The torn section can be glued with a piece of used fabric softener sheet and a very small amount of superglue. I quit sewing those little tears that you're talking about when I figured out how to use the artificial head. I realized that you can use glue here, why not on the body. With a little help fron Tony Finazzo on his method, voila`, there you have it. The only part I sew now is the belly cut. I use either waxed dental floss or 2 pound mono fishing line. I asked if you had put the skin in the fridge because that is a good place to have the skin start to slip (rot). I suggest putting it in the freezer next time, and allow just a bit more thaw time. You can also thaw out the skin in cool water before you do your fleshing. I've done it both ways, and some people actually prefer to flesh the skin wet. I will have a little mist spray bottle handy when fleshing to keep the skin moist. You will notice that water and fat have totally opposite specific gravities, and will repel one-another, which will allow you to distinguish the difference between fat and water. It is surprising how much heat the fat of a bird will hold in, and it sounds as if you either took a little too long to flesh, or you left it in the fridge a little too long. I don't think it's a total loss however, and should turn out just fine. You can really see the difference between a diver duck, and a puddler. Sea ducks are even tougher skinned, and so are turkeys and pheasants. For me the worst birds to work on are a real fatty Mallard or goose, or a Teal or Woodie, and the best bird to work on are sea ducks such as an Old Squaw or Harlequin, or for the divers, a Goldeneye, Bufflehead, or Merganser. Unfortunately with the collection that I have, I've done them all. I used to work on a flesher that had a thicker gauged wire on it's wheel, and recently upgraded to the "bomb" of a flesher, that makes that part of the job much easier. Dan Rinehart taxidermy school and supply sells it. His phone number to get a supply catalog is: 608-884-3047. Good luck!