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Thread: Taxidermy

  1. #1


    Is it possible to tan deer hides? I've been told it's not posisble as the hair is hollow. is this true?

  2. #2
    Hi Sp4rkman,
    I'm sure it is possible, I've seen no end of Fallow hides at the game fairs. Sikamalc will know more mate.

  3. #3
    hi sp4rkman it is possible to tan everthing , just you kneed to make sure the skin is not in malt and get it in the freezer as soon as or straight to a tanner as the hair starts to slip from the word go , mr B is right as i am sure sikamalc will know

  4. #4
    I have a guncase made of red deer hide looks fantastic mate I always get admiring glances when I take it to a shoot so absolutely you can we used to soak rabbit skins in a brine and saltpetre mixture but they always came out quite hard and inflexible I was told you need to do another process to actually tan the hide

  5. #5
    Does anyone know of a tanner who can do this?

    I've tanned my own skins (african ones) before but always salt them heaviliy. I presume this is not required here?

    The red deer case sounds great legaleagle69! Can imagine you get some admiring looks....

  6. #6
    I am fairly sure I know someone who can probably help you I will ask tomorrow if he still does it if not may know someone who does I haven't spoken to him for ages but my brother in law is in contact still.

  7. #7

    Re: Taxidermy

    Quote Originally Posted by sp4rkman
    Is it possible to tan deer hides? I've been told it's not posisble as the hair is hollow. is this true?
    Yes it is possible but as you have already been told the hair is hollow and becomes brittle.

    So if you're wanting something as a rug the damn thing moults at the time, eventually becoming rather bald and threadbare. They are OK if all you want to do it nail them to the wall.

    Your better off de hairing the hide and turning it in to Buckskin, That way at least you can get a pair of chaps made for stalking in thick bramble and blackthorn

  8. #8
    You can tan any skin you like. Much depends what you want it for?

    For taxidermy work there are very few tans suitable, as there must be plenty of stretch to ensure all possible detail to be shown when the skin dries on the manakin. This is achieved by using Lutan FN made by BASF. It is the tan most taxidermist use.

    If you are considering making a flat deer skin rug you need to chrome tan the skin. This is entirely different to Lutan FN, in that it shrinks the skin slightly to give a denser feel to the hair. Most sheep skin rugs are done this way, that is why they have a green or slightly blue tint to them on the skin side.

    There are no Tanning companies in the UK tanning skins for Taxidermists. All taxidermist must tan there own skins for mounting. You must also flesh the skin down on a revolving blade machine, or by hand using a draw knife. Its always good fun by hand when doing a Cape Buffalo NOT.

    Deer skins make the msot useless floor rugs, the hair is to brittle and will break off, no matter how well you tan it.

    Any skin treated with salt is NOT TANNED it is CURED. It will retain moisture from the surrounding air and will eventaully rot. Salt is a preservative, but halophillic bateria will live in salt and will destroy a skin. Taned hides go through a number of stages before they are stable.

  9. #9
    wow Malc you truly are the oricle of all things hunting, I had wondered myself about the processes for "curing" and "tanning" hides I tried to do a fox last year damn thing just went mingy and all the hair fell out..
    I haven't caught hold of the taxidermy bloke sp4rkman but will pm you the details when I do

  10. #10
    Right heres what you must do to preserve a fox skin for using as a decoy or just to have hanging around so it wont fall apart.

    This process is fixing the skin, it is not fully tanning, but it will preserve it and you will be able to use it.

    One fox skinned, remove all fat, gristle, sinew from the skin, scrap it all off, pegged out if you like. If you cant finish it in one go, throw some good salt over it, and continue the next day, but keep it in the cool.

    Finish off scrapping, take the skin and wash it in warm soapy water to get all the crap out, rinse in cold water until clear.

    Plastic dustbin, 7 galls of warm water, 7lbs of good salt, and 7fluid oz of Formic Acid, stir it all in until clear. Dump your wet skin in there, and stir it and punch it out into the liquor, go back every hour and stir make sure no air pockets are under the skin., and use wooden broom handle to do this, not metal pole. Make sure you put a small stick down tail so as to get the liquor inside otherwise the tail hair will fall out. Wear Rubber gloves.

    Leave in there for about 2 days, take it out drain off, and peg out on board, when it gets near to drying, scrape again, sandpaper or whatever, take off and rub clean hardwood sawdust into the hair and then tap out and blow out with hairdryer, this plumps up the hair and puts a shine back on the hair. Thats it, one fixed but not completely tanned Fox skin, and the hair wont fall out.

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