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Rinse fur before freezing?

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Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Shea » Fri May 04, 2018 12:37 am


Is it safe to wash the blood out of a pelt before freezing it? Should I dry them a bit first if I do? My first batch got scrubbed clean with snow before being put away so I am not too sure on the procedure here.

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Fri May 04, 2018 12:47 am


Yeah, go ahead any rinse blood out. Drying them a bit wouldn't hurt either, as less water will help them thaw faster later.

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Shea » Fri May 04, 2018 12:57 am


Ok thanks that is what I thought. Just needed the confirmation. :D

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby GBov » Fri May 04, 2018 1:31 pm


Yep, I give mine a good soapy wash now before freezing but I tend to freeze with more water rather than less as it helps prevent freezer burn if I don't get to the hide for a year or six. :oops: :lol:

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri May 04, 2018 2:13 pm


GBov wrote:Yep, I give mine a good soapy wash now before freezing but I tend to freeze with more water rather than less as it helps prevent freezer burn if I don't get to the hide for a year or six. :oops: :lol:

Wow, GBov, 6 years?! :P :lol:

I toss mine into an ice bath while I'm processing the rabbits, so once I'm all done with the butchering I can go back and give the hides a quick rinse, gentle squeeze, and off into the freezer they go! :)

(I've done it this way based on people telling me it's best to cool the skins quickly, so as to prevent bacteria growth that would result in fur slippage).
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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Shea » Fri May 04, 2018 3:49 pm


I know I definately wont have the freezer space to keep them more then 6 months, as it is I've got some 100lbs of venison 2 deer hides a turkey, 8 rabbit hides and other goodies taking up the bulk of space. Almost time for a big ol' cookout to make room. :D

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby GBov » Sat May 05, 2018 11:06 am


Mmmmmm venison! Love it but it has been a long time since we had any. I use to be quite lucky where we last lived with road kill but here? Too many people run hog dogs so the roadkill gets scooped up faster than I can find it. :lol:

Yep, 6 years. :oops: BUT I finally got every hide - 200 + - fleshed and dried and stored in cedar shavings, last year in fact.

They do seem to be creeping back into the freezer so have started the process again, thaw out, flesh, nail to my drying board and turn the fan on. I only ever freeze in mason jars or vacuum pack bags now though so even if I don't get to them for a while, they are fresh and good when I do. Unlike some of the ones in Ziploc bags that had freezer burned past usefulness.

Mason jars are brill for freezing in and with things like squirrel where I only catch them one at a time, I can freeze them in layers with no damage to the meat.

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Zass » Sat May 05, 2018 1:05 pm


GBov wrote:Mason jars are brill for freezing in and with things like squirrel where I only catch them one at a time, I can freeze them in layers with no damage to the meat.


Oh wow. That's something I didn't know. :o But umm, how do you fit more than one squirrel in a jar? We have fox and grey squirrel here, and I don't think I could get two to a quart.

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby GBov » Sat May 05, 2018 1:51 pm


Zass wrote:
GBov wrote:Mason jars are brill for freezing in and with things like squirrel where I only catch them one at a time, I can freeze them in layers with no damage to the meat.


Oh wow. That's something I didn't know. :o But umm, how do you fit more than one squirrel in a jar? We have fox and grey squirrel here, and I don't think I could get two to a quart.


In Florida, the grey squirrels are small enough to go three into a quart-sized jar. But I cut my squirrels into 6 pieces instead of freezing them whole. They fit the jars better that way. Biscuit topped, boneless squirrel and mushroom pie is a firm favorite here and I can use just 3 squirrels to feed four people full to bursting. :D

I use the large raccoon/medium dog sized live trap to catch them in and when caught I transfer them into a canvas bag - bag over the mouth of the trap, flap towel over the cage, the squirrel runs into the bag, press down across the bag with a stout dowl rod to trap squirrel into the bag, and then a whack over the head with my "priest".

At no point does the squirrel seem anything more than startled by its new condition and in fact over the winter I had three squirrels so unfazed by the cage that they simply would NOT leave it so I eventually left the door open and they ran off after I left. Not frozen with fear, just refused to exit the cage! :lol:

You do have to put a board across the trigger pan on the floor of the cage and scatter the bait onto it. That, plus the squirrel, is enough to trigger the trap to close.

Wanna know the best bit? As I did each one I trimmed the fat off the hide and used push pins to attach it to some styrofoam to dry in front of a fan. Once dried I put an add into my Etsy store.

Over the winter the squirrels we ate also earned me $10 each. $160 in total before the season ended. 8-)

I just wish it was safe to shoot in our area but there are too many houses, the squirrels this year a like a plague! Of the nicest kind, of course. :lol:

Eeeep, sorry, totally off the subject have I wandered! :oops:

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Shea » Sat May 05, 2018 4:27 pm


No please, feel free. I would love to find a use for all the grey squirrels around! And trapping is about the only option seeing as how I live in the "village" and things like codes and zoning laws are actually enforced :angry:

And if you just so happen to want to share that squirrel recipe, well some of those buggers may disappear. ;)

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby GBov » Sat May 05, 2018 5:47 pm


Shea wrote:No please, feel free. I would love to find a use for all the grey squirrels around! And trapping is about the only option seeing as how I live in the "village" and things like codes and zoning laws are actually enforced :angry:

And if you just so happen to want to share that squirrel recipe, well some of those buggers may disappear. ;)


:lol: That is where I figured out how to get my favorite meat, in a town that was pure mental on stopping people enjoying their lives. :roll:

Simmer squirrel gently until very tender. Remove from stock and debone. LEARN where the bones are, it makes it easier. There is as much meat under the shoulder blade as there is over it and the knee bones will hide from you and wind up in the pie if you let them. :evil:

In the stock cook two cans of organic mushrooms with their liquid, a diced onion and a carrot or four until they are tender and then thicken the hell out of the stock. I use flour for that.

When it is thick add the meat back in and pour the entire stew into an ovenproof pan.

Biscuits are super easy.

2 cups flour from the freezer - very cold flour makes for better pastries of all kinds and the meal moths I am plagued with cant get to it.
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking POWDER
mix well and then...
cut in about 6 tablespoons fat - this can be butter, cold turkey fat (my favorite), pork fat, any kind works.

Then add enough cold water to make a firm dough and knead it about 8-10 times. Don't over do it but don't leave it out, this step will make a better texture.

Then tear off chunks and gently place onto stew. Bake at 350 til done.
Unless of course you add too much water - yep, happens to me too - at which point just spoon lumps onto the stew and cook as above. Either way makes a lovely dinner.

Milk makes a better biscuit but my youngest has been found to be both dairy and egg allergic so water it is here now. Learning to cook all over again? Priceless!

It is still very good and ANY meat works. I make stock from everything I kill so I have jars and jars frozen, and that way all I have to do is use leftover meat and stock to make a pie. Just last week we had fried quail filets one night and then made a pie from the carcasses. Each one had about a tablespoon of meat left on it so win, two full dinners from 10 quail. :D

You can also cover the pie with shortcrust pastry but biscuits are faster.

Two frozen hides out of the freezer and drying. It seems I forgot to wash them so did it after I fleshed them out. Never mind, they came clean in the end.

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Shea » Sat May 05, 2018 7:59 pm


Mmmmm that sounds good. Maybe with a cup of cream added to the stew but I will definately be making that!

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby akane » Sat May 05, 2018 10:48 pm


I have no idea how long I had bags of hides in my freeze before I decided it was not happening and cleaned it out. :lol:
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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby GBov » Sun May 06, 2018 11:29 am


akane wrote:I have no idea how long I had bags of hides in my freeze before I decided it was not happening and cleaned it out. :lol:


I am not strong enough to get rid of hides, or feathers. :oops: Even old white buck hides get dried. It's like a mental illness, I just can't stop myself. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Rinse fur before freezing?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby guardianoasis » Tue May 08, 2018 11:42 am


GBov wrote:Mmmmmm venison! Love it but it has been a long time since we had any. I use to be quite lucky where we last lived with road kill but here? Too many people run hog dogs so the roadkill gets scooped up faster than I can find it. :lol:

Yep, 6 years. :oops: BUT I finally got every hide - 200 + - fleshed and dried and stored in cedar shavings, last year in fact.

They do seem to be creeping back into the freezer so have started the process again, thaw out, flesh, nail to my drying board and turn the fan on. I only ever freeze in mason jars or vacuum pack bags now though so even if I don't get to them for a while, they are fresh and good when I do. Unlike some of the ones in Ziploc bags that had freezer burned past usefulness.

Mason jars are brill for freezing in and with things like squirrel where I only catch them one at a time, I can freeze them in layers with no damage to the meat.


Do you freeze the furs or the meat in the mason jars or vacuum pack bags? I need to price it out.

__________ Tue May 08, 2018 9:42 am __________

I noticed someone posted something about washing them with a soap first? I know soap can dry out skin, does anyone have a suggestion for a very mild soap like product to wash pelts before they go in the freezer? I try really hard to keep them clean. Sometimes it doesn't happen though.
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