Hair Slippage

Submitted by Greg Christensen on 02/19/2004 at 21:17. ( )

I'm new to this, so please bear with me. I'm mounting my first whitetails, and have encountered some problems in the tanning process.After skinning these deer I froze the hides until I got all of my supplies (about two weeks) I took both hides out and thawed them, and then fleshed them both on the same day.After fleshing I salted, drained, and resalted.I then rinsed, washed, rinsed (all in cool water)and then pickled them using Van Dykes pickling crystals for three days.After the pickle, I nuetralized them, dried the hair, and tanned them with liqua-tan.I let them both dry for 8 or 9 days.I relaxed the first hide for two hours(cool water and dawn)and began to stretch it.This is when I noticed the first hair slippage,not just a little, but almost in sheets.It appears that the layer of skin holding the hair is coming off as well. This only occurred on the neck down by the brisket, and on the face across the nose and at the cornern of one eye.On the eye(inside corner towards the nose)the hair is still there, but the dark skin is gone.It almost seems as though it blistered and rubbed off.I rlaxed the second hide the same way, with no problems. I know this is long winded, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Three possible problems.............

This response submitted by Mike B. on 02/19/2004 at 21:55. ( )

Number one:Make sure the skins were frozen immediately after they were killed and caped by the hunter...any temperatures over 39 degrees causes bacteria growth by the minute. This is the most critical time for the hide.If time,temperature abusewas the fact,then there is little you can do to correct this.Observe the freshness of the hides when you receive them.Experience will tell you on the handling by the hunter.Salt all hides in LOW humidity.Cold and wetness will stagger the salting and cause more bacteria growth.Thirdly,I would moniter the pickling temperature and keep below 45 degrees.

Check Ph

This response submitted by Dave on 02/20/2004 at 12:06. ( )

Make sure your PH stays under 2.5 and that your hides are submersed in the pickle. If parts of the hide stick up out of the solution for too long a period of time you can get Bacteria growth.


This response submitted by Greg C. on 02/20/2004 at 16:25. ( )

The first hide (the one with the problems) most likely spent some time in the back of a truck. Two or three days,in and out of a garage no less.The second hide was my own. I think I see the problem now. Would putting an anti-bacterial(concentrated Lysol or something else) in the water I wash it in be helpful? Once again, thanks to all who help us new guys out, it makes a big difference.With a little luck I might be able to get enough time away from work and the farm to take a class this year.One can always hope anyway.

slipping hair

This response submitted by Aaron Honeycutt on 02/20/2004 at 19:18. ( )

Greg, When you said that you double salted then "rinsed, washed, rinsed ...."I'm wondering why you washed the capes and what did you wash them with? This to my mind was not only unnessessary but risky. If you wash in any type of soap you compromise the ph of the pickle which can for sure cause failure. Any washing of the cape should happen after the tanning is complete and is seldom needed on deer. I would not choose to dry the capes either, but rather leave them in the pickle until Liquatan time and mount the next day. The added stress to the epidermis caused by drying just added to the risk of loss to an "iffy cape". Enjoy, Aaron H.


This response submitted by Tim on 02/21/2004 at 17:47. ( )

When you salted, it sounds like you did both saltings in the same day. You should salt first for at least 24 hours, shake it off and then resalt agian for at least another 24 hours. I'm not saying you didn't do it this way but it sounded that way to me.

Salting and washing

This response submitted by Greg C. on 02/21/2004 at 19:44. ( )

I was following the instructions from a Van Dykes video, and a lousy one at that, no detail, sketchy instructions.What I did was salt overnight with the hide placed on a board set at an incline to let any excess liquid drain into a tub.I then brushed the salt off and salted again for about 18 hrs. When that was done I rinsed the salt off the hides, then washed the blood and dirt from them with a small amount of laundry soap 1/4 cup to 5 gallons of water, as per the instructions on the video.After a quick wash,5 mins. I rinsed and drained them, and then put them in the pickle. Each hide was pickled seperately. I think that in the future I'll just liquatan them and mount right away. I hope that clears things up somewhat,thanks to all for your help, it makes learning by my mistakes a little less painful.

Skip the wash

This response submitted by Jack F on 02/22/2004 at 09:12. ( )

I would skip the wash and let the skins dry rock hard after the second salting (leave the second salt on). Then you can rehydrate and then pickle these two solutions will take care of any dirt and grime you will need removed. Have fun good luck Jack F


This response submitted by neal from sunnt fl on 02/27/2004 at 23:09. ( )

shock that hide, think and use Alum, alum is the key for a bad hair day. alum shocks and locks hair to the skin. I live in the deep south.
are deer are thin skin and its hot down here. hunter dont care about keeping there cape frozen, they will ride them around for a couple of days in this heat, 70-90 degees, first thing i do is, bath time, dawn, lysol, then rinse and then a cup full of alum in a 5 gallons,
20 min hair side, 20 min flesh side, and dont rise, the meat will be come rubbery, then i turn and spilt and take off major meat, this is just one way to help the problems of hair slip, even after you do all the work, after tanning, somthing goes wrong. Use Alum.

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