squirrel extermination

Making Squirrel Fur Useful

Squirrels use their fur to keep their bodies warm, just like what all animals do. However, squirrels are unique in a way that they wrap their tails around their bodies before they sleep, the same behavior that made the Greeks call them "in the shade of a tail". This characteristic is perhaps nature's first hint that the squirrel's fur should feel really good on human skin. In the medieval times, only the nobles wear clothing made from squirrel pelts. Even today, high-quality squirrel fur clothing displays the same amount of elegance that was once exclusive to the nobles alone. The most expensive squirrel furs are from Russia (Siberia mainly) because of the level of quality that this country maintain in order to produce only the best squirrel pelts. The fur from grey squirrels is often left with its natural color because it is already desirable in itself. The other furs which are not of solid colors are normally dyed in taupe, beige and mink. Other elegant colors are the shades of Viatka and Summer Ermine.

The United States also produces a little amount of squirrel pelts, but they are nothing in comparison to those from Russia and Siberia because they are not really commercially produced to be used for clothing’s, instead, they’re produced for linings which are really cheap application. Nevertheless, when carefully processes, squirrel pelt is luxurious to touch and to look at. The most valuable portion of a squirrel's pelt is that from its back. Un-dyed pelts require immense skills to be properly matched in order to make a fur coat of almost uniform color and pattern. The famous Hudson seal which is one of the pillars of the fur-clothing industry has produced squirrel fur combined with muskrat, ermine and mink.

Under normal conditions, a squirrel fur coat can last up to 8 long years or more if cared properly. But if the clothing is seldom used, it can last forever.

If you are interested to make your own squirrel pelt, you can actually try your skills on some of the squirrels that you can catch in your attic or in your yard. You can also hunt for squirrels (see my other articles for this). If you already have a dead squirrel at hand, skin the squirrel by following the process below.

You will need a very sharp knife, a bowl, rubber gloves and some water. You also need an assistant to help you especially if this is your first tip to skin a squirrel, but this is actually optional. Now, if you have all these materials ready you will need to soak the dead squirrel in water. It is easier to work when the hair of the squirrel is wet. Dry hair normally sticks to the meat while you skin.

Next, you need to hold the squirrel upside down. If you have an assistant, ask him to turn the squirrel for you or you can hang the squirrel with its legs away from you so that you can work. Remove the squirrel's fur on the base of the squirrel's tail. After you have cleared that spot, you need to slit open the squirrel from its tail down to its body. Do not cut off the tail, simply cut through it.

Slowly separate the skin from the meat using the back of your knife to avoid damage. Let your assistant hole the squirrels tail or step in the tail so that you can exert enough force to pull out the skin off the squirrel's back. Pull up the skin on the legs using your hands. Be careful not to damage the skin. To completely remove the skin, use your knife to cut off the portion that clings to the head and the ankles of the squirrel. Then cut the squirrel into two, opening it along the stomach to expose the internal organs. With your fingers, remove all that is inside the squirrel's body and then wash the squirrel. The meat can be cooked up to become an excellent recipe. As for the skin, what you need to do next is to tan the pelt.

How to tan the Squirrel Pelt?

1. Make sure that all the meat attached to the pelt has all been removed. To do that, simply scrape the other side of the pelt (one with no hair) with a dull knife. Be careful to not cut through the pelt or you will be ruining your creation.

2. Mix a gallon of water to five cups of salt. Use a large bucket (about 5 gallons) in order to give the felt enough room once you sink it in. Now, submerge the pelt into the solution. Soaking will make it easier for you to scrape off the flesh which you might have missed earlier.

3. Set aside you "clean" pelt and let it dry in the air.

4. To make you tanning solution, mix four gallons of water to two pounds of salt. Stir the solution until all the salt is completely mixed with the water.

5. Dissolve two pounds of alum into the some water in a separate container. Add this mixture to the salt solution that you have prepared.

6. Place the "clean" pelt into the solution and let it stay there for about 24 hours, just don't forget to stir the mixture at least twice within that period.

6. After the allotted time, you may not remove the pelt from the solution and wash it with clean running water. Clean the pelt thoroughly until you are sure that all unabsorbed tanning solution is washed away.

7. Hang the pelt to air dry, keep the fur side away from direct sunlight to protect the fur from damages. You might need to hand the pelt for several days before it dries.

8. Once dry, you can roll up the pelt with the fur side inside. Let the roll sit for an entire night.

9. Now you are ready to soften the pelt. The process is similar to how leather is softened. You can use table edges to do this.

10. Lastly, use leather lubricant all over the pelt with your hands. The lubricant is used to even out the tan of the pelt. Use a narrow-tooth comb to untangle the fur side of the pelt.
squirrel extermination