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Thread: Looking for instruction for game hide tanning

  1. #1

    Default Looking for instruction for game hide tanning

    This fall I would like to learn firsthand, from a willing person, the self tanning of game hides (caribou, moose, bear, etc.). I have fleshed out deer and bear to date but would like the experiences from Marten to Brown Bear/Bison sized game. I know somewhat of brain-tanning and smoking the hide to preserve it. I am willing to travel the road network and have a place to stay when I park my rig. Give a shout if you know someone or are that someone…

  2. #2
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    I have had several students that booked our classes for taxidermy training & in Very short order they decided to send their skins to the tannery instead.

    First off , It cost Thousands of dollars for the right equipment.

    Secondly, It is VERY laborous & hard on your Back, Knees, Hips, Shoulders , elbows & hands.

    Next is the special permits you will need from State, City, & DEQ if you end up tanning for others.

    Next is the water treatment systom & a way to get rid of the spent chemicals.

    Next is the cost of getting the chemicals to Jeunuo. Its expensive as all get out even here in Fairbanks.

    Plus some of the stuff you will need is a Hazardous material & cant be flown in.

    I had 2 guys from Fairbanks book a tanning class & they only lasted 4 days before they just quit.

    I have tanned everything from a Mink to things like Elephant , Girrafe, Buffalo,Grizzlies & almsot every other kind of legally hunted animal, & I still tell ALL of my student to SEND THEIR STUFF TO THE TANNERIES.

    A LOT less head aches & the skins are ready to go when you get them.

    I have been tanning ALL of our stuff from both taxidermy studios since 1996 & if I was to start over today , I would send everthing to Golden State tannery instead of doing it myself.

    Would have probably saved over 3 thousand dollars over the years in trips to the hospital to get stitches in my finger that I cut almost in half, The palm of my hand that took 12 stitches to gt back together. The numerous times I have shaved off skin , plus the tetnus shots & medication.

    ALL FROM ONE shaving machine.

    Let alone the Knife under the knee cap, The Chiropractor bills. All the Ibuprofin I have to take for the 2 Torn Rotorcuffs.

    I hope you reconsider.

    Find a REPUTABLE tannery & send it to them.

    RJ Simington
    PRO Taxidermy Fairbanks

  3. #3
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    I used Alum and warm water in a plastic garbage can, with a brick to keep a caribou hide under the solution. 16 to 20 onces dumped into the water. Turned it every few days and 30 days, made a frame and took shoe laces to stretch it tight. Then took an ulu and scraped for about a week. It came out nice and pliable. Was a lot of work though, like the post above states
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    I used Alum and warm water in a plastic garbage can, with a brick to keep a caribou hide under the solution. 16 to 20 onces dumped into the water. Turned it every few days and 30 days, made a frame and took shoe laces to stretch it tight. Then took an ulu and scraped for about a week. It came out nice and pliable. Was a lot of work though, like the post above states
    Years ago I tanned a mule deer buck skin the same way, (hair on). Tanned it fine but I never got around to softening it. When you say yours turned out "pliable".....do you feel it was as "pliable" or as supple as the end result of a tannery done skin?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    The more time I spent with an ulu in my hand, the softer it got. Hair on too. I never would attempt to try it with a head though, just the body. I don't think you could scrape it right.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  6. #6

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    Brain tanning should not be considered an enviromental concern, eh? Just fleshing, rubbing in brains, working the hide and smoking it...can't figure I'd do more then five (5) hides per year and I'll have nothing but time.

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    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Nuskovich,

    I am close to you in Haines. I tan all my own hides, and do a bit of taxidermy. I have a small bison hide and some deer hides that need tanning this year. If you want to take the ferry ride to Haines after the weather warms up I'll be happy to walk you through the process as I do it. Contact me through pm and we can set up a schedule.

    Dan

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    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Meant to add that RJ at Protaxidermy had some sage advice written with wisdom that comes from years of experience. Some things are best left to the pros. On the other hand, sometimes it is fun to do something yourself.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanC View Post
    On the other hand, sometimes it is fun to do something yourself.
    And if it ends up not being fun, then at least you learned something......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  10. #10
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    RJ- for what reasons did they just quit? Was the smell part of it? Had several would be employees walk in and then right back out once the smell hit em. Hehehe.



    Release Lake Trout

  11. #11
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    OK,
    First off I am NOT saying you CANT do it your self.

    Knock yourself out. Hopefully you will have a great turn out of your skins.

    All I am saying is I tan over 200 skins each & every year & it is not or has it ever been FUN. ( I TAN HAIR ON FOR TAXIDERMY PUPOSES)

    If you are working with GOOD skins there shouldnt be any stink, or atleast nothing of Foul or putrid odor.

    The down right Hard labor of lifting , Pushing Pulling, Cutting , Holding tightly to wet skins to a piont that your fingers go numb.

    The two students that Quit their class ,Were in good phisycal shape they just havent used the muscles in the same way I do when fleshing.

    I just Final Fleshed a 18 foot Crocadile yesterday & that was Beside the Elephant the hardest skin I have ever tackled.

    But Big Bears, Buffalo Robes, & Moose Back skins can be just as much of a pain. Mostly in your back Knees Elbows & hands.

    as I stated before, To PROPERLY HAIR ON TAN these species you NEED the right equipment.

    Some of the skin can be up to 2 inches thick & you can NOT just cut it down with a knife to thin it.

    Anyone can do ANYTHING if they put their mind into it, It just might not turn out like they had hopes of in the first place.

    RJ Simington
    907 322 0936

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