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Hair Slippage Instructions:

If you are an avid hunter or like to mount your own animals, you surely have run into the problem of hair slippage. Many factors all contribute to hair slippage, but the most common reason is the dreaded bacteria. In this article, we will discuss what exactly happens to cause the hair to slip.

In unpreserved skin, microorganisms, also known as bacteria, often cause decay/spoilage. Bacteria are one-celled organisms that do not have stomachs or digestive systems. Since they don’t have digestive systems, bacteria digest their food outside of their cell by secreting digestive enzymes through their cell wall onto a food source like dead animal tissue. The enzymes break down the tissue and absorb it back through their cell wall where it is digested and used for energy.

Hair follicles on the tissue have nothing to hold them in place because the tissue is broken down there. If bacteria is not stopped immediately, they will create irreversible damage and cause hair slippage and bald patches in a short amount of time. Bacteria can be found inhabiting areas such as the epidermis, outer layer of skin, or digestive juices of the gut and feces.

Skinning the animal right away to get it cool is a good idea because bacteria thrives in warm, dark and moist places. To avoid contamination with the digestive juices and/or fecal matter, remove the skin before cleaning the body cavity. Blood spreads bacteria and concentrates its population in pools, which is a problem. The nutrients in the blood give the bacteria in the pool enough energy to do a lot of damage. If blood or juices get onto the skin, rub a few handfuls of salt directly on the spot. Salt kills bacteria and forces any remaining survivors into an inactive spore stage. They will remain in this state until water is reintroduced into the hide. Salt also sets the hair follicles not affected by bacteria.

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