Fur Grading Terms
"In-The-Round" means that the animal has not been skinned yet. Some people also call this "on-the-hoof".
"Green" means that the animal has been skinned, and the trapper keeps the hide in a freezer until he/she is ready to sell it.
"Finished" means that the animal has been skinned, and the pelt has been properly scraped, stretched and dryed.
Red Fox & Grey Fox (All fox measured from tip of nose to base of tail.)
Grade I: Free of imperfections or holes. Good under fur and nice guard hair.
Grade II: Almost as good as a "I". Slight variation in quality, but enough to notice.
Grade III: Average pelts showing weakness in the flank and neck areas.
Grade IV: Poor quality pelt, having little guard hair. Little or no commercial value. Badly damaged, badly rubbed pelts.
Raccoon (Coon are measured from tip of nose to highest area at base of tail.)
Grade I: Prime pelt, allowing one imperfection or small hole. Width no less than 5 1/4 inches across shoulder area and 7 inches across base. The leather will have a creamy color, not blue or slate. The fur will have a black/silver apperance, not yellow or sold black.
Grade II: Just like the "I" grade, except with a solid black or yellow color to it's fur. Pelts with a good black/silver color will get a "II" grade if they have 2 or 3 small imperfections or holes. Also, pelts that have good fur but a "slate" apperance to the leather may fall into this grade.
Grade III: Pelts, which are generally prime but have several imperfections (3 or more) such as tick bites or small holes.
Grade IV: Pelts, which are unprime or badly damaged. Coons harvested before November 1st and after January 30th usually fall into this grade. The leather is blue in color. Little commercial value.
Muskrat (Rats are measured from tip of nose to highest area at base.)
Grade I: Thick fur, leather is creamy to reddish, pliable texture. Good guard hair and ample under fur. No damage or imperfections.
Grade II: Just like the "I" grade, but with 1 very slight blemmish.
Grade III: Flat apperance to the fur, or 2 slight holes.
Grade IV: Very little guard hair and little under fur. 3 or more damaged areas or small holes.
Coyote (Coyote are measured from tip of nose to base of tail.)
Grade I: No damage, prime fur, good guard hair and underfur.
Grade II: A pelt having little damage, but still has guard hair and underfur with no rub marks.
Grade III: Decent fur, but with 1 small rub mark or 2 small holes.
Grade IV: Pelt with large holes, cuts or fur slippage.
Beaver (Measured in an "X" pattern from pelt edge at leg hole to opposite leg hole edge. Add both measurements together for size.)
Fully prime underfur is 0.8"–1.2" long in the kidney region. In comparison, the guard hairs are stiff, thick, and long, gradually widening at the distal end and tapering at the tip. The guard hairs are 2.0"–2.4" long when fully grown, and range in colour from black to reddish. Peak primeness occurs between December and March, depending on latitude. Although most Beavers appear reddish dark brown, they can range from jet black to pale silvery or blond. There can be considerable colour variation among Beavers in any one region. Pelts from the Eastern Section are generally darker and finer in texture than those from other sections. There are two weights found in Eastern pelts, Heavy and Semi. The Heavy weight pelts tend to be Canadian in origin and will include some pelts from the North Eastern United States. The underfur is deep and heavy. The Semi weight pelts are mostly of United States origin. The underfur is not as heavy.
I/II Grade Description of Beaver: Good to Average quality. Leather may be Prime or of a slight blue colour and may have minor blemishes.
III Grade Description of Beaver: Flat quality. Fur is of weak or loose density, fully covered. Leather colour may range from clear to blue. May have more blemishes or imperfections than I. May have up to 3 small imperfections.
IV Grade Description of Beaver: Fur has very weak/loose density. May have more blemishes or imperfections than III. Usually late Spring skins or Early skins. 4 to 6 small imperfections, or up to 3 larger imperfections.
Bobcat (Bobcats are measured from tip of nose to base of tail.)
Grade I: No damage, cuts or sewn areas. Must be prime with ample guard hair and under fur. Clear, white belly with defined spots.
Grade II: Just like the "I" grade, but with 1 slight damage or hole.
Grade III: Two to 3 slightly damaged areas, but with good fur.
Grade IV: Unprime or badly damaged fur.
Mink (Size is measured from tip of nose to base of tail for female mink. For male mink, measure tip of nose to base of tail. Then, measure across lower width of pelt. Multiply the width by 2, then add the length to achieve total male inches.)
Grade I/II: Prime with white or creamy leather. Long guard hair, dense underfur. Red saddle should be visible.
Grade III: Good quality fur, but having some tick bites or scars. Guard hair is shorter and less dense.
Grade IV: Weak or broken appearance in fur and leather. Lacks density and coverage. Leather is slate or dark blue in color.
Opossum (Opossum are measured from tip of nose to highest point at base of tail.)
Grade I: Prime pelt with good guard hair and underfur having no damaged areas.
Grade II: Prime pelts having one small hole or bites.
Grade III: 2 small damages. Also, opossum with black fur go into this category.
Grade IV: 3 or more damages. Little value.
ALWAYS CALL BEFORE BRINGING YOUR FUR TO US (JUST TO MAKE SURE I AM WORKING IN THE FUR SHED). BECAUSE I AM A PASTOR, SOMETIMES I GET CALLED AWAY AT THE LAST MINUTE !!!! MY PHONE NUMBER IS 304-483-1079