Taxidermy Tanning Proper Field Care

Taxidermy tanning begins with the hunter which is probably you. If you fail to handle your animal properly it may result in a poor tan. Big game, small game, all must be handled with care right after the harvest (kill) if you intend to have something done with it, especially tanned .

The biggest problem with big game hunters is how they retrieve their game back to the vehicle and or camp. Do NOT put ropes around necks and drag ! That's a no, no. Solution ? ATV, game cart, tractor, a sled (if there is snow) and if all else fails you could wrap the down deer in a tarp and drag by the antlers. As far as elk and other big game in that range, naturally you would skin out on the kill sight. You don't want to pull the hair out by dragging it. Or worse yet, loosen it (the hair) so that when it is tanned it falls out.

Most hides can remain frozen for a year before any freezer burn problems may arise. Do not salt any hide that you intend to freeze ! All hides you intend to freeze should be properly fleshed before freezing .

Warm weather can also ruin a hide you intend to tan. Any and all K-9 should be skinned on the spot to cool down the hide. A coyotes pelt will start to decay within a hour, if the temperatures are too warm (above 32 degree’s) with the pelt remaining on the carcass. I have seen many green belly dogs in my time while skinning out a pelt. Green tainted hides means decay which means hair slippage. Hair slippage is a taxidermists worse nightmare.

Never place a skinned hide on concrete. Never place a skinned hide flesh down on the ground. Never ever place a skinned hide in the freezer, after salt was applied. Salt will prevent it from freezing.

If a hide gets muddy and dirty, rinse with cold water, hang and let it dry before freezing. Never ever place a skinned hide in direct sunlight. You can destroy a hide within 15 minutes if left in direct sunlight. Heat creates bacteria and bacteria creates hair slippage. Once you get hair slippage, you might as well trash the hide. It’s worthless.

The better you care for your hide from the start, the better chance you will have in achieving a good taxidermy tanned hide.

If you do not succeed your first time around, don’t give up. Try again. If your in need of a hide and or pelt to tan, there are many un-tanned frozen or salted hides available here that are for sale.

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