I had a nice 450lb bear hide tanned by a local taxidermist. I won't mention any names as to protect the inocent. I received it about 2 years ago and it had a strong smell to it. Subsequently I was not able to put it out for display because it would stink up the whole finised basement (humidity controlled. I took it back and the guy tumbled it but it still had a strong smell to it. I tried to display it again and it stunk again. I said to try spraying it with lysol and that mold was the problem. There is no mold on the hide. It would show I think. I have it hanging in my garage and you can smell it out there when you go in. I read back in the archives to try sawdust and mineral spirits that was used on a coon hide. Will this work or was this hide not degreased properly.
Is there any recourse I have with this guy. I don't want my money back. I just want to be able to display my bear hide without it smelling bad. I have had 4 deer heads in the same location in my basement and they don't have mold on them and they don't smell a bit.
Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Send the hide to a tannery like New Method Fur dressers and have them retan and dry it. It will cost wholesale around $100.00+ when its all said and done. Or try and get him to send it there or a comperable tannery. He probably won't, but if he does will your bear hide will be nice when it gets back. I'm guessing he did not get all the grease out of the hair root area and this residue is what stinks. Its hard for a home/shop tan to get big greasy bears really nice every time.
If it smells like leather, well thats what it should smell like.
Assuming the hair is not slipping (rancid or smell of roadkill) from the hide and the hide is in good shape, maybe there is nothing wrong with it.
Seriously, a hide should smell like leather, think about it your local shoe store smells like leather.
Are you expecting it to be totally free of any smell? Well thats not going to happen.
I'll give this guy a chance and ask him to get someone to retan it and see what he says.
Thank very much for the input.
The doesn't smell like leather at all. It smells like old bear or wet dog x10.