Submitted by J W on 01/23/2004. ( )

Got a quick question. Having hit the orange button for the last hour and reviewing all of the great information on here I am lost. This is my situation. I am trying different ways to mount a whitetail deer. I have mounted one with, be nice, DP. The second one I am now working on I used Rittels Safety Acid and McKenzies brush on tan. My process for both was to flesh with a beam and knife, removing all meat, fat, membrane, ticks, dirt, or anything else that looks like it needs to go. The skin is thin to the blue color. I followed the directions and salted the hide, pickeled for 3 days, removed to shave and now I'm lost. Shave what. There is nothing on the skin except skin. I had removed all membrane and meat prior to placing in pickle. So I cleaned around the face ensuring everything was turned completely and replaced in the pickle. After I finished with the tanning process, I attempted to mount the animal. I have NO, NADA, ZIP, NUT'N, AIN'T HAPPN'N stretch. Nothing. I tried everything I could to get anything but nope. What could I have done wrong. I mean this thing will not budge. Sorry for the run on but I like the "clean" working with a tanned hide and I want this to work. Thanks.....

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Thin the skin

This response submitted by JK on 01/24/2004. ( )

Most people use a fleshing machine to acomplish this. Try the orange button for fleshing machine. The skin has to be fleshed after it is pickled. There are alot of good tanners on this forum that might have other suggestions.


This response submitted by J. Randall on 01/24/2004. ( )

Did you neutralize the cape after the pickle? You dont have to thin the hide on a deer to mount it, but it does provide better stretch and helps pick up a little more detail from the mannikin. I havn't tried McKenzies brush on tan but I had the same problem you discribed with "stretch" using Liqua-tan and a saftee acid pickle, keep in mind I dont have a fleshing machine so my capes were not as thin as most and this could have been and most likely was my problem. Not trying to sound like an advertisement but I tried Krowtann 2000 and had alot more stretch.
Best to you and yours


This response submitted by Wayne R on 01/24/2004. ( )

Shaving is thinning down the hide so that it is more pliable. You will notice areas through out the neck, the base of the ears, and down the back where the skin is heavier. If you thin this down and put it back in the pickle this may help. When you get to the other areas use more caution this is where I usually add a few more holes in my capes when I'm not careful.

I hate to say this

This response submitted by George on 01/24/2004. ( )

But I've had the same problems with all those products listed above. I KNOW what the reason is, but the experts don't want to hear me tell you, IT'S THE PICKLE. All those products have strong pickle requirements. A pickle, especially an alum pickle is going to shrink a hide. Most of us measure an animal while it's still raw and order forms. I think if you use ANY of those products listed OR use the pickle step, you're going to have to measure the HIDE after it's tanned in order to get it to fit. Customers aren't going to be happy, however, so something needs to happen or methods be devised to relax these hides after home tanning them. I don't have that problem on my professinally tanned hides.


This response submitted by J. Randall on 01/25/2004. ( )

I am not disagreeing with you on this matter so dont take this wrong I respect your skill and knowledge and have learned alot from your post on this sight, maybe I've just been lucky but I truly haven't had any problems with stretch or shrinkage since I started using Krowtann. I know you have tried the alum pickle and I know you have some Krowtann but have you tried it yet? If so did it shrink your hide and leave it with a lack of stretch? So far I have had stretch comparable to a dry preserved hide, not downing any other products but way better than any other pickle/tann method I've tried. Now to be honest I don't know anything about alum pickle as I have never tried one but from what I've read I was assuming that Krowtann was basically Just a stong alum pickle so I'm kind of confused. Please let me know what you think ....knowing my luck since I wrote this the next hide I pull out of the tann will be shrunk up and wont stretch worth a damn lol
Have a good one and best to you and yours

I think

This response submitted by Jack F on 01/25/2004. ( )

I think that it has alot to do with the make up of the individual cape. I have noticed that some capes stretch more then others with the same tanning method. You take an old stinky scard up buck that has been running the hills for ever his skin is like leather to begin with. Younger deer are more tender they stretch great but the old timers just do not. I guess what I'm saying is you need to learn to read the skin your working with. Some you can take the measurements right from the fresh cape and it will mount up after tanning like a dream. Then there are others that you better measure after the tanning (my method always is to measure after the tan). Its like George now you take an ol riney guy like him his skin must be like wit leather LOL just picking George I think your a great guy. BTW I use ez100 method in the auto tanner. Jack F.

Home Tan

This response submitted by Wayne R on 01/25/2004. ( )

I no longer use commercial tanneries unless a customer requests it. The problems I have had using them far outweigh any I have encountered tanning things myself. I also love the fact all the facial hair or feelers on a deer for example are still there. My hides still have their legs attached when I'm done, the muzzles are still in one piece and the cape in front of me is the one the customer brought in. For the record, I use nothing but Rittel products. The results have been excellent. Like anything else in taxidermy there is more than one way to do things and it takes practice or experience to get the results you want.

Good post guys

This response submitted by George on 01/25/2004. ( )

And you've all made good and valid points. I'm sure it all comes down to that nasty little thing of "personal preference". I found what I use years back and every new product I try, including Krowtann, has that obstacle to climb over. I'm probably trying to make mine look better in their light and looking for them to fail anyway.

I can really appreciate what Wayne said because we all know that if we don't keep our own hands on a hide, we chance the "tannery screwing it up" (really, the tannery not doing it just like I might have) which is the same thing I've said in my choice of tans. I'd bet most of us have screwed up hides at the same or higher rate than any tannery we ever used. It's just easier to forget our screwups than it is to blame the tanneries for theirs.

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