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To salt or not to salt??

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  • Alaskan22
    replied
    Originally posted by harterstaxidermy View Post
    Thats because you didnt pay attention to the hide, when you properly flesh a hide and use salt, and after the salt has done its job and you have shaken the salt off, and when you have hung it to dry you need to start folding it up when its about 75% dry.. dont wait till its hard as a rock and then try... A little common sense goes a long way.
    Common sense or reading ability....like if you continue to read what I posted:

    "Just though, with the salt it will continue to get moisture out when rolled up but w/air it stops once you roll it and cut off the circulation."

    Kind of like, rolling it when still malleable. That would imply that I started "folding it up when it about 75% dry."

    This is why salting is preferred, as it continues to work on removing moisture.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vince
    replied
    Originally posted by Ripper View Post
    Rich, Thanks for explaining what happens with air dried hides. So, I assume that a salted hide remains more pliabe for the long term? How soon after fleshing is salting required? If the hide is fleshed well and the weather is OK, can it go for a couple days or a week prior to salting?
    as for my comments on hanging the hide... this is to keep it cool while you flesh it... if you just roll it up it wont cool.. all that hair will insulate and keep the inside warm. also i helps keep the flies away while you prep it if in the breeze. let the air around it .. but not to the point it drys out. but you should be on your way home by then air drying takes more then a few days. i have also found that black pepper will keep the flies off the feet and head area if you don't have it out yet... there is not much on the hide to eat but they will lay eggs in any moist spots such as ankles..

    Leave a comment:


  • harterstaxidermy
    replied
    Originally posted by Alaskan22 View Post
    Uhh....i've done a few BIG hides (bears and musk ox) w/salt and they too turn into giant frisbees.

    .

    Thats because you didnt pay attention to the hide, when you properly flesh a hide and use salt, and after the salt has done its job and you have shaken the salt off, and when you have hung it to dry you need to start folding it up when its about 75% dry.. dont wait till its hard as a rock and then try... A little common sense goes a long way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alaskan22
    replied
    Originally posted by Ripper View Post
    Rich, Thanks for explaining what happens with air dried hides. So, I assume that a salted hide remains more pliabe for the long term? How soon after fleshing is salting required? If the hide is fleshed well and the weather is OK, can it go for a couple days or a week prior to salting?
    Uhh....i've done a few BIG hides (bears and musk ox) w/salt and they too turn into giant frisbees. Both methods (air and salt) do the same thing: get the moisture out. They both make frisbees. Just though, with the salt it will continue to get moisture out when rolled up but w/air it stops once you roll it and cut off the circulation.

    Ripper- as soon as you get an animal down the hide needs to start cooling and the moisture coming out of it. So, as soon as you get it fleshed out, it is best to add the salt. Again: keep it cool, and get the moisture out ASAP. Sure you can probably wait, but why as the sooner you start the better.

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  • Hoytguy
    replied
    Ripper

    Many people on here have beat this horse to death on the salting process.. However you seem to be the only one who is trying to figure out any way to (NOT) salt.. So here is my advice to you..

    Skin, soak in the water for an hour, double bag in a black non breathable trash bag and put in the sun...

    Just kidding.. Dont actually do this or you will have a rotten smelly bear..

    Leave a comment:


  • Ripper
    replied
    Originally posted by harterstaxidermy View Post
    I would never suggest to air dry a hide other then small game fur.... if you air dryed a 7 ft griz you would have 1 huge frisbee....lol....
    Rich, Thanks for explaining what happens with air dried hides. So, I assume that a salted hide remains more pliabe for the long term? How soon after fleshing is salting required? If the hide is fleshed well and the weather is OK, can it go for a couple days or a week prior to salting?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tommy SoHappy
    replied
    Hunters who take their hides to a taxidermist and pay them good money out of pocket to do a task they could have taken care of themselves - are very similar to drivers who take their car to a repair shop to change the oil because the driver never bothered to learned the basics of auto maintenance and views even the most rudimentary task as some sort of a mystery and doesn't want to "mess anything up".

    Fleshing and salting are simple tasks, just spend the time and do it once and you will never have to wonder again.

    If you choose to air dry a big game animal trophy, you lose the option of shipping the hide outside to a commercial tannery (it will crack and tear when folded to a manageable size for shipping), and any local tanner is going to have to soak the hide in a salt solution i.e. "pickled" until the hide returns to a wet, pliable, raw condition similar to how the hide would have appeared before the unwise handling.

    Fur animals skinned for the fur market are handled differently and their thin epidermis does not require salting if sold that season, but will fat-burn and be unfit for sale if kept for long periods of time. A properly salted and dried big game animal hide will keep for several years.

    Hunting these days costs money - licenses, gear, transportation. Anybody that can afford to hunt, probably has a job. Anybody that can learn to work at even the most basic occupation has enough intelligence and can learn how to flesh and salt a hide. It is not rocket science. It is frankly, bone-head simple. Once your apprehension over tackling the chore is gone, you will scratch your head and wonder why you ever gave it as much thought as is put into the subject on videos, websites and magazines. As long as fleshing and salting remains a personal scary mystery, you will pay money to someone else and miss out on a big part of our hunting culture.

    No kidding, just do it.

    Tommy

    Leave a comment:


  • AlaskaTrueAdventure
    replied
    complete The Job...

    If you are absolutely only going to be out for a few day with a raw pelt, and it is cool, I can understand why a hunter would wait and let his taxidermist do the fine points of pelt and/or cape care.

    What I can not understand is why any hunter in Alaska would not want to learn all she or he can learn about pelt and cape field care. Skinning, caping, fleshing, finishing paws, lips, eyes, and noses is part of being a complete hinter and Alaskan outdoorsman. Isn't that we all claim to be? Super hunter? Great guide? Experienced outdoorsman?

    So unless I'm driving the boat, on the oars, or involved with another safety sensitive activity- I'm finishing the field care, which ends with re-salting them pelts/capes.

    I want all my partners on personal hunts to have a complete skill set, so I don't have to do it all. Pro hunts are different. On those hunts, every job is my job.

    Note, these field care tasks are very easily learned. Just take your time and work slow, after talking with your taxidermist.

    Dennis

    Leave a comment:


  • harterstaxidermy
    replied
    Originally posted by Kusko View Post
    Rich, could a hunter completely flesh, turn and split in the field and let the hide air dry? Would that affect how the tan takes?
    I would never suggest to air dry a hide other then small game fur.... if you air dryed a 7 ft griz you would have 1 huge frisbee....lol.... no really, when you air dry things with thick hides like that they will tend to crack and split real easy and make it impossible to fold once dry, hench the term huge frisbee...lol..

    All air dryed hides affect the tanning process, it takes them longer to rehydrate in the pickle, and if some one air drying a hide again doesnt flesh it properly will get grease spots that will tend to slip and be harder after the tan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kusko
    replied
    Rich, could a hunter completely flesh, turn and split in the field and let the hide air dry? Would that affect how the tan takes?

    Leave a comment:


  • harterstaxidermy
    replied
    Originally posted by Ripper View Post
    Rich-
    So if the hide is well taken care of, is the salt necessary? If I brought in a well-fleshed fresh hide, do you salt it in your shop? What is the typical process a hide goes through once it is fleshed and in your shop? I've been told the salt 'sets' the hair. Will hair slip on a fleshed but unsalted hide?

    I guess what I am trying to get at is when it is absolutely necessary to salt a hide. From my point of view, if I can do a good job processing the hide and forget about the salt, it is one less thing to worry about. Not having to take 50+ pounds of salt on a boat, or more importantly, on a horseback hunt, is a benefit.
    Just to show you about salting hides, this is a picture that was taken last sept during moose season in my old shop,... thank god my new shop is 3 times bigger...lol... got to love salting hides...lol
    Attached Files

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  • harterstaxidermy
    replied
    Originally posted by bushrat View Post
    Rich, those pics speak a thousand words. I'd hope you charge a fair price for fleshing hides like that cuz it is a lot of work! Good info too on not salting over meat and fat.
    Im just glad my customer had enough sense to not salt over top of that fat and meat...lol..

    Take Care.

    Leave a comment:


  • harterstaxidermy
    replied
    Originally posted by Ripper View Post
    Rich-
    So if the hide is well taken care of, is the salt necessary? If I brought in a well-fleshed fresh hide, do you salt it in your shop? What is the typical process a hide goes through once it is fleshed and in your shop? I've been told the salt 'sets' the hair. Will hair slip on a fleshed but unsalted hide?

    I guess what I am trying to get at is when it is absolutely necessary to salt a hide. From my point of view, if I can do a good job processing the hide and forget about the salt, it is one less thing to worry about. Not having to take 50+ pounds of salt on a boat, or more importantly, on a horseback hunt, is a benefit.

    RIPPER, All hides will get salt eventually after thoroughly fleshed and turned, they have to.. unless a trapper brings me in an air dryed fur... another thing is that if your going to salt in the field after you flesh it, you dont need to take so much salt, its not about how much salt you use, its how good you rub the salt into the hide. 90% 0f the time my customers never bring me in a hide that has been salted, For one if the arnt going to do it right why both any ways, have you ever tried fleshing, turning a hide that some one salted and didnt flesh it,... It sucks, it also takes 3 times longer to do, it dulls all your knives and draw knife really fast and even though i wear gloves for every thing you will have greasy salty gloves giving you blisters when you use the draw knife... This is why any smart Taxidermist would charge extra for this type of hide..lol.. god knows i do...But thats also why i help people and try to teach them the right way of doing it..

    50lbs of salt is way tomuch to take on a hunt, if your going bear hunting and absolutly need to take salt, then take 5lbs and use it liberally and rub it in really good, fold skin to skin with head out and putin a game bag..

    if you need any more help just let me know.

    Rich

    Leave a comment:


  • Hoytguy
    replied
    25lbs

    Its pretty simple, If you wish to salt it.. ensure that the ears are turned to the edges, eyes are split, nose is turned, and the lips are split to the edges, feet removed and as rich stated.. all red meat, flesh and fat removed.. If you fail to do thses steps, their is no need to salt...If your willing to sit down for a few hours after you skinned the bear, after hanging the hide up in the shade to cool it down.. then you can put some salt on it for an extra peice of mind. With that being said, applying salt isn't just tossing salt on it.. theirs a process for that too.. I suggest you visit a local taxidermist in your area or the one you plan to bring it to.. I bet he will give you some pointers on what to do and most importantly what not to do..

    Leave a comment:


  • Ripper
    replied
    Originally posted by harterstaxidermy View Post
    you can salt any thing you want at any time you want if your going to flesh it properly and turn every thing, if you plan on just throwing some salt on a freshly skinned bear over top of fat and meat its not going to do you any thing.

    Rich
    Rich-
    So if the hide is well taken care of, is the salt necessary? If I brought in a well-fleshed fresh hide, do you salt it in your shop? What is the typical process a hide goes through once it is fleshed and in your shop? I've been told the salt 'sets' the hair. Will hair slip on a fleshed but unsalted hide?

    I guess what I am trying to get at is when it is absolutely necessary to salt a hide. From my point of view, if I can do a good job processing the hide and forget about the salt, it is one less thing to worry about. Not having to take 50+ pounds of salt on a boat, or more importantly, on a horseback hunt, is a benefit.

    Leave a comment:

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