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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In my line of work I meet a number of outdoorsmen. Most of them are die hard big buck hunters. I've told many of them that I tie my own flies and asked if they wouldn't mind giving me the tails and some body hair from their bucks. Since they're all in it for the sport and meat they have agreed (which is awesome!).

I have a few questions though....

Is there anything I have to do to the tails or hair to preserve them or prep them for fly tying?

Is there anything I should inform these guys about when they go to harvest the deer?

What part of the body (in terms of body hair) is used?

What are the best dyes to use on deer hair and/or buck tail to get the colors I want?

Thank you!

Edit-- I just remembered that I've talked to guys about squirrels and rabbits as well. So the same questions will apply for them too.
 

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Before you waste your time on the deer hair, inspect it well......if it's early bow season harvest, it may be too short.....typically the best hair comes off the belly, but I have harvested hair from the back/shoulders too.....as long as the length is there and it isn't too coarse/ kinky, it should do...as far as the tails, make sure the hair isn't kinky......as far as processing, what I do right off is throw it in the freezer for a couple of days, take out for a day, then put bac in for a couple more days.....this is to kill the little critters...scrape off all of the flesh/fat off of the hide, cover the skin with borax, let sit for a day or two, scrape off borax and reapply. This is to soak up/dry out any fat to keep it from spoiling and soaking into the hair...do the same thing with the bucktails, the only other step I add is to split the tail and pull out the bone an scrape out as much fat as I can....one good rule of thumb is to then keep n an airtight container...I add moth balls and don't mix with other materials just in case you missed some critters....

Mike
 

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Bucktail and the white underbelly hair is all I take off a deer.
If you gonna dye the natural colors will be much harder to color without resorting to bleaching first. PITA
 
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