06-21-2010, 10:03 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern California, USA
Re: What would you tie if...
Dan is correct in that this is the primary use of black bear fur- you can tie some cool salmon and steelie patterns with it. You can 'size it down' to include streamers and wet flies as well.
The underfur will make good spiky dubbing for black/brown stonefly nymphs. The guard fur can be knotted to make legs for both (large) stones and for Hoppers.
ABOUT THE PELT ITSELF:
I'd STRONGLY encourage you to consider some care and prep of this pelt before introducing it into your materials collection of environment. Depending upon how it was processes (scraped, treated and dried or tanned) you may have some work on your hands. At MINIMUM, hang it over a line and beat it to make sure there are no bugs (live or dead) in it, then vacuum it thoroughly to get any nests of eggs you may have missed. If it was not tanned, you should check around the edges to see if any chunks of fat or flesh were missed, and trim those off along with any excess skin... unless you're planning on wall mounting this as a prize =) Check and make sure the fur is "tight" on the pelt and not shedding... this could help determine age or condition. Consider investing in a dog grooming brush (unless you have one) and giving the pelt a good brushing to remove any remaining loose fur. IF IT IS SHEDDING BADLY think about salvaging the best patches of fur and discarding the rest.
Now you have to decide- retain as one piece, or part it out? If you're going to retain as one piece, you'll need an air tight container to store it in to prevent any potential damage. Think about the bags used to preserve uniforms or wedding gowns, or maybe one of those "Space Bags" you vacuum air out of.
TURNING IT INTO TYING MATERIAL
If you're going to part it out, you'll need a VERY SHARP blade, either a scalpel (you can actually buy these relatively cheap) or a utility knife... or if you know someone that lays carpet, ask if you can borrow a cutter from them. You can buy Ziploc or Hefty bags in 2 gallon and 1 gallon sizes- invest in the Freezer type, because they're thicker and seal better.
If you're keeping it all for yourself, which you probably won't =) [let me know if you need my address!]... bag it however you want, but cut your pieces so they fit in the bags you have and leave room around the edges so they seal easily. If you plan to swap (no issues here, cash not trading hands) or sell (you'll need to find out the source of the bear before you sell... there are laws against selling some furs) then consider bagging a selection of pieces of different colors/textures in the same bags.
Enlisting the assistance of a couple of friends is handy when you part out a pelt- they can help pull on opposite sides while you slit the skin which helps you avoid cutting off or damaging any of the hair. Cut into strips "with the grain" first, then while the strips are stretched by the ends, make your crosswise cuts of smaller patches.
This fur can also be bleached using typical cosmetic human hair bleaching products... go to a beauty supply store with a couple of samples of the product and ask the professionals for some assistance on what would be best to use and how to do this. It will result in a reddish to gold colored fur- but if you bleach it too long or use too much bleach, it will burn and destroy the hair.
Last edited by stimmy7; 06-21-2010 at 10:05 AM.
Reason: Spelling errors