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Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:56 am
by letumgo
Our friend Doug Duvall sent me some photos of his recent dubbing preparation. I figured I share the photos here, in hopes that Doug will chime in and tell us about the process.

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Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:23 pm
by William Anderson
That’s quite the score, Doug. Nicely prepped. Now to see what you do with it. :)

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:40 am
by Ruard
Hi Doug,

Did you also dyed the pelts yourself??



Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:36 pm
Hi Guys!
Thank you Ray for posting these pictures! It was quite a time with these fox and grey squirrel hides gifted to me by my hunting co-worker Dan. The quality of the pelts was unreal! They were a true pleasure to work with! The amount of fur was unreal! There were two fox squirrel hides and one grey!
Guys, I have to run right now but I promise to jump back on here and tell you more about it soon! Life is too busy!
Dougsden Fur Co.

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:47 pm
O.K.....where was I? Folks, I have to apologize for literally running of yesterday. This past week has been such a rat race with this fat rat falling behinder all the time! I did want to comment further on this fine gift of fur!
Squirrel fur is really nice to work with! It has often been described as spiky which is a good term to use. But, there is a certain filmy (almost sticky) quality to the underfur that binds the whole lot together! You will find this quality in other furs as well but it seems really pronounced in squirrel fur.
As some of you may recall, I have had an ongoing love affair with Dave Whitlocks Red Fox Squirrel Hair Nymphs for some years now! They are fantastic and very easy to tie! Up until this time, I had always bought both the abdomen and thorax furs from various vendors mixed with a generous amount of Antron in just the right shade! The stuff is fantastic. It lends itself really well to Dave's unusual style of applying dubbing to the hook (see the video). When I rec'd the hides from co-worker Dan, I decided to try to duplicate as close as I could the pre-mixed stuff which has served me well! I also kept out a small amount of the raw furs for future experiments and general tying!
Two methods of fur cleaning (conditioning would be a better term) and mixing have really helped this whole process along! John Shaner's method of mixing furs in water with a drop or two of hair conditioner and then straining and rinsing the batch is tops! The other method is mixing and fluffing the furs with a coffee grinder (thank you very much Bill Shuck! Your gift to me is paying off big time in so many instances!) which changes the whole character of the mix!
The photos show different stages of processing from the raw fur down to the final product ready for dubbing! I can tell you that the ratio of back fur to belly fur on a fox squirrel is about three to one! This is odd because when you tie Dave's nymphs, there is approximately three times as much belly fur (for the abdomen of the fly) needed as compared to the thorax! We need to shoot more fox squirrels!
As you can see I also trimmed off a grey squirrel which made for some really nice medium dark dubbing with guard hairs going helter skelter just like they should! There is not much belly fur on a grey!
Ruard, to answer your question, no, I did not dye the pelts at all! They look like it but they are the natural colors of the animals as we have them here in our woods! I used to hunt them a lot when I was younger but as the years go on, I don't care much for them as a dish! Their fur, to me, is much more valuable! So, I have Dan hunt them and he brings me the hides usually frozen! I know that squirrel fur can be dyed and I assume it's bleached first. I also have a couple of dispenser boxes of squirrel furs which are really nice!
I hope I have not bored all of you to tears! It is sooo good to commune with all of you again! Thank you for all the positive comments and if you have questions, please ask! I am willing to answer them!

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:49 pm
by tjd
You've done a great job processing the squirrels and turning them into most useful dubbing.
I kill a few squirrels every year, I really enjoy hunting them, and especially eating them. They make a very nice pot pie, but that's another story...
We don't have many fox squirrels here in western New York State, but there are a few pockets of them. As a matter of fact, I picked up a beautiful female fox squirrel a few days ago that got taken out by a car. It had only minor damage, and it would have been a shame to let it go to waste. It's legal to pick up road kill here, as long as the person doing the picking has an appropriate hunting/trapping license, and the season during the animal may be taken by traditional means (hunting or trapping) is open. Precautions apply when picking up critters, of course.
As another fan of Dave's Red Fox Squirrel Hair Nymph (somewhat of a misnomer, as it's a fox squirrel, and not a red fox squirrel, but what's in a name?) my hat is off to you, Doug!
I like to mix squirrel guard hair in with my smaller Hare's Ear nymphs and tiny wets.
Do you have any experience with black squirrels? Interesting color variation with some interesting tying applications.
Stalking away,

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:35 pm
by daringduffer
Doug, you should try mixing fur in water as you do, with conditioner, dry it and then process it in a coffe grinder. The result is very different and nice. If you do, please tell me how you like it.


Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:00 am
Good Morning Guys!
Tim, thank you for your kind and informative words about the squirrels in your area and the legality of picking them up along the highways of life! The last roadkill that I picked up was a ruffed grouse that had flown into an oncoming car. I saw all this happen as it landed in a snow bank on the opposite side of the road. I turned around and nabbed the dead bird and took it home. I memory serves me well (not so much anymore), I clipped the wings and tail cluster and tossed everything else, including the precious pelt, over the hill! This was years ago and I have hardly seen a "ruff" since. So goes the way of the king of sporting birds! I tend to blame this situation on the lowly coyote but that's another argument! Again, many thanks!
D.D., I went back and read my response a bit closer and discovered that the way I worded it, did not include the drying process after the water swishing (with conditioner). In short, shearing or clipping the hides, Shanerinzing, straining, drying, Shucking (mixing and fluffing the felted furs in Bill Shucks coffee grinder/fur blender), and packaging for future fun! Thank you for pointing this out to me! I have trouble expressing myself correctly at times! This process is used on most of the other furs that I collect. It has resulted in a cleaner den closet where all my treasures are kempt! This makes for a happier Mrs. Dougsden which is my ultimate goal! I hope all of you are aiming for domestic tranquility as well!
Ray, once again my utmost thanks for sending these pictures along! This both surprises and pleases me!
Living the dream amoungst fur and feathers,

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:21 am
by letumgo
My pleasure Doug. I enjoyed seeing your photos. It is nice seeing the steps which go into processing the hides into blended dubbing. Time and effort well spent.

Good stuff! ;)

Re: Doug Does Dubbing

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:32 am
by ForumGhillie
This post has me pumped! As soon as things slow down for me I plan on shaving the fur off of a full fox squirrel skin, a pine squirrel skin and several different hare's masks (English & American). Thanks for the insights.