I know guys that do not salt. They freeze deer capes, thaw, flesh, pickle, shave then tan. I also know a few that salt their hides, rehydrate, shave and then tan, skipping the pickle. Here is my question. If some of them skip salting, and some of them skip the pickle, could you not just thaw a cape, flesh and shave it down, then tan and mount it if you have time to do it all at once?
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Ok, salt has its place.
I would not skip the pickle under any circumstances. You need to get the big portion of body fluids out of the hide. This done to get preserving agents into the skin.
Anything less is just a topical application.
Several years back, I did just what you are asking about. Shaveed,and applied the topical liquid tanning agent and mount the deerheads.
They set up fine looked fine, I was gone for a week came back and the shop smelled dead and soured. I looked and looked could not figure it out. Loaded ten heads up in the Suburban, cleaned the shop again, used several cleaners. Well two days later I got into the Burb, and there was the putrid soured smell. The heads were stinking, no slippage but you could smell each one near the brisket or neck and they stunk like a skunk so to speak.
Since then no topical application!
John is right. I had a friend who is "supposed" to be a taxidermist come to my shop to mount a show deer for a competition. Against my recommendations, an due in large part to him being extremely lazy, his method of preserving the hide was just as you described. Fleshed and slathered Liqua Tan on it. All this was done the week before the comp. and his mount was still somewhat damp when we arrived. The judge deducted points for "rancid smell". I TOLD HIM! So, no don't do it, use the tried and true proper method. If it ain't broke don't fix it!