Grey Fox are a very valuable furbearer. They are located in most southern and southwestern states. Grey Fox pelt values range very close in value in most of these areas, except extreme southern parts where the will have less fur and a more hairy look. There are two types of Grey Fox in this area. The Western Grey Fox is in the western parts of Texas and Oklahoma. The Eastern Grey Fox are found from East Texas on up the east coast and further north.
Sun and heat are always bad on all pelts. Do not carry them around in your ATV or truck in the hot sun. Remember that the beds or ATVs and trucks heat up because of the muffler below the bed. You should use thick plyboard in the bed of with an insulating sheet under it. If you don't have a camper on your truck, use damp burlap over the animals. Never pile bodies on top of each other as they will hold heat longer. A good box with a top on it would do well to carry your animals in.
Taint or rotted pelts caused by sun, heat or shot animals are the #1 reason for Grey Fox to be down graded when they are sold. Never use heat or hot water to thaw them! Never shoot them with high powered rifle and expect to get a good price for them. Tanned furs are just like cloth and would your wife want to make or buy a dress with a big old hole in the material?
Traps to Use
#1 1/2 Coilspring Traps are the most popular in some areas because of the jawspread. Laminated jaws and added swivels help reduce any foot damage to a minimum. I prefer this trap with laminated jaws as non-targeted animals, such as dogs, don't have hardly any foot damage. Many people use #11 longsprings, 1.75 or 2 coilspring with good luck.
Grey Fox Sets
Many Grey Fox are caught in dirt hole or flat sets made for Bobcat or Coyote. Use attractors like rabbit fur, feathers, old white bleached cow back bones, white egg shells, ect for visual appeal along with a good lure and bait.
The scratch out set--Find a place Grey Fox travel, such as old roads, trails, briar patches, ect. Get off to the side about 2 or 3 feet. Try to put on a side that the wind blows across the road. I use a 3 prong garden scratcher to claw out a V-shaped area with the small point of the V furthest away from the road. Pull out the dirt and small trash out onto the trail or road. Take a small stick and dip into the lure. Place the stick up in the air at the back of the V. Put the attractor just in front of the lure and sprinkle urine near the trap after the set. Use stepping sticks on front and back of pan so animal will step right on the pan. Set your trap where the Grey Fox steps between the jaws not over them. You may brush around your set as much as you want as long as you leave him a clear path over the trap to the attractor.
The dirthole set---Construct your set the same way as the scratch out set, but at the end of the V, dig a 45 degree hole about 4" to 6" around and 12" deep. Put feathers, bone or egg shells in the bottom of the hole so they may have to work for the bait and put the lure on top lip of the hole. Remember the trap can be crowding the edge of the dirt hole to help keep out unwanted animals such as dogs or coyote. Use stepping sticks and brush in so they have to go over the trap to get to the attractor.
Tip--Grey Fox like briar patches and old home sites.
Tip--Grey Fox like sardines in oil for bait or cracklins or even burnt bacon.
Tip--All animals like white so make sure your attractor has some.
Tip--Grey Fox are suckers for good Grey Fox gland lure and good Grey Fox urine.
How to Skin Your Grey Fox
Grey Fox are skinned cased cut from front legs off near the wrist. Hang up by back legs. Split tail on inside from vent down to the tip of the tail. Ream around the back legs. Split down to top of vent from each leg. Peel out tail with a good sharp knife. Be careful on the tail and work slow. With the knife, cut behind the hide on the leg as you pull down, taking care not to cut the hide. When you have pelt skinned down about 1" onto the body, then you can pull down with back and belly while lightly cutting membrane behind pelt until you get to the front legs. After you have gotten here you can take rounded stake rod or big phillips screwdriver and push behind the shoulder into the membrane, taking care not to push through the pelt. Once through the membrane, take both hands and pull down to separate pelt to leg, repeat on the other leg, now grab pelt and pull down until you see the puff up where the ears are. Cut behind the ear puffs and try to save ears on the pelts. Repeat on the other ear. Once the ears are cut behind and left on the pelt, you will have to use a sharp knife behind pelt while pulling down. When you get down to where the eyes are, cut behind the eye membranes. Once eye holes are cut out, then take a sharp knife again and cut down to the nose, always cut behind the nose resulting in the nose being left on the pelt. (Pelt is the fur)
Now you have the Grey Fox skinned, roll up from each end, making sure that no meat is shows on the roll up. Put a rubber band around the pelt to hold in place and place in a plastic bag and freeze. Any pelts that are froze together may ruin some of them because fur is the greatest insulator and several together will not freeze. Never put in the refrigerator as they will ruin in 3-4 days if not frozen.
Selling your Grey Fox Green
Take your fur out of the freezer the night before you will meet your green fur buyer. Place them in an unheated area that will not be freezing overnight. Never thaw in water as it will make pelt ungradeable by the fur buyer. Don't use any kind of heat as it ruins the fur and will start the rotting process. Fur buyers would rather see them semi frozen than see pelts unthawed in water or by heat. When transporting them to the fur buyer, please try to keep in an ice chest or at least in damp burlap in the shade. Direct sunlight will heat up a pelt very quickly and began the rotting process. If you have to transport your fur in your truck without an ice cooler, please don't put them in the truck bed without some sort of board between the fur and bed of truck, as the muffler on the truck heats up the truck bed. Never keep furs in plastic while in the sun. As plastic in the sun is like a microwave. You can ship Grey Fox frozen and green, just call us for details.
Selling Your Grey Fox Dry
Selling your Grey Fox dry will require that you scrape your pelt. You must have a fleshing beam, stretchers, fan, room for them to dry in and knowledge on how to do this through a good DVD or good book. Also there are some pro's that will do it for you for $3 to $5. You can usually market your stretched fur whenever you want to or be able to turn down bids, ship to auctions, ect.
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