2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Fur Buyer Also Buys Skulls & Other Parts
The Roundup, Mont., trapper and fur buyer typically gets enough coyote skulls locally. But there is a demand for animal skulls from wildlife such as marten and otter that live outside of Montana.
“The wolf, wolverine, fisher and lion skulls are especially hard to get,” Saltzman says.
Cleaned skulls, claws and other parts are purchased by crafters, collectors and university and environmental educators. Saltzman runs ads in trapper publications and has connections with fur buyers. Trappers from all over the country ship to him.
“As they catch the animals they freeze them. When they are ready to ship I encourage them to box them up (frozen) on a Monday and send them through FedEx or Priority Mail,” he says.
Saltzman has a large walk-in freezer to keep the skulls until he’s ready to process them - first boiling them, then soaking them in a peroxide bath before final cleanup with a pressure washer.
About half his business is cleaning bison skulls. He is the leading distributor of them in the U.S. Saltzman sells skulls, bones, claws, hooves, porcupine quills, fur pelts and horns on eBay in addition to selling at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®. Many items are sold to wholesalers.
“I also do powwows and sell fur, leather, bone carvings, artifact reproductions like antler pipes and fur bags,” Saltzman says. “Call me and ask what you are looking for - there is a good chance I have it.”
He plans to have a website soon to list his products and post prices he is paying for various parts ($2/ermine skull to $85/wolverine skull, for example). But Saltzman also invites trappers to call him if they have questions and want pricing on specific items.
“We use just about everything,” Saltzman says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Porcupines Unlimited, 76 West Parrot Creek, Roundup, Mont. 59072 (ph 406 947-2988; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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