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Buyers look for the following types of fur damage.

  • Fur falling out or coming loose. This can happen due to rot in the carcass before skinning.
  • Loose top hair. This problem is seen in non-prime pelts or in pelts that are scraped too deeply during fleshing.
  • Bitten fur. This results from fighting with other furbearers.
  • Scored fur. This happens when a bullet or trapping hook leaves a long, blood-stained mark.
  • Shot-up fur. This results from improper harvesting with a firearm.
  • Poor sewing of leg-hole cuts. This may be seen on beaver pelts.
  • Burnt fur. Drying too fast in hot sun, wind, or artificial heat can cause fur to burn and crack. Burning also can happen if grease or fat is left on the pelt due to poor fleshing.
  • Hair lying flat. This results from lack of underfur, usually on a non-prime pelt.
  • Low fur. As a result of early trapping, these pelts are immature or do not have fully developed underfur.
  • Rough pelts. These pelts have rub marks that develop late in the winter season.
  • Overgrown or springy fur. These pelts were harvested late when the animals were beginning to shed their underfur.
  • Coarse fur. These late-harvested pelts are hard to the touch.
  • Overstretched pelts. These pelts are stretched beyond normal size. This tends to thin the leather and cause a weak, flat appearance.
  • Understretched pelts. This is the opposite problem. It can cause wrinkles resulting in fur loss during shipping and handling.
  • Singed fur. Hair is bent from warm weather and too much sunshine. Unnecessary handling of the pelt or drying with heat also can cause singing. This problem is most common in mink pelts.