How to Preserve a Squirrel Tail

How to Preserve a Squirrel Tail

This blog is supported by readers. We may earn a commission when you buy through links from this page.

Squirrels have a negative reputation. Beside raiding bird feeders, they have the ability to chew on just about everything. They run out in front of moving vehicles. However, despite being unpleasant for humans at times, this often called “nuisance” breed has a lot to offer.

Squirrel’s tail has been used in a variety of ways. Some people use the tails as fishing bait, while others make fine make-up brushes out of them. Craft fans, on the other hand, use squirrel tails in their inventions and designs.

Squirrel tails, on the other hand, would go through a procedure before being used in any of these applications. If the tail is “new” and “unpreserved,” it cannot be turned into a fishing fly or a fly tyre. Hobbyists and designers who make tackles would still be unable to use those tails. As a result, the focus of this article will be on squirrel tail preservation. You’ll learn how to produce a properly preserved squirrel tail, whether the bone is intact or not, in this tutorial.

Sourcing The Tail

how to preserve a squirrel tail

It is necessary to understand this first step, which is the tail sourcing, before we can learn how to preserve the squirrel tail. You should collect the specimen in various ways. Of course, a safari and a few small games, like squirrels, will be the perfect way to do this.

Hunting, however, requires exceptional talents, something that I am sure most of us don’t have. Animals who are mowed down and killed in traffic collisions by cars may be a valuable source of sample collection as well.

Squirrel Tail Preservation with Bone Intact

There are several explanations why the squirrel tail will still be held in place with the bone. For example, the tail bone will facilitate the use of the tail for fly binding. It’s much simpler than the boneless process of tail preservation because it only takes three steps.

Step 1;
Begin by setting the squirrel, belly down, on the work surface. Lift the tail with your non-cutting hand and make a horizontal slit through the skin on both sides, all the way to the rump, with a sharp knife. Take the squirrel with both hands and split the tailbone, taking care not to rip or cut the skin above the tail. At all times, the tail can be flipped upside down, with the tailbone facing you. After splitting the skin at the anus, continue slicing slowly until the coccyx is visible. After the tail has been detached, strip all the flesh that is stuck to the tailbone and leave the bone with the tail. With the tail in your lap, wash it with cold water first, followed by warm water containing detergents that will help kill blood stains, bugs, and lice.

Step 2;
Peel the skin and fur down the tail bone carefully, revealing the tip of the bone. Using pliers, secure a firm hold on the naked tailbone. Place the underside of the tail on a flat surface. A sharp knife can be used to cut through the skin and fur around the tailbone. And sure to slit the backside of the tail rather than the pretty topside.
Take a pinch of borax and smear it all over the squirrel’s tail. Get enough borax to cover the exposed bone end of the tail. Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that is used as an ingredient in household cleaning materials. It is also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate. Applying these thus kills any germs that might be present around your tail, leaving it safe and ready for use.

Step 3;
At this point, the tail is to be processed and preserved; all that is needed is to hold the tail in a warm and dry place to dry out. It must be free of moisture in order to survive for an extended period of time. This procedure can take between six to seven days, so make sure the location where it is located is still warm and do not remove the tail from that location until it is completely dry. To speed up the drying process, cover the exposed, raw skin absolutely with daily table salt, piling thick. This is because the salt will draw moisture from the tail, stopping it from spoiling.

Preserving It Without the Bone Intact

The method for preserving the squirrel tail without the bone intact is a little complicated, but it is doable! It is also a great tool because of the versatility that results from it; one of the most common applications is using the tails to create makeup brushes, baits, and other items that can be used in artworks and creations. This approach follows the steps outlined below; let’s get started;

Step 1;
The first move is often to remove the tail from the squirrel’s body, starting from the underside of the tail. Slide the tip of your well-sharpened knife upwards until it is fully cut off. At all times, the tail can be flipped upside down, with the tailbone facing you. After splitting the skin at the anus, continue slicing slowly until the coccyx is visible.
You don’t need to go the whole hog; just cut the meat long enough to remove the tailbone. When you have the tail in your lap, vigorously wash it in cold water, then tepid warm water with a detergent to extract blood and critters like bugs and lice.

Step 2;
Be very careful when extracting the skin from the squirrel so that the fleshy part beneath remains intact,run the tip of the sharp knife between the bone of the squirrel’s tail and the flesh, breaking the layer that connects them to around a third of the squirrel’s tail.

Step 3;
Once you’ve skinned 1/3 of the bone, gently strip the skin with the hair, starting with the tailbone and working your way up to the top end of the tailbone. Now, invert the tail and position it on a table or other flat surface, and use pliers to grip the tailbone.

Step 4;
Before applying salt on the tail, place the tail on a flat surface with the fleshy end facing you. Apply the salt to the surface all the way up to the point where the tail tapers off. Since salt is readily available, it can be used then leave the tail for eight hours,after that, carefully position the tail on a raised surface so that the salt does not slip off.

Step 5;
The tail is then laid flat to dry evenly, and the flatter the spot, the faster it can dry. Be certain that the area where the squirrel’s tail has been mounted is totally dry and out of reach of children and pets. It will take at least a week for the tail to dry out, and once removed, the salt will have solidified into lumps. Remove the salt lumps from the skin and hide one at a time. Your tail will now be hung on the mantelpiece of your bookcase or on the wall.

Step 6;
Wash the salt from the squirrel and then blot the excess water with paper towels. Place the tail on a flat surface with the flesh side up and rub borax on the skin. Guard the tail’s corners with your nails and add more borax to it. Allow the tail to dry for 3-5 days in a warm, dry environment.

Step 7;
The tail is ready after all of the treatments, but you must be cautious when handling it because it has not been adequately tanned; the fur will slip off if you yank too hard or play with it for too long. It is, though, perfect for affixing to a wall and admiring.

Squirrel Tail Preservation Top Tips

how to preserve a squirrel tail
  • If you’re holding it in a container, make sure the container will retain salt for at least a month and a half.
  • Also, before you put the sample in the bottle, sprinkle it with iodized salt. It is sufficient to apply a thin film.
  • Take great care before removing the skin from the animal so that the fleshy portion underneath stays intact.
  • Avoid using metallic or iron containers because the compound can corrode them. The desiccant or dehydration treatment would take 6-8 weeks to be successful.

Extra reminders

The next step is to decide what you’re going to do with the squirrel tail until you’ve found out how to defend it.
Squirrel tails may be used for a lot of things, from hobbies to company.

Some people use the tails not only as bait or for display, but also as keychains or souvenirs; many people, including hunters, use it as a home decoration or as a necklace.

One thing you should do is market them; squirrel tails are in high demand in the industry, so this is a great business opportunity. You can also purchase the tails from stores that offer squirrel meat, which can lead to a very lucrative retail business whether you choose to sell them online or on the open market.

What you should still have in mind is that certain squirrels are endangered by regulation due to shortages, depending on where you hunt. To be on the safe side, make sure you review your state’s hunting laws before you begin hunting to prevent any issues between you and the government.


As it turns out, this article aims to make a tutorial of how to preserve a squirrel’s tail as a very easy exercise as possible and that it is a procedure that can be accomplished easily as it does not require tedious labor in order for it to be done, we discover that squirrel tails have a lot of uses and that is why it is very interesting to learn how to treat them properly.

The measures that I have highlighted for preserving a squirrel tail are very straightforward and concise, and I hope that they will help you get some ideas that will be of great help to you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.