How to preserve a squirrel tail

Squirrel season is open and you need a tail for fly-tying! But you don’t know how to preserve a squirrel tail correctly so that it doesn’t smell.

Well, the best way to preserve a squirrel’s tail will depend on whether you want to keep the tail with bone or without bone. If you want to preserve the tail with bone, you can pack it with borax or salt. On the other hand, you should strip the tail (which is a bit of a complex method) if you want to preserve the tail without bone. 

Fortunately, we will break down both methods of preserving the squirrel tail. So, stay in tune with us till the end to explore both procedures. 

How To Preserve A Squirrel Tail With Bone-In?

The following methods will help you preserve the squirrel tail with the bone. 

Use Borax 

You can use Borax to preserve a squirrel tail. Just sprinkle borax in a cut

Before doing anything else, we recommend you wash the tail with detergent. Then, apply borax to the cut. This ingredient doesn’t only help the fur to set but also kills most parasites. Therefore, the borax helps to draw the moisture out and speed up the drying process. 

For drying, you can put the tail in a warm place like in the furnace room for a few days. Once it gets dried, just keep the squirrel tail in the freezer. 

How to preserve a squirrel tail

Apply Solt 

Salt is also an ingredient you can use to preserve the squirrel tail. Just take the tail apart from the squirrel’s body by cutting it with a knife. Don’t forget to remove the meat attached to the tip of the tailbone. 

Then, get a container that is long enough to hold the tail straight. Prepare the tail holder by covering the bottom of the container. Then, put salt in the tail. Finally, keep the tail in the container box for a few days to let the tail dry. 

Once the tail gets dried out completely, place it in an open, dry, and warm location. 

How To Preserve A Squirrel Tail Without Bone-In?

It’s a bit complex. However, we have a neat trick to remove the bone. Follow the below steps to pull the bone out. 

  • Ensure the tail is still on the squirrel. Take a knife and cut only the skin of the tail right at the base of the tail (at the rear of the squirrel). 
  • Now, take two pieces of wood stick that are approximately 8” long and ½” x ½” square. 
  • Sandwich the squirrel between the two pieces of wood sticks right on the cut you made. The wood sticks will be perpendicular to the tail. 
  • Put the squirrel under your foot. 
  • Seize the wood sticks with both hands; one hand on each side of the tail. Squeeze tight and pull. In this way, you can easily strip the tail right off the bone. 
  • Finally, you can use a mix of salt and borax and put it in the tail. Leave it for a week to let it dry. After a week, wash the tail and keep it in the freezer to get the bug. 


What can you make out of squirrel tails?

You can make caps, fur coats, and glove linings out of squirrel tails. Therefore, you can use the tail as a decorative element. 

What does salting a hide do?

Salting is an indispensable step in tanning. It sets the hair and protects the hide against decaying. 

How long will a salted hide last?

The salted hide will last approximately two years if you salted the hide rightly. 

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Preserving a squirrel tail means you preserve a natural resource as you can use it to make fur trims like caps, fur coats, and other stuff. If you want to keep the tail with bone, you can use either the borax method or the salt method. However, we recommend you put borax as it’s more effective than salt. 

Either way, you can preserve the squirrel tail without bone though it’s a complex procedure. Fortunately, we mentioned the step-by-step guide above. So, follow the steps to do it correctly. 

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