This question is more for my curiosity than anything. Let's say that I remove a cape from a whitetail and the measurement right behind the ears (on the actual carcass neck) is 18". Then I measure the cape itself pulled tight (but not stretching) and it measures right at 21". How much shrinkage will there be from the 21" measurement, if any, when I'm all done tanning? I'm using the auto tanner with the crystals from Steve R. Thanks!
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What do I win if I"m right? Just guessing at it.
That's not the way to do it. This is why we always say if you can measure the meat stay with that. If anything and this is only after you learn more about hides and different tans and how a cape is shaved down will you go an inch bigger. It's very easy to measure a raw cape and over stretch it. Remember your stretching only the neck to make it bigger, the rest of the hide also has to be able to do this and still have all the hair patterens go in the right spot.
The best bet to see what you can really do is shave the hide after the pickle, tan it and then see what you get without trying to strecth it.
.....Next time you skin a head. Right after you skin the head, put the cape right back on the carcas and see how it fits. Pretty lousy fit, right? But it just came off that head! It is obviously the correct size for that cape....use the measurements you took from the carcas! If you use too big a form, it's like trying to pour ten gallons of water into a five gallon bucket......... Most will handle a bit more that five gallons, but go for "too much" and you will only end up with a "MESS"!
I ask is because another taxidermist and my self were tanning some capes for another local taxidermist and he kept complaining about the stretch and come to find out, he was measuring the raw cape onlyand that was if he wasn't guessing at the measurements based on the size of the antlers. My little bit of experienc with tanning shows me that on average, the measurements from the raw state to thte tanned state will shrink anywhere from 1"-2" behind the ears. So I'm right in the ball park for this right? Thanks!