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Preserving Feathers/Fur


-Marc V-

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With firearm deer season upon us and small game I was wondering how to preserve some feathers/fur from from a harvest.

I was hoping to get some patches of deer from the back and belly. How would I go about preserving the hide so it doesn't rot?

Are there any other good parts of a deer to keep pieces of the hide from other than the tail, belly and back?

I also got a grouse last weekend. I kept both wings to hopefully use some of the smaller feathers on the elbows for soft hackles, and maybe some spent wing caddis. How would I go about preserving the wings?

One last question. How would I go about dying feathers and fur? Any hints on books or whatever would be appreciated.

Thanks a million.

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I remember Tie Flyer did a nice Kool-aid Dye job on some fur/feathers. As for preserving feathers. If they are plucked just put them in a baggie and nuke them for a few seconds. That will kill any parasites. If they have skin attached, I coat the skin/fat etc. in Borax and it really dries them out.

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I believe it's 20 Mule Team.........Walmart, Cub, Target may have it. It would be in the laundry detergent Aisle

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For deer hide here is a web site on tanning for deer and small animals. I've followed it and it works well.

http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_l/l-103.html

As for dying feathers there is a book in the Hennipen Library system on dying feathers for fly fishing and he outlines the kool aid method. If I remember right is to mix the kool aid so that it is thick and let the feather soak overnight. Do a search on Hennipen Library web site for the book.

A brief search of the web gave me this on kool aid dying. It's for wool yarn but should cross over to feathers as well.

http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/FEATdyedwool.html

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I forgot to mention about the feathers. You need to make sure there are no mites ect on the wings as they will make a mess of your wing and feathers. Nuke in microwave or freeze in freezer for two months.

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