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Learn how to prepare raccoon pelts at Cape Nature Center

Learn how to prepare raccoon pelts at Cape Nature Center

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Knowing how to prepare a raccoon pelt is an essential skill for those who trap furbearers and can also provide a financial bonus for those who are trying to solve a raccoon problem around the home. People can get information and will get hands-on training in pelt preparation at a free Missouri Department of Conservation program Sept. 26 at MDC's Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center.

Raccoon trapping, which is part of Missouri’s furbearer season which begins Nov. 15, is a winter tradition in some parts of Missouri. This activity provides income through the sale of pelts – but in order to sell the fur, you have to know how to skin the animal and prepare the hide.

People who want to learn more about how to prepare a raccoon pelt should plan to attend the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) program “Trapping: Raccoon Skinning, Fleshing, and Stretching” on Sept. 26 at MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This free program, which will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., is designed for ages 16 and up. People can register for this program at:

As has been in the case in many parts of the country, Missouri’s raccoon numbers have experienced a dramatic increase in recent years. Even for those who don’t hunt or trap and are merely trying to solve raccoon problems on their property, knowing how to prepare a pelt can add a financial bonus to solving a nuisance wildlife issue.

At this program, MDC Conservation Educator Sara Bradshaw will lead a hands-on, start-to-finish demonstration of skinning, fleshing and stretching a raccoon pelt. Participants are asked to bring their own skinning knives because they will participate in the process. Though raccoons will be the main topic of conversation, Bradshaw will also discuss how to prepare other pelts. Participants need to wear old clothes and shoes that are suited for the activities that are part of pelt preparation. Rubber gloves will be provided. Participants will be given a one-hour break for lunch.

To ensure the safety of all, participants will be required to wear a face covering and participants will be asked to social distance.

MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is located at 2289 County Park Dr. People can get more details about this program by e-mailed or by calling 573-290-5218. Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding programs. A listing of these programs can be found at


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