Tanning a Deer Hide

Discussion in 'Hunting & Fishing' started by Sonnyjim, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    Hey guys, I thought I would post a video on my first deer hide. I already know a few things I did wrong, some of which is pointed out in the video, some of which were editted out due to trying to keep the video shorter. It's nothing special and certainly not exciting, but I figure it's the best way to get constructive criticism and also to maybe get those people who have been thinking of doing this a bit of encouragement. I'll post part 2-3 once I get enough footage for another one. Cheers guys.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/user/FishBrew21#p/u/0/Mv-vdpdqbBA[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Good video, who was your helper near the end looking in the barrel;). Keep up the good work, looking forward to part 2.:2thumb:
     

  3. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    Hahaha at first I thought you were talking about my wife cause she was in a clip at one point but it got eddited out. That little thing was Willow my hunting partner. She was being good all night staying off the tarp, but slowly bit by bit inching up until she just "Happened" to be so close to a piece of fat or meat that she had to eat it. She always seems to find the grossest parts of the animals the tastiest (ie. when you just finish cleaning a grouse and 1 minute later all you hear is popping and squishing noises and there are no entrails left????)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  4. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Most dogs can eat their own poop with out any consequences, so I guess its not too gross for them:ignore:. Thats why they are called 'dogs'.:2thumb:
     
  5. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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  6. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

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    just wondering if you know how to use the brains to tan with....boiling into a paste and then working it into the hide thats stretched using a hot, flat-edged rock. read how the plains indians did their tanning. good way to get back to how it was done 'many moons ago'....
     
  7. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    Yes I did do the research on how to use the brain tan method but I think that would be something for the future once I can perfect the modern method. The unfortunate thing is that these methods are not widly used. You can't just go to your neighbour(atleast here in Canada) and ask him to show you the brain tan method. Heck, I even did a search to find a class on tanning hides and couldn't find anywhere within hours of here. I ended up going to the local library, watching what little video there is online, and some articles off of websites, but unless you have hands on you can really only do so much. But the brain tan is certainly something for the future again once I can perfect some of the modern methods.
     
  8. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Very coooool! Thanks for the link! :2thumb:
     
  9. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    Well here is part 2 of tanning the hide. It didn't end up working for me but I learned a lot and know what NOT to do for next time. I will still make this into a wallhanging by drying it out and that way I didn't put 12 hours of work into nothing.

    Link: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/user/FishBrew21#p/u/0/KbfEFwkWmj0]YouTube - FishBrew21's Channel[/ame]
     
  10. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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  11. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent info. Thanks!
     
  12. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/user/FishBrew21#p/u/0/qdBw_JsJU50]YouTube - FishBrew21's Channel[/ame]

    There is my link to the final part 3 of Tanning a Deer Hide. It is more a video of turning it into a ncie wall hanging as it obviously didn't work out for me. I learned a lot and certainly know how to improve for the next one.
     
  13. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

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    i'm trying to find out info about dehydrating brain so i can keep it for log periods before it's needed. then just reconstitute what is needed to tan whatever hide i need to be working on at the moment. might be a plausible thing to do......have to give it some more thought....
     
  14. TreeMUPKennel

    TreeMUPKennel Well-Known Member

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    Tanning

    You doing great man, got to learn from some were. Practices makes perfect. I love to skin myself. But would suggest in getting a two handle fleshing knife. You will be able to accomplish more. And less stress on the wrist your usen with the single handle flesh knife. Looks like your fleshing beam/log is great. I always flesh them as soon as I can preferable after I skin them and there still warm the flesh and membrane scrap off much easier to me. Just make sure any and all fatty and flesh is removed if not after the tanning the spots that still have membrane will slip "hair" the chemical will not be ablt to penetrate. After I stretch and salt. Then I tan. But i do alot of small hides coons fox yote and bobcat. I just finshed a bobcat a couple weeks ago pulled it from my wire stretcher and left it for one second and came back to start tanning it and my hunting dogs had grabed it and ran, chewed the face pretty good. I bout had a heart attack it was the biggest and best bobcat i had ever had.
    But your doing a great job man.
     
  15. TreeMUPKennel

    TreeMUPKennel Well-Known Member

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    Hey man just watched the final video. Good. If your wanting to get it more flexible of softed like you thought it would be. Doesnt take much, just use your corner of your deck post or the bannister rail top portion rake the hide back and forth all over it will loosen the fibers and became pliable.
     
  16. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links! I have a moose hide that I home tanned that mildewed on the leather side against a damp cement floor, anyobody have a solution? I'm thinking rinse, sunshine, maybe a bleach solution and re-oil.....???
     
  17. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    I am NOT an expert. But I'm too cheap to pay for anyone else to do the job (local shop wanted $200 to tan my coyote hide). I've used this recipe for rabbit hides, deer hides, a moose skin, and a coyote pelt.

    Tanning

    Home Tanning Process Preserves Pelts

    Here is a method of tanning hides that is low cost and low labor compared to other methods of "custom tanning."

    After hunting or processing livestock for the table, it's a shame to have to toss out a nice pelt. Here is a method of tanning hides that is low cost and low labor compared to other methods of "custom tanning." I've personally used this system to tan sheepskins, deerskins, groundhog pelts, rabbit hides and goat skins. The procedure can be used for all kinds of mammal pelts when you want the fur to remain on the skin. It results in a soft, workable hide, which can be used as is or cut up for sewing projects.

    SALTING FRESH SKINS

    Fresh hides right off the animal should be cooled immediately. Trim off any flesh and scrape visible fat from the hide. Place the skin in the shade, laying it completely flat with the fur side down, preferably on a cold concrete or rock surface. When the skin feels cool to the touch, immediately cover the fleshy side completely with plain, uniodized salt.

    Use three to five pounds for a sheep or deer skin. Don't skimp.

    If skins aren't salted within a few hours of removal of the flesh, you might as well forget it. They will have begun to decompose and will probably lose their hair during processing.

    Transport the skin flat. We've had problems with predators gnawing the edges of skins, so put the hide somewhere out of reach. You don't need to stretch the skin; just make sure it is perfectly flat, with no curled edges. If you've lost a lot of salt while moving the pelt, add more. The salt will draw moisture from the skin and liquid may pool in low spots. Just add more salt. Let the skin dry until it is crispy. This may take a few days to a couple of weeks. When completely dry, the skin is very stable and won't change or deteriorate appreciably.

    TANNING INGREDIENTS

    When you're ready to tan the skins, assemble the following:

    7 gallons water
    2 pounds (16 cups) bran flakes
    16 cups plain or pickling salt (not iodized)
    2 large plastic trash cans (30 gallon) and one lid
    4 foot wooden stirring stick
    3 1/2 cups battery acid (from auto parts store)
    2 boxes baking soda wood rack or stretcher
    neat's-foot oil
    nails
    wire bristle brush

    This recipe makes enough tanning solution to tan four large animal skins; or ten rabbit skins; or about six medium-sized pelts such as groundhog. (Cut the recipe in half for fewer skins).

    MIXING THE SOLUTION

    A couple of hours before you plan to tan, soak the dried skins in clear, fresh water until flexible. Boil three gallons of water and pour over the bran flakes. Let this sit for an hour, then strain the bran flakes out, saving the brownish water solution. Next, bring the remaining four gallons of water to a boil. Put the 16 cups of salt in a plastic trash can. Pour the water over the salt and use the stirring stick to mix until the salt dissolves. Add the brown bran liquid. Stir.

    When this solution is lukewarm, you are ready to add the battery acid. Read the warning label and first aid advice on the battery acid container. While wearing gloves and an old, long-sleeved shirt, very carefully pour the battery acid down the inside of the trash can into the solution - don't let it splash. Stir the battery acid in thoroughly.

    At this point, you can peel off the hide's dried inner skin. If you have fresh skins, use as is. Add the skins to the solution and stir, pressing the skins down carefully under the liquid until fully saturated. Leave them to soak for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure all parts of the hides are exposed to the solution. During the soak, fill your other trash can with clear, lukewarm water. After 40 minutes, soaking is complete. Use the stirring stick and carefully move the skins one by one into the other trash can. This is the rinsing process, which removes the excess salt from the skins. Stir and slosh the skins for about five minutes, changing the water when it looks dirty.

    At this point, some people add a box of baking soda to the rinse water. Adding baking soda will neutralize some of the acid in the skin - this is good because there will be less possibility of residual acid in the fur to affect sensitive people. However, this also may cause the preserving effects of the acid to be neutralized. You need to make the choice to use baking soda based on your own end use of the skin. If skin or fur will spend a lot of time in contact with human skin, I'd use the baking soda. If the pelt will be used as a rug or wall hanging, I probably wouldn't.

    Remove the hides from rinse water; they will be very heavy. Let them hang over a board or the back of a chair or other firm surface to drain. Now, using a sponge, rag or paint brush, swab the still-damp skin side of the hide with an ounce of neat's-foot oil. It should be absorbed quickly, leaving only a slight oily residue. Tack the hide to your "stretcher." We use salvaged wood pallets. Gently pull the hide as you tack it so there's some tension in the skin. No need to exert excess pressure or overstretch. Set the hide in a shady place to dry.

    Your acidic tanning solution can be neutralized for disposal by adding a couple boxes of baking soda. It will froth and bubble vigorously and release a potentially toxic gas, so give it plenty of ventilation and get away from the bucket while this is happening. We have a small farm and generally pour the used solution on dirt driveways to keep them clear of weeds. Do not pour it down your drain.

    Check the hide every day. When the skin side feels dry to the touch in the center, but still flexible and somewhat soft, take it down from the rack. Lay the fur side down and go over the skin with a wire bristle brush. This softens the skin and lightens the color. Don't brush heavily or excessively in one spot, just enough to give a suede-like appearance. After this, set the skin where it can fully dry for a day or so longer.

    A FINAL. THOUGHT

    Once your friends know you can tan hides, be prepared for them to bring around their hunting trophies and livestock skins for treatment. If you decide to do this, take my advice: Don't do it for free. Commercial tanners get $25 to $45 to tan a hide, and you should price your work accordingly, even if your return is just a case of beer. Otherwise you'll find yourself swamped with every little skin in your region and left with no time for anything else. In exchange, your friends can expect to get a professional, quality job, with an upfront understanding about what might go wrong and what compensation you will get. People get very sensitive about their skins and this precaution will prevent potential misunderstandings and help you keep your friends.
     
  18. HarleyRider

    HarleyRider Comic Relief Member

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    Thanks. Never tanned a deer hide before... but my Dad sure tanned mine once in a while. :D
     
  19. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    A good father will give his son a good tanning from time-to-time .. I will admit that my hide has been tanned, and today, I am glad that I was.