Tanning a bear hide

Submitted by Tom Cooper on 9/25/00. ( tcooper@iquest.net )

I am just getting started in taxidermy. I mounted three deer heads last season using John Rinehart's tanning cream to tan the hides. I am now starting on my first bear hide. I plan on doing a closed mouth, full body walking mount.

I have viewed John Rinehart's training video on tanning hides and they only talked about salting the hide, fleshing and then using their tanning cream to tan the hide. However this past week I ordered some Tannery Degreaser for my bear hide and the instructions were to add the degreaser to a Citric Acid pickling solution and soak the hide in the solution for 4 days.

Question: Should I soak my hides in a pickle solution? What are the advantages or disadvantages? Does anyone have any special bear hide tanning instructions?

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This response submitted by George Roof on 9/25/00. ( georoof@aol.com )

I'll just blurt this out since I'm told I'm "common" anyway, but taking on a bear is a tough stint for someone just starting out. I use JRTS and I don't pickle, but I don't do bear hides with it either. I love the stuff and it meets all my needs for deer. Bears are a VERY thin skinned,greasy animal that I feel are best left to professional tanneries or folks who've traveled that road for some time. If this is just a "play" mount and losing it is of no concern, then go for it. I'd still use another tanning solution rather than JRTS.

Bear tanning

This response submitted by MarkV. on 9/25/00. ( fishspec30@centurytel.net )

I would get in touch with Bruce Rittel on Bear tanning. Everyone has their own way of doing them but an Emmersible tan such as EZ-100 or Lutan F is more suited for bears. I do my own tanning for Shoulder mts. and lifesize and as George has stated traveled the long road and found if you have time go for it but bears are a longer process then capes and can be touchy if not properly done. I use safetee acid as my pickling solution, Super Solvent Degreaser and Ez-100 for the actual tan and finally Proplus oil to get it soft.A fleshing machine is a must for bear tanning. Good Luck, MarkV.

More Bear Tanning

This response submitted by Kent Palazzo on 9/26/00. ( racksnfinstax@hotmail.com )

Tom, Both George and Mark gave you very good advice. Since you are already use Rinehart's products try giving Dianne a call and ask her what she thinks would be best....She specializes in bear rugs and maybe could give a little better insight on your questions... Good luck , Kent

Knoblochs Liqua Tan

This response submitted by Mark on 9/26/00. ( knoblochs@worldnet.att.net )

We offer Many great degreasers and like to use Citric Acid
as well, You can use LIQUA TAN OR PARA TAN to tan the hide,
Just depends on which method you like to do. We also offer
a free technical handbook to everyone who wants one, this
will also have detailed instructions in it as well. With either
tanning tanning method you choose you will get a great tan.


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