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gonehuntin
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to pluck or skin???
May 13th, 2018 at 8:46pm
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anyone here got a backpack plucker?  am tossing up if its worth getting 1 or not just wondering the pros and cons vs skinning.

im not to keen on lugging 15+kg all day long but skins get heavy after a while too what are peoples thoughts and opinons?

  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #1 - May 13th, 2018 at 9:13pm
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Hi mate, I assume your talking about possums ?
Ive got no advice being an Aussie, but Im interested in the process if youd care to share some info.
Shooting during the day on foot ? trapping, spotlighting ?
What sort of numbers due you usually get ?

Cheers
  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #2 - May 14th, 2018 at 12:14pm
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Basically Bush is paying $115 at the moment if anybody missed the price update,chasing more skins as well but i dont know the prices.
  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #3 - May 14th, 2018 at 4:05pm
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I don't quite understand your question - you talk about a power plucker, yet you say you are skinning.

Are you using cyanide ?
  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #4 - May 14th, 2018 at 7:06pm
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SF90 wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 4:05pm:
I don't quite understand your question - you talk about a power plucker, yet you say you are skinning.

Are you using cyanide ?


yep mainly cyanide but I skin trapline aswell as its much quicker and I get terrible cramp after plucking just 2 or 3 coons (discovered this the day after I set 180 traps  Cry )

we are just skining and slyping the skins I guess I shouldve mentioned that in my 1st  post.
basicly I just want to know trade offs between back pack plucker I can take bush vs skinning and slype.   how quick do pluckers deal to a possum? and is the weight of plucker worth the hassle?  and are the back pack versions (mc iver) any good compared to the gruntier benchtop models?
  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #5 - May 14th, 2018 at 7:08pm
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dribbler wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 12:14pm:
Basically Bush is paying $115 at the moment if anybody missed the price update,chasing more skins as well but i dont know the prices.


sweet the agent didnt think it was gunna go up this year, skins are crap here at the moment alota mating damage. should come right in another 4 or 5 weeks tho.
  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #6 - May 14th, 2018 at 7:40pm
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Finnscout wrote on May 13th, 2018 at 9:13pm:
Hi mate, I assume your talking about possums ?
Ive got no advice being an Aussie, but Im interested in the process if youd care to share some info.
Shooting during the day on foot ? trapping, spotlighting ?
What sort of numbers due you usually get ?

Cheers


hi there, im relativly new to doing anything serious with possums only started a few months ago. we trap and poison depending on terrain and animal numbers. and also spotlight them while we shooting farms for petfood.

as far as numbers go if your trapping doc land ive had anywhere from 2 per hundred traps to 60 per hundred traps a night. if im on my own I aim for 120 traps and with 2 of us 180-240 traps but trapping sux as theyre so darn heavy to lug around the hills but far less hassle to get permission to trap then poison so we just run traps on doc land.

private land is best if it hasnt been slammed but even if it has weve found most are  lazy and just trap or poison where they can get a quad bike so we found we put a bit more effort in and walk it we do not to bad,  depending on how big of lines we do we get anywhere from 40-150 per line and probably more in some areas but yet to strike that,  we just doing it a couple days a week at the moment working around our other jobs and comitments but we just handlay cyanide on roots and stones with feedpaste at the moment and just work around the rain but will get setup with bait stations during winter.

someone else with more exp might beable to tell ya a bit more about it as I said im fairly new to it all and weve just fumbled our way through it so far as many are unhelpfull when they realise your guna give it a crack and compete with them.

  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #7 - May 14th, 2018 at 7:59pm
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gonehuntin wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 7:06pm:
yep mainly cyanide but I skin trapline aswell as its much quicker and I get terrible cramp after plucking just 2 or 3 coons (discovered this the day after I set 180 traps  Cry )


Gotcha - I was only running 80 to 100 traps for a 30 to 40% catch rate - and I was hand plucking those and taking the best skins after plucking for other purposes - and that was my main income.
I can understand 'hand cramps' - though have never suffered.

The bloke on the block next door was younger and stronger than me - he cyanided and trapped and had an engine plucker and said it dealt with warm and cold possums equally.
Have no idea what model he had - haven't seen him in years and I never saw that thing at work, but he did very well - ran long lines for a shitload more possums than I was catching.

I did get given 200 frozen skins and slyped them - and what a bastard of a job - lost about 30% of the fur because of attached membrane - very slow and finicky work and I wouldn't bother with doing that again.

If I was younger and doing it all again for the plucked market - I think I'd go with the portable mechanical plucker - and take the top skins if there was a decent market for them.
And I say that because skinning big numbers on a daily basis will kill your hands. 40 to 50 is a good number, 100 or more will turn your finger nails black and they'll fall out - and you're done and dusted right there.

I'd probably just run with cyanide which I did for the best part of my life, but that will depend on how much area you got and whether it's been poisoned and has shy possums.
If that's the case - you got no option other than to run with traps.

And remember - a mature green skin goes about 1 lb.

It's a trade-off, it all depends on your block.




  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #8 - May 14th, 2018 at 8:23pm
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sf90, I find slype is bloody brilliant just use a big skinning knife and score the fatty areas mainly armpits and belly, usually 3 quick swipes of the blade each side and its done.

All up time to skin, score , slype and wipe the fur off each possum probably owes me 2 - 2 1/2 mins its a very quick process and it takes me a similar time to handpluck and I get far more fur recovery by slyping.

mayby I skin different as I struggle to see how fingernails would suffer? Ive got a thumb and fingernail that are black and half hanging off after having them in a stoopid place when using a sledgehammer and ive done over 300 skins with them like that and it hasnt bothered them.

If I read that right you were plucking and then skinning plucked possums ? If so what the heck were you doing with plucked skins?


  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #9 - May 14th, 2018 at 8:56pm
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gonehuntin wrote on May 14th, 2018 at 8:23pm:
sf90, I find slype is bloody brilliant just use a big skinning knife and score the fatty areas mainly armpits and belly, usually 3 quick swipes of the blade each side and its done.

All up time to skin, score , slype and wipe the fur off each possum probably owes me 2 - 2 1/2 mins its a very quick process and it takes me a similar time to handpluck and I get far more fur recovery by slyping.

mayby I skin different as I struggle to see how fingernails would suffer? Ive got a thumb and fingernail that are black and half hanging off after having them in a stoopid place when using a sledgehammer and ive done over 300 skins with them like that and it hasnt bothered them.

If I read that right you were plucking and then skinning plucked possums ? If so what the heck were you doing with plucked skins?




Damn - learn something every day.

The 'slyping' I was talking about was using a release agent on a cold skin.

I was mostly sleeve skinning as that was quicker for me, but even open skinning would give my fingers hell, just that using your finger tips to start the 'peel' - and skinning a plucked skin is bloody hard, so I just skinned the furred possum and chucked the fur away.

Those skins I took were processed into parchment and flicked to Oz the States and Europe. A lot of work and effort doing that - and a huge amount developing markets, so after ten years of doing that I decided to do something else, so I bought a ................. and now I've decided to shut my trap because I think I'm close to doing it all again and don't really want competition - sorry mate.

And now I feel rotten  Embarrassed



  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #10 - May 14th, 2018 at 9:13pm
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yep same slyping stuff aswell, first 50 skins I done I never Scored and had same problem with a heap of fur staying attached. now I score before I paint the release agent on and everything comes off apart from a 5-10mm ring around the edge of skin, super efficient way of harvesting fur.

I sleeve skin too, I just grab a fist full of skin at the knee joint and roll/pop the legs out no need to go poking fingers in to get it started and dont even have to cut around feet either it just tears off at their anlkles as long as youve got a good enough fist of skin. I skin from back to front as I found doing front to back would munt my lil fingers tryn to hold onto the neck/cheeks.

and yep skinning a plucked possum is terrible the petfood buyer talked us into doing it for a bit more coin when we were trapping but totaly not worth the effort so now I just leave all coons in the bush, mayby if I had a good quad accessable block I would give it a go again as an adult carcass is worth 6-8 bucks, id drag them home as it would give wifey something to do Grin Grin Grin be pretty good pocket money for her tho

  
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Re: to pluck or skin???
Reply #11 - May 15th, 2018 at 12:33am
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I obviously had a bad teacher - skinned from front to back and cleared the tail last - and that's the way I always did it unless I got a 'special' which I 'open skinned'.

I had no idea a carcass was worth that much - never sold one, but I was shown a photo of skinned carcass's lined up in a Chinese meat store labelled 'NZ Bears'.
The company who exported them did everything you could think of with a possum - fur, skins, petfood, human consumption - everything through to the finished product with export markets already in place - they had their own trappers.
I wouldn't have been surprised to find they used the gut for tennis racquets and the brain pan for soup spoons.
Haven't heard anything of them for ages - don't even know if that operation exists now.

The thing I was doing was sideways to all that and it took a massive amount of effort to get rolling, then some years to get credibility - and then the tail started to wag the dog - so I took a break.

Was an interesting time though, I even had a lady come over from Sweden to take photos and details to put in a book, but I never got a copy so don't know if she did it.

All that was a while back now - I went back to the simple life - and now I think I've dug a rut I gotta crawl out of  Undecided

  
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