How long can a deer hide be stored in the refridgerator or cooler before the hair will start to slip? I plan to tan with the hair on.
Should I put in the freezer instead?
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Refrigerating it is the worst thing to do to it! It will only slow down bacterial growth! Yes - it could be frozen and kept indefinitely - providing you bag it to keep moisture around it to prevent "freezer-burn" - but the best way is to simply flesh the skin, and apply salt. Then fold the skin like a bath towel, and place it on a piece of plywood, with a a support under 1 edge so its slanted and the fluids drain away. Leave it there for 1-2 days, shake out the old salt and reapply a new layer. Again - leave it folded there for another 1-2 days, then shake out and hang it to dry.
Once dry - and kept dry - it can safely be kept for several months or until you want to begin your tanning process.
Thanks! It stayed in the fridge for 3 days. It is now in the freezer, in a plastic bag. It will there for about a week, hopefully I won't have any problems!