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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
Posts: 1174
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
Posts: 2087
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
Posts: 445
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
Posts: 31
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
Posts: 14669
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
Posts: 1198
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
Posts: 895
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 Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 826
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
Posts: 1
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
Posts: 445
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
Posts: 14669
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 Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 826
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
Posts: 14669
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 Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 826
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
Posts: 14669
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
Posts: 1174
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
Posts: 1174
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
Posts: 1827
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
Posts: 401
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
Posts: 31
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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