I am thinking about trying to start mounting my own deer head this fall. So far my first big hurdle is trying to understand which method of tanning is the right way to go. I have heard that "quick tans" and "paste tans" are ok but bad in the long run. Some guys say they send out there heads and have them done at a tannery, But would like a recamendation on which ones are good and honest. Would like to try and tan the cape myself but just don't understand what chemicals are best to use. I am not wanting to start making money just want to start extending my hunt and save money.
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My own opinion is to try Krowtann 2000. It's easy and pretty much fool proof if you follow directions that come with it. All you will need is 6.5 oz of Krowtann or 8 oz depending on size of circumfrence around neck salt and water. I think the first hurdle is to get the cape fleshed really good. After that, tanning with Krowtann is super easy and you should get good results. There's many different opinions on this subject and this is only mine. Cape is tanned in 3-4 days. Good Luck.
Yu will be hard pressed to find any better then The Wildlife Gallery. They cost alittle more but I am thrilled to have used them this year. You may find some as good. One thing though if you are only doing your deer I was told they require a 100.00 order. Three WT capes cover that so no problem here. I have tried some others and to be honest I wasn't happy. The tan seemed good but the shaving which should be just as important was terrible.
IMO all Home tans are easy if you follow the instructions and I think 4 days will get it done with just about any of them, except some people say salting dry is the way to go and some say none to 24 hours is enough. I tried Krowtann It seems OK and no salting of the cape is required. I have tried EZ tann it seem very good and I have tried McKenzie Tann it seems ok too. No problems with any. They where all just as easy as one another to use, you just have to keep a check on your PH with EZ tann and McKenzie. For just doing your own deer I would go with the McKenzie Tann. You can also check out the archives on other tans. Loads of info in there. If you want to see directions for Krowtann look it up at the WASCO web site. For Mckenize tann Check out theirs. Good luck
If you looking for some kind of guarantee, Liqua tan has been on the market for over 25 + years and excellent results. We have tested skins that old and they are in perfect condition. The best thing about the Liqua Tan is that you can get the quickest results for you capes to be done. You can have a tanned skin in less then 48 hours using a Pre Tan pickle otherwise if you would like use an acid pickle still pickle for 2 days shave then Liqua Tan. We have a free technical booklet that will take you through the process step by step.Email us or call us at 800-525-6379.Email at mark@Knoblochs.com
IMHO, that is, home tanning is fun and enjoyable if you have the right tools. Yes you can get away with some of the simple basics out there. You'll need a skife-knife and a knicker knife or a fleshing knife. If possible get yourself a mini-flesher. There will be a need for a salimeter, ph strips too, a plastic tub for the pickle etc. I'll cost you a little to start off but if you really plan on doing it yourself it'll pay itself off fast.
As for a tannery. I like East Coast Tannery. 1-888-tan furs.
There is also much more info in the archives or do a search on tanning in the orange button.
Wow! thanks for the fast responses from all. I would just like to get more details on the product you all spoke of. I will be checking into the tanneries soon. I have been looking into the Lutan F system, Krowtann 2000, and Liqua tan. I just want to make sure are these the "real tan" products or are they the cheap way and I will be unhappy about it in five years. Maybe its already been answered and I have trouble reading, But I did like liqua tans gaurantee! Also is the Lutan f a tan that can be dried and mounted later. Thanks for the responses all!
Jason,these are real tans but like Frank said you will have to invest into some equipment.One of the main elements into tanning is to thin down that hide so you'll get the stretch you should have when mounting.You'll have a lot of folks who do their own tell you to send your capes off,but how did they learn?!There is work involved in tanning your own ,but I find it very rewarding ,I have excellent stretch,I don't have to wait forever to get my capes back(I tan each cape in 5 or 6 days) and I know,unless I have squirrells attack me that my hides will be in one piece when I'm done.The main tan that I use is Liqua-tan.I also use Lutan-f andEZ-100,all are excellent tans.
I started tanning before I did taxidermy for the sole purpose of learning how to do it correctly. It takes alot of work and many failures but worth every minute of the time and money spent. I might suggest that if you do want to tan your own stuff is to find some extra hides or small inexpensive doe capes and tan those first, just something to learn on. I have managed to get too busy to tan anymore and now send everything out.
krowtann might be just about idiot proof but whoe really knows
ez100 and the WTDS in my opinion are the best but time consuming in my opinion
ive done quite a few with the jrts and stop rot up front with no pickle
but as a newcomer you might not be able to recognize a trouble cape
and know if you should pickle
now im not trying to confuse you further(really)
make sure and get stop rot and apply it up front
your prep. work must be done correctly and
whatever tann you decide after that will be a whole lot more forgiving
heck get a few under your belt and try different ones
you will move toward what works best for you
i like the jrts if its a fresh cape
and krowtann if its not
but i am limited on time
work till midnight most nights after my full time job
i suspect if i were full time id use ez100 or wtds or krowtann
im still experimenting from time to time
hope this helps