Snake Tanning

Submitted by Asher on 07/14/2004 at 10:45. ( asherdym@charter.net ) 68.116.62.142

I have looked through the archives and have read the forum posts in regards to tanning a snake to use for a mount. I have watched Tom's video on mounting snakes and before I skin and mount my first rattlesnake my question is what is the best method for preserving the skin? Is it better to use just borax or is it better to use something like Rittels snake tanning kit? I have seen a lot of different opinions everything from borax,DP, antifreeze and even urine? What's the best method?

Thanks
Asher

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If your gonna mount it

This response submitted by wetnwild on 07/14/2004 at 11:06. ( ) 24.128.109.191

Use BoraX. Now dont confuse borax with Commercial dry preservative for eeasons stated in prior post about snapping turtles. Commercial DP is very fine and powdery and will leech through the skin leaving a white residue on snake skins. Borax is granular and does not seep through the skin pores. Rittels is a great choice to tan the skin for commercial type use( belts, wall-hangers, wallets) but is not a good choice for mouting. stick with Borax1


You have three choices

This response submitted by Superpig on 07/14/2004 at 11:24. ( ) 64.12.116.76

Choice 1:

Tan the rattlesnake with either WASCO True Tan reptile tan or Rittel's reptile tan. Follow the directions on the bottle but skip the oiling process. What this does, it locks the color in and keeps the shape of the actual specimen. Very important if you use the temp method to mount your specimen.

Choice 2:

Pickle the snake in a solution of one gallon of white distilled vinegar to one gallon of water and disolve as much salt in it as you possible can. Leave snake in it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Take out rinse, neutralize for about 5 minutes in baking soda and mount up. The skin will retain a good stretch and you will be able to mount it on a slightly bigger mannikin. It also seems to help to lock the color some.

Choice 3:

Use the borax method Tom described above.

I have mounted reptiles using all three methods and for me the tanning method (choice 1) works the best. You will have to find out for yourself which method will work best for you.


Thank You

This response submitted by Asher on 07/14/2004 at 11:43. ( asherdym@charter.net ) 68.116.62.142

I wanted to say thank you to both of you, I know that you both are very expereinced in this field and I appreciate you taking the time to help. Tom I thought your video was great and I know that you used borax for preserving the skin. I have six rattlers so I will have the opportunity to try all three methods.

Thanks Again
Asher


Thank You

This response submitted by Asher on 07/14/2004 at 11:44. ( asherdym@charter.net ) 68.116.62.142

I wanted to say thank you to both of you, I know that you both are very expereinced in this field and I appreciate you taking the time to help. Tom I thought your video was great and I know that you used borax for preserving the skin. I have six rattlers so I will have the opportunity to try all three methods.

Thanks Again
Asher


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