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Beaver, showing location of the initial cuts to be made in the pelt.

Beaver, showing location of the initial cuts to be made in the pelt.

Contexts in source publication

Context 1
... are skinned open, starting with a central cut on the belly that runs from the chin to the tail. The animal should be placed belly-up on a clean surface (Fig. 1). Some trappers use a simple wooden trough to keep the beaver from rolling. The fore- and hindfeet are removed first and some trappers also remove the tail, although most prefer to leave on the tail for ease in handling. Next, make the first cut in the skin along the chin-to-tail line, taking care not to enter the abdominal cavity nor ...
Context 2
... remove the tail, although most prefer to leave on the tail for ease in handling. Next, make the first cut in the skin along the chin-to-tail line, taking care not to enter the abdominal cavity nor to damage either the castor glands, which lie on either side of this line in front of the cloacal opening (vent), or the oil glands behind the vent (Fig. 1). Keep the skin stretched taut when removing it from the carcass. Supporting the pelt from underneath with one or two fingers will help to prevent accidental cuts when freeing the skin from the carcass. When the pelt has been freed partway down the sides, the animal should be turned onto its belly and the rest of the pelt removed; avoid ...
Context 3
... of fur in the inspection area pull the tail snugly towards the head, then pull the tail back down in the opposite direction and lay it on the board. Pin or nail the pelt to the board at the center of the base of the tail. Place the hindlegs leather-out on the same side of the board as the tail and tack the feet close to the base of the tail (Fig. 10). This procedure maximizes the size of the inspection window on the belly side (Can. Mink Breeders Assoc. 1970). Now, starting at the base of the tail, push the tail gently towards the rump. Continue this to the tip of the tail, then work back to the base of the tail, pushing towards the rump at all times. These procedures produce ...
Context 4
... and tack the screening in place on the board, but pinning or nailing the tail is acceptable. A thin edge of fur may be cut away from the border of the inspection area to remove any fur that might be greasy. This boarding procedure will naturally produce an adequate inspection area for grading and coloring without any additional cuts in the pelt (Fig. 11). If the inspection area is too small, either because the hindlegs were pulled down too far or as a result of the hindlegs being left on the belly side, the leather may tear when the fur is graded or the pelt is inspected by buyers (Fig. 12). The forelegs should be cut off about 1.5 cm (0.5 inches) long or tucked back inside the pelt ...
Context 5
... produce an adequate inspection area for grading and coloring without any additional cuts in the pelt (Fig. 11). If the inspection area is too small, either because the hindlegs were pulled down too far or as a result of the hindlegs being left on the belly side, the leather may tear when the fur is graded or the pelt is inspected by buyers (Fig. 12). The forelegs should be cut off about 1.5 cm (0.5 inches) long or tucked back inside the pelt without cutting them ...
Context 6
... otter pelts must be handled with extreme care at all times because the guard hairs can easily become singed in the raw state (Fig. 13). Exposure during pelt preparation to excess heat, low relative humidity, direct sunlight, or a strong artificial light source will cause a pelt to singe; singe also occurs naturally late in the season as the guard hairs become worn. Singed guard hairs reflect light differently than straight hairs, giving the pelt an undesirable ...
Context 7
... the leather is completely fleshed, place the pelt leather- out on a standard-size drying board (Fig. 14); two sizes of boards are used for river otters. Either a solid board with belly wedges or a split board may be used. Care should be taken not to overstretch otter pelts, as this produces weaker looking pelts with thinner hair density. Pull the pelt snugly over the board and nail the nose to the board to prevent the head portion from ...
Context 8
... pelt snugly over the board and nail the nose to the board to prevent the head portion from slipping. Spread the tail, push it forwards into the inspection area, and nail it in the open position in a V shape, placing nails about 2 cm apart. It is recommended that the hindfeet be nailed on the same side of the board as the tail, as for wild mink (Fig. 15a). This will produce a large inspection window and dense fur in the inspection area (Fig. 15b). Do not pull hard on the hindlegs or tail before nailing them in place (Fig. 15c), as this will reduce the density of hair in the inspection area. The forelegs should not be tucked in but should be cut off at about 1-2 cm (0.5-1 inches) long. ...
Context 9
... slipping. Spread the tail, push it forwards into the inspection area, and nail it in the open position in a V shape, placing nails about 2 cm apart. It is recommended that the hindfeet be nailed on the same side of the board as the tail, as for wild mink (Fig. 15a). This will produce a large inspection window and dense fur in the inspection area (Fig. 15b). Do not pull hard on the hindlegs or tail before nailing them in place (Fig. 15c), as this will reduce the density of hair in the inspection area. The forelegs should not be tucked in but should be cut off at about 1-2 cm (0.5-1 inches) long. The holes may be sewn closed or left open. Some trappers simply tuck in the forelegs of otter ...
Context 10
... in the open position in a V shape, placing nails about 2 cm apart. It is recommended that the hindfeet be nailed on the same side of the board as the tail, as for wild mink (Fig. 15a). This will produce a large inspection window and dense fur in the inspection area (Fig. 15b). Do not pull hard on the hindlegs or tail before nailing them in place (Fig. 15c), as this will reduce the density of hair in the inspection area. The forelegs should not be tucked in but should be cut off at about 1-2 cm (0.5-1 inches) long. The holes may be sewn closed or left open. Some trappers simply tuck in the forelegs of otter pelts, but because of the danger of these areas becoming tainted it is recommended ...
Context 11
... from one hindfoot to the other on the underside of the leg at the break between the long hairs of the back and the shorter hairs of the ventral side. The cut should pass 4-5 cm (1.5-2 inches) below the anus; in this way the maximum pelt length will be attained and an inspection window will be left on the belly side. If a skinning gambrel is used (Fig. 16), the hook should be placed between the tendon and the leg ...
Context 12
... boards with belly wedges, split boards, and galvanized wire stretchers are all used for raccoons. It is important to use a stretcher of an appropriate size (Fig. 17). Wooden stretchers must conform to the shape of wire stretchers especially at the head and neck. A major problem in the handling of raccoon pelts is the use of wooden stretchers that are too wide, resulting in pelts with low density or thin fur. Wooden stretchers should be no more than 24 cm (9.5 inches) at their widest point (Fig. ...
Context 13
... size (Fig. 17). Wooden stretchers must conform to the shape of wire stretchers especially at the head and neck. A major problem in the handling of raccoon pelts is the use of wooden stretchers that are too wide, resulting in pelts with low density or thin fur. Wooden stretchers should be no more than 24 cm (9.5 inches) at their widest point (Fig. 17); wire stretchers are about 23 cm (9 inches) at the base. The pelt should be pulled down snugly on the stretcher and the tail pulled firmly, first towards the head then back down in the opposite direction to get the maximum length. Then the tail should be spread, pushed towards the rump to get denser fur in the inspection area, and ...
Context 14
... pelt should be hung fur-out, perhaps outdoors, until the fur dries. Once the fur is dry the pelt should be turned leather-out and placed on a wire stretcher. A typical nutria stretcher has a wooden base and a sliding wooden bar to which the rump of the pelt is pinned. The pelt should be pulled down snugly then pinned evenly across the wooden bar (Fig. 18). Nutria pelts are prepared in this manner (i.e., without an inspection window) for a number of reasons (G. Linscombe, pers. commun.). Firstly, European buyers who purchased nutria pelts in South America many years ago wanted the pelts prepared in this fashion and this practice was continued when a market developed in Louisiana during ...
Context 15
... early in the season, because the hair roots may be cut. After fleshing, place the pelt leather-out on a drying board and nail it around the rump and the opened tail (as for the raccoon). Both wooden boards and galvanized wire stretchers are used to dry skunk pelts. As for other species, care should be taken to use an appropriate-size stretcher (Fig. 19) and to hang the pelts in a cool place until dry. Stretchers meant for skunks can also be used for small raccoon ...
Context 16
... a solid support. To skin the forelegs, make a cut on the back of each leg from the footpad to the elbow, cut around the wrist to leave the claws on the carcass (unless the pelt is to be used for taxidermy purposes), and loosen the pelt. Now make a straight-line cut from footpad to footpad along the back of the hindlegs passing just below the anus (Fig. 21). Make a cut along the midline of the underside of the tail for about one- third of its length, then extend this cut on either side of the anus to meet the first cut and form a triangular cut around the anus (Fig. 21). Next, cut the pelt from the hindlegs around the base of the feet so that the claws remain on the carcass (again, unless ...
Context 17
... loosen the pelt. Now make a straight-line cut from footpad to footpad along the back of the hindlegs passing just below the anus (Fig. 21). Make a cut along the midline of the underside of the tail for about one- third of its length, then extend this cut on either side of the anus to meet the first cut and form a triangular cut around the anus (Fig. 21). Next, cut the pelt from the hindlegs around the base of the feet so that the claws remain on the carcass (again, unless the pelt is to be used for taxidermy purposes) and then begin to pull or cut the pelt off the hindlegs. Next, hang the carcass by the hindlegs to finish skinning. One preferred technique is to hang the carcass from a ...