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Mepps Squirrel Tail Program

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. Squirrel tails cannot be sold in CA. It's illegal to sell Western grey squirrel tails in the state of OR. State of Idaho Regulations: only red and fox squirrel tails can legally be sent to Mepps.

PDF Icon Squirrel Tail Recycling Program Flyer in PDF Format

Dressed Aglia

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!



Fully - Usable Tail - $0.25 each
Half - Usable Tail - $0.12 each
**Hair at base of tail must be at least 1" long**
Fully - Usable Tail - $0.12 each
PLUS, you can choose to double the value of your tails by exchanging them for Mepps lures.
Mepps will refund your shipping costs on all packages of 50 tails or more. 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.

How to Submit Your Squirrel Tails

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 fully-usable, half-usable or not-usable. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust their appraisal will be fair and accurate as we try to offer hunters the best value for their tails as possible by repurposing as much of the squirrel tail as possible. 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.

Watch video instructions for submitting your squirrel tails

Squirrel Tail T-shirts

Help spread the word about squirrel tail recycling with our squirrel tail t-shirt!

Gildan 6-ounce 100% Ultra-Cotton preshrunk short sleeve t-shirts. Dark chocolate brown. Double needle stitching. Taped neck and shoulders. Front has a bright orange Mepps Squirrel Tail Program logo. Back features the Mepps squirrel, with the message, "Wanted: Squirrel Tails for Mepps fishing lures." And "Reward: Will pay cash [or] double the value in Mepps lures." Adult sizes only.

Get Your T-Shirt

Squirrel Hunting Links

If a link is broken or you would like to see a site added, please don't hesitate to let us know.
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