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Thread: diy bear hide tanning from a first timer

  1. #1
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    power commuting twixt the valley and anchorage

    Default diy bear hide tanning from a first timer

    Last september I shot my first bear. It was a little one, and I shot it for meat, when I got home my kids said they wanted to hang the hide in their room I bought the $40 kit at sportsmans and thought tanning the hide would be a project with a few weeks off after having a newborn baby.
    Fleshing was more of a hassle than I thought it would be. I looked on youtube and watched videos of guys using expensive fleshing machines - it looks kind of like a diamond wheel for an angle grinder.Say what you will, I'm sure I saved myself a day or two at the rate I was fleshing.

    I washed the hide in dish soap and then pulled the hide best I could and tacked the edges down. I had the head inside out and stuffed paper inside it to keep some shape.

    The kit comes with crystals that you dissolve in hot water, mix the solution up like pancake batter (literally using flour). I spread the paste, left if for a couple of days and then scraped it back off.

    The kit also comes with oil. After scraping off the paste, you oil the hide. It still looks like raw flesh at this point.

    A couple of weeks later you've got yourself a tanned hide and can park in the garage again.

    I did a sheep hide at the same time, which turned the whole thing into a bit more of a project than I meant. If I do it again I'll probably get mckenzie supplies from vandykes, mostly because I think it's a better value.
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  2. #2
    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    One thing I will say about this kind of a tan is you are only pickling one side of the skin .

    This is why we use a full submersion tan & pickle.

    Call me next time & I will tell you what chemicals you really need & explain the whole process including getting them soft , so they wont turn rock hard.

    It is a LOT of work but you can do it if you put your mind to it as you have shown.

    RJ Simington
    PRO Taxidermy
    907 322 0936
    Custom Taxidermy, Experience the difference !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I used the lutanF kit from VanDykes, which uses Mckenzie chemicals, on a couple caribou hides and it worked great. Fleshing is still a lot of work but there is no getting around that!

    A buddy of mine used the sportsmans kit on a coyote last year and I was really impressed with how it turned out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


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