Sea Otter Tanning

Submitted by Tetawon on 03/10/2004 at 00:53. ( )

I've had many great successful tans with Rittel's tanning products (spotted seal, moose and caribou hides). So, my Eskimo brother-in-law wants me to tan 12 sea otter pelts (taken legally in Bristol Bay Alaska) for him. The taxidermist he's always used has been so harrassed by Feds checking up documentation for every marine mammal he tans, that he finally just quit.

Seeing that Mr. Rittel posts here frequently, I just wanted to say that I'm putting alot of faith in your products! Try pricing the rare blankets made from just 6 sea otter pelts...($15K to $22K)...ouch! If anyone doubts the reliability of Rittel's products, consider using a product of lesser quality on such valuable hides! I'm nervous about getting started.

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sea otter

This response submitted by mike d on 03/10/2004 at 09:07. ( )

I have used bruces products for tanning seals and sea otters; the results were fantastic!
Use the acid bate, it makes a big difference on these types of skins.

Sea Otter

This response submitted by Tetawon on 03/10/2004 at 16:49. ( )

I received the hides (sea otter) well fleshed (some fat remaining along the edges), folded hide in and frozen without being salted.

My only departure from Bruce Rittel's instruction for EZ-100 (on seals), is that I normally soak the hides in a brine solution to thaw overnight and wash them thoroughly with Dawn dish soap before finishing the fleshing. This works for me to remove a lot of the grease for easier handling, as my brother-in-law doesn't salt his hides before I get them.

Thereafter, I salt, fold, drain and follow the EZ-100 instructions. I do use acid bate on seals, just never have attempted tanning sea otters.

Is there an easy way to remove the "yellowing" to seal fur caused by freezing with fat? I have received several frozen seals that were not so well fleshed in the past. The fat discolors the silver parts of the fur and makes it yellow. I have tried controlled bleaching with salt and lemon juice in the sun on small pieces without much luck.

Marine Mammal Protection Act

This response submitted by Tetawon on 03/11/2004 at 02:35. ( )

I have received emails regarding my post about tanning Sea Otters that border on outright solicitation to sell raw hides. While I have been polite and informative regarding the Marine Mammal Protection Act in my replies, I will report these felony solicitations (providing emails and IP addresses) to the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service in Juneau Alaska! It is a felony to solicit the sale of marine mammal hides or parts, so please don't contact me with these criminal inquiries unless you are hoping to relocate to Club Fed!

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