Home Tanning Costs

Submitted by oldshaver on 11/20/05 at 7:31 PM. ( )

I saw a Tanning home tanning product being advertised in Taxidermy Today, that stated that $2.78 is the cost of tanning a wt cape at home using this product, but it stated nothing about the value of a Taxidermists time, when quoting this figure. The article quoted the cost of using a comercial tanner, at $43.22, on the same cape, including shipping. I took a little survey the other day, asking how long it took to split, turn, flesh, pickle, shave, and tan a wt cape. The average was around 2.25 hrs for the whole process. Heres my math.
1. Comercial Tan with fleshing service- we will use his figure of $43.22 per cape for tanning cost with shipping. Add $20.00 for a fleshing and splitting service, and $4.00 extra for the shipping of a frozen hide that has not been fleshed, and you come up with $67.22 dollars per cape.
2. Home tanned cape- with a value of $30.00 per hour, and time spent @2.25 hrs, you come up with $67.50 plus $2.78 in material costs, equals $70.28.
3. You have saved $3.06 per cape by comercial tanning, and you also are left with 2.25 hrs to spend with your family, or get a darn good start on mounting another deer, which both, are worth alot in my opinion.
The article also talks about taking on other peoples tanning, along with an initial investment of $1200.00 to $1900 for the product. I wont even begin to begin to get into money or time being lost on that. Not to mention your liability. Im just saying, there are two very different ways to look at sending out tanning, and doing it at home.

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This response submitted by Michael S on 11/20/05 at 7:38 PM. ( )

The article was all about selling the equiptment and supplies. This guy pushes his and the products he sells very hard in his siminars. To hard I think. Oldshaver i agree with you.

think again

This response submitted by rich on 11/20/05 at 8:07 PM. ( )

just curious on who can split,turn,flesh,pickle,shave and tan in 2.25 hours...me thinks ya might need to ask around some more.


This response submitted by John on 11/20/05 at 8:43 PM. ( )

He is talking about actual hands on time spent. Not the waiting time for pickle and tan. I average that time hands on.

sorry about that

This response submitted by rich on 11/20/05 at 8:48 PM. ( )

thought about that after the fact,however .we know the machine in question and i have talked to several taxidermists using it and they swear buy it..i am not saying it is a machine of gold .but it can save alot of time . and the only other thing i would question is,who would flesh ,turn and split for 20.00? i know i wouldn't consider it for 20.00. i guess the advantage over the commercial tannery would be more of a personalised service...just my opinions guys,not trying to get an arguement going...thanks Rich

Time factors and Trust

This response submitted by John on 11/20/05 at 9:31 PM. ( )

I agree that financially it is more lucritive to send capes out to be tanned. My position on this is, the time spent waiting 6 mos and the trust factor in the employees in the tannery. I figure it is worth that extra time spent on my part to know the status is on my skins at all times. My very few customers like the idea that their skins never leave my hands. OS's tannery and a couple of others are the only one's I might trust, but the 6 mos. wait is too long. I am a part timer and I don't get a huge volume of skins. I doubt that your tannery would even accept my business because I am not a full time taxidermy business. I will continue with doing my own skins until a good tannery can reduce the waiting period by at least half.


This response submitted by Sam on 11/20/05 at 10:57 PM. ( )

I agree entirely, I just happened to have a brochure frome The Wildlife Gallery up in Blanchard Michigan right here in front of me..$40+s&h to flesh, turn and split a frozen cape and then $38 to tan it, that make $78 +s&h both ways from frozen to tanned. I'd say if my time was worth anything at all...

when i tan at home...

This response submitted by terryr on 11/21/05 at 12:46 AM. ( )

i never have to worry about someone losing my capes or for that matter ive never had to sew an ear back on ... or find one to sew back on - i think there is a place for 'send away' tanneries but for my money i'll NEVER use one


This response submitted by RAS on 11/21/05 at 7:21 AM. ( )

the only concern I have on "home tanning" is disposal of the liquid waste when done? I have done the "search thing" but would like to know how some of you home tanners handle this problem(?) thanks

home tan

This response submitted by ty on 11/21/05 at 4:02 PM. ( )

I know that I sent a bear out to be tanned and I forgot to split the lips everything else was done and they charge $45.00 bucks and hacked it to pieces. I just received a bear that I sent to another place and I went over it with a fine tooth comb and the only mark on it was the bullet hole, got it back with 2 huge marks on its nose, the tannery said no way they did it. Bears where the only thing I send out everything else I tan in shop with the machine everyone is talking about. It takes 3 gallons to do 4 deer hides so I have about 9-10 bucks in tanning, but I can start these on friday and be ready to mount as soon as the form shows up. As far as disposal of the liquid waste, pour baking soda in to neuralize it and then dump it in the sewer.


This response submitted by John on 11/21/05 at 7:20 PM. ( )

The biggest problem is if you have a septic system. If you have municipal sewer system you can netralize the acids to an acceptable level for disposal. I use saftee acid and paratan. I contacted my sewer system admin and ask how to dispose of legally.

Home tanning costs.

This response submitted by jrosbor on 11/23/05 at 10:13 PM. ( huntersdream3x@hotmail.com )

What about turn around time?
I know 2.25hrs with the kids would be great! But I stated in the orig. post that I could have 10 capes mount ready in two days. And I usaly stop before the hole is 6 inches long (I hate sewing!) If I had the $1900.00 bucks to spend in the shop I would buy a new tumbler.

A simple question of economics

This response submitted by paul k on 11/24/05 at 7:39 PM. ( )

If your lacking work and have no other income it may be wise to save a few bucks over the tannery cost, even if your shop time is only worth 6 bucks an hour, provided your doing a complete tan and disposing your waste in a responsible manner. I really don't want to work for less than 35\hr. and I cant tan my own capes for that. My work-load dictates turn around time at a tannery is not an issue. One must make intelligent decisions when deciding how to run a business, I'm not personally to the point where I send raw capes to the tanneries fleshing service, but may have to go that route this yr. Again it will be a decision based on whats best for my business.
Will I hire someone? Take the time to train and deal with mistakes and lost valuable time in my shop along with the liability and cost of an employee


This response submitted by paul k on 11/24/05 at 7:46 PM. ( )

The cost of doing business, never will come out of my pocket. Just like the big shot corporate CEO's, you pass the cost on to the consumer

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