Racoon skin hats

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by TX Fisherman, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. TX Fisherman

    TX Fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    607
    State:
    Texas
    i wanna make a raccoon hat but im not sure how.. do you have to treat the pelt first?
     
  2. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    You would first have to tan the pelt to preserve it
     

  3. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    You would have to soft tan the hide first but there are places that will make one for you if you send them your pelt. They're listed in The Trapper paper, Fur-Fish & Game and a lot of trapping supply magazines.
     
  4. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Yeah I'd tan the pelt first unless yer gonna run around & be crazy with a chain saw. Even if ya aren't, Right Guard isn't gonna cover it.
    :lol:
     
  5. TX Fisherman

    TX Fisherman New Member

    Messages:
    607
    State:
    Texas
    how do you tan the pelt? im new, but i really enjoy trying.. still hoping for a coon to show up in one of my traps...
     
  6. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Best is to purchase a kit from Cabelas, etc. Otherwise really time comsumming & ya need the brains from the critter. You can also use a solution of tannic acid from acorns..there again lots of time. The Foxfire series of books has the process, as do several old issues of Mother Earth News. Till ya get lined out, peg yer hide fur down on a board, scrap all the fat and soft tissue off and salt it in the sun. It will dry stiff as a board but won't go rancid on ya. (I never thought mountain men wore buckskins cause they were comfey.)
    :smile2:
     
  7. joecatfish

    joecatfish New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    TX
    I used to brain-tan pelts sometimes as a kid. It's probably not the best way to go for a coonskin cap, though.
     
  8. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    Its easy to tan a pelt with just common course pickling salt and alumn mixed in water, then soak your pelt until the flesh is white all the way through. To soften it, let the pelt almost dry to where its not stiff, just damp, then rub in some neatsfoot oil an throw it in your dryer with no heat and a pair of old tennis shoes, let it spin for awhile and you'll have a soft fur pelt ready to use for a cap.
     
  9. TrapperTom

    TrapperTom New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    pa
  10. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    State:
    Louisiana
    Do you still know how to brain tan Joe?
     
  11. joecatfish

    joecatfish New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    TX
    Pretty simple, if I remember. Every animal's brain is exactly the right size for brain-tanning it's pelt, I remember being taught. Basically, you flesh the pelt, then mash the brain really good. heat it in a pot or tin-can, but don't let it cook. just warm it. Rub it deeply into the pelt, then cover it with a warm, moist (not wet) towel or cloth. Use the towel to further work in more brains, then turn it over, and do the same to the other side, until it's good and soft.
    Next, hang it on a stretcher until nearly (but NOt fully) dry, and just wipe the brains off with the towel. Then stretch it over a taunt snare wire anchored at both ehds, and draw it back and forth over the wire moderateky fast, stretching it as you go. Be careful not to start to wear through the pelt, but soften it pretty good. You can then smoke it for an hour or so over rotted wood to help waterproof it. I think that's right, but it's been a long time.
     
  12. joecatfish

    joecatfish New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    TX
    Forgot to add, my cousin and I once tanned a few deerskins this way, and it worked pretty good. I have also brained a fox, raccoon, squirrel and rabbit.
     
  13. joecatfish

    joecatfish New Member

    Messages:
    77
    State:
    TX
    I wrote two steps in reverse order accidentally. You wipe the brains off before you hang it to dry most of the way.
     
  14. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    State:
    Louisiana
    Thanks for the info.