Tanning the Hide?

Discussion in 'Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting' started by franky, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. My son shot a nice little 8 point Thanksgiving morning. It's not big enough for a shoulder mount, so I'm gonna put the rack on a plaque, and tan the hide to either hang on the wall, or drape over a little table. Question is, would you send it to a tannery, and if so, who? Or, would you just take it to a taxidermist and let them handle it? Have any of you done this before? What did it cost (ballpark)?

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. They probably will charge you by the square foot.......I'm guessing it will come out to $75 give or take.....any taxidermist will most likely send it out to the tannery they use anyhow..

    Another option is tan it yourself........but it's very hard to get professional quality/softness that way.....I did one a few years back with the chemical Cabela's sells.....it preserves it well, but the hide comes out pretty stiff.

  3. it will need to be totally fleshed out before it can be tanned.most tanneries will only accept stuff from a licensed taxidermist.
  4. I am a taxidermits and I do my own tanning, but I don't do deer hides or rugs commercially. I have had work done by a few tanneries and have had some nightmares in the process. There is one tannery (The Wildlife Gallary) in Blanchard Michigan (not saying there aren't others) that does do very good work. I know of many taxidermists that speak very highly of them and I have also had good dealings with them as well. They mainly serve taxidermists, but they do take in work from individuals for rugs and custom tanning. They are not the cheapest, but they do excellent work. Here is there webpage: http://www.thewildlifegallery.com/

    If you're just going to hang the thing on the wall and you don't care about the softness of the hide, it is really pretty simple to do yourself. Just open up the hide so that it lies flat. Cut off all the meat, fat and membranes and then clean the hide in cold water and dish soap and rinse. Make sure to get all the blood and dirt out of the hair. It may take several washings. Allow to drip dry for a few hours or put in the the washer and spin it a few times. Then aply a liberal covering of Borax to the flesh side (20 Mule Team Borax is available in any grocery store and it's cheap). Work it in into the skin well and lay it flesh side down on a full sheet of plywood or OSB. Stretch it out neatly and brush the hair straight the way you want it to look when you are done. Let hide sit for a day or two or until the hair is dry. Then place another sheet of plywood ontop of the hide and apply some weight or clamps to it so it holds the hide tight in place. Keep it pressing until it is completly dry which might take a couple weeks depending on the heat and humidity. When it's dry, brush the fur and it will be ready to be tacked to a wall. It would still be possible to tan the hide in the future too.
  5. I was wondering the same thing as Franky, I shot an 8 pt with my bow, and am also an avid fly tyer, so I cleaned the skin off fairly decent and salted it with canning salt. I have done squirrel hides with this, they are pretty stiff but work for using hair. If anyone has any objections to this technique for just using hair, please let me know, that way I can try a different method. Also, if I shoot another one, I was also thinking of tanning the hide for a rug, or just a decoration for the wall, I even bought one of those tanning kits from Cabelas to try, but after reading the directions, I didn't start it correctly and also don't quite have the time to commit to doing it, so sending it out would be an option.

  6. Check me if I'm wrong, but I think if you are salting the hides, it is best to use the more coarse Kosher salt on deer hides. Years ago I used to take in a lot hides, send them out to be tanned and make gloves. Then I just sold the gloves and made out nicely. But if I remember, the tanneries requested the coarse Kosher salt then.

    For those who are wondering, at that time I sent some hides to Montana and some to Wisconsin. Not sure if either is even in business any more. (This was back in the 60's.)
  7. Well, actually I was thinking of getting the hide soft tanned (I think that's what they call it) where it is soft and flexible. I figure if I just do that way now, I won't have to mess with it later. We just skinned the buck today, and I currently don't have a fleshing board or knife, so we folded it up and put it in the freezer for now and I will probably just take it to a taxidermist.
  8. Check out Vasser Tannery. I used them before and never had any problems. Hair off (buckskin) is about 50 bucks total while hair on costs more at about 100. Freeze the hide and send it up there and it will take about 6 months to get it back. Buck skin can be dyed to a bunch of colors also.
    There website really sucks, the webmaster hasnt worked on it for a while, but if interested I would would call to get prices and shipping info.

  9. I had a hide tanned about 5 years ago. I just took it to my taxidermist. I think it was around $50
  10. Alpha Male

    Alpha Male Guest

    Taxidermists will charge between $65 and $100 for a hair on soft tan. This will usually include ensuring the hide is ready for the tannery.

    If you choose to flesh it out yourself, a dull rounded blade is best. Sharper is not better here. Don't forget to turn the tail.

    Non-iodized Kosher salt is best. It's easier to remove and doesn't contaminate the tanning chemicals as badly as fine grain salt.

    A few years ago, I sent a crate of fleshed out green hides to Cambra's Fur Tannery in Hayward, CA. It was a wonderful experience. Fair prices, great service, and all the dirty jokes you could stand. I had my hides back in no time. Simply wrap in bags, carton, and ship. Voila.
  11. I like to use fine grain salt with no iodine. I (and most other taxidermists) use the bulk salt that you buy at feed stores. It costs about $5 for a 50 pound bag.

    You can salt a hide (after fleshing) and it will store OK, but you must take precautions againt bug infestation. Bugs can and will eat a salted hide. I've seen it before. That's where Borax comes in. It is a bug-proofer. Also a salted hide will shrink a lot, so for a wall hanging, it is not a good choice.
  12. Table salt is fine. I buy mine in 50# bags at TSC.

    I will clean and ship deer hides for garment tans for $100.

    There are various tans. A pliable/garment tan is achieved via lots of elbow grease or proper equipment.
  13. I think I'll tan my next deer hide.
  14. Try Uber Glove Company. They do a nice job and you can't go wrong with the price.


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