The detached pelt looks like a deflated furry football with a cute nose and whiskers. Zander turns it inside out, stretches it over a wooden plank, and begins to scrape the skin with a blade. If the fat isn’t removed, the skin will rot and the fur will fall off. Next he pulls the skin over a frame to dry. What covered a muskrat corpse five minutes ago now resembles a small, bloody ironing board. After drying for three days, the skins are graded and sorted by size and quality, then wrapped in cardboard, squeezed into bales in lots of 1,500, and shipped out.
In which Jenni Avins goes hunting with a local muskrat trapper, whose furs are eventually sold at T. Zander & Sons Country Fur Salon in the form of jackets, trapper hats, and a “sporty zip-up vest with a $695 price tag.”
[h/t New York]