Squirrel season is right around the corner for most hunters. It even has already opened up for some of us. The reasons hunters pursue these tiny critters are for the meals they will provide, for the joy of hunting and for some extra money. Yes, you can make money squirrel hunting. No, you probably will become rich doing it.

Mepps needs your squirrel tails to make their fishing lures.

After a recent visit to Mepps to sell some squirrel and deer tails, I realized just how easy it was to turn something I was already doing into money or even new lures. Of course, I chose the new lures for some northern pike I intended on catching.

If you decide to trade the tails in for lures, Mepps will double the value of your tails. This makes it easy to get some new lures you have been wanting.

I was told that they would like to buy 200,000 tails in a year. That is a lot of tails. Sadly, too many hunters do not know of this opportunity or they do not take the time to keep the tails.

Since you are already cleaning the squirrel or skinning the deer, it is simple to lay the tail in the freezer flat to sell at a later date. You can either sell the tails at the Mepps factory or you can ship them.

Once your tails are received, they are washed, dried and if necessary dyed to a specific color for the lure needed.

The Mepps website has more information, but to save you some time, here it is.

We need them to create hand-tied dressed hooks for our world-famous, fish-catching lures. We’ve tried hundreds of other natural and synthetic materials: bear hair, fox, coyote, badger, skunk, deer, even Angus cow, but nothing works as well as squirrel tail hair. We’ve been recycling squirrel tails for over half a century. In fact, we recycle more of them than anyone else in the world.

The fact is squirrel tails are all hair—no fur. Practically all other animals have fur tails with just a few guard hairs. Fur doesn’t have the rippling, pulsating movement of squirrel hair in the water. And, squirrels are plentiful. Plus, squirrel is some of the best wild meat and their skins are used for caps, coats, glove linings and many other items, but the tail is usually thrown away. We’re asking you to help us recycle this valuable resource, AND, we’re offering to reward you for your efforts!

NOTE: Mepps is only interested in recycling tails taken from squirrels that have been harvested for the table. We do not advocate taking squirrels strictly for their tails. It is illegal to sell squirrel tails in the states of CA & ID, and it’s illegal to sell Western Grey Squirrel tails in the state of OR.

Squirrel Tail Payment Information

Most folks that send us squirrel tails double their value by trading them for Mepps lures. All-in-all, not a bad deal. They get a great day afield and get to enjoy the stew, too. Then they take the part they used to throw away, offer it to us to recycle and we send them Mepps spinners in return. What a deal!

Shipping refunded on 50 tails or more. Ship First Class Mail, First Class Parcel, Priority Mail or UPS Ground only. No refund on insurance charges or service fees charged by independent mailing services.

For all good quality tails we pay the following:

  • Gray, Fox & Black Squirrel Tails
    • 16 ¢ each — under 100
    • 19 ¢ each — over 100
    • 21 ¢ each — over 500
    • 22 ¢ each — over 1000
  • Premium Tails
    • 20 ¢ each — under 100
    • 23 ¢ each — over 100
    • 25 ¢ each — over 500
    • 26 ¢ each — over 1000
  • Red Squirrel Tails (Hair at the base of the tail must be at least 1″ long)
    • 8 ¢ each — under 100
    • 9 ¢ each — over 100
    • 10 ¢ each — over 500
    • 11 ¢ each — over 1000

Plus, you can double the value of your tails by exchanging them for Mepps lures. Call 800-237-9877 or e-mail stinfo@mepps.com to place your order or get more details. No other discounts or special offers apply.

Please follow these instructions carefully:

  1. Tails are best on squirrels taken after October 1st.

  2. Do NOT remove the bone from the tail. Deboned and split tails have no value.

  3. Salt the butt end of the tail generously. Use either dry salt or dip in a strong saltwater solution.

  4. Be sure the tail is straight before drying. Tails that dry in a curled position cannot be used.

  5. Keep tails away from flies. Best storage is in a freezer. Do not send tails that have been exposed to flies.

  6. Do not put tails in a plastic bag for storage or shipment. They could heat up and spoil.

  7. The best time to ship is during cold weather months (Jan, Feb, & Mar). Dried squirrel tails may be shipped anytime.

  8. Put your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and tail count inside each package. And, please indicate whether you would like to receive the cash value for your tails or you would like to take advantage of lure exchange program. You can simply write “Trade for cash” or “Trade for lures”.

  9. Ship First Class Mail, First Class Parcel, Priority Mail if under 10 pounds or UPS Ground if over 10 pounds. Pack without fill in smallest packaging possible. Shipping will be refunded on shipments over 50 tails.

  10. Send your tails to: Sheldons’, Inc. 626 Center St. Antigo, WI 54409-2496

  11. Once Mepps has received your tails, our experienced team will grade the tails as premium, average, or unusable. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust their appraisal will be fair and accurate. If you have indicated “Trade for cash” (see step 8), a check will be sent to you. If you have indicated “Trade for lures”, you will be contacted to take your lure order.