I am new at gameheads and not sure if I am doing exactly right? After I skin a deer head I then rough flesh it. I then rub sodium sulfate on the hide and then refridgerate overnight or freeze. I then thaw out the hide but sometimes it is really stiff and dehydrated. I know the sulfate pulls the moisture out but am I overdoing the sulfate process. I then soak in cold water to rehydrate the hide. Then wash, rinse and then straight to the tumbler for drying. Then I do the final fleshing. The hide is really wet going in to the sawdust in the tumbler and causing the sawdust to clod after only 2 deers. Am I doing right? THANKS
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Sodium sulfate is a salt substitute and all that washing, refrigerating after application, and rehydration is just begging for a disaster. I'd suggest you stop for a minute and catch your breath. Read how proper salting and tanning is done before you've already gone too far.
Please seek some vodios on tanning buy a book take a class, Not being rude but you are way off.... YOu will mess all your capes up.
First I want to thank you for your help. I do have some videos but I want to use a spray tan. Ben Mears spray tan is what I have been using. After drying and fleshing I apply the spray and let sit for 30 minutes. Is this still not ok?
I do not recommend it to beginning taxidermists, however, you are insistent. The reasoning, most new taxidermists are not accomplished at fleshing and shaving yet. I have heard horror stories about how people have screwed up their capes with this product. Only to see what their "ready" to mount capes look like. A cape that is to be spray tanned needs to be thinned perfectly. I mean paper thin. Traditional tans will be more forgiving to a cape that is not properly thinned. First thing, spray tan is a tan, just about as much as I am a millionaire. At best, it preserves the skin. I use a variety of tanning methods in my shop, but I always choose Spray Tan for my competition deer. The softness, ease of mounting, color, and hair pattern retention seems to be an advantage to me. Here is the process I use.
Thaw the cape, rough flesh it removing all fat, membranes and meat. Get the face pretty clean. Thoroughly rub sodium sulfate into the flesh side and roll up in a clean towel. Place in a very cold refrigerator over night. Remove, wire brush off the majority of the sodium sulfate from the cape. Rinse the flesh side lightly with water to cause a mild rehydration of the cape. Shave the skin down to the "blue" on a fleshing machine. Soak the skin in a solution of sodium sulfate, bacterioside, and water for about 30 minutes. This removes much of the blood stains in the cape. Wash the cape inside out in a old washing machine with dawn dishwashing soap & a bacterioside in cold/cold water. Tumble the hide for 15 minutes in corn cob grit. Remove and wire wheel to even out the cape and remove all corn cob grit. Mist spray tan liberally on the cape, roll it up, hair side out, for about 15-30 minute. Then it is ready to mount or freeze until you are ready to mount.
Remember, I am not suggesting the use of this product to you. I am just telling you how to use it if you must. This is one of the most hated products on this forum, especially by my good buddy George. I have used it for 8 years with no ill effects. I have not lost a single hair in the process. (I can not say that for all tans I have used). I have deer hanging in my shop that are as nice today as they were 8 years ago. Again, I can not say that for all tans. Not to start an uproar, but Kevin wanted to know. Good Luck Kevin.