Starting a Tannery- tanning schools

Submitted by oldshaver on 2/6/06 at 7:42 PM. ( )

Seems to be alot of talk about these subjects on here lately. First, before anyone says it, I could care less how many there are, I will still have a job, and bring on the competition! I really dont see alot of REAL competition out there though. Unless you have worked at a tannery for AT LEAST 10 YEARS PLUS, your wasting your money and time! Just getting to be a decent enough shaver, to take on other peoples work, takes years to learn all the different skins involved. Your tanning for someone else! Are you going to be able to afford replacement costs, of high dollar skins, if you mess them up? I have worked in the tanning business for most of my adult life, and you cant even begin to emagine the problems you will run into. TANNING SCHOOLS- They arent worth the price of a bus ticket to get there! There is enough info on this site to teach you how to tan skins at home(wet-tan). You could pay a consultant, or school, $50,000, or $2000, and you are still pissing your money away. If the people teaching you tanning are so good at it, WHY DONT THEY OWN THEIR OWN TANNERY? They would make alot more money! You can take all this with a grain of salt, but it is all proven FACT! Currently there are around 41 tannerys listed on this site. Add around another 100, that you dont hear about(Taxidermists doing others tanning), and there is your competition. Good Luck!

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This response submitted by rich on 2/6/06 at 10:15 PM. ( )

wow..why ya so grouchy? i guess none of us should have ever tried to learn the art of taxidermy either because god knows the competion is a hell of alot more than 141 .yet we all decided to try our hand at taxidermy.i'll give it to you ..your the best shaver and no one can ever be better...but just maybe someday we can be good enough to hold a candle for you..and no i am not being a prick..but damn chill out...i guess bruce Rittel mey be just that good cuz he teaches tanning and is a consultant...glad i saved my money..Rich.............................ok bash me now

yeah get off your high horse

This response submitted by Brian on 2/6/06 at 10:25 PM. ( )

You must be scared of the competition cause you sure have alot of time to try and convince people not to try tanning....You even popped up in one of my posts about it.....And what is the name of your tannery?I didn't catch it....I like to send some stuff to you so I can see what the best shaving in the world looks like......


This response submitted by PLRanch on 2/6/06 at 11:41 PM. ( )

I Resent your comment. I plan on going to a school that is also a tannery. The school is just a sideline. North Idaho Furdressers= North Idaho School of Tanning and Taxidermy. There is no way to get experience but practice and Time. And the best place to learn is from a professional as an apprentice. This goes for any profession. Do you think that everyone just starts out good? No, you have an interest and you foster and feed that interest until it becomes something. You will never know how good you are at something until you try.

I have noticed some of the "professional" Tanners and Taxidermists are always telling people to "Send it to a professional." "Its too hard" " It wont turn out" Etc. Etc. How do they know? I have seen more people's hopes crushed because someone said "You Cant Do it" Its depressing. And I've seen some people who try something for the first time and It turns out better than someone who has been doing the same thing for YEARS, and does it for a living. Plus who cares if your first skin doesnt turn out? You did it.. not someone else. Its something you did, and you can say that you atleast tried and didnt give in to the "Peer Pressure" of the older and "wiser" who told you you couldnt do it.

What will happen in 20-30 years when the older tanners have all retired and there are no young ones to take their place? I am seeing this happen in my area. The tannerys and Taxidermy shops are dissapearing, Causing an overload on the remaining businesses. Which results in Poorer quality and Longer lead times and much higher prices. This is bad for all businesses, not just tanneries and taxidermy shops.

It makes it harder and harder for the little people to mount their kid's first buck(even if its just a two point) when a shoulder mount costs $500 or more.

As far as the comment on information about tanning...Yes there is loads on wet tanning for Mounts but very little on tanning for rugs and flat hides. People who come here dont always want to mount something, Maybe they just want to tan that special pet cow or goat and keep him forever with them. Maybe they will only do it once, Or maybe they will make a career out of it. Who knows, only fate and time will tell.

I plan to use this site and the helpful professionals who frequent it to better my skills and pose different and unusual situations that someone who has had the experience has dealt with. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge to be found on this forum and hope that others will find it as useful as I have.

... Who isn't afraid to speak the truth and stand up for the little guys(Like her).

old shaver didn't say you couldn't

This response submitted by Mr.T on 2/7/06 at 7:37 AM. ( )

go read his post again, he said it was a waste of money, and anybody can learn it at home. He didn't say nobody couldn't do it. I agree with him as it is so easy to do. And the dexterity of operating a shaver is no snap of the fingers and needs time to learn and develop it. OS is just venting about all of the " Im going to tanning school! " post that have been popping up here. He may be right after you pay to be taught something that you could have learned at home.


This response submitted by Brian on 2/7/06 at 9:00 AM. ( )

What bussiness is it of his if somebody wants to go to tanning school....You can also learn to be a doctor at home too..but dosen't mean you know how to operate on someone...

no comparison Brian

This response submitted by Mr.T on 2/7/06 at 9:30 AM. ( )

7 years to be a doctor, $20 can get you a overnight tan just by reading directions on the bottle. You need to go to school for that?

Mr T

This response submitted by rich on 2/7/06 at 9:52 AM. ( )

ya might want to re-read his post.he says"if you haven't been in the tannery business for at least 10 years you are wasting your time and money".so to me it seems he is saying that we can't be as good as him so why try.Just seems to me there is a bit of arrogance in his statement.and really where is his tannery and prices..we all can use a good tannery.


This response submitted by North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy on 2/7/06 at 12:27 PM. ( )

Oldshaver is Mr. Contradiction isn't he? He says your just wasting
your time and money if you haven't worked at a tannery for at least
ten years. Then he goes on to say that you can learn how to tan by
searching the archives of this site. So it's either so hard it takes
ten years to learn, or you can look at this site for a couple hours,
either way you'll get it?

It just doesn't make any sense. You say it takes at least ten years
to learn how to shave. Why would any tannery owner hire a guy just to
throw money out the door for ten years while he learns to shave? Talk
about on the job training! The fact is that you don't have to waste ten
years of your life learning how to shave. If you aren't taught the
correct way in the beginning then it may take you a long time because if
you start out doing something wrong, and continue... maybe for ten years
I guess. Here at our school you start out knowing the correct way things
should be done. We teach and show you how to do it right in the beginning,
then it just take practice, not tens years though.

And I'll explain why a working tannery decided to start a school. You
said that there are plenty of tanneries out there, which is correct. But
there are not many QUALITY tanneries out there. There are far too many
outfits sending out poor TAXIDERMY quality tans. We teach a better way of
doing things. Taxidermist's deserve a better tan and this is what we teach
to our students. Another thing, tanning is not just following a reciepe on
a bottle or box. As Oldshaver said, there are all kinds of problems that
can arrise. Doesn't it make sense to learn how to deal with them in a
tannery setting? Also, when a student leaves our school they are always
welcome to call up with their question or problem, call it our continuing
education plan.

I have been in the taxidermy and tanning industry since 1978 and enjoy it
a lot. I enjoy the school and do it because of the satisfaction
that comes from teaching a student how to do something and watching them
achieve sucess. If I can clear up anything else about the benefits of
attending a tanning or taxidermy school just let me know.

North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy

helping out for nothin

This response submitted by Bian on 2/7/06 at 7:30 PM. ( )

In my opinon I don't think you open a school for money....Van's been answering alot of question for me and I haven;t even gone to his school ....yet..thank you Van...glad to see there are still people oput there who would like to share their skills....Oh and I stll would like to a price list from old shaver..

You aint cleared up Jack!

This response submitted by oldshaver on 2/7/06 at 7:55 PM. ( )

Van, do you have a problem with reading comprehention? People starting a tannery are going to be tanning many different types of animals that they have never seen before. I said they could do a simple wet tan at home, deer for example. Also, their shave job is going to SUCK, from lack of experience. You can blow smoke up your students asses, but you aint going to blow it up mine. North Idaho fur dressing? Who the hell is that? You dont even rate the top 10. Keep in mind, this is my opinion, you sir and people like you, are out to make an easy buck from people that dont know better. If your tannery was really sucessful, you wouldnt have time to teach a school! Anybody with half a freaking brain, can see that a successful tannery wouldnt want to breed more successful tannerys. Do you take everyone on here for complete idiots? I also see that you used this opportunity for a sales pitch of your business, by showing your sincere concern for the lack of quality tannerys. What a load of crap! Let me show you how to change a tire, then you will be ready to open your own auto mechanics shop.LOL To you other folks, remember this post, one day, you will look back and realize I was right.


This response submitted by oldshaver on 2/7/06 at 7:58 PM. ( )

I cant spell good, but atleast I can spell my name!


This response submitted by brian on 2/7/06 at 8:20 PM. ( )

So whats the name of your tannery...Oh sorry so now tell everybody they will never be as good at typing as you....what a dip!@#$

Breaking out the popcorn

This response submitted by James Parrish on 2/8/06 at 8:01 AM. ( )

This is more entertainment than the superbowl. I will say this, I have met Oldshaver and he seems like a nice guy to me. I'm not sure if he wants me to disclose the tannery that he works at, but I assure you that they are definitely one of the best, if not the best, tanneries in the country.

It might be

This response submitted by Brian on 2/8/06 at 9:19 AM. ( )

It might be one of the best but if it is why would you start bashing other tannery's if you have never even heard of them...If he the best good for him...You said work for......You mean he dosen't own his own tannery... oh well i'm done with this thread good luck to everyone....

Once again...Hmmm

This response submitted by North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy on 2/8/06 at 12:03 PM. ( )

Oldshaver,I don't think my reading comprehension has much to do with
things here, it apparently doesn't take much to get you all pissed
off does it? I most certainly do not take the people on this forum as
idiots. But I am not the one that is saying they can't learn to
shave unless they do it for ten years. Because it took you ten years
doesn't mean that other can't learn in considerably less time, that
may be insulting to some of them. And also, you misunderstand the role
that a school plays in the education of someone wanting to tan skins.
What a school does is give someone the knowledge, and a hands-on school,
like a tanning school shows them how to deal with many of the problems
they will likely have to deal with. No one can learn any trade completely
in a matter of weeks, it take a little longer, as you said - in your case
it took ten years. We don't believe it will take most people anywhere
close to ten years but it will take more than eight weeks. Practice is
the name of the game right? You know about it. Another thing I'm curious
of - who's skins did you practice on for so long before you got proficient?
I hope the tannery owner you work for didn't let you chop holes in other
folks' skins, as you said when everyone first starts out they "SUCK".

If you're curious as to why I posted on this thread in the first place, I'll
let you know Oldshaver. Out of the blue you start a thread about how
tanning schools, as you put it, "aren't worth the bus ticket to
get there" Somehow that's a little insulting, especially when I know
how wrong your thinking is. Would you take offense if I said the tannery
you work for(yes I know all about you)put out less than quality pieces?
I suspect you would. The difference between you and I is that I wouldn't
do that because I don't feel the need to go around bashing others or their
businesses. Here's why: I am not afraid of competition, we are right on track
in the tannery. As I said before, we turn down a lot of work each year,
we have plenty to keep us busy. You don't see us advertising because we simply
don't have too. When you put out a quality product the word spreads, and word
of mouth is worth more than a full page add in the taxidermy magazines.
You said "we weren't even in the top ten". You'll have to send me a copy of
the official list, lol. The fact is, we aren't competing with other tanneries,
we compete against ourselves and always strive for a better product. That is
why we have all the work we do.

You say I'm trying to "blow smoke" but in reality it's you that is
doing just that. You say your not scared of competition but you act
as though you are. I'll explain again to you Oldshaver, why a working
tannery would start a school. Here is an overview for you Oldshaver,
as I said before there is a lack of quality tanneries out there. As I said
before we have more than our share of skins to tan each year, and you hear
taxidermist's all the time calling us about the problems they've had
with their last tannery. All these folks are looking for something better,
there is room out there for more QUALITY tanneries. They tell us that quality
is more important than speed. Tanneries that put out a quality tan versus one
that claims to get it back to you in sixty days (but never does) have an
advantage in the industry. There is no doubt about that. In addition to
those reasons, there is that fact that there is money to be made in the
tanning industry, you said it yourself. So, if there is the opportunity to
make money with a tannery, why are you trying so hard to discourage people
from learning how to tan? Competition?

North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy


This response submitted by oldshaver on 2/8/06 at 8:27 PM. ( )

Brian, I will start with you, and try to be a little more laid back. Did the pittsburg coach win the superbowl by himself? No, with his guidence, and some darn good players, they won! Some employers will pay top dollar for good experienced employees. You arent giving much credit to the tannery owner, if you think he is going to hire nothing but flunkie employees. Van- we can keep this up for ever if you want to. I will try to keep it civil with you too, but its hard knowing what I and many others know. I have been working between 50 and 60 hours a week for close to 2 1/2 years, with no end in sight. I go in on weekends sometimes, to prepare work for monday. This saturday, Ill be going to help flesh skins for the fleshing company owned by a couple of full time shavers. Does it look like I need any more on my plate? You have gotten a couple of e-mails from people that think they know a little something, and now your well informed? Since you know so much, did you know, that a shaver, where I work, has to go through a 1 year apprentice-ship, to even be called a shaver. Even then, until the 2 year mark is reached, they are watched like a hawk, and are only allowed to shave about half the animal skins we tan. After that, they STILL arent allowed to shave certain skins. I am not patting myself on the back about the shaving, but this one step, in the process, that will break a tannery fast, if not done correctly. Lets go to the dry-side of the process. How long do I tumble this muledeer? How long can I tumble this bear, compared to this one, and still keep the hair from coming thru? Why does this deer have hard spots, and this one doesnt? Why are my muskox matting up? Why is the hair on this mtn goat so matted? Why are my grey fox loosing hair? Why are my kudu loosing epidermis? I could go on for hours! I will stop here and say, that unless you are offering a multiple YEAR course in tanning, it is impossible to learn all you need to know to open a tannery, or even come close. This is mis-leading, and fradulent at best. Every REAL comercial tanner out there, is either an accomplished Taxidermist that decided to take on others tanning, after years of tanning their own skins, or a long term tannery employee that decided to move on. If your are telling folks that they will have the knowledge to open a tannery, after a 30 day course, you are not being honest! Also, could you please answer all the dryside questions. Thay might make me think you are a knowledgable tanner.

one more thing

This response submitted by os on 2/8/06 at 9:09 PM. ( )

BRIAN, exactly what do you bring to the table on this discussion, besides being a side-kick? Batman&Robin ring any bells? How about the LoneRanger and Tonto. Or is it Bevis and Butthead?


This response submitted by North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy on 2/8/06 at 11:47 PM. ( )

Oldshaver, your right we could probably debate this forever. I don't intend to do that but I would like to say a few more things. The overall theme of your thinking(which is somewhat condescending) seems to be that it takes so long to learn how to tan that no one should even think about trying to learn. And, you think tanning schools are a waste of time and money. I tried to explain, above, why a tanning school is beneficial for someone wanting to learn the trade and I'll give it one more shot for you. You said that it takes years to learn to shave and tan hides properly, right. Many of the tannery owners out there now have learned at the school of hard knocks, including myself. Years of experiences with tanning and dealing with problems that arrise have let us achieve the knowledge we have do about tanning, right? Well it doesn't have to be that way anymore, because there are tanning schools out there. People wanting to tan don't have to go through that ten year learning curve to understand the process. As I said above, I've been in taxidermy and tanning since 1978 and I know how to deal with those problems that arise,(yes, believe it or not Oldshaver, that includes the ones you mentioned above, those problems aren't in the same catagory as quantum physics you know). It's because I've been in this business so long, and know about the process and problems that can arrise, that I started the school. I want to help people learn about this industry in something less than ten years. That is what a school does, it passes on knowledge for the benefit of those wanting to learn. In a classroom setting a person can learn a whole lot about the process, and after the class has ended, when they have questions they can call me up on the phone and we'll solve whatever problem that has occured. Simply put a tanning school speeds up your education on how to tan skins. I'm not sure why this idea bothers you so much but it's the truth. It's like anything else, if you try to learn on your own it is going to take a whole lot longer than if someone teaches and shows you how to do it. That is common sense.

North Idaho School of Tanning & Taxidermy

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