Instructables

Everything you need to know about Tanning animal pelts.

Picture of Everything you need to know about Tanning animal pelts.
This instructable will show you how to properly flesh, salt, and tann a animal pelt and driffernt ways of doing it. If you buy tanning solution follow the instructions that should come with it before you follow mine. sorry about the lack of pictures i will add my own pictures when i shoot more game. 
 
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Step 1: Things needed

Picture of Things needed
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Salt about 3 pounds for a squirrel or rabbit and up to 15 pounds for a deer hide from my expernce. 1pound 10oz of salt sells for 44cents at walmart.
Nails or a staple gun to pin the pelt down to a peace of wood
Wood to nail your hide down to.

Step 2: Fleshing the pelt

Pin the pelt, fur side down, to a board with satples or small nails. Scrape away as much flesh from the inside of the pelt as possible with the blade of a knife. Take care not to cut holes in the skin. This process is known as fleshing the pelt. A good video showing this process is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EuZ5rXbllU

 

Step 3: Salting the pelt

After you got all the flesh off the pelt now you got to salt the pelt. For a small pelt like squirrel and rabbits you will need only about 2 or 3 contaners of salt but for a deer hide or bigger you will need atleast 15 contaners of salt. Now you pour the salt on the pelt and rub it in to all of the edges and folds that might be in the pelt. Any unsalted place in the pelt will start to rot. Check on your pelt every morning and every nigjt when the salt is wet to the tuch scrape it off with a dull knife and replace it. The amount of time it takes for the pelt to dry depends on alot of factors when you dont need to change the salt for afew days its mostlikely dry and you can move on to the next step.

A good video for this is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj9SNGaSshI
Budgielind5 days ago

I am having trouble with my small animal pelts, they are dry and stiff even when I used the Neats foot oil just becomes oily, what I am doing wrong!

Lorddrake2 years ago
very well documented instructable. I am looking forward to seeing future additions when you try different methods.
Thanks a guy also messaged me and said he has pics of him brain tanning a hide when he sends them to me ill add brain tanning too. Is there anything i can add to make this Instructable better? Input is veary appreciated.
brain tanning is rather cleaner in my honest pinion
I have read a few other guides to preserving a hide and one thing that keeps coming up is that they recommend technical grade salt .. or if you can't get that non-iodized salt.

I noticed that you used Iodized salt. Did you notice any problems because you used the iodized salt?
Nope i did not have any problems at all. I think i bought non iodized salt at walmart but i dont really see the driffernce to be honest. But non idozed salt works just fine i think buying that technical grade salt is just a waste of money.
a little more research turned this up ..

A quote from a tanning authority.... Posted by Tony Dingess on Jul 10 2004

This is a quote I found on Taxidermy.net from one of the best known experts on tanning in the US (Bruce Rittel):
"Iodized or Non-Iodized? This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 10/28/1998. ( rittel@ici.net )

Doug - it really doesn't matter whether you use iodized or non-iodized Salt. For tanning however, the non-iodized type has always been preferred, because in bulk its usually much cheaper. The Iodine simply has no effect on your tanning. In Iodized Salt, because it was intended for human consumption, it was added simply to prevent Goiter problems. There's a new additive out too, call Yellow Prusaite of Soda. Its an anti-clumping agent the manufacturers are adding to their Salt. It wont affect your tanning - but you have to be mindful of your Ph. It slightly raises it, so your solution may be a bit higher. As long as you're aware of it, and can compensate for it, you should be OK. When you buy its always best to ask for 100% Salt. If it says anything less, check it for an additive. Happy Tanning. Bruce "
Mr. E Meat2 years ago
Nice! Favourited! I'm hopefully going hunting for the first time this year! I'll be trying this if I'm successful!!
Thanks and good luck hunting... i got my first deer this past year and tanned the hide with some stuff i bought off ebay. its not too soft because i made mestakes but i learned from them... I keep seeing roadkill around my house im thinking about skining one of those up and ill post that too.
Haha! I can smell roadkill right now... Deer are like rats where I live... Maybe I'll keep an eye out for a fresher roadkill!
Yeah that is a great idea just please always wear gloves when working with roadkill it can get kinda nasty and you never know what they have lol.around me there is alot of roadkill raccoons.