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Re: Tanning hides...

Poster: Kevin of Thornbury <kevin@maxson.com>

Petrus of Steinen wrote:
> 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.

Well, I'm going hunting on the 16th in the area of Eastern Stierbach,
but I'll be doing it with my Mossberg 835 pump shotgun, not a bow.  :)

And as for preserving hides, an excerpt:
Use common table salt or pickling salt in the amounts indicated in the
following table:

Game Species           Cape Only       Whole Hide
Deer                   2 lbs. (.9 kg)  5 lbs. (2.2 kg)

Lay the hide flat on the ground, fur side down and stretch it to its
fullest extent.  Sprinkle salt freely and evenly over the entire hide.
Rub the salt vigorously in to the skin with the flat of your hand. Be
certain the edges of the skin are thoroughly salted.

Salt draws the moisture out of the hide. After leaving the salted hide
exposed to the air for 24 hours or more, sprinkle salt lightly over the
hide once more. Then fold it up towards the skin side. Keep it cool.
Don't place it in a plastic bag or closed container while transporting

Salting a skin is always preferable to stretching and air drying it.
Only when salt is not available should you cure a skin by stretching it
in a frame or pegging it on the ground.  Pegging will leave holes in a
skin's edges which must be trimmed away, wasting part of the skin. 

Even though a skin may be stretched larger than its original size, it
will revert to its normal size when tanned. After curing, treating and
tanning is complete, a skin that has been stretched and air dried will
probably be smaller than if it had been salt cured. 


If you are backpacking game from field to camp, tie hunter orange
flagging on your packsack. If the animal has antlers or horns, tie
hunter orange flagging around them as well so you will not be mistaken
for an animal by other hunters. A bell tied to your pack-frame will also
help others recognize you as a hunter returning from the field. 

To prevent damaging the hide, do not drag game along the ground or roll
it downhill. If an animal must be dragged, lay it on a blanket or coat,
or put a layer of brush or boughs underneath the animal. Pull the animal
along by its head. 

When carrying an animal or hide on horseback, be careful that ropes used
to hold it in place do not rub the skin and damage the hide. A blanket,
cloth or layers of grass placed between the ropes and hide will prevent
damage. A burlap bag is useful for carrying a hide or meat from field to

When transporting game by vehicle, be sure to keep the carcass away from
engine heat, gasoline, sunlight and road dust to prevent its spoilage. 

Copyright (c) 1998 National Rifle Association of America

|+^+|  Kevin of Thornbury
|/+\|  (mka Kevin Maxson)
 \_/   kevin@maxson.com   http://www.atlantia.sca.org
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