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Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6385654
11/29/18 06:23 PM
11/29/18 06:23 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 17,233
potter co. p.a.
P
pcr2 Offline
"Twerker"
pcr2  Offline
"Twerker"
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 17,233
potter co. p.a.
i still struggle puttin the legs on the back,it just doesn't seem right when you are doin it.


quality over quantity

Hickory Garden Farms
Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6385690
11/29/18 07:23 PM
11/29/18 07:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,409
100 Mile House, BC Can
bctomcat Offline
trapper
bctomcat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,409
100 Mile House, BC Can
I don't know the procedure you use boarding mink but the following works well for me and will provide the greatest length possible for a mink skin along with dense fur in the inspection area and also bring the valuable portion of the legs to the back of the board easily. This is accomplished by putting the fleshed pelt snug on the board. Then, without any pining, with your thumbs on the lower belly and fingers on the back message the belly up and the back down. Then:

1) Grasp the butt end of the tail and lift up off the board an towards the tip of the board at the same time,
2) Now pull the tail down the board taut and pin in center of the board.
3) Then knead the tail upward along the board, making it shorter and wider and thus increasing the fur density in the butt area.
4) Pin the tail out in that position with cardboard or wire screen.
5) Now with a push pin grab about inch of leg and pull down and pleat over to edge of the tail. Repeat until most of both legs are pleated onto the back side of the board forming a square butt.
The final step is to trim out the inspection window and cut off any excess leg, of little value, remaining on the edge of the board and tuck the front legs in.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.






Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6393291
12/08/18 01:15 PM
12/08/18 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
T
trapped4ever Offline
trapper
trapped4ever  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
I think some of this mink saddle "debate" stems from the various sections of mink. As Boco pointed out earlier, Northern section mink have a much thinner, parchment type skin, when dried. North Central, and Central mink will have a much heavier leather, and lighter fur. This thinner parchment skin is much easier to damage, especially on a lean red saddled mink, with no fat underneath. Without a cushioning layer of fat underneath the saddle, they tend to want to cling on to the skin, thus some guys that try to remove them, exert to much pressure, and damage the thinner skin. Fatter mink that are North or North Centrals, flesh really easy, with that fat layer underneath, the saddle just rolls right off, with very little pressure, thus minimizing the risk of over fleshing. Different types of mink in different parts of North America, but as a rough rule of thumb, most Northern Section mink originate in Alaska and Canada, and occasionally some of the Northern US. North Centrals are predominantly made up of Northern tier states in the USA, and a few from Canada and Alaska. Centrals mostly originate in the lower latitudes of the US, but some overlaps and anomalies of sectioning can always occur. For example, I've had mink in the top lot of all three sections, on the same year before, even though they were all trapped in the same general location.

Back to the leather though, the thinner skinned Northern section mink, are similar to an Alaskan red fox versus a lower 48 red fox. Alaskan fox have much more fur, and much thinner skin. Eastern beaver are thinner skinned than Western section beaver too. Different regional variations make it kind of hard to write a "one size fits all" pelt handling manual. However, I have to say again, I think both Boco's, and bctomcats mink put ups are PERFECT, for their type of mink. I find it interesting that the NAFA manual, and FHA manual vary on this "saddle" subject. I suspect it may be due to FHA getting a lions share of the Northern section mink, thus the ones with more "fragile" skin? It is nice that they have changed their manuals to reflect what they want to see though, as early on, after FHA's inception, their pelt handling manuals tended to be an exact copy of NAFA's. I'm still not sure I understand FHA's statement of mink with saddles bringing $2-$3 more per pelt. Does that mean if you have an otherwise perfect mink, but removed the saddle, it will no longer be in with the saddled mink of the same grade? Or are the saddle scrapers now dragging the prices down for every one that leaves saddles intact? Will the highest value lots now NEVER include a clean fleshed mink? I think FHA may want to clarify their statement a little.

Last edited by trapped4ever; 12/08/18 02:52 PM.
Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6393337
12/08/18 02:34 PM
12/08/18 02:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 19,195
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline OP
trapper
Boco  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 19,195
james bay frontierOnt.
I will say OTA,the forerunner of fha,was always years ahead of NAFA/HBC in fur handling education to trappers.
The first fur handling competitions started way back in the early 50's,at the trappers conventions. [Linked Image]

I just checked the fur handling competition rules for mink-saddles must be left intact.When I was winning at the competitions 20 years ago I always picked a lean January bush mink with big nuts for the competition.They had a long nap,long shiny guard hair with no singe, virtually no fat whatsoever,and an extremely thin saddle.

Last edited by Boco; 12/08/18 02:40 PM.
Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6393360
12/08/18 03:22 PM
12/08/18 03:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,824
Wisconsin
T
The Beav Offline
trapper
The Beav  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,824
Wisconsin
Your living In the past Boco. From what I'm being told It doesn't really matter any more.


The forum Know It All according to Muskrat
Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6393364
12/08/18 03:25 PM
12/08/18 03:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
T
trapped4ever Offline
trapper
trapped4ever  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
I'm guessing most of the Ontario Trappers Association fur competitions were using Ontario origin, or at least Northern section mink, so I would expect them to say to leave saddles intact. The only lean male mink you would find around here in January, would be a runt of the litter YOY, or one starving due to injury, worn out teeth, or disease/ sickness, such as tail rot. You will find lean females, that can be left saddle intact, but males are pretty rare to be lean enough to do so. I like to skin and roll up and freeze my mink, then flesh and board them just before shipping, to minimize discoloration of the skin, due to oxidization of the fat.

Another interesting side note, depending upon where you are trapping at, geographically in Alaska, the mink vary to an incredible degree. Interior regions and upper tributaries have vastly different mink than coastal regions. Many major inland river systems have nice big, fat mink as well. The interior "mountain mink" at higher elevations are similar to the type you are describing that you liked for competition Boco. They tended to be skinnier, and somewhat smaller overall, compared to the river and coastal mink though, still nice fur though. I'm lucky to have trapped many regions of the state over the last 4 decades, and I can tell you, even within the state, the regional differences are pretty drastic. Of course, a lot has to do with food availability...... Still, some must be genetics...

Boco, I think the OTA was an outstanding group of PROFESSIONAL trappers, geographically located in the same fur rich region, so a lot of knowledge/ education was able to be shared at those conventions, I'm sure. Back in the OTA days, fur had enough value that many professional trappers still existed on fur money alone, so they took it very seriously. These days, not so many professionals left, and many "hobby" trappers, that don't put in the time to even put up their own fur in some instances. I've been to North Bay a few times, lots of fur trade history there, and all the Northern Great Lakes region for that matter.

Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6394326
12/09/18 08:57 PM
12/09/18 08:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 39
Kansas
T
Toad Offline
trapper
Toad  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 39
Kansas
Boco. I do enjoy reading your post and learn a lot from them. Thanks

Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6395003
12/10/18 05:39 PM
12/10/18 05:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 12,202
MN
1
160user Offline
trapper
160user  Offline
trapper
1

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 12,202
MN
I was going to post a THANK YOU to all for the advice and pictures of the Mink put up but decided not to get involved in the saddle or no saddle weiner contest. I am TERRIBLE at mink put up but did get a top lot for one in the 90's for $60 if I remember right. Its a good thing I didn't post if I left the saddle on or removed it.


I have nothing clever to put here.





Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6396262
12/11/18 11:33 PM
12/11/18 11:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
T
trapped4ever Offline
trapper
trapped4ever  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 117
alaska
160user,
Ha! Funny!! No contest, just discussion!!! There are many good fur handlers out there, it doesn't hurt to share opinions / techniques. It seems you must have done something right, to get $60 for a mink, so you must not be THAT terrible! Mink saddle removal/ nonremoval is a regional/ sectional thing, and also dependent upon the amount of fat under that particular saddle.

Re: Finishing Mink. [Re: Boco] #6404702
12/21/18 05:43 AM
12/21/18 05:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,274
Manitoba
N
Northof50 Offline
trapper
Northof50  Offline
trapper
N

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,274
Manitoba
Think of how a grader works with your mink will put some effect of your " put-up" Steps a grader goes through prior to making bundles.
1=sized
2= section
3= leather quality telling grade
4= fur inspection for quality
5= colour matching

So just consider that where your pinned rear legs goes because the grader has to open that area up in # 2and #4 and #5. That is a lot of plying with two thumbs to look at that small area.
So an inspection window means a lot

Last edited by Northof50; 12/21/18 05:44 AM.
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