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Tanning deer hides

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by SquirrelNuts, Dec 24, 2002.

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  1. SquirrelNuts

    SquirrelNuts Member

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    A friend of mine shot a very large buck on Saturday. He took it to a local processor and I gave him $15 to save the hide (which is a service provided by the processor). How do I tan the hide to keep it from rotting?

    -SquirrelNuts
     
  2. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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  3. 4thHorseman

    4thHorseman Member

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    Thanks also Riverdog. I was wondering about a boar hide. I'll try some of the info.:)
     
  4. Bruz

    Bruz Member

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    I read somewhere the Indians used to cover them in bear fat and "chew" on them to make them soft and pliable...any hear this also? :confused:
     
  5. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

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    For a very good read in general and a description of the traditonal brain tanning technique in particular, read Cache Lake Country by John Rowlands. So far as I know it is out of print again but it is quite worth the effort of finding in a library or used book store. I doubt I'd risk a deer hide to brain tanning first time out, but may eventually try it on a rabbit hide.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2003
  6. G21NE

    G21NE Member

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    BRAINS!!!

    I have heard that from a local "mountain man", soak the brain of the animal in water (I forgot how long) then rub it in to the hide.

    Note : I have never done this, take at your own risk.
     
  7. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

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    G21NE,

    I have been told that many tribes of the first immigrants hold that their god or gods, in their wisdom, gave each animal exactly the brain size required to tan the hide. I never pursued it, but tend to trust the source in such matters.

    Huck
     
  8. mete

    mete Member

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    The indians did use the brains to treat the hide. If I remember correctly the hide is soaked in water with ashes until the hair comes off then the brains are rubbed into the hide.
     
  9. Bruz

    Bruz Member

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    I have been told that many tribes of the first immigrants hold that their god or gods, in their wisdom, gave each animal exactly the brain size required to tan the hide.

    Not true...met many people that do not have as much brains as it would take to tan a mouse! :scrutiny:
     
  10. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    I guess I'm just lazy. My local taxidemist does them for about $40.
     
  11. Chuck Dye

    Chuck Dye Member

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    ;)Ah, Bruz! Just another difference between myth and reality!;)
     
  12. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Member

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    Its a lot of work too. Be careful with the brain material if you live in an area known to have CWD or Jacob-Crutchfeld problem. I would pay a Taxidermist to do the deer and experiment on smaller game until I got appreciative results.
     
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    The brains was crushed in rain water (back in those days no chemicals were added to the water) and then the hide was soaked in that water. It would occasionally be pulled out, unravel and refolded for more soaking.
     
  14. yorec

    yorec Member

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    Yep and the water was heated some, not enough to cook the brain, just enough to help it break down into a nice goo.

    Then comes the effore of stretching and twisting the hide as it dries. Gotta get all the conecting fibers limber befor ethey dry in place and ya gotta start over. Get the squaw to chew on tough sposts...

    Tanning a deer hide in this way is a lot of work. those that can do it successfully and a lot have my respect. They also have arms like Popeye.

    Done it and and have a couple of buckskins to show for my effort. Also have a few rock hard wads of rawhide to show my failures.

    Who's that taxidermist that does it for 40 bucks? :D
     
  15. thumbtack

    thumbtack Member

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