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#5767369 - 01/10/17 08:21 PM Storing mink pelts
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
I have some stacked on top each other an big males on bottom stack on cardboard on top a table, a couple big makes still oil up good or sweat, I'd this a problem stacked on top each other in a pile ? Should I put a sheet of paper towl on top and bottom of heavy oilers?

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#5767375 - 01/10/17 08:26 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
waggler Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 1601
Loc: Alaska and Washington State
If it were me, I'd thread a cotton string through their eyes and hang them, stacking greasy and/or sweaty skins is asking for trouble.
_________________________
My life is better than your vacation

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#5767381 - 01/10/17 08:29 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 9956
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
Why are they so oily? Didn't you use sawdust when scraping them?
They wont keep very long like that,sell them as soon as you can.

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#5767452 - 01/10/17 08:58 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
I have never used sawdust on mink pelts, big males are naturally oily the females an some of males are not real oily, so are rats, I stack them, rats always have some oil coming off them

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#5767517 - 01/10/17 09:41 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
MJM Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 4569
Loc: ND
If you have oil running out of them, they are stored to warm or were not fleshed right, or both.


Edited by MJM (01/10/17 09:42 PM)
_________________________
"Not Really, Not Really"
Mark J Monti
"MJM you're a jerk."

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#5767530 - 01/10/17 09:56 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
I don't mean lots of oil but big mink are oily, stored in low 60s for tempeture, they were fleshed good enough, maybe I should freeze them like I used to do in past but was told not to bother if only for a month or 6 wks


Edited by coonman220 (01/10/17 10:00 PM)

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#5767544 - 01/10/17 10:18 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
trapper20 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/05/14
Posts: 1413
Loc: SW WI
I freeze mine after they are dry

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#5767563 - 01/10/17 10:40 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
alaska viking Offline
"Made it one year not being censored"

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 3312
Loc: juneau, alaska
Sawdust.
_________________________
Alright, it's back to trapping for fun. No point in denying it.


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#5767574 - 01/10/17 11:00 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Rat Masterson Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/14/12
Posts: 341
Loc: SE Minn
Hang them up in front of a fan, they will dry right up.

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#5767606 - 01/10/17 11:35 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
They were on board 5 days in front fan an dry, I used to freeze but then someone say not to if only month, maybe a little oil is normal but 1 big 1 on bottom more heavier oiled

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#5767608 - 01/10/17 11:47 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
coonman,,,don't stack these pelts with others. the oil will keep on seeping out and soak the pelts below. you cant dry oil. from what you've written, I'm guessing you left the saddle on these mink? the older males have a layer of fat under the saddle, and you've dried the saddle, sealing the fat underneath. the fat will now "melt" into oil, and soak through the leather, and make it soft/soggy, yellowish colored, and sticky to the touch. they'll look crappy compared to your other pelts. id sell them now before they look any worse.

with an old male with fat under the saddle, always remove the saddle, then the fat. you wont devalue the pelt by removing the saddle, as long as you dont damage the leather underneath. next time, if youre not comfortable removing the saddle, keep these mink separate and sell them green, along with your others that you put up. hope this helps.

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#5767620 - 01/11/17 12:57 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
skunk skinner Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 75
Loc: Osage, Ia
For everyone out there that puts up mink, and or any other fur, not always the best place to learn is at your local fur buyer as they are trying to go through a lot of fur in a short period of time and they don't have the time to make their furs stand out, they don't do the little things that some of the rest of us do to help increase that fur check. 1st thing that I will tell you is there are a couple different ways to stretch a mink, some stretch with the feet on the back and some with the feet on the belly side. But as far as I am concerned, when you are done stretching your hide is that you hang them up face down, mink are graded by the window that is left, and if you hang them head up that is were the grease is going to end up, also after 3 to 4 days use paper towels and wipe them down and then again in about 3 or 4 more days, you can quit wipeing them when they quit sweating, you will thank me for that one, Good Luck

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#5767631 - 01/11/17 03:53 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
cohunt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1299
Loc: revillo, sd
The last two posters have done some BIG numbers of mink!

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#5767666 - 01/11/17 05:57 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
LLtrapper Offline
"The Coon Combine"

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 1677
Loc: Pottawatamie co. IA
I would add that holding mink without them yellowing is a tough thing to do. Don't fall in love with them and sell them. I have a buyer who pays more for whole mink than for put up so I don't have to worry about it. I dry them, brush them, and freeze them
. He comes and I pile them in his truck like cord wood. Easy peasy. LLL
_________________________
"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in waders and looks like work." Thomas Edison (except for the waders part)

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#5767754 - 01/11/17 07:25 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
eric space Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/20/09
Posts: 251
Loc: wantage n.j.
I always use a layer of clean cardboard (no color printing on it)between each layer of mink once they are removed from the board stretchers (never-EVER put up mink on wire stretchers). I have a patio table (the stray mouse cannot climb onto it)and lay a piece of cardboard on it to start, then a layer of 10 pelts, then a piece of cardboard, more pelts, etc. On top of the last cardboard I place a 3 foot square piece of plywood and then a pail with about 20 pounds of weight (sand). The cardboard will absorb all grease from the leather and tail fur, the weight leaving a perfectly flat beautiful pelt. I do the same with beaver only 1 pelt per layer of cardboard. Eric

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#5767779 - 01/11/17 07:46 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
NonPCfed Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/19/15
Posts: 910
Loc: se South Dakota
Quote:
I have a buyer who pays more for whole mink than for put up so I don't have to worry about it.


LL trapper- just curious why you think your buyer prefers them on the round? Does he harvest the glands for lure, do something with the skull, grind the meat up for some sort of feed? Or does he just prefer to put them up himself? I always find it interesting the other little niches that people come up with to increase the revenue stream off of a critter...


Edited by NonPCfed (01/11/17 07:58 AM)
_________________________
"And God said, Let us make man in our image …and let them have dominion …and all the creatures that move along the ground".
Genesis 1:26

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#5767895 - 01/11/17 09:15 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
seniortrap Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 2517
Loc: michigan,USA
If I am stacking to wait for the fur buyer down the road.

I will size them and put a piece of newspaper between each rat or mink.

We get a free buyers guide and it gets used like that.

It will suck up some of the grease.
_________________________
Vietnam--1967 46th. Const./Combat Engineers

"Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction."
"After the first shot, all plans go out the window!"

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#5768195 - 01/11/17 01:45 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
Is it necessary to do this on rats?

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#5768206 - 01/11/17 01:55 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
ive never seen a fat layer with saddle over it on rats. I wouldn't worry about them, just the old male mink.

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#5768336 - 01/11/17 03:35 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
cohunt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1299
Loc: revillo, sd
Folks in other parts of the country mostly do not have to deal with the big very fat mink that can be caught from time to time in the upper Midwest. I am sure eric space does many hundreds of male mink and few if any need to have the saddle removed. For 31 years I trapped extreme northern Wisconsin where female mink are so lean that they essentially do not need to be fleshed. 50 years ago an old Hudson Bay legendary buyer showed me how to "milk" them onto a stretcher with a terry cloth towel and that process removed the little fat they had. Most males could be scraped lightly with a spoon to remove the little excess fat they had. I remember just one really fat male out of several thousand I put up. The mink in South Dakota are much fatter and many of the males must have the saddle removed and even most females need a beam and knife. I suspect that the OP has very fat mink in Iowa based on his description of his pelts and he would be wise to read the comments by fossil and skunk skinner who deal with the same type mink he does.

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#5768403 - 01/11/17 04:38 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: NonPCfed]
LLtrapper Offline
"The Coon Combine"

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 1677
Loc: Pottawatamie co. IA
Originally Posted By: NonPCfed
Quote:
I have a buyer who pays more for whole mink than for put up so I don't have to worry about it.


LL trapper- just curious why you think your buyer prefers them on the round? Does he harvest the glands for lure, do something with the skull, grind the meat up for some sort of feed? Or does he just prefer to put them up himself? I always find it interesting the other little niches that people come up with to increase the revenue stream off of a critter...


He uses them in the taxidermy market, meat for baits, glands for lures and maybe skulls. Also tans a few and pelts the rest. LLL
_________________________
"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in waders and looks like work." Thomas Edison (except for the waders part)

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#5768470 - 01/11/17 05:17 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
gibb Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 623
Loc: North Bay Ontario
If you are planning on shipping your mink to auction a couple of tips to help keep the price up;
mink are the fastest pelts to turn yellowish in the leather. Depending how bad the yellow is will affect the price. If you are receiving a grade that is marked stale that is like the kiss of death. To avoid that rough skin your mink asap, freeze the pelt fur out. When you are getting ready to ship, put the mink up, timing them to be dry just before the truck arrives and you close your bag up to ship.
If you are holding put-up mink it is best to store in the freezer, believe me a week makes a difference in the color of the leather. I suggest placing in a paper bag then into the freezer. Most of the US mink are central type grade with a heavy fat layer under the saddle. Important to scrap around the belly and arm pits to remove the excess fat.
Never ever put wild mink on wire stretchers. They look like crap.
The fresher looking the leather the better for the trapper.
I graded thousands of wild mink.
Sorry I wrote freeze the rough skin fur in which should have been freeze the pelt fur out.
Jim


Edited by gibb (01/12/17 06:29 AM)

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#5768539 - 01/11/17 05:57 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 2098
Loc: Armpit, ak
This may be a dumb question. Why don't you just scrape your mink? I do and they dry real pretty and quickly. Pretty easy to scrape. confused
_________________________
Who is John Galt?

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#5768566 - 01/11/17 06:24 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
gibb Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 623
Loc: North Bay Ontario
Mainly because of poor handling that caused a lot of over scraping down to the root hairs. It was easier to ask for the saddle to be left on. Central mink are more a commercial type section, the color is mainly brown to light brown. A more course fur and a heavy leather.

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#5768823 - 01/11/17 09:04 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
So it is ok to lay rat pelts in stacks an they are always oily, an store in low 60s for tempeture?i used to freeze but was told on here in another post, not to freeze for just a few weeks

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#5768836 - 01/11/17 09:11 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
gibb Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 623
Loc: North Bay Ontario
The shortest time you leave exposed to air the better if more than a couple of weeks I would freeze. Mink go stale leather the fastest but all skins will go stale.
Jim

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#5768858 - 01/11/17 09:21 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 2098
Loc: Armpit, ak
I keep everything in the freezer. Kind of easy when you live in one. smile
_________________________
Who is John Galt?

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#5768870 - 01/11/17 09:29 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
Should wrap in newspaper an freeze?

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#5768919 - 01/11/17 10:11 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
gibb Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 623
Loc: North Bay Ontario
I would place in a fur bag or a big paper bag and freeze in mass. Just remember to take out at least a full day before shipping to make sure they are dry.

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#5768964 - 01/11/17 11:01 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
if you store dried rats in a freezer, a brown paper grocery bag works well. stand the pelts in the bag nose down, and they'll pack in there pretty tight. this makes a nice square package and will stack in the freezer well. they'll probably collect a little frost, so do as suggested above, and take them out and thaw before shipping or heading to the buyer. wipe off any moisture from the melted frost.

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#5768996 - 01/12/17 12:24 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
coonman220 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/23/08
Posts: 1388
Loc: n.e, iowa
Thanks for advice, I always used to do this an someone post on here s bad idea, I just wrap in newspaper an mask tape paper around pelts an put in freezer an no paper sacks

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#5768997 - 01/12/17 12:28 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
don Wolf Offline


Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 6592
Loc: evansville Indiana age70
I have stored all my put up mink in a freezer. Have been doing it a long time. As Jim said, Mink yellow the fastest of any fur. I never worry about rats getting yellow unless I buy some from an individual that doesn't scrape the shoulder area enough. I can store about a 1000 rats in a 25 foot freezer that I never use. I also store them in 30 gal totes and have a bunch of totes I store dry rats in after I fill my freezer up. Usually the thing that happens most will be rat hides sticking together. They also get a little sticky in the fur if they have not been put up in the correct manner.When I store rats in totes I always put fur to fur in pairs. They get very little sticky in the fur doing that. If they do get a little sticky, all you need to do is squirt just a very small amt. of wd-40 on the exposed fur and run a fine wire brush typ comb through them. Don't comb hard and don't gouge them with your brush.The little brush I use is maybe 4 inches wide by 1/2 in. thick. I also use those little fine wire brushes on my mink. I really don't have to comb many rats out to get grease out if you do like I do using totes or even an old freezer that don't run.

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#5769085 - 01/12/17 06:44 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
gibb Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 623
Loc: North Bay Ontario
I will also add for muskrats storing dried pelts also depends on the time of year. During the winter the air in most places is very dry which helps for short term storage.
However if it is spring a couple of tips,
make absolutely sure the fur is dry(always important) but more so in the spring when the air has a lot more moisture present. Pay attention to storage because of the possibility of mold and fur bugs. In the winter you will notice how fast a skin will dry in the spring because of more moisture in the air it takes longer.
The sooner you move the pelts the better.
When the pelts reach the auction house they are moved through the grading process quickly and placed in cold storage. Raw skins are perishable.
If you are holding skins for any length of time, for example more than a month the freezer is best.
Short term storage is ok but it also depends on the conditions.

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#5769953 - 01/12/17 09:32 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Computer Hater Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 699
Loc: Ohio
I'm going to throw a curveball here. In no way shape or form do I have the fur handling or buying experience of Don Wolf or Gibb and I respect their opinions and thoughts on this matter. I have read this thread with great interest and maybe picked up a few things to try with my mink put up.

Get ready, here comes the curveball.

In Ohio our mink season opens on November 10th. I start trapping that day and I skin and put my catch up on boards daily or if they are too wet they get put up the next day. I keep them on the boards until I run out of boards and then I take them off as needed but hang them back up. My fur shed probably stays around 45 to 50 degrees unless it is extremely mild or extremely cold outside. My mink hang from mid November to mid January when I send them to Fur Harvesters. My mink grade extremely well there and always have. This past year at the March Fur Harvesters auction 67% of my mink that I sent graded select and I sent more than just a few. I used to sell my fur at the OSTA auctions in March. My mink were always bid on by several buyers anxious to buy them. Zander is a well known buyer who has bought my mink in the past when I sold them at the OSTA auction. When I sold at the OSTA auctions my mink hung in the shed until early March. The buyers didn't mention anything about them that they didn't like. I always get compliments on my mink put up.

Now with all that said, I do see some yellowing when I'm bagging them up but maybe what I see isn't yellow enough to be considered stale. Maybe the temperature in my shed keeps them from yellowing too much. Maybe the graders at FH don't know what they are doing. Maybe if I froze them until ready to ship I might have had 80% grade select. I don't know what the answer is. I just wanted to throw this out there and see what everyone's thoughts are since this is being discussed on here.
_________________________
Randy
Member NTA, FTA

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#5770057 - 01/12/17 11:44 PM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
randy,,,if theres no fat under the saddle, and you leave the saddle on, there should be very little yellowing. if theres fat, the yellowing will be extreme, and the leather soggy and limp.

normal mink in most parts of the country have no fat under the saddle, and the saddle dries tight to the leather with no problem. I'm guessing you leave the saddles on the pelts, and theres no/not much fat underneath, and your mink are grading well.

if you saw one of our heavy old male mink, put up with the saddle left on, and fat underneath, youd understand why theyre down graded. in a severe case, you can hold the pelt by the nose, and itll droop down like a half cooked noodle. yours that are slightly yellowish, I'm guessing are still stiff when held this way.

if the fat and saddle over it is left on the pelt, the saddle will dry out, locking the fat beneath. then the fat melts to oil, and that soaks through the saddle and rehydrates it, and it becomes soft. while this is happening, the oil is also soaking through the leather and into the fur. the saddle will be wrinkled and soft, yellowish colored, and very sticky to the touch.

these mink very commonly weigh 4-4 1/2 pounds, and the bigger they are, the more fat there typically is. how much do your typical male mink weigh? just curious.

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#5770076 - 01/13/17 12:49 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
don Wolf Offline


Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 6592
Loc: evansville Indiana age70
Fossil, that is the same problem we have in So. Ind. with our big males.

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#5770078 - 01/13/17 01:18 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
don,,,then you know how nasty looking they get. i assume you also remove the saddles on these old mink?

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#5770079 - 01/13/17 01:19 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
don Wolf Offline


Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 6592
Loc: evansville Indiana age70
Yes I do and never get down graded for doing it.

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#5770080 - 01/13/17 01:28 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
leaving the saddles on mink pelts was being taught all the way back to the hawbaker days. I'm guessing buyers would rather have a normal saddle left on, than have it over fleshed, or scraped too close. these fatty ones are a whole different animal though. nothing "normal" about these saddles.

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#5770083 - 01/13/17 01:37 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Computer Hater Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 699
Loc: Ohio
Fossil,

I do leave the saddles on my mink. I have never taken a saddle completely off of a mink. Our typical male mink weigh 3 to 3 1/2 pounds. On occasion I will get one over 4 pounds but it is rare. My mink are stiff when I hold them by the nose. They don't droop down like a wet noodle.
_________________________
Randy
Member NTA, FTA

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#5770084 - 01/13/17 01:43 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
if the leathers stiff and firm its not oil soaked. also tap on the saddle with a fingernail. it should be hard, and I'm guessing yours are. a normal saddle has to be removed carefully, if you want to try it. on our fat ones, the saddles not even attached to the leather (the fat layer separates the saddle and leather) and the saddle will roll off quite easily.

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#5771400 - 01/14/17 05:43 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
JeremyEickhoff Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/18/14
Posts: 1315
Loc: Melrose,Minnesota
A lot of great information here. Thanks guys. Here is an example of one of those big fat mink. The saddle rolled right off with the fat.



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#5771596 - 01/14/17 10:43 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
Ken Mclellan Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/27/13
Posts: 492
Loc: Mt.Iron MN
It's very important to make sure the fur is dry before boarding. Mink should be scraped clean (including) the saddle. Make sure to leave them on the boards until they are completely dry.

Even some of the big females have enough fat under the saddle to cause problems.
I've sold my share of stale, yellowish pelts over the years too. Live and learn !!
_________________________
Time and tide wait for no man

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#5771623 - 01/14/17 11:06 AM Re: Storing mink pelts [Re: coonman220]
fossil2 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 697
Loc: minn
Jeremy,,,thanks for the pic. on the far right of your pic is a normal mink, which appears to be a male also. the saddle is left on this one, and you can see theres no fat beneath it. are you still after the rats?

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