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#3261007 - 08/06/12 07:06 PM Wolf skinning
Born Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/05/11
Loc: Minnesota
I would like to know how long it takes to skin a wolf with paws and claws intact, fleshing and putting on a board?
Not including how long it takes to thaw them out. smirk
Are they difficult to skin like coyotes?
What is involved with splitting the lips? Is this necessary?
Any helpful tips you would like to share?
I have some experience doing this with other animals.
_________________________
Help yourself.

Good movies to check out:
"Grinding America Down"
"America: Imagine the world without her."


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#3261034 - 08/06/12 07:17 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
wissmiss Offline


Registered: 01/06/07
Loc: north Idaho
Skinning a wolf is a stinky job.

Splitting the lips, turning the ears and proper prep of the feet should increase the price you can get for the pelt.
_________________________
www.usedtraps.com


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#3261093 - 08/06/12 07:36 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Born Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/05/11
Loc: Minnesota
I never would have thought they would be stinky.
_________________________
Help yourself.

Good movies to check out:
"Grinding America Down"
"America: Imagine the world without her."


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#3261118 - 08/06/12 07:50 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
With everything done correctly I'll have three hours in one.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#3261122 - 08/06/12 07:51 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
When I'm running my line in late fall and early winter I will skin and freeze the hide to work on later when cold weather means I dont have to be so buisy every day trapping.
For me skinning takes about an hour and a half.
Doing four feet about an hour.
Ears and lips about 30 min
Fleshing and boarding an hour or an hour and a half depending on the wolf.
All in about 4 hours.
There are tools that will help to do them up for Taxi-Poultry shears for fleshing feet(pads)and a vise for pulling on the foot bones,and of course a good beam.
Lots of time can be saved on the fleshing by frost scraping if you have the climatic conditions for it.

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#3261129 - 08/06/12 07:56 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
There are two ways that I split lips-one is by holding the lip between your thumb and fingers and use a sharp knife to split between your fingers.
The other way is on the beam with a sharp knife. Keep you knife flat on the beam and you wont make holes.

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#3261132 - 08/06/12 07:58 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Jumperzee Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/26/10
Loc: North Central Idaho
I'll jump in here as a complete novice since this is probably where you will be at...this is what I learned last year...I was fortunate enough to catch three. I did all my skinnig/fleshing, ect after work and running the line over few days. No doubt the experts can do this much faster.

First, time is obviously dependent on a lot of factors, inlcuding how many celebratory beverages you've had smirk

If you are planning on targeting them, figure you're gonna get one and make your stretcher FIRST. Don't get caught like I did and have more wolves than stretchers! For the price of a couple 1x4's and an hour with a jigsaw and beltsander you're time ahead to just make a stretcher ahead of time!

Skinning...(taxidermy quality) will take a 1-2 hours...yep, like a big coyote and as mentioned above they stiiiiink (and have lice, fleas, etc). Do this outside over a tarp or something. And wear goves!!!

I whacked off the feet above the wrist then drilled a hole thru the leg bone and hung the foot with some wire and let the weight of the hide to help skin the feet with an X-acto knife. This and turning the ears and spltting the lips took another couple hours.

Fleshing....ugh. Not sure if it's just the way they are or a bunch of other factors, but it was like scraping chewing gum off the bottom of your shoe. I used a ton of borax to help push the fat off, but it was still nasty and took another couple hours.

You'll need to board them fur-in for a while to let them dry. Can't borax them and go right to fur out like a coyote or cat. Pay special attention to the ears, lips, paws, etc. before turning. This might take a few days depending on your fur shed.

Once turned, I stuck a boot dryer with extension up inside to finish the drying.

Should have all my hides back from Moiles this week! Looking forward to it!!!











Edited by Jumperzee (08/06/12 08:02 PM)

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#3261161 - 08/06/12 08:11 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Don't forget to split the tail
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#3261166 - 08/06/12 08:12 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Born Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/05/11
Loc: Minnesota
I figured it would take some time but I sure didn't think it would take that long.
Thanks for the info.
Boco When you split the lips, is that literally what you are doing? Do you do that so the lips dry properly?
Do you use the vise to secure the foot or leg bone to pull on the fur to continue skinning?
I have never really fleshed the feet when I have done this with coyote,otter and fisher, I thought they were pretty good as-is, maybe a little fleshing is all.

Wissmiss when you say proper prep of feet does that mean using borax to ensure the pads dry properly?
_________________________
Help yourself.

Good movies to check out:
"Grinding America Down"
"America: Imagine the world without her."


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#3261174 - 08/06/12 08:17 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Born Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/05/11
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks Jumperzee, I bought a board at the NTA and I know there will be plenty of people who will get a wolf here this year and not have any idea what to do next. I would like to maybe help these folks out and do the work for them.
_________________________
Help yourself.

Good movies to check out:
"Grinding America Down"
"America: Imagine the world without her."


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#3261192 - 08/06/12 08:30 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
Yes when you split the lips you are separating the inner (mouth) skin from the outer skin so it will dry and the taxidermist will have enough lip to work with if the client needs an open mouth mount.
I use the vise to hold a string which is attached to a bent sharpened nail that is used as a small meat hook that is stuck in the knuckle.That way you can pull and turn the foot or toe for the knife work.
There is a lot of fat on the foot and toe pads of the wolf-you can take it off with the knife as you skin but I find it more efficient to clean it up with the poultry shears.Whatever works for you.

I stuff the feet with paper to make them easier to turn.
For the ears just separate the cartilage from the back of the ear and leave it attached to the front of the ear.
Leave the butt intact but flesh the excess meat off the butt with the poultry shears and it will dry fine.
A good size wolf skin will stretch to the bottom of a 96 in.board
Use heavy cardboard to pin out the front legskins.


Edited by Boco (08/06/12 08:54 PM)

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#3261200 - 08/06/12 08:33 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
Anybody who can do a wolf pelt up to taxidermy standards in 3-4 hours has lots of experience or youthful vigor IMO. I have a lot of experience skinning and have done a number of wolves but they generally takes me 6 hours to skin, flesh and board. But then it probably could be me slowing down with age.
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#3261233 - 08/06/12 08:50 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Jumperzee Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/26/10
Loc: North Central Idaho
There was a really good ATA video on turning wolves/fur handling...I can't find it. Any help?

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#3261247 - 08/06/12 09:00 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: bctomcat]
scandiclt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Loc: fairbanks alaska
Originally Posted By: bctomcat
Anybody who can do a wolf pelt up to taxidermy standards in 3-4 hours has lots of experience or youthful vigor IMO. I have a lot of experience skinning and have done a number of wolves but they generally takes me 6 hours to skin, flesh and board. But then it probably could be me slowing down with age.


X2!

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#3261254 - 08/06/12 09:03 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
I like to break it down over a couple of days while doing other stuff.
When I freeze the hides I roll them up in such a way as the head and feet are outside the rolled hide so they will thaw first.Then I'll work on the feet,then the head and the next day flesh and board.
It doesnt seem like such a chore and I will do a better job when handling this way.

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#3261256 - 08/06/12 09:04 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
newhouse114 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: S.W.Oregon
Round abouts 25 years ago, I used to skin wolves for "Vegasjim" (ones he bought) and I could do a taxidermy put up, salted not stretched in a around 2 hours. I would do 4-5 a day and I think I did 8 or 9 during one long marathon day.
_________________________
Life Member NTA & FTA
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain

http://alaskastoneanivory.com/index

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#3261305 - 08/06/12 09:22 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
vegasjim Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/20/10
Loc: alaska
True story

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#3261337 - 08/06/12 09:38 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Bushman Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/06
Loc: Alberta
My buddy did 300 canids this season with 100 of those wolves. He handles them like Boco, in stages. Clean skins the wolf which saves time later. Uses a very sharp knife and makes sure he catches the beginning of those red muscle groups that end up needing fleshed off if not cleaned skinned. Does the head and paws later using his very very very sharp Havalon Knife. Also uses shears and snips on ears and paws. we filmed him skinning four in a row and plan to put together a DVD later this season. A wolf is a lot a work but sure look good when done up right.
_________________________
www.sheepcreek.net www.compassmedia.ca

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#3261441 - 08/06/12 10:24 PM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
wissmiss Offline


Registered: 01/06/07
Loc: north Idaho
To me, a properly prepped foot has all the bones removed, right down to the last knuckle where the claw is attached.

Also, the foot is pouched, so it sort of looks like a baseball glove. The feet survive the tanning process better that way.

The other option - the one I don't like. - is for the foot to be splayed, also called a spaghetti foot. The pad has been removed and the claws are sort of loose and dangly.. Those type of feet cause problems at the tannery.

Borax or newspaper or what ever it takes to get the foot thoroughly dried.
_________________________
www.usedtraps.com


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#3261551 - 08/07/12 12:11 AM Re: Wolf skinning [Re: Born]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
One more very important point.
Not all wolves are created equal.
DO NOT invest the time and effort to do a taxi job on a wolf that is not good.
You must have a good sized wolf and well furred,and good color to invest the time to do for taxi.(or a smaller wolf that is odd colored that would be of intrest to a taxidermist).
Poor colored wolves or bad damaged can be done like a coyote.

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