Friday, April 8, 2011

Blog Re-run: Fleshing the Scrotum

Today in the News:  Today's post will probably be a little hard to take.  Just a warning.  I tried to have fun with it.  Don't think me too weird.  If you don't like what I'm writing, send me a guest post, please. .

Fleshing the Scrotum

Well, I guess the title says it all.  How exactly do you introduce a subject like fleshing a scrotum?  I got this off of the buffalo last week.  Nobody really cringed when I did it, but it had to be done.  My dad always told me that if you shot a buck when you were hunting, you had to hang the sack in a tree for good luck.  I did it every time.  It's just one of those silly things that passes from generation to generation.  If I had thought of the sack as useful, I would never have wasted them in the trees.

I remember watching the movie "Young Guns II" with my dad when I was a boy.  Pat Garret is on Billy the Kid's trail and closing in fast.  He finds a tobacco bag left for him by Billy.  The guy with Pat asks what it is and he replies, "A tobacco pouch I made for Billy......buffalo scrot."  I looked over at my dad and asked him what buffalo scrot was.  And he told me exactly what it was.  And I cringed.  Hard.  Then I asked him why they'd use a scrotum to put tobacco in.  As usual, he didn't reply.  He just grunted.  I really wanted to know the answer, so I asked again.  He looked at me like I was asking the most moronic question in the world and grunted again.  So I asked him again and he gave me the classic answer for everything from my childhood.  "Go ask your mother."

So it is 20 some-odd years later and I'm presented with a buffalo scrotum.  And I want to make a tobacco pouch out of it.  To give to somebody.  Strictly to freak them out, really. 

I've had it on ice for the past week or so and got at it today.  I'm okay at skinning, but not so much on the fleshing. I used to watch Snuffy (my dad) skin beaver and such as a kid and it didn't look that hard.  I've mostly skinned big game and, sadly, we usually threw the pelt away.  I took out a fox last year and attempted to tan the hide, but pretty much failed.  Fox are thin skinned and terribly greasy.  It wasn't a pleasant experience.  They are a beautiful animal, but downright nasty to skin.

So here it is in all its glory. Initially, I was going to stretch it out like a beaver hide and pin it to a board.  Once it thawed, I saw that doing that would be a problem, due to the natural shape.  So I got at it and started cleaning off the flesh.

There was still a lot of flesh on the hide.  I used a dull old straight razor and trimmed where needed.

It basically pulled away easily from the skin for the first part. 

After I took much of the excess away, I went out to the wood pile and picked out a log.  I stretched it tight and continued fleshing.

I made this hole when removing it from the bull.  The skin was soooooo much thicker than the fox, needless to say.  I was being really rough on it and didn't make a single hole.  I did find what looked like a nipple attached to the hide.  That was pretty gross, but I've seen the same thing on salt pork.  Why do male animals need nipples?  Seriously.

I turned it outside-right just to have a look.  I swear a kid could use this as a hat.  I'm sure some of the frontier kids HAD to use it as a hat and were teased horribly by other kids.  "Haha....look at Davey Crockett  with the nut-skin cap!"  That's why he switched to coon skin.  Much more fashionable. 

So to forget that I was working on a scrotum, I drew a face on the log.  Hair club for Men.  Not only am I the president, I'm also a client.

I kept at it awhile and it got to the point where I wasn't removing anymore skin.  I tried shaving some away with the razor and it worked out well.  I'm still not sure if I got enough flesh off, but it feels right.  I rinsed off the dirt and sludge and then salted it........for now. 

I decided to keep it on the log because that's how it would dry the tightest, I figured.  We'll see.  If I screw this up, I'm sure nobody will be heart broken.  Thanks for sticking with me on this one.  I know it's a little hard to take.  But, seriously, who else is trying to tan a buffalo scrotum on their blog?  Tell your friends and show your moms.  Scrotum is the new Louis Vuitton!

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel....out.


  1. Good one, I will add your link on my blog.

  2. Has the finished product materialized yet?

  3. Thanks for the kink up, LeLoup. I certainly wish you were closer. I have a feeling I could learn a lot from a fella like you.

    Gorges, not yet. That's why I'm reposting, wanted to refresh people before I start the process. Not sure what concoction I'm going to use. I've tried a method with salt and alum that didn't work out so well. Heard raw eggs and mayo works as well. Not so sure about that. I wish I had some brains. I'll be looking out for road kills, I guess.

  4. BTW - I think I'm going to leave the hair ON. :)

  5. I'd forgotten about such things as this. A cattleman friend used the scrotum of a steer for the shifter knob on his truck after spring castration of the steers. Use what you have or do without.

  6. maybe you should talk to someone that has done a proper tanning for hints? we do have taxidermist that are close to the family .... one in portage one in conneticut... as large as that scrot is... you dont want that to go to waste...

  7. This blog is interesting!! Hope to see the finish produst soon.., thanks

    help for single Dads