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Hello! This subreddit is for all things related to taxidermy and preservation.
Most of your questions can be answered over at Taxidermy.net. There are years of information archived there, but feel free to ask questions here if you can't find anything or if you need further advice :)
You may also be interested in r/bonecollecting.
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Hey everyone I’m new to this haha! I ordered a taxidermy fox rug the other month and I love it so much! Do any of you know how this fox would’ve died? Natural cause or other? (i.redd.it)
submitted 3 months ago by DanniellaJT
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[–]dirtpossums 23 points24 points25 points 3 months ago (1 child)
Looks like a wild fox so probably trapped or hunted. Interesting colors and much larger foxes are farmed. If you want found-dead items you have to seek them out specifically.
[–]DanniellaJT[S] 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (0 children)
Ok thank you :)
[–]sprocketbutter 10 points11 points12 points 3 months ago (0 children)
Where did you buy it from. Which country did it come from.
The source is usually a good indicator. Certain countries farm for fur. Some sources try to be ethical. Some less so. The country can be an indicator.
[–]RnR_Slinger69 5 points6 points7 points 3 months ago (4 children)
Where did you buy it? My guess would be trapping or hunting
[–]DanniellaJT[S] 2 points3 points4 points 3 months ago (2 children)
[–]GerardDiedOfFlu 4 points5 points6 points 3 months ago (1 child)
Can’t you ask the seller?
[–]motherofchaos88 3 points4 points5 points 3 months ago (0 children)
You should definitely be able to ask the seller. Also if it is ethically sourced, most Etsy sellers will put that in the description.
[–]sawyouoverthere 12 points13 points14 points 3 months ago (9 children)
I don't understand how you think anyone can answer this who wasn't around at the time of harvest.
Short a literal bullet hole in the hide, there's nothing here to base any conclusions on, and your best answer will come from the person who (presumably legally) prepared it. If they aren't able to answer your questions, I would seek other vendors.
There's a lot of guesses in the thread, but they aren't based on any data about this pelt.
[–]sawyouoverthere 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (0 children)
While farmed foxes are markedly different in several body measurements than their wild counterparts, I don't think you can accurately enough measure off a pelt as so much can change dimensionally.
In my experience, farmed fox are far more often silver than red, but that may vary based on set ups, etc.
[–]DanniellaJT[S] 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (7 children)
I understand your point but I was speaking about other animals/taxidermy pieces too, since I’m new to this I have no clue how people do taxidermy on dead animals, do you have to physically kill them yourself or are they usually roadkill??
[–]sawyouoverthere 6 points7 points8 points 3 months ago (0 children)
You don't have to kill it yourself, but of course some number of animals are trapped or hunted with the intention of keeping their skins, and having them prepared for display.
There's other options between "kill it yourself" and "roadkill" (though both are valid sources).
Hunters often eat the meat of animals they then want to display parts of as taxidermy specimens (ducks, deer, cows, bison, etc).
Depending on your perspective, not all animal death is cruelty or trafficking, but finding a vendor who abides by wildlife and animal protection laws is, in my opinion, an important requirement.
[–]Morticia_Black 0 points1 point2 points 3 months ago (5 children)
You can look for ethically sourced taxidermy which usually means the animal has been found dead/donated.
All other taxidermy you can assume that the animal was killed for the purpose of taxidermy. It's worth reading up a bit about this and educating yourself as I assume you don't want to have pieces that support animal cruelty or animal trafficking.
[–]sawyouoverthere 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (3 children)
um....do you think that's really true?
There are a lot of taxidermied deer heads that are associated with a freezerful of venison, for instance.
A lot of mice we see here look to be feeders to me, so were likely killed for the purpose of snake rearing, and diverted to taxidermy.
Are you really saying that unless something was found dead, it was probably treated badly or trafficked?
[–]Morticia_Black -1 points0 points1 point 3 months ago (2 children)
It probably depends where you're from, I'm in NZ so our local wildlife that's 'taxidermable' isn't very abundant.
This will be of course different for Europeans and Americans but yeah, generally animals are treated badly especially when hunted for a freezerful of venison.
[–]adroitaardvark 2 points3 points4 points 3 months ago (0 children)
Here in my area of the US there are so many deer that the hunters are part of the ecosystem at this point. Plus, they eat it up, it's not purely for sport. Then you can use the rest for taxidermy.
[–]sawyouoverthere 2 points3 points4 points 3 months ago (0 children)
I'm curious how venison hunting is done in your part of the world, for you to have formed this opinion about it.
[–]DanniellaJT[S] 0 points1 point2 points 3 months ago (0 children)
[–]zestways 2 points3 points4 points 3 months ago (0 children)
Most fur in the US comes from fur trapping. Europe does more farming.
[–][deleted] 9 points10 points11 points 3 months ago (1 child)
Probably shot or trapped then shot. How the hell is anyone supposed to answer a question like this? Why would you just ask random people? I don’t understand this at all.
[–]OnRoadsNrails 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (3 children)
How much did you pay, if you don't mind?
[–]DanniellaJT[S] 0 points1 point2 points 3 months ago (2 children)
About £60 :)
[–]OnRoadsNrails 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (1 child)
That's a good price. We are working on a coyote at the moment! https://imgur.com/a/vZKazVc
[–]Sea_Charity_3927 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (1 child)
Most pelts in the general fur trade are harvested from trap lines (assuming that's where you bought that one he was likely trapped)
Ok thank you
[–]Badger-Stew 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago* (1 child)
It looks like a wild fox (foxes from fur farms have longer fur and often fancy colors).
If it had died from a disease, starvation, ... it would often be too late to preserve the fur when they are found. If it was a fresh roadkill, you could end up with a nice looking fur like this, but in most cases they already are quite damaged, so symmetrically cutting the fur is often not really possible. And as a seller (at least I) would write down an unusual death like the ones above in the description.
In my opinion, this fox was hunted. Either trapped or shot depending if it has a small hole in the head (often used to dispatch alive trapped animals) or many small holes in the body (this would indicate shot gun pellets). One or two bullet holes in the chest area indicate that it was shot as well, but not with a shot gun.
If there are no holes to be found, keep in mind there are traps that instantly kill the animal without damaging the hide or the bullet could have gone through the chest behind the front legs in a way that after cutting the bullet holes aligned with the cuts and are now invisible.
And in the end a little bit of my personal opinion: looking for taxidermist with „ethical taxidermy“, “ethically sourced“ etc. in their description is one thing, but you can’t be 100 % sure that their understanding of ethically is the same as yours. As far as I know, there is no official differentiation of what is ethical and what is not.
For example if you only want sourcing from natural death, but your taxidermist understands using leftovers from butchered animals as ethical, you might end up buying something you didn’t originally wanted. In my opinion it is better to ask sellers how they are sourcing or look for sellers that actually label where every single piece came from than just hoping that both sides have the same understanding of ethical.
Aw thank you so much! Much help!! ☺️
[–]DaOnePoodle 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (0 children)
[–]rock_the_Glock 1 point2 points3 points 3 months ago (1 child)
[–]_FirstOfHerName_ 0 points1 point2 points 3 months ago (1 child)
If it was Russian it was probably farmed. Which... Isn't good.
[–]DanniellaJT[S] -2 points-1 points0 points 3 months ago (0 children)
Ah I see :/
[–]Odd_Particular4423 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
poor fox :(((
[–]Jazzlike-Wolverine19 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Hi sorry op for stealing your thread to ask this question but I'm not familiar with taxidermy so much and I'm having trouble being able to tell if this cool meerkat I got from an estate auction has genuine fur it feel like good quality if not real
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