Beyond deer, I really love hunting small game like squirrels. These small games, particularly different types of squirrels‘ tails, make great displays, bait, or even clothes! That’s why when I do get the chance to hunt them down, I try to tail ’em down (no pun intended!).
During long hunts though, I have some trouble preserving them, making sure they’re good for their use once I’m home. I’m sure a lot of you have had the same questions as well, which is why I decided to share my tips on how to preserve a squirrel tail, so read on!
How to Preserve a Squirrel Tail
Squirrel tails need to undergo a process to stay preserved, just like what you would do with deer antlers! This prevents it from rotting and smelling or looking freaky in the long run. There are different methods to follow on how to preserve a squirrel tail, such as:
1. Preserving It With the Bone Intact
Preserving a squirrel tail with the bone intact is beneficial for a couple of reasons. The tailbone can make it easier for people to use the tail when fly tying. Besides this, this method is also easier than preserving the tail without the bone.
Here are the only three steps you have to follow:
Step 1: Cut your tail off from the squirrel’s body. Once you’ve removed the tail, remove all flesh that’s attached to the tailbone. But do leave the bone with the tail.
Step 2: With a handful of borax, rub it around the squirrel’s tail. Make sure that you use enough borax to coat your squirrel tail’s end, the one that exposes the bone.
Step 3: The tail is now processed and preserved. All you need to do is to keep it under a warm and dry area for it to dry out. It will take about seven to ten days, so make sure that the area you place it in is constantly warm and dry, as you shouldn’t remove the tail from where it’s placed.
2. Preserving It Without the Bone Intact
Preserving squirrel tails without the bone is a bit more complex, but it’s still possible! It’s also a great method because of its many uses since they’re mostly used as makeup brushes, baits, or even used in artworks and creations. Follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Cut off the ail from your squirrel’s body, starting from the tail’s underside. Use the tip of your sharp knife and slide it upwards until it’s completely cut off.
Step 2: Run your knife’s tip between the tailbone and skin, cutting the membrane connecting both of then to around 1/3 of the squirrel tail.
Step 3: Once you’ve skinned 1/3 of the bone, you can grab the bone, slowly doing so until the remaining skin is removed.
Step 4: Expose the skin and rub salt on the side. The exposed surface needs to be covered with salt and left for eight hours.
Step 5: Wash off the sale from the squirrel tail and use paper towels, removing any excess water in it.
Step 6: Rub borax all over your tail’s skin and lay it on a board, flesh-side up. Hold corners of the tail in place with nails and rub even more borax.
Step 7: Allow the tail to dry in a warm and dry place for 3-5 days.
3. Extra Reminders on Squirrel Meat and Tails
Once you know how to preserve a squirrel tail, the next question is: What do you do with it?
There are a lot of ways to use squirrel tails, whether it’s for a hobby or business. Some people don’t only use it for bait or display, but as keychains or souvenirs as well. Hunters like to use it for decoration at home or as a necklace, actually!
One thing you can do is to sell them, as squirrel tails aren’t readily available in crafts stores or hobby shops. You can even take advantage of the squirrel tails by purchasing them from supermarkets or restaurants selling squirrel meat and preserve it on your own. You can make a profit selling them online.
However, do be reminded that some squirrels are protected by law with its scarcity, depending on the area you’re hunting in. Make sure that you check your state’s hunting laws beforehand to avoid trouble.
Wrapping It Up
Squirrel tails have a ton of uses, which is why it’s important to learn how to handle them well. Once you’re done following the steps on how to preserve a squirrel tail, you can use it for anything you want or need it to! Now the next thing to learn is to learn how to capture small game accurately.
Hopefully, my steps on how to preserve a squirrel gave you an idea of what to do. So start following my methods to keep a cool squirrel tail for your home or bait now!