fur market dont want ANY legs you can tell yourself they look better with legs hanging off but in fact they just snag and tear in the drumming process if left out and you can lose money. I cut the legs off everythinmg except wolf and wolverine. and leave the stubs inside the skin when turned.

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#2851939 - 11/26/11 11:53 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Thanks Dave ! I can see how it works but look forward to more pix
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2851940 - 11/26/11 11:54 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Yes squirrel is fur in, tail not pinned (on mine) YukonJeff is right the front legs stay inside the pelt. Rear legs can go on either side of the board or both, your choice. The graders want them on the front but its your choice. Check both auction houses websites, they change things quite often so it doesnt hurt to check.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2851964 - 11/26/11 12:13 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
The grade won't reflect where the legs are pinned.

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#2851991 - 11/26/11 12:34 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
I have done them with the back legs on both front and back, as well as down the sides. I like the look of having them pinned on the back, but there is hardly room with the tail pinned out. The fronts I just pull as I'm skinning, get maybe 3/4" from the body, and cut around the leg hide from the inside. This leaves a little stub that, when turned, goes inside.
For taxi sales, everything stays, and attention to detail is what counts....

The one on the left was obviously going to auction. The one on the right went to a taxidermist for a full mount.

Those front toes are a real pain for me and my tired eyes!


The one on the right was an enormous male, the largest I have ever taken. Just barely fit on the board!
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2852026 - 11/26/11 01:07 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
That is a big one. I had one like that once. I had to stretch him on the ironing board.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2852068 - 11/26/11 01:55 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
trapped4ever you are probably right about the grade as far as size goes, but the graders we had here said trappers who put the rear legs on the front would likely receive a better price overall. Mind you that was 5 years ago now and might have changed.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2852111 - 11/26/11 02:49 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: yukon254]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
There will not be any price difference no matter where you put the back legs. Personally I have always put the back legs on the belly side, however I switched to half on the back half on the front. Looks nicer but again there will not be a price difference.

You can cut the back legs off at the last joint and the front at the elbow joint. Leave the front legs turned inside to prevent tearing damage in the drumming process. You should put the front legs spread over a stick or cardboard when leather out drying. This ensures drying under the legs and prevents rotting once the pelt is turned and the front legs are left inside. For me I take all of the leg fur and the top of the foot, Just my personal preference. Leave the saddle on, remove only fat and chunks of meat.

It is important to split the tail to prevent rot and hair slip. You can pin it out, use screen, use cardboard or just pin down as white did. My preference is a screen or cardboard over the tail with a couple of pins to hold it in place.

They do not grade the feet or the tail.

Everyone has some personal preferences. All of the photos so far are acceptable methods.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2852124 - 11/26/11 02:59 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Thanks for the straight poop Ron.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2852304 - 11/26/11 05:08 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron when did they make the changes? We had two fur graders here, one from NAFA the other from Fur Harvesters. They put on a fur handling workshop because in their words they get to much fur that isnt put up to spec. They told us that you would see a price difference for tails not pinned or rear legs on the wrong side. That was a few years ago (5 I think) But I know my youngest two took the trappers course last year and thats how they still teach it.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2852370 - 11/26/11 05:46 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ok dont want to beat a dead horse, but I also know poor or improper fur handling will cost a trapper a lot of money.

I just called NAFA, and got lucky being it is Saturday. I talked to a fur grader who was there skinning. He said the proper way to put up fur is to pin tails out on everything, weasels, squirrels, marten, you name it. He said if you dont you WILL not get as much as if it were pinned.

NAFA wants rear legs on marten on the same side as the tail.

He went on to tell me that when your fur hits the grading table, you want the grader to go wow! He also told me how to gain an inch without thinning the fur. He said to use your thumbs on the belly side with your index finger on the back, then starting from the nose pull downwards, running your hand all the way down the pelt.
He said there are five trappers in western Canada that routinely get 10 to 15% more at any given sale just because their fur is put up right. That works out to a lot of money.
I highly recommend trappers get in touch with the auction houses every year or so. There is so much misinformation out there and they do change how they want pelts done from time to time. Anyway good luck this year, to all. According to the fellow I just talked to NAFA is expecting great things for marten this year. Only time will tell.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2852405 - 11/26/11 06:08 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
Y254, I'm just telling you what my experience has been. I've put up fur all three ways over the years, sold to Seattle Fur exchange,Goldberg, Western Canadian Raw fur, NAFA, Fur Harvesters, cash buyers, private sales, and so forth. I send different bunches to different sales at different auctions, put up different ways. Kept track, and seen no difference in prices. Almost every grader I've talked to agrees. I've personally trapped, pelted and sold thousands of marten. The biggest change I can remember is in the early '80's, buyers decided claws on was a bad idea.

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#2852439 - 11/26/11 06:25 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
I doubt if you will get less money with the legs tacked around the edge of the board verus all on the tail side. From the back side both look the same whereas from the belly side you see some skin if the legs are all on the tail side. Years ago a Western Canadian fur grader suggested I tack legs around the board edge. He said all he wants to see is fur when grading marten. If the impression is good it gets graded quickly versus a poor impression gets a good lookover.


Edited by bctomcat (11/26/11 07:36 PM)
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#2852465 - 11/26/11 06:35 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
trapped4ever understand your point completely. Everyone has their own preferred methods. I try to do it like the auction houses want, and every grader I have ever talked to has told me that good fur handling pays. They want the tails pinned open and the correct boards used. I know guys who are still using boards from the 80s. Those guys are not getting what they could from their furs. The fellow I talked to today told me the main reason they want tails pinned open was because if you dont there is a chance the tail could close up enough to spoil. Makes sense to me. A few years ago when weasels were averaging 6 bucks, my average was 13 bucks. Only thing I was doing different was pinning open the tails. Same with wolverine, every one I catch I skin for taxidermy. Yea it takes time but I average over 500 on them so to me its worth it. Bottom line is most trappers are going to continue to do things how they always have, but that doesnt mean its right or how the auction house would prefer.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2852550 - 11/26/11 07:10 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
To be honest with you, conibear use, vs. foothold use, will get you more down graded fur, as long as they are put up the same. I do tack my tails out. Yes, obviously good fur handling pays. If you look above, you'll note Trapper ron, whom I believe was a NAFA fur grader, says, leg position does NOT affect price. I'll say it one more time leg position does not affect PRICE!!!!! Bad fur handling, such as cuts, punctures, improper sized boards, tainted pelts, improperly fleshed, etc. WILL affect price. If legs aren't properly tacked out, it would affect price, but leg POSITION makes no difference.


Edited by trapped4ever (11/26/11 07:11 PM)

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#2852617 - 11/26/11 07:36 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
I agree especially with the new conibears, they are so powerful they certainly can and do damage the fur at times. Keeping them free of rust and freshly dyed helps.I certainly wont argue the point of leg or tail position, I only know what a fur grader who works for NAFA told me today. He disagrees with you and was very adamant about making the point that it will effect prices. I think its important to remember that I didnt just come up with this stuff, and Im not saying your methods dont work for you. I just relayed information I got, and it came from a guy who will likely be looking at your fur. Do with it whatever you like.


Edited by yukon254 (11/26/11 07:46 PM)
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2852810 - 11/26/11 09:00 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: yukon254]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Interesting Y254. I have no problem with recommending feet on the back, however there is no grade deductions or price for where the feet are pinned or how the tail is spread out. Graders do not have time when they are grading 60 thousand pelts nor is it necessary to grade the feet and tails.

Tonight I called Ms Demers the sable (marten) grader for NAFA, she will be the one grading your marten. (she has more than 40 years experience grading at both FHA and NAFA) I read her my response and she concurred that everything I wrote was up to date. Yesterday morning prior to even seeing this thread I chatted with Dave Bewick the Vice President wild fur about most of these very questions. Mainly because I am writing another technical report for the NAFA web site on how feet and legs are handled on all species. Wanted to be sure I was up to date.

Directly from Ms Demers. These are the main points of good fur handing when it comes to sable (marten). Feet: Rear can be cut off at the first joint and pinned belly side, on the edge, or on the back side. Front feet can be cut at the first joint or second and then split, not left tubular, to prevent rotting. Be sure to remove all claws. these can are sharp and a safety hazard to graders. They are of no benefit to the fur industry. Tails: First off and of primary importance is that the tail bone is removed and the tail is split. How you pin it out is not important, it dries as long as it is split and pinned in some fashion. Be sure that when you turn your pelt to fur out that it is straight on the board with no belly fur on the back. Try to use boards that conform or are close to those recommended. Trap fur when it is prime. Check your traps often and pelt asap to prevent taints.

In my trappers education courses I show students my preferences or how I do it. At the same time I show them other acceptable methods. Good fur handling can take more than one form when it comes to feet and tails. At the end of the day it is size,color, and quality that counts in the grading of marten.

Oh by the way Y254 that is a good point on getting extra length on your marten, I also do that.


Edited by trapper ron (11/26/11 09:24 PM)
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2852868 - 11/26/11 09:29 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron the fellow I talked to was Mel Stocking. I will certainly do a follow up on this as I am writing an article on fur handling and need good info. Mel was very adamant about pinning the tails. He said NAFA started asking trappers two years ago to pin open all tails. Mel also noted that when you pin the legs on the tail side it puts more fur on the back making it look fuller.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2853022 - 11/26/11 10:51 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: yukon254]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Certainly no problem with promotion of those techniques, I back them up 100%. There has been for many years now steps to promote certain handling techniques recognized as being better or best. Unlike the ranch industry where you are dealing with many many times less people, trappers are too numerous to standardize pelt handling. The part I would disagree with is a down grade for not doing it, provided that the pelt was well handled. That is what we promote. Please PM with any question on fur handling or even ask here. Having both been a trapper/certified trapping instructor of more than 40 years, worked for NAFA (previous HBC / Dominion Soudack) for 10 years and consulted for many since I have a good understanding of standards in pelt handling, grading, and how the two relate to each other. Once I started working full time in the fur industry I had a much better insight into what I used to preach as gospel to what is acceptable to not loose in the grading process and to what is better. In pelt handling tutorials I would recommend showing more than one way where more than one way is acceptable.

There seems to be some misinformation relative to lower grades when it comes to using the exact size fur board, how the animal is pelted, how feet and tails are handled. Certainly way off shape or improper cuts can be a form of downgrade when it comes to sizing or belly fur ends up on the back. Tails and feet are not among those except when it comes to taxi items like wolverine, wolves and bears. The number of lynx sold at auction for taxi purposes is miniscule.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2853032 - 11/26/11 10:56 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
Thank you trapper ron. I figured you'd straighten it out, as to what is acceptable. I guess my stacks of Top Lot Certificates speak for me. smile


Edited by trapped4ever (11/26/11 11:25 PM)

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#2853097 - 11/27/11 12:08 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron I think we all agree that these techniques are promoted by the auction houses, where we seem to disagree is on $ received.

Are you saying for example that everything else being equal, size quality ect. that two marten pelts, one with tail pinned and spread, rear legs on the tail side, the other just slit with one pin at the bottom, rear legs on the front,they will both bring the same price??? Thats my question.

If your answer is yes then why on earth would anyone go to the trouble of doing it? That tail takes a long time. If that is what you are saying, then every grader I have talked with or fur handling workshop I have ever been to, strongly disagrees with you. Maybe when I used the word "grade" things got muddled?

trapped4ever almost any prime fur is acceptable, that wasnt my point, my point was what do the auctions prefer, and does fur done the way they prefer bring more,than fur that is not, all else being equal.

As for top lots, every trapper I know has them. Teddy Papas told me every year every trapper will catch an excellent marten or two, even in southern climes, these will go into the top lots. I dont mean any disrespect by that, Im sure yours are first class.

I do know one thing I will be calling the auction houses Monday, and if I can get as much for un-pinned tails, I wont be doing it anymore. At 14 bucks a pop I can save a bundle on tail spreaders!
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2853116 - 11/27/11 12:45 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
As a fur seller I would feel cheated if I was down graded for having the feet on the belly side of the board,because when that fur comes back from the tannery they WILL be back on the belly side again. Presentation is nice but should not take anything away from a otherwise perfect fur.

and thanks Ron I aprieciate your insight on these matters.

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#2853135 - 11/27/11 01:26 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: yukonjeff]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
If that tail has the tail bone removed, it is split, and dries without slipping or a rotten smell there will be no deduction in the grade of the marten. Having said that I would recommend that you put in more than one pin to ensure proper drying. In my opinion one at the end and one across from each other in two other places ensures drying. They will probably dry with just one at the tip. Try a few in different ways to see. My preference is a 1/4 inch screen and two tacks to hold it in place. Cardboard will do the same as screen. If that marten has only half or a quarter of a tail it will not be down graded for that purpose. Never will I put rows and rows of pins along any tail on any species.

Which looks easier in this otter demo??? Both are very acceptable.





The marten tails are used for fine artists paint brushes among other uses. They will be sold by the furriers as what they call findings. A little bonus derived from those skins. They may even use them themselves for some designer item on whatever. I have never seen a buyer when he is examining sample lots look at the tails.

I will try to get some pictures for marten tails.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2853170 - 11/27/11 04:29 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Homer, Alaska
I would like to hear some more on a few items.
I for one have always been one to stretttccchhhh my fur. I was glad to hear the comments about pulling down the hide on a marten. If you run your hand down firmly on the skin sides of a a pinned marten you can always come up with some extra that could have been pinned longer. I do my share of firm strokes prior to final pinning. I can put you over on size quite often. I loosely pin my back feet and start stroking. Pin the middle of tail and work the base of the tail left and right. Then go to the back feet.
Something else I do that adds to the length. I spit my noses right to the end as if skinning for taxidermy. try it. It gives you a little more length as the nose area can spread and flatten to the board.

Yukon Jeff Wrote "Presentation is nice but should not take anything away from a otherwise perfect fur."
I agree here. Pinned or unpinned the perfect fur is hard to screw up unless you really try or don't know what your doing. A trapper should not be loosing money on a perfect fur if it is put up to the minimum standard acceptable.
I also like the statement by Yukon. "He went on to tell me that when your fur hits the grading table, you want the grader to go wow!"
I can't speak for the big auction grader but I am sure it has some affect. But I can talk for the local buyers. A nicely put up lot of fur means more money for them. They don't like to see a nice bunch of put up fur get away.
Presentation can mean a lot.

I feel every bit as important to the discussion here would be the care and presentation of the less than perfect fur.
I would like to hear from the perspectives of fur graders and trappers alike.
Personally I have made a lot of money with a sewing needle and thread on a number of species and marten are no exception. On any given lot of marten that comes home you find problems. A common one is pitch. Not from being trapped near it. Just pitch it has picked up over the season. I trap a lot of my marten in March. Pitch can be dealt with to some degree. But a lot of times the matting that is involved one is left no choice but to pluck. But their are also those spots that are void of guard hairs for a variety of reasons.
Not uncommon to find imperfections in the hide.
A trained eye on a trapper can brush snap and spot, an area that is less than desirable. What to do? I always skin and roughly board my marten fur out first, brush and snap. Just to view what the final fur will look like. Any imperfection is cut out and sewed up.
I then dry skin out and turn as most.

What would you do?


This is what I do. This spot isn't as conducive a a lot of spots as the striping is thrown off. But it still looks better and my guess is would not be down graded. Ron would this be noticed by a grader?

I find marten fur to be quite forgiving. Myself I won't let a marten hide go to auction looking any less than it is or than I can make it. I cut out any bad spot that I observe. It will be eventually taken out before use anyway. What is the industry's perspective on this practice? Might be opening up a can of worms but I feel they are buying the animals potential one way or the other. I might get to benefit from a little added time on the prep. Would like your opinion on this practice Ron?

I skinned and prepped a lynx a few years ago that had been shot with a rifle. The bullet had run down the belly fur for about 12 inches leaving about a half inch of fur for the entire distance. Leaving quite a line down the belly that for sure would have decreased the fur value greatly. An hour of sewing and it was a $450 cat at Nafa.

Some one mentioned it earlier but wanted to reaffirm.
Brushing your fur prior to sale is important IMO. Especially if selling to a local buyer. I think even to Nafa it can't hurt.
They may be tumbled there but not brushed.
By combing thoroughly you separate a lot of the underfur and giving the fur a loft that it would otherwise not have.
I have not seen tumbled fur but can imagine it really makes a difference. My guess is a thoroughly combed fur would look better in the end than one that had not been. Just a guess however.
My method on all fur it so start on the head with a good brush. Safari brand at costco or sams? Is a good one.
I brush advancing a quarter to half inch at a time with multiple strokes per area.
With separated underfur the hide takes on a much fuller look. This is especially important with lower grade furs, and early furs.





Marten art




Edited by Family Trapper (11/27/11 04:34 AM)
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2853442 - 11/27/11 09:17 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron in your otter demo both pictures show the same thing, the tail is spread, you just used different methods. I use screen on marten too but it still takes longer than if I were to just pull the tail down and pop one pin in the end. I have been trapping for almost 30 years, and I understand good fur handling.
I can only pass on what has been told to me.

trapped4ever got his hackles up, for some reason. He should have considered asking where I got the information. I didnt dream it up. The graders/ trapping instructors I have talked to have always used the marten that has one pin at the base of the tail, and another at the tip as an example of how not to put up marten.

I will certainly follow up with both NAFA and FH. as the fellow I talked with yesterday made it very clear trappers would see less money for tails not spread, all else being equal.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2853664 - 11/27/11 12:24 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
Y254, no hackles up here. I enjoy hearing other input. If there wasn't a variety of opinions, and questions, there wouldn't be any discussion. Like I said before, I do, and always have tacked out my tails. At $14 a tailspreader, I won't be purchasing any of those anytime soon. I was just trying to answer Farm boys question. My experience, and everyone I've ever talked to, that I would consider knowledgable in the field has the OPINION, that leg PLACEMENT will not affect your final price. If it did, why would FHA want legs belly side, and NAFA want them on the back? One of them would have to be terribly misguided and losing piles of money. Silly thing for a large fur auction house to do.

FT, I like your questions. Those are important, often over looked topics. I'm sure trapper ron will give us some info.

My take on the stretching has always been not to stretch hard enough to thin the fur, or your marten may be down graded from HVY to a I, or a I to a II. Even if you gain an extra size, you MAY still lose money by over stretching. I put my marten just past my mark, and stay away from the spaces between marks. I guess what I'm saying is I make them as short as possible, yet still keep them in their MAXIMUM size range. This makes fur density as good as possible, for that respective size. There are no half sizes. I also believe in brushing. I brush them all 2 or 3 times. I've been told by some fairly knowledgable people that the tumbling works wonders. However, I want my marten looking top notch when they leave me, not just after they are tumbled. Well, I want them looking good then too. smile

I'll be interested in hearing trapper rons response on the sewing question. I've done some sewing to, but I do most of mine on cannibalized and bird picked holes. I've never really been brave enough to cut out and sew pitch spots. I don't think I can sew quite as good as you. That before and after shot is impressive. Dean Wilson told me cutting out and sewing pitch spots was fine with him on marten. I tried various products for pitch removal, Goo Gone, Brake Clean, lighter fluid, etc. never found a product I was happy with. Maybe trapper ron knows of one?

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#2853670 - 11/27/11 12:33 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
I've tried them all on pitch too and finally decided to leave it alone.

Those bird pecked hides are a real issue for me. I can never seem to get the fur in the pecked areas to return to normal. It's like there is some substance or some nasty spit they lay in there while pecking. It's almost greasy. Any solutions on that ?

I brush all mine but once they are packed in a box or bag they must look pretty sad when being dumped out at the auction house.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2853687 - 11/27/11 12:44 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
takotna Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Loc: Takotna AK
I don't even mess with pitch anymore. Yrs ago when my girls found out they had hair that needed combing always I asked what it was they sprayed in their hair, it was "no tangles" so I tried it on my marten and was impressed how silky/smooth the fur turned out, been using it since on all my fur, for marten I always thought they must look a bit better after being drummed.

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#2853691 - 11/27/11 12:49 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
I like to brush out my marten just because I like to see how nice it is before sending them off. I have spotted mats etc while brushing. That said, don't they drum them before grading anyways? Even if they don't, just piling them all up at the collection point and them cramming them in a bag to ship probably makes all that grooming a moot point.

Good thread and discussion, thanks for all the knowledge thats been shared. I'd say it puts tman members a step ahead of trappers in general on marten prep.

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#2853711 - 11/27/11 01:04 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
I think we as trappers would be money ahead to TRY and get our put up standardized for each specie I would venture to say that is part of the reason the ranch fur is is better money because of the average put up is better.
I do trapper education as well and am preeching my style of put up that seames excepted for both auction houses if ever the day that one auction house down grades me for leg stubs being on the wrong side of the streatcher that will be the last fur they see from me, It sucks that we need all the grades we have for fur look at ranch fur and see they pretty much just size them.

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#2853713 - 11/27/11 01:06 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukontrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/11/09
Loc: Galena Alaska USA
We have a buncha small bottles of Hand sanitizer works pretty good on the tree SAP.

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#2853717 - 11/27/11 01:09 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
trapped4ever, since we have to pin the legs no matter how we do our marten maybe rear leg position doesnt make that big of a difference, other than maybe putting more fur on the back like Mel suggested. I am more concerned with the tail. For me its a hassle when I run out of tail spreaders and screen and still have 20 marten to do.Putting in all those pins take time. I have always been told it was worth the effort, trapperron says it isnt. My only point is that if something takes more time to do, yet the trapper sees no gain in doing it, why bother? I do a fair amount of writing trapping related articles in my spare time and am working on one now about handling marten pelts, that hopefully FFG will buy. I cant afford to give readers bad information, so I have sent emails to the top fur graders and instructors in both the US and Canada. I will post any info I get back. I realize you are doing a lot more marten than most and in that case sometimes speed means more than anything else. I know one fellow who puts up close to 300 a year, he uses dental floss, no pins period. Its fast and his fur looks great.

I stopped brushing all my fur when I saw bundles being unwrapped at a depot in Alberta. The fur was flat, and didnt look brushed, but I was told the drumming process did wonders. I do wash most fur though.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2853722 - 11/27/11 01:17 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
I think ranch fur sells the way it does because it is consistent color, size, quality, quantity. It takes less work to put it together in a garment.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2853746 - 11/27/11 01:29 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
If you reread what I wrote it says "Part" of the reason ranch brings more. the consitant put up and of course size,quality etc. etc.

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#2853799 - 11/27/11 02:05 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
No. You went back and added that. I saw you do it !
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2853821 - 11/27/11 02:18 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: white17]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
LoL...you moderators see everything.

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#2853823 - 11/27/11 02:18 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
We never sleep
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2854299 - 11/27/11 06:12 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: white17]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Yukon that otter tail was just an example to show the difference between screen taking no time and all those pins which take way more time both to put in and remove. Basically for the same end product. Just apply that same scenario to marten.

You are right about the ranch fur. Also they are all killed and pelted at the same time for consistency.


Edited by trapper ron (11/27/11 06:14 PM)
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2854337 - 11/27/11 06:30 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: trapper ron]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Pitch in marten fur. We have always told the trappers and preached it in our education courses to just leave it alone.

Now being no different to most of you I really hate seeing that pitch spot and have used every imaginable method to try to remove it. Among those methods naptha, lighter fluid, gojo hand cleaner cream and butter. All leave a dull spot where you removed it when they are examined under the grading lights. A blemish in the finish if you will.

A story ... Two years ago I had a female dark marten with many pitch spots. Just did not do anything with them. It was on the counter at the NAFA depot in Prince George where I shipped it to. This trapper in the depot looked at it and said "is he going to get anything for that marten. Wayne in the depot did not commit but said that's Ron's marten. At convention he approached me and was very inquisitive about my price on it. It brought $78.00. That kind of made me a believer to leave it alone.

Evidently there is a process that is used by the tanners to remove it.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2854714 - 11/27/11 08:34 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
trapper ron, I, too, am a believer in leaving pitch alone. I have tried about every remedy told, and NONE work satisfactorily, in my opinion. I do all I can to make the most of any pelt, but pitch is another critter altogether.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2854839 - 11/27/11 09:12 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
If the pitch is down deep in the underfur it cannot be removed,and will result in a downgrade.If its just in the guard hair,they dont downgrade the pelt cause like ron said,it comes out in the dressing.If you want to keep your average up and are a good sewer you can cut out a deep mat and it may get past the grader.Taints are something that will result in a downgrade.I always cut out and sew any taints.

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#2854878 - 11/27/11 09:25 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Loc: alaska
Y254, I agree with you totally on the tails. I think spread out tails, whether tail spreaders or pins are used, look better. I would be very interested in hearing the info you get back from the graders. I've always tacked mine out, so it hasn't been an issue for me. For the record, I also prefer the back legs, or the majority of the back legs, to be on the tail side of the board. I believe it increases fur density, and gives at least the illusion of a longer pelt, thus garnering that "WOW" impression in the grader, you mentioned earlier. I stick with this method on mink and otter as well. Like I said, I'd be interested in hearing what info you get back, so please keep us posted. These are just my personal preferences. I've never even heard of the dental floss trick. Does it save time some how?

Also, my personal opinion on all fur is, brush before you skin, at a minimum. This helps clear and locate mats, dried blood, pitch, or burs, all of which, if left in the fur, can cause tears during fleshing. I agree, most fur doesn't look the greatest, right out of the box after shipping, but properly brushed, I KNOW it will be fairly clean, with no mats. I usually brush again after dried, and if I'm really bored, I'll usually go over at least a few, a third time, if I spot a few of those loose hair spots, the fleas sometimes cause.

I'm of the same opinion as everyone else on the pitch. I've just been leaving them alone the last 10 or 12 years. If I could sew like FT, I might try a few cut outs. Incidentally, Dean told me to make the hole diamond shaped, if you cut out. He said it doesn't pucker and show as bad. I was just never brave enough to try.





Edited by trapped4ever (11/27/11 09:55 PM)

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#2854897 - 11/27/11 09:31 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
That's the craziest looking beaver tack-out I've ever seen!
The "pucker the back" mink is what got me doing marten the same way. No denying that they at least "appear" much fuller that way.
Until I get dinged for it, that is how I will continue to do it.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2854924 - 11/27/11 09:41 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: trapper ron]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
[quote=trapper ron]If that tail has the tail bone removed, it is split, and dries without slipping or a rotten smell there will be no deduction in the grade of the marten. Having said that I would recommend that you put in more than one pin to ensure proper drying. In my opinion one at the end and one across from each other in two other places ensures drying. They will probably dry with just one at the tip. Try a few in different ways to see. My preference is a 1/4 inch screen and two tacks to hold it in place. Cardboard will do the same as screen. If that marten has only half or a quarter of a tail it will not be down graded for that purpose. Never will I put rows and rows of pins along any tail on any species.

I am seeing that some of you may not have read this previous post. I do promote the proper drying of the tails. Just there is more than one way to do it and there is no grade deduction for one way or another. The graders do not even look at the tail.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2854933 - 11/27/11 09:48 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
So can I simply cut it of, say an inch below the base, and receive the same grade as if it were attached?
I've been 'dinged on this for weasel.
Not sarcastic, just wondering.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2854941 - 11/27/11 09:54 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Bushman Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/06
Loc: Alberta
Ron you pretty much confirmed how I've been handling marten for the last decade. I think screwed up marten boards cost trappers more money than where the feet are placed, or how many pins are in the tails. I agree that the two big changes were when Boards narrowed down, and we didn't have to leave the front legs on the outside of the pelt. Remember when they didn't care about colour for a couple years as they were dying them? As far as i'm concerned marten is the best fur you can have on your trapline, nice to handle and a consistent earner.
_________________________
www.sheepcreek.net www.compassmedia.ca

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#2854976 - 11/27/11 10:07 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: alaska viking]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: alaska viking
So can I simply cut it of, say an inch below the base, and receive the same grade as if it were attached?
I've been 'dinged on this for weasel.
Not sarcastic, just wondering.


If you only did that to one or two there would be no price difference.

Sometimes there are marten in the top lots that have only part tails or even missing tails. Having said that the marten without tails form only a small percentage of the total collection. As they are of some value to the furrier, as I posted above, if all were missing or a high percentage there may be some pricing adjustment.

Now for your tailless ermine. That could be as there is a different use. A lot of ermine are used whole with tail attached in the native ceremonial traditional dress trade and head wear. That is the only reason I could suggest. Was this NAFA or a country buyer ? It's another good question I will pursue, I have never seen a grade sheet showing that.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2854977 - 11/27/11 10:08 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: trapper ron]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
trapped4ever that looks like a superb job on that otter. smile
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2854992 - 11/27/11 10:20 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
trapped4ever my friend says the dental floss saves him tons of time. He just makes a loop, and wraps it around the base near the tail, then continues wrapping the floss around around the board down toward the tip of the tail, spreading the tail as he goes. He has a slit in his marten board where he can bind the floss (much like a roll of thread has) I have never tried this method but he sure like it.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2854999 - 11/27/11 10:22 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
trapped4ever my friend says the dental floss saves him tons of time. He just makes a loop, and wraps it around the base near the tail, then continues wrapping the floss around around the board down toward the tip of the tail, spreading the tail as he goes. He has a slit in his marten board where he can bind the floss (much like a roll of thread has) I have never tried this method but he sure like it.

Ron I realize the same method (screen) can be used for marten, I do a lot of mine that way. My point was why do it? One or two pins is much faster.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2855020 - 11/27/11 10:38 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: yukon254]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: yukon254
Ron I realize the same method (screen) can be used for marten, I do a lot of mine that way. My point was why do it? One or two pins is much faster.


Exactly. My preference would be 5 pins, one at the end and two on each side at 1/3 and 2/3 along the tail. very fast to do and ensures drying.

Did you read my PM .. give me a call or PM me with your number and I will call you.


Edited by trapper ron (11/27/11 10:38 PM)
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2855092 - 11/27/11 11:54 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron yes I read your PM. Will give you a call tomorrow. I think we are on the same page. I said from my first post that spreading the tails was how I have always been told to do it. I must have misunderstood you, I thought you were advocating the one or two pin method.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2855377 - 11/28/11 09:38 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
The ermine went to NAFA.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2855497 - 11/28/11 11:36 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: alaska viking]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: alaska viking
The ermine went to NAFA.


I guess what I'm asking is how do you know it was downgraded because of the tail missing. Did your grade sheet say that?
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2855803 - 11/28/11 03:13 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: trapper ron]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Well the discussion has really quieted down today on this subject. We had a great civil discussion on this subject. Today the phone lines have been burning up between myself and Yukon250, between Dave Bewick and myself and between Dave Bewick and Yukon250. I think Yukon is also going to have a chat with Ms Demers the marten grader for NAFA.

Marten (Sable) are very important pelts for the trapper, the auction and the fur industry. They are easy to harvest and one of the easier species to put up.

Here are some conclusions and perhaps Yukon250 may have some additions.

It is safe to say we are all on the same page and have been all along. There was a bit of misinformation on deductions for feet and tails. To reiterate, they do not grade feet and tails, and there is no grade deduction for feet and tails.

The fur auctions want to see a "well handled" pelt.

So what should the standard be? It is important to take the bone out of the tail and split the tail. It needs to be dry so it will not rot as it does have a commercial value down the line. One pin, 30 pins, cardboard, screen or what? In order to achieve the objectives of drying the tail the minimum should be 5 pins, one at the end, two other sets of two across from each other, or 5 pins total (our suggestion). A screen, cardboard, or many pins does make a very nice job but is probably overkill as far as the commercial fur industry is concerned. Once again you will not receive a downgrade by only using one pin, but it is a fur handling improvement to use a couple more to ensure proper drying.

What about boarding the legs, back, side, or belly side? It makes no matter. Having said that, the pelt will look much better and fuller with the legs on the side or the back, it has a better appearance. Again no grade downgrade as to where you place them. Where it can count, the “wow” factor if you will is when there is another minor factor to do with quality where the grader has to make a decision of one grade pile or another. These decisions are made in a split second. A better handled pelt, more visually aesthetic if you will, could get pushed to the better grade. Probably this is more of a sub conscience decision than a conscious one. Again here we stress well handled pelts. The competition type fur handling will not give an advantage over the well handled pelt as described above.

What else about the legs? The rear legs can be cut off at the joint above the foot. The front legs cut off at the joint above the foot or the next joint up. You can leave the feet on if you prefer. Split those front legs and use a couple of pins to spread then on a cardboard or piece of wood to ensure drying before turning. A pelt board placed straight out so the front legs hang down free of the rest of the pelt works great also. After turning leave the front legs inside. This will prevent the chance of tearing in the drum or shaker process.

What else? DO NOT LEAVE CLAWS ATTACHED. Use pelt boards of recommended shape and size. When you turn your fur make sure it is straight on the board, no belly fur on the back, for the rest of the drying process. Another tip is to leave the saddle on to avoid a papery pelt.

There is very little you can do to change the quality of a pelt but you can gain an advantage by achieving maximum size. Above in this thread are some good suggestions to achieve this as well as some other good tips. Just don’t use your vice grips to stretch. Every trapper has his own methods of how he reaches the well “handled pelt” and we do not dispute that. I will add some pictures as I take some newer ones.

The last conclusion is the white17 will have to buy another box of push pins for camp instead of a new box of crayons this year.


Edited by trapper ron (11/28/11 03:17 PM)
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2855813 - 11/28/11 03:22 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Nope I have two boxes and can get by with that. It does surprise me to see some guys using plastic push pins. Must not have had any break and jam that rusted steel shank into their thumb.

While I do leave the feet on I also clip the claws with a pair of wire cutters.

I have to ask...what are you referring to as " competition type fur handling" ??


Thanks for all effort Ron.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2855834 - 11/28/11 03:43 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Homer, Alaska
I have had the metal push pins but for marten and other thin board stretchers I prefer plastic as the steel shanks are shorter and I can get use of the flat plastic base that I can't on the metal long shanked pins.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2855844 - 11/28/11 03:48 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
I have a question. I know a lot of guys use pretty thick stretchers, but mine are only about 1/4" thick ( I use the marten/mink stretchers from MTP). Does anyone think that I could get docked because they on thinner stretchers?
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2855849 - 11/28/11 03:55 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Never thought of that Len. I don't push my pins in quite that far.

Hank, I have always had a hunch that thin boards distort the hide from it's normal proportions but I could be wrong. I used some commercial 1/4" boards once and didn't like them at all.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2855861 - 11/28/11 04:02 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
One would think you could buy another inch or something in length using a thinner board. I use 3/4" homemade boards and I rarely have marten that dont stretch xl. Maybe the few larges I board could make the magic length using a 1/2" or thinner board...

Maybe I'll have to make one out of plywood just to try out on a smaller marten...

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#2855868 - 11/28/11 04:05 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: white17]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: white17
Nope I have two boxes and can get by with that. It does surprise me to see some guys using plastic push pins. Must not have had any break and jam that rusted steel shank into their thumb.

While I do leave the feet on I also clip the claws with a pair of wire cutters.

I have to ask...what are you referring to as " competition type fur handling" ??


Thanks for all effort Ron.


I split the hind legs starting at splitting the pads then to ahead of the anus following the color change. Then start at the ankle joint, or that first large joint, with my thumb and fingers to work the hide loose. Pull the pelt from the feet and this usually takes all of the fur and leaves the claws on the carcass.

Competition fur: This is fur put up for fur handling competitions at Trapper , rendezvous, flings, or what every your Association calls it's together. These pelts are handled in such a manner as to outdo your competitors. Some will go so far as to measure the distance between each pin on the tail and the legs. Some will stitch up every orifice. Great care is taken to make sure it is absolutely straight on the board. The paws are spread out absolutely perfect with every bit of fur intact and matching each other. The pelt is absolutely clean of any fat on the skirt, pitch in the fur, or any blood.

Push pins: I have many 1/2 inch pins as opposed to the newer 5/8 pins. Anyone know if they are still available in that size. I am not a fan of plastic and do prefer the 5/8. Family Trapper have you tried those half inch metal ones ?
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2855874 - 11/28/11 04:08 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Thanks Ron. Dang those city guys must not have enough to do !
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2855885 - 11/28/11 04:13 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: FishinHank]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: FishinHank
I have a question. I know a lot of guys use pretty thick stretchers, but mine are only about 1/4" thick ( I use the marten/mink stretchers from MTP). Does anyone think that I could get docked because they on thinner stretchers?


All of my boards are just a bit over 1/4 inch, probably 5/16 , as are most of the BC trappers. The newer boards I have made are a bit thicker and tapered to the nose. We use a belly wedge that is 3/4" at the base and tapered to the nose.

If anything you will gain size with a thin board, to your advantage. Once the pelt comes off the board and is drummed it would be doubtful if anyone could tell what thickness board you used.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2855892 - 11/28/11 04:17 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: trapper ron]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Just got done pelting a marten, one of the few on my line again this season. I will take pictures of the different ways for handling the tails and feet so we are all on the same page. Yeah he will have lots of pin holes when done boarding him several times. smile
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2856046 - 11/28/11 05:40 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Ron is correct, we have both talked to quite a number of instructors, graders, and others involved in the fur auctions. I had some very interesting conversations with personnel from both NAFA, and FH. While I got the impression that they would prefer to see tails spread, their bottom line is that it will not make any difference in price as long as the tail is dry.

I then asked the question of what would happen with a marten pelt with no tail, as long as there was no other damage. ( I have had marten with no tails graded damaged before) Common sense would say that if the tails are not graded it should not matter at all in final price. I was then told by a fellow from NAFA, that a marten tail has a value of about $10. I found that fact very interesting. That means on a $100 marten, 10% of the value is in the tail..... yet they dont grade them. He went on to say that buyers count on those tails, and it would be bad if trappers started chopping off the tails.

The answer that made the most sense to me came from a fellow at Fur Harvesters. He said a grader will spend just seconds on each pelt, and when a marten pelt is between sizes, the pelt that has been handled very well has a far greater chance of going up a size than one that is just average. He went on to say that good fur handling always pays.

My personnel conclusion is that I will continue to spread the tails, and ship to FH.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2856337 - 11/28/11 07:16 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
MArten tails are used to make artist's paint brushes. Most 'sable' brushes start at about $35. They don't require much of the tail to make an expensive brush
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2856416 - 11/28/11 07:35 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: white17]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: white17
MArten tails are used to make artist's paint brushes. Most 'sable' brushes start at about $35. They don't require much of the tail to make an expensive brush


Is that why you use crayons ? smile
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2856504 - 11/28/11 08:04 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
You bet ! Much cheaper !
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#2857482 - 11/29/11 10:25 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
Ron, the weasel I refer to was sent with a couple dozen taken 3-4 years ago, short-tails. that was the year weasel went very high. I think I averaged $6.80, with a couple nearing $9.00.
I had one graded dmgd. that brought .75, and as such assumed it was the one, (the only one), that didn't have a tail.
Perhaps the reason the prices where so high that year was to fill a special order?
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2858119 - 11/29/11 05:42 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: alaska viking]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
Originally Posted By: alaska viking
Ron, the weasel I refer to was sent with a couple dozen taken 3-4 years ago, short-tails. that was the year weasel went very high. I think I averaged $6.80, with a couple nearing $9.00.
I had one graded dmgd. that brought .75, and as such assumed it was the one, (the only one), that didn't have a tail.
Perhaps the reason the prices where so high that year was to fill a special order?


From my experience with the ermine grading I'm going to say that it was not that one. My best guess. not seeing the all of the ermine is that there was one with a taint or shedding fur. Damaged can also be one that still had some brown, that shows on the leather, one with a hole that was sewn up. bite marks from another ermine, mice or birds, or a tear after drying. Again only suggestions.

If there are ermine without tails and they do go into another lot, everything else being equal, they should bring more than 75 cents.
_________________________
Ron Lancour
Director BCTA
Trapping Instructor
NAFA Trapper Consultant

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."

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#2870725 - 12/06/11 11:04 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
MT_B Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/21/11
Loc: MONTANA
Hey Everyone,
Wondering if you leave the fur in only to get skin dry to the touch, then turn it fur out for stretching?? I'm a complete rookie at this and don't want to ruin my furs when/if I get any. I can't really get a solid answer from the local fur buyer.
Feel free to PM me if you want.
_________________________
2012/13 Season:
Marten: 4

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#2870772 - 12/06/11 11:28 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: MT_B]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
[quote=Montana_Brent]Hey Everyone,
Wondering if you leave the fur in only to get skin dry to the touch, then turn it fur out for stretching??

Yes and it only takes few hours if you have good air circulation. If it gets to dry just wrap in a damp towel for 10 - 15 minutes to soften it up and then turn. It will dry fine after this damping treatment.
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#2870799 - 12/06/11 11:50 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: bctomcat]
MT_B Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/21/11
Loc: MONTANA
Yes and it only takes few hours if you have good air circulation. If it gets to dry just wrap in a damp towel for 10 - 15 minutes to soften it up and then turn. It will dry fine after this damping treatment. [/quote]

Thanks for the info. Is it safe to dry them in an uninsulated outdoor shed with no heat?? I could turn a small milk crate heater on.
_________________________
2012/13 Season:
Marten: 4

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#2870815 - 12/06/11 11:59 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: MT_B]
holdengr Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/07/07
Loc: Ontario
Originally Posted By: Montana_Brent


Thanks for the info. Is it safe to dry them in an uninsulated outdoor shed with no heat?? I could turn a small milk crate heater on.


Probably would dry but why mess with it. Dry them in the house, next to no bad odor off marten.

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#2870835 - 12/06/11 12:15 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
DT7 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/12/09
Loc: Western Wyoming
Brent you may already know this but if you didn't this may help. When you catch marten in a bodygrip trap, don't take the trap off of a frozen critter, take an extra trap and swap them out. A lot of rookies ruin fur trying to take the trap off a frozen marten.
_________________________
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Benjamin Franklin

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#2870844 - 12/06/11 12:19 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
If it's cold enough in the shed it actually works bette for me. I put them out in my arctic entry in say 15 degrees and they are ready to turn in about 24 hours. If you forget and go 48 hours they can still be turned. I've tried it both ways and I like the flexibility of being able to do it the next day since I'm usually skinning late at night after everyone goes to bed.

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#2870885 - 12/06/11 12:51 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
MT_B Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/21/11
Loc: MONTANA
DT7- I have read that and planned on doing that. Thanks for the heads up though. Its amazing how delicate the fur is on them.
_________________________
2012/13 Season:
Marten: 4

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#2870892 - 12/06/11 12:57 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: DT7]
takotna Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Loc: Takotna AK
Originally Posted By: DT7
When you catch marten in a bodygrip trap, don't take the trap off of a frozen critter, take an extra trap and swap them out.


And that is why conni's won't work for me, would of needed a bit over 2doz extra traps yesterday to replace them instead of 2doz extra sets, just saying..........

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#2874867 - 12/08/11 09:39 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
MT_B Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/21/11
Loc: MONTANA
What are the thoughts on freeze drying? And does anyone have a good description of exactly what it is?

I got my first marty yesterday! He is still frozen solid hanging in the shed, head down. I don't want to thaw him until I know exactly hot i'm going to dry him.

[img:left][/img]
[img:left][/img]
_________________________
2012/13 Season:
Marten: 4

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#2874997 - 12/08/11 11:01 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Loc: juneau, alaska
Lots of orange on that one! I've used the freeze dry method on beaver before, but only because they can be really greasy and I was out of sawdust. You need pretty cold temps for it to work. You shouldn't need to use that method on marten, though. They are very thin-skinned, lean, and dry quickly.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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#2887198 - 12/14/11 11:38 PM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
MT_B Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/21/11
Loc: MONTANA
Anyone have input on board size for a small female (young of year)???
_________________________
2012/13 Season:
Marten: 4

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#2887257 - 12/15/11 12:29 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
A grader at FH told me to use the same board for all marten??
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#2889934 - 12/16/11 11:12 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Boles Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Loc: Revelstoke BC Canada
Very interesting and informative post thanks all for the information, opinions and proceedures.
Everyone should have taken something new out of it!
Couple of questions fall out of this for me
If the front legs are tubular and inside can a grader teconize that they have been handled like that other than smell?.And how can they smell an individual marten with a stack of a few hundred in front of them.
Ron could you explain the proceedure of grading starting at that pile? I asume that the collection agent afixes your computer ID tag or am I wrong
I know the graders do an amazing job ( love en or hate em)When I have talked to graders at conventions they tell me they are extremely busy and have less than a couple seconds to grade your pelt.
They get good at it in so much as they can actually tell from what part of the country a certain pelt has come from.Heard once that a shipment of raw fur was stolen and submitted by the thief.The crown brought in an experienced grader to tell that no way that person could have collected those furs from his location
Ive been at this for over 30 years also and have seen many changes at the auction houses.
Thinking that Ive seen 3 changes on board sizes in that time
Y254 mentions one size fits all board for marten is this new.Right now ive been using one size for all males(very rarly a female) and one size for all females(sometimes a yoy male) for a total of 2 board sizes for marten
Oh and Ron just ordered 5/8 pins from Wayne and when I looked they were 1/2ers so maybe they do not have them anymore

Dan'l


Edited by Boles (12/16/11 11:26 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#2889952 - 12/16/11 11:24 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
Boles, it is my understanding that at NAFA they staple a barcode onto marten. This is why they want the lower lip removed, as it makes it easier to staple the barcode to the head area to track the pelt. Not sure what FHA does.
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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#2889963 - 12/16/11 11:30 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
Boles Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Loc: Revelstoke BC Canada
Ok that! I knew they stapled the barcode on and lower lip removed but was wondering if the collection agent did that.Always you get a reciept from that agent with ID numbers for your fur.Thats why I do not think the grader did it
Dan'l

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#2889982 - 12/16/11 11:37 AM Re: Marten fleshing and boarding question? [Re: Farm Boy]
FishinHank Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/25/08
Loc: PWS, AK
Yeah I don't think the grader does it. Not sure if the receiving agent does it either, I wouldn't think so. I think they are attached in the in-processing procedure. Makes sense as it is easier for the auction house to make sure the correct number gets onto the specific trappers furs if they do it themselves. I think there was a thread on here once that showed the whole intake process.
_________________________
[TravC]: an educated coyote is like a fat girl on the diet....she dont slip up with a cheeseburger but sooner or later she goes for the bigmack

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