Im just wondering what is the deal with the old tannery argument. Some people say you must send your bears to the tannery because of the work involved and its such a savings. I also hear from others, and know a taxidermist who does all their own tanning for bears and would only send the very largest (life size buffalo) to a tannery.
Now in my shop I ussally put in good hours after the fall seasons and have all my work turned out by late March-early April. In late May we have the srpring bear season (%40 of my work) and when I send the stuff to the tannery I dont get it back until late late fall. By always having no more then a 5 month turn around time, I have all the customers I want and can charge more for my work then they guy who takes 15 months. Now if I can tan all my own bear work my turn around time is not affected by the tannery and the cost of tanning stays in my wallet.
Now I am not looking to start a war between those who tan and those who send away bears, I would like to hear your opinions and pros and cons from those who tan their own bears and from those who send theirs away. thanks
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to properly degrease and tan a bear and have the outcome as good as a good commercial tannery takes good equipment alot of chemicals and a heck of alot of work! for my time and money my bears are best sent to the tannery! if you are efficient lacking the work and have the time and can produce a good tan go for it
i agree with you [first paul] bear are not all that hard to do. i believe what many who say "don't do it yourself"
"send it off is better" really mean is that bear are quite easily ruined if you are not knowledgeable and carefull. but as far as being hard to do. or taking tons of chemicals? i have found that this is not the case. or another words the second paul is full of it!
I know of a home tanned bear that still stinks like bear fat, and it was done a year and a half ago. (not mine) I do all my own deer and hogs, but I would send my bears out to be done personaly. If I goof up a deer cape, I can get an extra anywhere, even on the side of the road. But not to many extra bears the same size around.
If the hide is not degreased properly it won't tan properly. Hides that are salted and not fleshed properly will not rehydrate properly. The greasy (grease burned) hide will prevent the rehydration from working properly. If it does rehydrate fully and you tan it, you end up with junk. All you are doing is a surface tan. The tan sits on the suface of the hide and won't penetrate. The grease prevents the tanning agents from penetrating through the hide. Then you mount it and dry it. A few weeks or so down the line you smell a rotten rancid smell from the hide. That would be rotting grease. You can end up with bugs and the hide falling apart line. All hides need to be degresed to be tanned properly. Even deer capes. I'm guessing many of you don't degrease them.
Take extra care with the degreasing part of the bears, that is the main part of my worries? I all ready have a source for a tumbler. Anything I need to keep in mind about the breaking part of a bear, and how exactly does the procces go?
i dont know of your accomplishments nor do i care, but here are the facts and read my first post carefully before you state im full of it! i often post an opinion based on my experiences as a successful artist based on time tested methods and trial and error, now ive mounted 15-40 bears a yr. for the past 10 years, and believe me when i say it, to get a good quality tan at home, you will work much harder than the $40\lin ft a tannery charges! 1) fleshing degreasing
2) salting 3)pickeling adjusting degreasing 4)tanning 5)tumbling oiling breaking this things are labor intensive and hard to duplicate from a commercial tanner. if you want to command top dollar for your work half assed wont get you there! now if your just hobbying and dont mind busting you ass for nothing have at it pal.
nothing i say is gospel, nor do i project it to be. a good debate is always healthy. but to name call just shows you havent quite made it around the block yet, once you get there and earn a couple of best of catagories, provide a good home and colledge education for your children through you business skills as an artist, maybe then you will be qualified to post negative remaks about posts you cant read. best of luck
you do not need to worry about your degreasing process when you use Rittels enzyme. it will not hurt at all if you over use it. making sure you get ALL the fat out. [and bears are full of of it too.]
will go along way to giving you that soft broken leather u want. you see i am a professional tanner, i tan for rugs and garments and sometime taxidermy. i really do know the first thng about mounting.
and paul number 68 83 60 41. i thought his first quip was short and not very helpful. perhaps he had a bad day from working hard and supporting all those kids and house and stuff. but he has knowledge to offer im sure