Skinned Kokia today.. well, scratch that. Kokie (Koh-key), actually. Because he's a boy. I had felt when he started to freeze in the freezer (I was dumb and didn't check him right away), but apparently I didn't feel well enough… so yeah. Boy.
But anyway so I hadn't been planning to skin him today but the freezer stopped working properly and I was really worried about him after skinning Loki yesterday so I sat there, waited for him to defrost all the way (his ears were already defrosted and his tail and paws partially), and brushed a bunch of burrs out of his fur. Of course, there's still more but I'll get them out soon.
(I also learned that Stop Rot is VERY sticky when it gets on your bare hands LOL.)
Anyway, he took me for fucking ever (3-4 hours) because he was still partially frozen and because he had so much damage. And my hands are so sore from it. Even then, I didn't get his toes all the way out because they were taking me too long and I didn't end up skinning his head or tail yet because my back hurt and my feet hurt and my hands hurt and I was fucking hungry as hell and tired and I was just done.
So anyway, while skinning the rest of him, one time I ended up cutting the glove and a finger (the glove's finger) came off LOL and another time I cut right through the glove and cut myself a bit. Immediately disinfected it (it didn't even bleed), put new gloves on, and continued. No biggie, ahaha.
I did not realize how small Kokie was until I held him in my bare hands.. but yeah. He's tiny. The little bugger was only three to four months old. Seriously, probably just slightly bigger than Natasha. I'll have pictures up soon, once my phone finishes charging.
And damn, was my poor boy BLOOOOODYYY! All of his ribs on his left side were smashed in and it got his fur so bloody. The bone sticking out of his left elbow was pretty brutal and caused a huge tear too. And of course, I ripped his armpit right next to that. Surprisingly enough, his really horribly broken neck was not bloody.
But anyway, I heard foxes stank… but holy fuck I was not expecting that. That smell with stay with me forever. I had to wash my hands MULTIPLE TIMES. It was insane. As soon as I brought him upstairs to show my dad- his skin at least, my dad was like, "TAKE HIM BACK DOWNSTAIRS BEFORE I PUKE." LOL, he's got a pretty weak stomach.
I had my mom help me a lot. "Hold his leg here." "Pull this skin." She had gloves too obviously. But yeah, he was so stiff from being so frozen that I NEEDED the help. I was grateful she helped, despite the godawful smell.
Anyway, so I bet you're wondering, where is he now if the freezer isn't working? Well, he's in the freezer with all our food 8D LOLLL. In two garbage bags, three layers between him and his stink and our food. S'all good. c;
Anyway, I'm excited to be DONE with him when I will be ugh. XD
BUT OMG he has they adorable black speckles on his gums and the tiniest cutest nose and the biggest pale cute ears and gah he's just adorable. I'm glad I'll be able to preserve him!
Please excuse the unattractive photographs of me. I was tired, my feet hurt, my hands hurt, I was hungry, not in the mood. Ehhh.
But okay, first picture is Kokie as a whole. (He was about 3-4 months old I think.)
Second picture, me skinning his feet.
Third and fourth, me holding Kokie for pics (look at how long his tail is!). I was pretty anxious because I took so long in skinning.
Fifth photograph is what was left after the skinning (I cut bones a lot when I skin, makes it easier for me) and it shows the damage the car did to the poor boy, minus the bone sticking out of his left elbow and the insanely broken neck. But yeah, he bled a lot.
And the last picture is his butt-area… I was wondering what that yellow-y mark was? A bruise? I was not entirely sure… But yeah, he retained a lot of damage. He had a lot of burrs and some scabs too.
Isn't he? <3 Thank you! I'm HOPING it went well really, because I won't know for sure until I tan him. D: I'm afraid his ears/face will slip!
But yeah, well, I looked up a lot of skinning videos on YouTube. Most don't do it for Taxidermy though, so those have to be found on places like Taxidermy.net. *CreatureUndertaker has done some lovely tutorials here on Deviantart but sometimes they are a little difficult to understand if you haven't done it before.
Here's a dorsal skinning tutorial I used as reference, even though I did Kokie case-skinned: [link] I found videos on Youtube for case-skinning tutorials.. I just ignored the "cut off the feet" part LOL.
Some people don't, but I cut bones with wire cutters as I go because it gives me more free roam. Of course, you don't wanna do that if you want to save the skeleton, but Kokie's body was pretty smashed up anyway. and I just save the skulls.
Here's a turning ears tutorial: [link] And here's one with tips if you don't have an ear opener: [link]
Here's some lip splitting/fleshing and such tutorials on a deer: [link] (Pretty much applies for any mammal)
Coyote fleshing tutorial: [link] (this helped me a lot, though I have not fleshed yet.)
As for tanning, it really depends on what tanning method you will use. I, myself have heard good things about Trubond and that is what I'll be using on Kokie. Lutan-F has a lot of steps so there is a high rate of slipping with foxes and Krowtann is not a full-tan from what I've heard, therefore it is always a wet tan. Trubond gets the tan nice and white and soft with little breaking while the hide is drying.
As for mounting, it also really depends on the animal. Taxidermy.net has some good ones for all sorts of animals, as well as the HelpingHandHangers YouTube I linked you to.
LOL! Glad I'm not the only one who gets physically and emotionally exhausted when skinning xD Kokie definitely drained me just as much as my pheasant did.. probably because he was my first medium sized mammal |D
But it's even worse when I open up my freezer and realize my precious baby is defrosting and I'm not ready and ajdhfsghkjdj, to say I was panicked and so so so nervous would be an understatement xD
I wouldn't say my mom LIKES to help though LOL. But she does help when I ask and/or beg xD
OH MY GOD. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cries/cried. @__@ I was practically sobbing mess with my pheasant. With Kokie I just kinda laughed it off but I was a bundle of anxiety and like you said, emotional drainage.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More