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Freeze Drying Pelts #7773865
01/16/23 04:41 PM
01/16/23 04:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
Ryan Phoenix Offline OP
trapper
Ryan Phoenix  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
I was watching some fur handling videos on YouTube the other day that were put out by Alaska Fish & Game last year and there was some great information in there. One of the things that was mentioned was freeze drying your pelts after fleshing and boarding, instead of hanging them in a typical fur shed environment at a moderate temperature. They were saying there's multiple benefits to this, including the leather turning out "whiter" (obviously dependent on the species) in the final product. Because it's Alaska, I guess I'm assuming that they're talking about hanging these boarded pelts outside in freezing temperatures, but I suppose if you had a walk-in freezer and were so inclined, you could go that route as well.

I've never heard of doing this and I'm wondering if somebody can elaborate a bit - both on the benefits and if there's anything else that should be mentioned, such as leaving pelts too long and risking damage, the difference between freezing temps and REALLY freezing temps, et cetera. I tried to run a search for it here but all the results are just about freezing pelts for storage, either before or after the whole fur handling process is complete. I'm just curious what information this will turn up as this is a new concept to me. Thanks


Idaho Trappers Association
Intermountain Fur Harvesters
Montana Trappers Association
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Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: Ryan Phoenix] #7775912
01/18/23 08:34 PM
01/18/23 08:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
trapper
3 Fingers  Offline
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3

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
As a kid I discovered by accident that my bíver furs left outside for a long time in very cold dry conditions (N WI)turned out lighter colored on the skin side and tended to grade better. I still do this sometimes but it does take a lot longer.

Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: Ryan Phoenix] #7776021
01/18/23 10:08 PM
01/18/23 10:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 1,485
Pennsylvania
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patrapperbuster Offline
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patrapperbuster  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2020
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Pennsylvania
Will have to try this on a beaver this year

Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: 3 Fingers] #7782783
01/26/23 09:21 AM
01/26/23 09:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
Ryan Phoenix Offline OP
trapper
Ryan Phoenix  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
Originally Posted by 3 Fingers
As a kid I discovered by accident that my bíver furs left outside for a long time in very cold dry conditions (N WI)turned out lighter colored on the skin side and tended to grade better. I still do this sometimes but it does take a lot longer.


Well at least I know thereís some validity to it, then.

Nobody else has any info on this? I was really hoping somebody was doing this regularly and could speak to it.


Idaho Trappers Association
Intermountain Fur Harvesters
Montana Trappers Association
Alaska Trappers Association
Virginia Trappers Association
NTA
Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: Ryan Phoenix] #7782984
01/26/23 01:11 PM
01/26/23 01:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 42,836
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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Boco  Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
The James Bay Cree are the Masters at frost drying fur-especially beaver.

[Linked Image]

You need long periods of very cold weather to do it correctly.

Last edited by Boco; 01/26/23 01:12 PM.

Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: Boco] #7783061
01/26/23 03:31 PM
01/26/23 03:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
trapper
3 Fingers  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
Originally Posted by Boco
The James Bay Cree are the Masters at frost drying fur-especially beaver.

[Linked Image]

You need long periods of very cold weather to do it correctly.

And if thereís a brief warm up with high humidity itíll absorb moisture and set the timing back a ways.

Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: 3 Fingers] #7783653
01/27/23 04:58 AM
01/27/23 04:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
Ryan Phoenix Offline OP
trapper
Ryan Phoenix  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 77
Idaho / Virginia
Originally Posted by Boco
The James Bay Cree are the Masters at frost drying fur-especially beaver.

You need long periods of very cold weather to do it correctly.

And if thereís a brief warm up with high humidity itíll absorb moisture and set the timing back a ways.


Thatís very interesting and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the response.


Idaho Trappers Association
Intermountain Fur Harvesters
Montana Trappers Association
Alaska Trappers Association
Virginia Trappers Association
NTA
Re: Freeze Drying Pelts [Re: Ryan Phoenix] #7803771
02/21/23 12:48 PM
02/21/23 12:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
3
3 Fingers Offline
trapper
3 Fingers  Offline
trapper
3

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,591
alaska
.[Linked Image]
Just to give an idea of the creamy color on the skin side. November bíver from this year full of holes and bites. Caught for bait. Freeze dried outside on a hoop for about 6-8 weeks

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