same old question

Submitted by Michael on 1/25/00. ( )

I know you have answered this question before,but I can not find the answer in the archives.
Do you need to let a salted hide dry out completely,before you rehydrate, and pickle?If so what is the best way to let them dry?
If they do not have to dry completely,can you rinse the hide off i.e...Salt,blood,and dirt,before you put it in the pickle?
And lastly,can you reuse salt over and over,or should you?
Sorry to ask the same old questions,but I'm new to cyber world of taxidermy.
To those who know the answers,and help, THANK YOU


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no,hang over rack, yes and no

This response submitted by Mick on 1/25/00. ( )

No you don't have to wait till your hide is completely dried from the double salting, but yes it will serve to lock the hair in place, making the hide mucho less likely to be troubled with slippage. Suspend a short piece of 2x4 (don't use a metal rod) from your ceiling, and drape your hide over this with a fan blowing on it, it will dry quickly.Yes you can wash your hide after rehydrating and before the pickle,and its a good idea to add a bacteriacide to your wash as well. Finally, salt is cheap, I would not reuse it and risk bacteria problems. Good luck

Same old answer

This response submitted by Vit on 1/25/00. ( )

After a cape is salted, either hang it up or over a 2x4 or a milk crate. This allows fluids to drain off instead of creating puddles on the skin. After 24 hrs of this, RUB IN another coat of salt. Now you let the hide dry HARD!!! That means it's so stiff you have to UMPF to bend it. No soft spots allowed!
I salt capes over a plastic tarp. If the salt is not too red from blood in the fluids, I re-use it, but use NEW SALT on the second coat.
I lost a number of capes when I began doing deer heads because I didn't salt the capes twice and let them dry HARD. To rush them into rehydrating before they are HARD DRY is asking for hair slipping.
I hope this answers your question. I don't mind answering the same ones over and over. "Education is a slow process," and I was a school teacher for 33 years! Good luck my friend!

I reuse my salt only to melt ice on my drive

This response submitted by Bob B on 1/25/00. ( )


I agree with Mick, DON'T reuse your salt, you will only be introducing bacteria
from the first cape (hide) to the second. Sorry to disagree with Vit, but don't do it.

I save my used salt, in 33 gal trashcans and use it on the hill of my driveway after
icy winter storms, here in Wis.

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