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Tanning hides...

Poster: Petrus of Steinen <ravenest@erols.com>

Greetings everyone!

Yes, it's getting to be hunting season again, and me and my (sadly
composite factory made) bow are ready for a little deer hunting. Currently,
I've been hunting small game throughout the year, and I've heard that the
best (or simplest) way to tan the hide is with salt rubbed into the raw
side of the fur. When tried with a piece of squirrel fur, it turned grey
and stretchy, and retained its fur. Another recommendation I recieved told
me to soak the fur in a bucket of heavily salted water overnight and let it
dry again in the morning, rub more salt in, and then let it dry completely.
The only thing this did was make the a lot of the fur fall out though.

The problem is, with squirrels, there are more than enough of the fuzzy
wonders running round for me to experiment on. But with deer hide, I'm
probably going to not have another shot at buckskin for a few months, if
not all year. So I really don't want to screw things up on that score. I've
heard that one should lash boards together in a square frame, put nails
into it or drill holes, cut out little holes along the edge of the hide,
and stretch it inside the frame and scrape it. Or to hang it over a
dampened fire to smoke it. What I'm looking to make with the deerhide is
perhaps a pair of breeches, a cloak, or something similar. The leather will
be too thin for a quiver, I think.

But any tips or suggestions on tanning hides and pelts would be greatly
appreciated. And if anyone in the Storvik area wants to go hunting
sometime, give me a ring and we'll arrange it somehow.

Thanks for the time,

Petrus of Steinen
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