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Question by hunt and fish. Uploaded on October 24, 2010
If you don't want to send it to the taxidermist, then you can usually get a kit at Gander, Cabelas, etc. If you want to go old school then you use the animals brains. Not kidding. Its been said that each animal has enough brains to tan it's own hide. The brains are full of acids that tan the hide. This is a long process so you would be best to just look it up. Also quite messy and not just a little gross. I would just send it in to a professional and have him take care of it
I do my own hides. I usually brain tan, and yes, every animal has enough brains to tan itself. If you ask me, it's not that gross. Anyone that can gut a deer without getting sick can do this. It usually only takes a few days, but alot of work. They're is also a great deal of satisfaction in tanning your own hide. The best idea is to buy a detailed book about brain tanning.
I just buy some tanning formula and they come with diresctions on the back work great tanned many things with it i buy it from cabelas.
I've heard of a smoke tan. Can't remember what all you need to get it ready with. I found it while searching the net.
MD28- I think it would be a lot cooler to do it yourself than to send it to a professional.
You can either use chemicals or brains. Brains would be cheaper, chemicals would probably be easier. I don't really know how to use the chemicals. The basic steps for brain tanning involve scraping the hide, pinning and drying it, rubbing the brains in, rubbing it, and smoking it over a fire. I would recommend google searching it, there are detailed steps online that are much better than I can give you.
I also think it would be a lot more satisfying doing it yourself, rather than sending it to someone else.
We haul our elk hides to the tannery and trade them for new work gloves. We get something we can use and they get raw materials they can use. We leave antelope hides in the field for coyotes because we bone out the animals and get the meat on ice as soon after the kill as we can. It makes all the difference in the taste of antelope meat.
huskerguy and mshibbins I would like to add that smoking a hide makes it waterproof/resistant but is not an alternative to tanning.
I would recommend the book Ultimate Guide To Wilderness Living Surviving with Nothing but your Bare Hands and What You Find in the Woods by John McPherson and Geri McPherson. Long title but has a great section about tanning hides. There are a lot of pictures for easy reading.
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