Fox fur is one of the most commonly sold pelts for its wide variety of colors. Before selling fox fur, you must prepare it properly in order to preserve its appearance and sell it at good value. The fox must be skinned well, dried and fleshed with care. The fur also needs to be brushed and cleaned before being sold.
Skinning foxes is relatively easy. Hang the animal by the tendons of its hind legs at your shoulder height using a short rope and harness. You should cut the skin from the rear pad of a hind foot and go up the back of the leg to the base of the tail and around down to the rear pad of the other hind leg. Work the pelt away from the flesh using small cuts. Do this for all four legs. Do the same for the area around the head, and pull the pelt down over the body, shoulders and front legs with your hands. Cut the ear cartilage off and continue pulling the skin over the rest of the head, leaving the nose and lips attached. Once the skin is off, sew closed any bullet holes (or holes created whilst skinning) with dental floss or a fishing line.
Brushing and Cleaning
Wash the pelt after skinning to remove blood and tissue with a high-powered garden hose. Lay the pelt out and allow the fur to dry. You can then brush the fur with a horse brush or scrubbing brush.
Fleshing and Stretching
Using a sharp knife, remove all leftover flesh on the hide. You can cut, scrape or pull away any excess tissue and fat. You can also attach the fox pelt to a specially made hide stretcher and do the fleshing then. Attach the fox skin by tacking down the hind legs, nose and lips to the stretcher. Stretch the fox pelt skin side out. Do not overstretch the pelt as this will thin the fur. The shoulder and hips should be stretched to the same width. Leave it stretching skin-side out for 4 to 6 hours or until the skin has a glazed appearance and is no longer sticky. Turn it over to be fur-side out with the nose pointed to the ground to make the hairs dry upright and appear thicker. Allow to dry this way for several days in a cool place.
Remove the pelt from the stretcher and brush the fur again to improve the appearance. Hang the fox fur by the nose in a cool, dry place where it will not be exposed to sunlight or direct heat until it is ready to be sold or shipped. The fox fur should be shipped or packaged in a cardboard carton with holes or in a burlap bag. The fur should be loosely placed in the container and not folded.