tanning hides?

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by whiskers, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    How do you tan hides? Im looking to tan coyote and cottontail hides...
     
  2. centralcalcat

    centralcalcat New Member

    Messages:
    1,163
    State:
    Marion, TX
    I typically take mine to a taxedermists and pay I wanna say it is $65.00 for my foxes i have had done. I know that ther eare other ways too as far as do-it-yourself goes, one involves chemicals and the other involves a lot of work and animal brains. Went to a seminar on it in Anchorage AK.

    -brian
     

  3. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    thnx dude, ill check it out
     
  4. canepole

    canepole New Member

    Messages:
    730
    State:
    Woodlawn Tennessee
    Stretch your hide on and let it dry then scrap it down real good, then get some hand lotion and work it in , after several times with the hand lotion it will be as smooth as a baby's butt,,,
     
  5. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    thnx ill try that
     
  6. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    You can also buy a Tandy Tanning Kit that works pretty well. I've tanned elk and bear hides with the Tandy Kit and they turned out pretty nice. I think each kit will do a couple of deer. They would probably do three or four coyotes.
     
  7. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    how much are they and where can i get one?
     
  8. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    Call my Mom,she was a pro at tanning my hide!! :D :D

    Check with your local conservation dept.They might have a list of trapping associations in your area /state.Those are some tough old guys
     
  9. Calvin

    Calvin New Member

    Messages:
    365
    State:
    Kansas
    Whiskers, I think I bought the last tanning kits I used at Hobby Lobby. Look on the internet and they will give you information on a dealer close to you.
     
  10. M.Magis

    M.Magis Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    SE Ohio
    First, rubbing hand lotion into a raw skin will do absolutely nothing but make it smell nice. Tanning is quite involved, and requires a lot of patience and time to do right. There's numerous methods that will work, but some of the more modern solutions make it fairly simple. I would suggest buying Rittels EZ 100 kit. It's a very good tan and not too complicated. Just do a search on "Rittles" in any search engine and you'll find quite a few places that sell it. Or, you can order directly from Bruce Rittels site. He will also answer any questions you may have through the process. Good tanning require a few different steps. First, the skin is cleaned of ALL meat, fat, and other tissue. The ears need opened, then and the eyes, nose, and lips must be split. After this, the hide should be salted and dried hard. Then, it's rehydrated and placed in a pickle solution (acid). Again, Rittels makes a great acid, Safety Acid. Many acids can be used, but Rittels is much more stable and safe than some others out there. After a few days in the pickle, it's nuetralized and placed in the tanning solution for the required time. After tanning, it needs oiled. After that, if you want a soft skin, it needs to be broken. This is breaking the fibers so the hide remains flexible. If not, it will dry stiff as a board. Breaking is the least enjoyable part of tanning, as it can require a huge amount of work. Do NOT try any of the "home brew" methods you'll see out there. They just aren't tans, no matter how well people THINK they work. Honestly, it makes much more sense to take them to a taxidermist if you truely want them done well, but I understand some people like to try it, and it can be fun. But, be prepared to scrap the first couple. Some predators are notorious for slipping, and slippage often isn't seen until the whole process is complete. Rabbits can be a nightmare because of the thin skin, and can be ruined just by trying to get the membrane off.
     
  11. Ohio_River_Rat

    Ohio_River_Rat New Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Charlestown, Indiana
    Brian, in that link you posted do you know what kind of salt your are supposed to use? Im guessing that table salt isnt it.
     
  12. canepole

    canepole New Member

    Messages:
    730
    State:
    Woodlawn Tennessee
    M.Magis, I have tanned several hides and used the hand lotion and they turned out perfect and yes they did smell real good, You have to work the lotion in, what do you think the lotion does to your hands LOL. You can spend the money and buy all that stuff, if you like....
     
  13. M.Magis

    M.Magis Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    SE Ohio
    Canepole, I can PROMISE you your hides aren't tanned. I won't get into all the specifics of what tanning actually does to a hide, but hand lotion does NOT do it. The lotion simply makes the raw hide flexible. It's still raw, and can still rot or draw bugs.
    Table salt can be used, but it's more cost effective to buy non iodized salt. A 50 lb bag typically costs about $5 at the feed store. Rock salt can not be used, as the salt needs to be fine enough to get into every nook and cranny.
     
  14. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    canepole... have yours ever rotted or drawn bugs, i have no money to spend on tanning hides so the most cost effective way that works is the one im sticking with.
     
  15. canepole

    canepole New Member

    Messages:
    730
    State:
    Woodlawn Tennessee
    I used the lotion on rabbit and squirrel, hides and I never had any problems with them, But I'm not trying to say M isn't right in what he is saying, and I would recommend that you follow his instruction, if you want the hide to be around for a long time.,..... :) Thank you M,
     
  16. M.Magis

    M.Magis Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    SE Ohio
    I should add that the hides with lotion may be fine for quite some time, and the oils and perfumes in the lotion may deter bugs. But, a tanned hide goes through changes at the cellular level, which lotion simply can not do. There's countless home brew tans out there, and all of them got started for one reason, they seem to preserve the hide in some way, which is what a tan is supposed to do. Just keep in mind, at some point they COULD have a very big problem, be it bugs or rot. But, to be fair, even tanned hides can become infested with dermestids. :D
    Wiskers, easy, cheap, and quality are three words that can't be used together. If you want cheap, go to www.braintan.com . It's very cheap, but far from easy. But, to get the most from your time and money, get a kit from Rittels. Perhaps you can tell us what you intend to do with the hides. I was under the impression that you truely wanted to tan some hides. If you simply want to preserve them, get some borax. It's as simple and cheap as there is, and will last for a long time, particularly on thin hides.
     
  17. whiskers

    whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    colorado
    thanks dude! I just want to preserve my hunting memories.
     
  18. crlail41

    crlail41 New Member

    Messages:
    32
    State:
    Hickory NC
    I had 2 preserved deer hides hanging on the side of my garage for 20 years. They had been scraped of all meat, blood scraps, and fat, then stretched tight using steel nails. after treating with Borax, I left them there. No bug problems, no rot, but stiff as a board. Wife finally disposed of them-you know how that is-or I suppose they would have been there still. The hides were not tanned, but dried and preserved.
     
  19. flatheaddundee

    flatheaddundee New Member

    Messages:
    141
    State:
    Madison,MS
    The best recipe for tanning hides is salt and alum for the tannign solution and neets foot oil for the tanning process, I have used this with great succes on many animals. If anyone would like the exact amounts for this recipe just post a reply to it and I'll fill you in.
     
  20. flannelman

    flannelman New Member

    Messages:
    111
    if you dont want to buy any chemicls, you can do wat the indians did. take the brains of the animal, mix it up with half a cup of water and heat it up for 10 minutes. ive heard this works.