This is the first year I plan on selling my coyote hides. I have a few skinned out in the freezer and I've seen some local ads wanting to buy coyote fur. I have more hides and skulls decorating my house than the wife cares for so it's time to start selling. I case skinned the dogs I have but I have not bothered fleshing or turning out the ears.
So my question is:
1-Will the buyer generally want me to flesh and turn out the ears before he buys?
2-If so, is it worth the time and effort for the extra money?
3- Is it best to not waste time and just sell it on the carcass?
Either way I'm no professional and only likely to sell a few hides each year so it probably is not a huge deal either way. Just wondering what you guys do and hopefully earn back some gas money. Nabbed the guy in the pic this last weekend!
How you handle the fur is going to depend on what your trying to sell your fur for, taxidermy or fur market. For the taxidermy you'll split the lips and eye lids, skin out the paws and turn the ears, I don't like doing this for coyotes but all my cats will get done this way and maybe some select fur.
I would sell in the round OR put up the fur 100%, tube skin it, split the tail and flesh, wash and rinse and hang to dry the fur. First stretch hide out then pull it of the stretcher and turn it fur out and always use a belly board. I then do a coarse combing and set the ears, eyes, lips and front legs to make everything even from side to side and looking good. I'll hit it a couple more times with a comb then pull it once dry, and do a final comb with some baby powder.
When done you should pop the fur and it should stand up and feel silky, even those Idaho dogs!
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Re: How do you prepare your fur?
My Advice is , if you are only killing the odd coyote/cat here and there, sell them in the round.....meaning find a buyer that will do the skinning and prep work, because there is a LOT of work to prepping hides for sale. But....if you are killing lots of fur, you can make lots more $$ doing it yourself. Think of it as a beauty contest.....you want that fur buyer to love them when he sees them , so anything you do will make them better. As B&G said, if you are just skinning/drying them for the fur market there is no need to turn lips and ears or skin the paws. ok just to cut the paws off at the ankles. Heres a basic prep plan for fur you are going to sell to a fur buyer:
Case skin the critter...IE: cut from ankle to ankle thru the anus and peel like a banana. you should split the hide on the tail and remove the bone starting at the tip and pulling back. cut from elbow to ankle on the front legs to make it easier to peel them off.
Now that the hide is off, wash thoroughly with cold water to remove all blood etc. sling all the water you can out of the fur....heres where a spin cycle on a washer works pretty good
turn the hide inside out now and install sorta loosely on a stretcher. remove all excess meat and fat, sew up any holes with dental floss. now leave over night in a room that is above freezing , but not real warm.
next day, remove from stretcher, turn hide fur side out, and install back on stretcher. Also as B&G said, install a belly board.... I use a strip of molding or something about an inch wide. slide this inside the hide all the way thru to the mouth. This little trick keeps the hide from sticking together and lets air circulate through it. Hang the hide upside down and comb the fur down....depending on the temps, hides need to stay on the stretcher for 5-10 days....week is about average.
after drying, remove from stretcher and comb out any tangles, burs etc from the hide and fluff them up so they look real nice.
NEVER use salt on a hide.
Ask your fur buyer when you sell to point out any other little things that will make your fur more valuable to him.
Good advice from other posters, however one other step that will help, is after washing, let the hide soak for 5 to 10 minutes in woolite or what ever fabric softener you like. I've found that a mop bucket with the press works good at getting a lot of the water out of the fur before hanging up to dry.
Thanks for the advice guys. Had a great hunt this weekend and knocked down another 4 coyotes but I spent all my time hunting and I didn't really have much time left to get them skinned right away so I found a local guy who bought them on the carcass plus a couple skinned ones I had in the freezer. I think my coyote chasing is about done for this season but I'll probably look at some better options for next season and hopefully get a little better money out of them.