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#2951633 - 01/16/12 01:36 PM Beaver - Stretched vs over stretched beaver
Clark Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 935
Loc: Duluth, MN
Whenever I am catching beaver I always question how much I should vs. how much I could stretch a beaver. There doesn't seem to be a real clear guideline for exactly what is "proper" and what is just flagrant stretching trying to reach the next size. Below are two of my examples:



The beaver on the left I consider to be properly stretched. There are still some stretch marks in the head half of the hide but those go with the territory if you stretch a beaver to the same ring all the way around. Which brings up a second point, should the oval we stretch beaver to have a head and tail end? It seems like the head end of every hide is slightly smaller than the tail end. This might be beyond the realm of this board though...

The beaver on the right I probably guessed a little bit wrong and realized I had it too tight on the board after it was halfway to being nailed down. The stretch marks are obvious and to me, the hide looks bad. I know some trappers who stretch every beaver so tight that the entire hide is white from stretch marks.

So what is the proper stretch? Should prime, winter caught beaver be stretched as tight as you can manage? Should you go for a snug fit that gives you a hide with few to no stretch marks, much like the top beaver?

Clark
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#2951774 - 01/16/12 03:05 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Ldsoldier Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 599
Loc: NCSU, North Carolina
Best advice I was ever given was to not try to make him any bigger than he already is. I've taken more than one off the board half way through and redone it because I had it on too tight. If you stretch it to much you'll make the fur appear thinner, and possibly cost you a grade.
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#2951776 - 01/16/12 03:06 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Ldsoldier Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 599
Loc: NCSU, North Carolina
Also, remember that the ovals you draw on the board are guides. You don't have to put the nail directly on the line.
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"A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on the face of the land." Aldo Leopold

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#2951806 - 01/16/12 03:23 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Otter04 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 740
Loc: Westerlo, New York
if there over stretched you wont get the shape anyway. back off one or two lines and youll see they stretch nice.. when there done properly,it will look like a tight sheet on a bed. good luck

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#2951812 - 01/16/12 03:26 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Kirk Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 3906
Loc: louisiana
the way I do mine is take and strech out the beaver from tip of nose to tip of tail and find the matching lines then back up one set of lines and staple it out from there and Iv never had a problem with doing them this way
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#2951925 - 01/16/12 04:25 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
MJM Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 2925
Loc: ND
If when a beaver is alive it has 100 hairs per inch and you stretch that to 2 inches there is still only 100 hairs. You can over stretch them. I hate to fight them to try and make them bigger then they are.
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#2951943 - 01/16/12 04:34 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 339
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
Its always better,when the beaver is between the size lines,to go to the smaller size instead of pulling to the larger size.By stretching the beaver a little loose you will gain in grade a lot of the time.The only exception to this is on damaged or early caught beaver where generally you'll get more for size.

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#2952011 - 01/16/12 05:05 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Steven 49er Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 84
Loc: mn north of blakely
clark, next time you get one like that bring in the shoulders some.

The line is just a guideline it isnt gospel.

Personally I'll go for size over grade anytime. I personally dont believe you can overstretch a beaver and even if you could square inches still pays more.

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#2952041 - 01/16/12 05:14 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
trapperkeck Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 4116
Loc: Crofton, NE
Greg, previously from NAFA, now with FHA said in his beaver demo that you can't overstretch a beaver. He commenced to grabbing the hide with a pair of pliers and stapled it to a board.....
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#2952056 - 01/16/12 05:18 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
The Beav Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2327
Loc: Wisconsin
According to the guru of fur put up(Greg Schroder)You can't over stretch a beaver and I'm In agreement with him. I use a pair of pliers to stretch them as far as I can get them.
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#2952077 - 01/16/12 05:25 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: trapperkeck]
ack Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 1341
Loc: Ohio, Old fart to some.
Originally Posted By: trapperkeck
Greg, previously from NAFA, now with FHA said in his beaver demo that you can't overstretch a beaver. He commenced to grabbing the hide with a pair of pliers and stapled it to a board.....


i heard the same thing at one of his demo's.
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#2952250 - 01/16/12 06:15 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
goldy Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 4426
Loc: minnesota
I absolutely agree you can't overstretch beaver. I've experimented doing it both ways and I'll go with size everytime. I've never seen where stretching them loose was a benefit to my paycheck. I will do everything I can to get then into the next size, and it pays off. Next time you stretch a beaver tight grab the center and pull up. There is still plenty of slack in the middle parts of the beaver. The middle never does get totally tight. I've seen guys stretch them so loose you could have pulled 8" up from the center. All you are doing is costing yourselves money by stretching them this way.

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#2952269 - 01/16/12 06:21 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
Clark Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 935
Loc: Duluth, MN
Thanks for the information. It's good to hear multiple people quoting an expert (Schroeder) and not Grandpappy's wisdom. However, I do tend to agree with MJM. I really hate fighting the beasts when I get them to the board. At that point, haven't I fought long enough?

For myself, this information is more important when I've got 1/2 the beaver tacked down and the other side is fighting me to make it to the same size. I have let one side in a little bit to not fight it. Obviously the lines are guidelines but it is nice to make that size when 1/2 the beaver is already there!

Clark

EDIT: Goldy, I've never stretched them so loose that there was much slack in the middle. It can be difficult, especially in the larger sizes, to know where to start. With the smaller sizes you take up most of the slack you need to get the job down after the first 8 nails are in. The larger sizes need more slack at 8 nails...but not to much.


Edited by Clark (01/16/12 06:24 PM)
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#2952315 - 01/16/12 06:36 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
goldy Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 4426
Loc: minnesota
Clark. Make yourself a chart. After you get done fleshing one hang it from a nail. Pull it tight and let it snap back. Then measure it and write it down. If you do this after a while you will have an idea what size range each beaver will stretch into. While I'm not afraid of streching tight, I don't want to stretch them more than I have to either. If I remember right 42" was the cut-off for blankets, 39"-42" was for XL, and so on. Some measurements will be borderline, like the 39". It could either slide into a XL or down to a large. But I can tell after a few nails, experience helps a lot.


Edited by goldy (01/16/12 07:35 PM)

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#2952433 - 01/16/12 07:05 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
BeavBGone Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/07/07
Posts: 289
Loc: northern MN
I agree for the most part with what everyone is saying. If I can stretch a beaver to the next line Im going to do so however if Im stretching him tight and he still isnt going to make it I will back off and let him be a little loose. I dont think you can over stretch beaver especially winter beaver however why stretch them really tight if your not going to make it to the next line. Once they make it to the 2x line unless they will be loose I dont pull any farther.

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#2952574 - 01/16/12 07:46 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: BeavBGone]
trapper ron Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1168
Loc: Kelowna BC Canada
The beaver in the pictures looks like it is boarded round. Oval is far better to the recommended pattern shapes.

For me I just board them snug to where they best fit on the lines or between the lines. To find the size, what works, is to place the beaver sideways on the board, then take each side of the beaver in the middle and pull it out tight to your oval marks. That will be the oval to board to. Now turn him the right way on the board and proceed to nail to the oval you just determined, it will be very close. Also cut the nose off about 3/4 of an inch ahead of the eyes.

Remember the lines are a guide and they do not have to be followed exact. Sometimes I will end up a bit longer than the oval I am boarding to as the head and butt are the last part to nail.
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#2952649 - 01/16/12 08:13 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
The Beav Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2327
Loc: Wisconsin
In most cases you can lay your fleshed beaver on your board. Drag It up to the outer line by the nose. Leave the hide lay natural. What ever line the rear end of the hide lays on will be the line you will follow all the way around the board. If you nail the nose and the tail end on this line and then go to both sides of center and place nails at these points and then place nails at each leg hole you will pretty much know If you will be able to follow the line all the way around. Then you will be able to compensate one way or the other.
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#2952667 - 01/16/12 08:19 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: goldy]
Kre Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 47
Loc: USA-WI
Originally Posted By: goldy
I absolutely agree you can't overstretch beaver. I've experimented doing it both ways and I'll go with size everytime. I've never seen where stretching them loose was a benefit to my paycheck. I will do everything I can to get then into the next size, and it pays off. Next time you stretch a beaver tight grab the center and pull up. There is still plenty of slack in the middle parts of the beaver. The middle never does get totally tight. I've seen guys stretch them so loose you could have pulled 8" up from the center. All you are doing is costing yourselves money by stretching them this way.


This is one reason I like hoops...no slack in the middle.

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#2952715 - 01/16/12 08:34 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Clark]
beaverpeeler Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 938
Loc: Oregon
I nail the nose then the tail and three nails on each side for a total of 8 nails. At this point you can tell if you're at the right size. Incidentally, I always nail out from the nose down the shoulders on each side first as this keeps you from over- stetching the neck (and between the shoulder blades) which tends to be the thinnest part of the pelt and what the graders are always looking at.
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Beaver will shine again! (But not necessarily in my lifetime).

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#2952721 - 01/16/12 08:36 PM Re: Stretched vs over stretched beaver [Re: Kre]
goldy Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 4426
Loc: minnesota
Originally Posted By: Kre
Originally Posted By: goldy
I absolutely agree you can't overstretch beaver. I've experimented doing it both ways and I'll go with size everytime. I've never seen where stretching them loose was a benefit to my paycheck. I will do everything I can to get then into the next size, and it pays off. Next time you stretch a beaver tight grab the center and pull up. There is still plenty of slack in the middle parts of the beaver. The middle never does get totally tight. I've seen guys stretch them so loose you could have pulled 8" up from the center. All you are doing is costing yourselves money by stretching them this way.


This is one reason I like hoops...no slack in the middle.
I'm not sure how hoops take all the slack out of the middle where nails don't. Please explain.

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