Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Primitive Skills & Earth Skills

Home taxidermy- how do I make a black bear rug?

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cynicalcyclist:
Wow, thanks! Thats an awesome primer. Thank you so much. I sure hope to share the journey with you all!

machinisttx:
I forgot earlier, but if you're going to keep the skull, they're not all that hard to process either. Cut all the meat you can away from the skull and lower jaw, split the flesh in the upper jaw/skull, use a holesaw to cut a hole in the rear of the skull and scoop the brains out. Boil them both for 45 minutes or so. We add sodium carbonate to the water. Any remaining flesh can be scraped off or you can use a wire brush if it's stubborn. After that, we paint it with a thickly(consistency of pudding) mixed hydrogen peroxide/magnesium carbonate(I think) paste and let it sit for a couple of days to bleach it. It comes off easily after it dries. One potential problem that I encountered on one of those three bear skulls is that sometimes there will be a lot of oil/fat/grease in the bone. You may have to repeat the process a few times. If that happens, a heat gun will help get some of the oil out, but don't heat it too much. Another potential problem is that sometimes the skull will want to separate  in places and/or the teeth want to fall out. Just glue it back together after all the work is done.

For what it's worth, don't bother with a "fleshing" knife. They look like a carpenters draw knife. In my experience they don't work very well. I use either a scalpel(blades are easy to replace and cheap), or a fillet knife. If you can stretch the hide while you're fleshing it, it's much easier to cut/scrape the meat and fat off.

Cedar:

--- Quote from: machinisttx on March 23, 2015, 09:15:07 PM ---We do not use sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. I can't imagine why anyone would use something that caustic and toxic when better options exist.

--- End quote ---

It was one of the two recipes out of my 4-H handbook, it worked, it worked well. And I was able to get the sulphuric acid for free. Been using it for 38 years and no harm done other than 1 pair of jeans. The sulfuric acid does make a really nice white hide. I might try other agents sometime, but I have gone with what works for me.

Cedar

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