What do you look for when you choose a Tannery, what process/methods are the best, how do you find out,Who is the best, I hear New Method is. Thanks for the info.
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A good tannery is one that you like and trust, period. I look for a tannery with a good reputation, some history, qualified taxidermist minded shavers, and a relatively good turnaround time. Most prices are about the same, so proximity (cost of shipping) should be the only cost factor involved. Then you have to build a trust. Most tanneries can tan deer hides without you feeling anxious, but what about a Kodiak, a bighorn sheep, or a Dall or Mountain goat hide. They would be hard to replace and slippage and staining could get very expensive for you, since most have exclusion clauses in their contracts.
Personally, I use several tanneries and they all do good work. I use the same factors I mentioned to decide who gets which hide which time.
Do as you wish your customers would do. Contact several reputable tanneries and ask to talk to whom ever operates the shop portion of the business, and whom ever operates the office. Ask questions and feel them out, then go with the one that makes you feel the best after talking to them. Send some easily replacable skins to a few and judge by the product returned.
I personally use Advantage Fur in Houston almost exclusively for all my tanning, their # is 713 868-3503. Give them a call, talk to Fran about their office and talk to Dave about their tanning. They are very professional and have a very good product and turn-around. If this sounds like a commercial it's because they have been very good to me. I send them a lot of work every year and they are always responsive to my needs. Hope this helps.
CAlling a tannery is not the answer they will all claim to be the best! I would researce some other taxidermist, you can do this by calling information or joining your state assocation.
This is what Ii have seen from some of the so-called better tanneries. Brown bears shaven to thin (the hair will fall out when they dry, yea tannies you know who you are, or NO STRECH!) African lions that are way to thick and have to be shaved again, (why did I pay you in the first place!) Hides to include North American and African that donot relax, (what good is a hide that you cannot mount) POOR SERVICE slow turn around time, during summer months one gives you get turn around but be damned if I want to shave that hide I just paid to be tanned!
It is normal to have to shave the face and ear butt area but not the whole thing.
Bryan or anyone else I do have a few I recommned those who are really interested can e-mail me and I will give you the one I use or would use, this doesnot mean that all tanneries aree good on all species, there are pros and cons for many and some I simply will not use or recommend.
Who needs a life size Bison without a nose or lower jaw and minus the dad blaimed feet! JOhn C