Tanning my first deer hide, have some ???'s

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by KyleLewis, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. KyleLewis

    KyleLewis Die Hard Bowhunter

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    This is my first time tanning a hide. Im not sure what style of tanning I want. Well I know what I want but I'm confused to what it's called. I want a soft plyable hide with the fur on. I think it's called brain tanning but I'm not sure. Seems like alot of people use the term incorrect or I am just not getting it. lol Anyway I fleshed the hide and put it in my freezer. I purchased some non-iodized salt but haven't salted it yet because I've found so many different methods online, some use salt, borax, Krowtann and other solutions. None of the instructions really specify what the end result will be. So I figured I'd ask you guys. Anyone ever do this and how'd it come out? I am leaning towards getting a solution at Cabelas that is about $20 and is supposedly quick and easy but I'm not even sure what the final product will be with that. Like I said I want a soft hide with the fur on.
     
  2. Indiana Hunter

    Indiana Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    If you look online there are lots of tanneries that can do it for around 50 dollars. That is what I did with my first doe kill.

    I understand you wanting to do it yourself, but my thoughts were that it was my first whitetail ever and I wanted to have a nice fur that will last for a long time. I didn't trust myself to do it.

    I think total cost for me was around 60 dollars and it turned out awesome. Just a thought and congrats on your first!
     
  3. KyleLewis

    KyleLewis Die Hard Bowhunter

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    thanks
     
  4. tacklebox

    tacklebox Grizzled Veteran

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    Here's how I do it. Get a nice big tub like a rubbermaid or something and make a brine(salt bath). I use 1 bag of non iodized pickleing salt for bout every 3.5 gal of H2o. let the hide soak for about 48 hrs min. Be sure to move the haide around in the brine a couple times a day. This will prepare the hide for the tanning solution. Next do a once over on the flesh side to insure it good and clean and all meat etc is removed. Next I like to give it a good thourough rinsing. You are now ready for the tanning solution. I recomend ordering from VanDykes they have a good solution that comes in powder form and comes with direction as to the amount needed. You will them mix with water and soak again (48 hrs or so). VanDykes also sells a nice hide conditioner that once the hide comes out of the tanning solutuion you warm the conditioner and work into the flesh side of the hide. Now you are ready to stretch and dry. There are many ways to go about this step but the easiest is to fashion a large borad with some clamps and strecth the hide and secure to the clamps you can also just tack the perimeter of the hide with some apolstery tacks or somethin. Now let the hide fully dry. Once dry you can apply so more conditioner or move straight to breaking. The breaking is what gives you a soft hide. you can also leave stiff if your gonna hang on wall or use as a rug. To break the hide you'll need something to work the flesh side of the hide back and forth over. The edge of a dull shovel or even a board can work. Sometimes a wire brush helps out a bit as well, to help break up the tough fibers. You will have to continue working the hide untill it reaches the softness you desire. the is by far the most labor intensive part of the process. FYI "brain tanning" is an old school type of tanning where the brain itself is used as the tanning agent. The ol indian way if you will. Anyway hope this helps and good luck
     
  5. tyler1994

    tyler1994 Newb

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    Do not use borax. Borax will dry the hide up completely and may become hard as a rock. I tried to tan my first hide as well and didn't turn out at as planned. I had to send my hide to a tannery in sturgeon bay in order to rehydrate it.
     

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