Hello and greetings to everyone on the forum.
My name is Pete Jones, I am a bushcrafter/Paleo-Artist from Pembrokeshire. At the moment i am not in a position to stalk deer (no permission or FAC) although it is definitely something i strive to do. I currently hunt rabbits,wood pigeon etc with an air rifle which end up on the table as i disagree with methods of producing meat you find in the supermarket
One of my main reasons i wish to start stalking is due to the fact one of my hobbies for a while now has been Brain Tanning Deer hides. I do this in the ancient native American fashion not using ANY chemicals all i use is wood ash to buck the leather then a solution of Brains or brains/eggs to tan the leather. The leather is then smoked to stabilise the tanning process. Unlike chemical tans brain tanning preserves leather using proteins present in the brain. The leather you are left with is very supple but strong suede leather with an almost brushed cotton texture.
One of the main benefits i think is that it is the most environmentally friendly method of tanning. No chemicals are used as a mentioned before, The standard method of tanning deer hides is Chromate tan which means an oxidizing and possibly carcinogenic compound is produced which can do no end of damage to the environment. The wood ash i use is recycled from my smoker, The wood i collect myself from woodlands and is standing dead wood or hazel which i coppice myself so no trees are destroyed. The one problem i have is lack of skins, i have only been able to obtain 8 roe deer and 7 red deer this season from an associate of my parents who kindly gave them to me. If i was able to stalk not only would it be possible for me to put food on the table but also use all the by products of the deer for craft work, Bones, hooves, sinew and skins.