After letting my Liqua Tan tanned capes (whitetail) dry for five days I proceded to try and rehydrate one. I used 5 gal H2O, 5oz salt and a splash of bacteriacide. I soaked for two hours but skin around antler burrs stayed hard. I next drained & sqeezed most of the water out and rolled the cape up with the face in the middle, put in a plastic bag and put in the frig overnight (14 hours). When I took it out of the plastic bag the skin around the antler burrs had still not softened up very much. What did I do wrong? Should I use a relaxer in the rehydration bath? Thanks!
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Ed, you may need to thin that area a bit more. There is often a layer of grisle that can get quite thick as the deer matures. I thin this area down with a mini-flesher and it does quite a nice job, a lot of taxidermist don't have much faith in this tool but I think they give up on it before they figure out how to properly adjust and operate it. You could also thin down the area with a skife knife. I also would not add any salt to the rehydration, at this point you want to eliminate any salt residue from you hide. Hope this helps!
Ed, you are not letting youre hide soak long enough, it might take 4hours ,maybe 8 hours, each hide is different,I soak my hides long enough to the point that they are as soft-almost- as when I had taken the skin off the carcuss.I then let the skin drip dry for 1 maybe 2 hours,then put it in a garbage bag and let it sweat overnight.