View Full Version : How to properly care for a hide
09-18-2001, 04:26 PM
My bro-in-law has been wanting to tan a couple of deer hides and this year is looking real good for me and/or my stepson to finally tag one. I would like to save the hide for him so does anyone out there have any suggestions as to how I should care for the hide until I get it to him?
09-18-2001, 04:54 PM
I tanned one about 25 years ago with a home chromium tanning kit. ###Got the hide real clean on the inside and then very heavily salted the flesh side, making sure to rub it in real good. ###I didn't lose any hair at all when I tanned it. ###But it took a lot of salt, so take plenty if that's how you do it.
09-18-2001, 07:43 PM
The main thing to do is keep it cool, and clean. Once the hide is cooled and you are ready to freeze, refrigerate you can then place it in a plastic bag. In ###the field try to keep as much blood off as possible to help keep bacteria down. As far as salting goes I would not recommend it, because the tannertaxidermists has to scrape the hide to remove as much meat and fat as possible, some places may even charge you more. Also it can leave burns on the hide. ###Any other question. Just Ask.
09-18-2001, 08:37 PM
Yes only salt it if you can't get it refrigerated or frozen in a timely matter.
09-19-2001, 11:20 AM
Thanks. It will probably only be a day at the most befroe I can actually get in a freezer or frig. Until then I will cool it and then put it in the cooler and keep the water off of it.
09-20-2001, 05:44 AM
Well, it looks like I have to disagree with the crowd. I get my hides tanned every year. I go over it and take off any chunks of meat and as much of the fat as I have the patience for. Then, I salt it down. I cover every bit of it will salt. Then, I roll it up and tie it. Then, I take it to the taxidermist when I have the time/money. I have collected them for over two years before turning them in. No problem. And this is the method that my taxidermist recommends.
09-20-2001, 09:58 AM
What are you going to do with the hides? ###That's an important question if you're planning to tan them yourself.
I've had great success making rugs by just salt curing the hide. ###The key here is making sure to scrape every last bit of flesh and tissue off of the skin side. ###If you don't get it all off, the hide will cure stiff as a board and you'll never be able to get the stiffness out. ###It'll also stink to high heaven if it ever gets wet. ###Tanning is necessary if you're planning to make clothing or other items. ###I made a nice rifle sling for my smokepole out of a piece of hide I cured myself. ###Problem is, with the hair side out it slips off my shoulder. ###But it looks cool.
Fun note... back in the land of the fire ants (you southerners know what I'm talking about), I tried a South American trick for cleaning my hides. ###I put a hide over a fire ant hill and left it for two weeks. ###They didn't clean the entire hide, but where they had worked on it they had "scraped" it better than I ever could. ###
I also heard that those guys would catch a big pile of fire ants and crush them up. ###The resulting acid soup would tan a hide as well as anything you can buy from the store. ###Fooling around with a big pile of fire ants seems a bit too risky to me. ###But that's all pretty irrelevant out here in CA... ###Just thought I'd share. ###You're welcome. ###;-)
At any rate, there are a lot of places you can get supplies and instructions for skinning/curing. ###Most trapping supply outlets can fix you right up. ###Here are a couple:
You can find more with a simple search.
Make it fun. ###It can be a cool project, if you have patience and a place to work. ###The dry climate in CA is perfect for doing this stuff too.
09-20-2001, 10:37 AM
I'm not sure what my bro-in-law will be doing with the hides. I have also read that the brains of an animal is enough to tan the hide. Shows that the Indians did indeed use most of an animal.
09-20-2001, 12:50 PM
You or your brother oughtta check out this site. ###
They can answer some questions for you, I believe.
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