April 2, 2013, 05:50 PM
Thanks for all the advice on getting me to this point where the cow is in 1/4's hanging and the hide is drying out w/ salt on it! The issues I'm looking into are 1.) hang time for the beef in the garage 20-40 deg. (Vermont is still quite cold this time of yr) 2.) How to best handle the hide salt, scrape, salt etc. tools, surface to best scrape on, technique... I wouldn't mind keeping the hair on and either using small pieces for leather projects or keeping it one big piece. I didn't save the head so the brain for tanning is not an option at this point. The hide came off mid morning Sunday the 31st & it does not smell at all as cold as it has been.

Any advice, tips from those that have insight would be appreciated!

If you enjoyed reading about "BUTCHERING A COW / HIDE PREP ???'s" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 2, 2013, 05:55 PM


April 3, 2013, 09:10 AM
Brain tanning would have been the way to go IMHO. Search for info on acid tanning. I've used borax before on some small critters. I've heard that some folks use battery acid. Check out Backwoodshome and motherearthnews. Backwoods is a great resource for all kinds of stuff. Mother Earth News can be a little too hippie for me. The salt you're using is non-iodized, right? Wish I could be more help. Good luck!

April 3, 2013, 09:40 AM
Can't help you on tanning.
As far as hanging the beef is concerned, it's difficult to determine when you have fluctuating temperatures. If you hung it at 38 deg., you could leave it a month without many problems. Fine restaurants hang their beef until they get moldy on the surface and then scrape it off = tender beef. With fluctuating temps I'd be leery of anything over 10 days especially with a thick hind quarter. A deer would cool more uniformly due to the thinner cross-section. A thick cow should bear caution.

April 5, 2013, 03:47 PM
DO NOT use iodized salt!!! Any salting of animal hides should be done with noniodized salt. The hair will fall out slowly after the tanning has been done. Any where from 3-4 months up to a year later. I do not know what causes this but I have ruined a few hides by using table salt. I don't care what anybody else says you will regret using table salt.

The hide has to be scraped of all meat chunks and fat down to the inner skin then air dried. Dring time depends on temputure and humidity in the air. When I was buying fur, muskrats, mink, weasel, could be done in 6-8 hrs., coon, possum, yotes, would take 2-4 days. If I did a deer hide for some one it would take 3-5 days. ? never did a beef hide ?. It really does need to be DRY completly befor starting the tanning process.

I will stop here cause others will have more info for you. Good luck and I hope you the best on this endever.

April 6, 2013, 09:09 PM
the hanging time will depend on the fat layering of the quarters, with more fat requiring more time. anywhere between one week and three is usual

April 7, 2013, 12:39 AM
If you are going to use the leather for anything having to do with anything related to firearms, like holsters, scabbards, slings, or gun belts??

Keep the Salt far far away from the leather.

It will cause moisture and rust on blued steel faster then you can clean it off.


Sav .250
April 7, 2013, 08:13 AM
I`d go on line for that information. It`s there.

April 7, 2013, 10:47 AM
start here



April 7, 2013, 01:54 PM
Thanks all, my local slaughter house came up with the whole salt thing. Thanks for the information you brought to my attention!

April 7, 2013, 02:17 PM
Vegetable tanning is what you want for gun holster. Also if you are going to do any tooling. I make custom holsters as a hobby and it's all I'll use. But I do use pigskin as liners and sweat guards.

April 7, 2013, 04:08 PM
I'm a little confused. Another thread here in the hunting forum concerning suggestions for hunting boots was closed after one day because mods deemed it not hunting related enough. This one has been running almost a week and has absolutely nuttin' at all to do with hunting. I really have no desire to have either thread closed, both are/were interesting to me, just wanting to know why a hunting boot thread gets closed on a hunting forum, but how to tan an domestic cow hide doesn't?

April 7, 2013, 05:06 PM
I wonder why any thread gets close if there isn't animosity or goes on & on repeating the same stuff. If you don't put hunting/snake boots in the Hunting section, where do you put it?

April 8, 2013, 12:37 AM
If you don't think a particular thread should have been closed, the proper thing to do is PM the mod concerned with your reasoning why you think he should reconsider closing it, not bring it up in another thread.

April 9, 2013, 08:12 PM
you will want to make a fleshing beam and obtain a good fleshing knife.once all the fat, meat and inner dermis is scraped off well then you can move on to whatever method of tanning you choose. scrapeing a hide is kind of a art form and takes a bit of practice. scrape too much and yu have a thin weak hide, too little and the tan wont penetrate the flesh side well. maybe go to youtube and spend some time watching vidieos.

jim in Anchorage
April 15, 2013, 12:46 AM
I also was puzzled to see a cow hide tanning thread open after hunting boots got locked. Some consistency would be helpful here.

If you enjoyed reading about "BUTCHERING A COW / HIDE PREP ???'s" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!