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Practical Fur Handling with Tom Osborne

Review by CJ Williams
     Because I basically had to learn about fur handling on my own I have purchased numerous books and videos over the years. I found this video to be among the best. For the past few years I have watched it several times just before the start of trapping season, and it is just about what I needed to get me back into the groove of fur handling. Tom Osborne, the guy who does all the demonstrations, is a tough old bird who has obviously skinned thousands of various animals. His mannerisms and monologue make me laugh at times; he’s a little self-conscious but still manages some good fur shed humor. He pays attention to detail and it’s obvious that he takes pride in his work.

     What I like most about the video is that each animal has its own “chapter” so you can skip directly to the part of the video pertaining to the animal(s) you target on the trapline. I have watched the raccoon chapter a dozen times but never watched the otter chapter (I have a better chance of getting hit by lightening than catching an otter). However, the video covers just about every critter you’ll encounter: coyote, fox, bobcat, beaver, otter, muskrat, mink, ‘coon and skunk. Osborne begins each chapter with an intact carcass then skins, fleshes and stretches the pelt. He pretty much goes through the whole process with each animal. I have found this to be a very helpful video, especially if you are a beginner and don’t have a mentor to teach you first hand. Produced by T&M Outdoors with a runtime of 5 hrs.

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