This is my deal, I am back on classes and I do not have time to tan my hides right now. I will be doing a lot of trapping ( mostly raccons). The only time I have avaliable I will be using it trapping. My only solution is to storage my raw hides until january when I have winter brake and I can tan my skins ( I like tanning my skins so, a comercial tannery is not an option) I an wondering if I should just simply skin the criters out, and let the he hide dry (like when is done when selling to the big buyers). or should I salted and dry it. Or should I salted and freezed it, If I freeze it , how do I do it so I don't get freezer burns. The hides will need to at least stay for four - five months. ( what about deer capes, and antlers. I will be going hunting and I want to mount it, but after a few months
any help will be greatly appreciated it
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If these skins you are trapping are intended for Taxidermy purposes, then simply flesh them out, rub in Salt (it will make relaxing them later, easier), fold, let sit in salt 1-2 days - open them up, shake off the excess salt, and dry them hard. Dont bother to freeze them. Its a waste of good freezer space! However, if you find you can skin them out, but cant find time to flesh them properly, then bag and freeze them (no Salt), make sure you label them, and when you're ready, thaw, flesh and salt, then dry them hard. In the situation where you do have to freeze them, as long as you bag them tightly and the moisture stays around them, the skins or capes should not freezer-burn! This applies also to WT Deer skins and capes. Use ordinary garbage bags with a tie for freezing. 5-6 months is not considered a long storage period, and since its in winter, you should have no problems hanging them in your shop or work area until you are ready to relax and tan them. They'll be safe!
Good question Leon and thanks for the answer Bruce. I'm a beginner this year and just want to do a WT mount on my own if I get a smaller buck (I still take the big boys to you professionals).
For my purposes, I'm much more focused on hunting durring the fall and planned on just skinning and bagging like Bruce suggested. My question is: Other than waisting time and freezer space, does freezing for later make the fleshing or tanning more difficult? (I wasn't real clear on what Bruce meant about "relaxing" them later and what that process involves?)
From what I understand, It's best to take the ear cartilage out and turn the ears before I freeze them.
Thanks for the info.
I think this is a valid question, Jim, I hope Bruce check this post again otherwise you may wanna put a whole new post, I am waiting too for the answer to this question, hmmm ya I wonder how much difficult it becames once it has been frezze for a few months
Keep the skins in heavy plastic bags, they will be fine for months. The skins will thaw and be just like they were the day you put them in, as long as you used heavy plastic, got any air out of the bag, and sealed the bag nice and tight.I suggest double bagging for best results, and make sure you don't puncture any holes in it when putting something on top of it, or if you move it around in the freezer.Jim, you can turn the ears if you want, but its not nesissary, also don't remove the cartilage until after tanning, as the ears are thin under it and prone to accidents during processing.