Help on Tanning Deer Cape

Submitted by Tony Donelan on 4/19/06 at 6:24 PM. ( )

First of all I am new to taxidermy. I bought a cape to do my first deer mount I salted it and then put it in safette acid. The Ph was right then I rinses and let it dry for 30 min and put it in the EZ tan. I Then added Protal Tanning Oil. I let it hang while I waited for my deer form then I noticed red spots starting and they got worse so I took a skiving knife to it and got the face thinned down and did the whole tanning procedure over and I still have red spots and it smells. What do I do? Is it bacteria? This is my first mount so I know its gonna look like crap but I dont want it stinking on me... I dont have a flesher or shaver. Help please!

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umm. Sounds like red rot.

This response submitted by jrosbor on 4/19/06 at 7:10 PM. ( )

It could be mold, iron (rust) or bacteria. What does it smell like? Other than it stinks. Retanning a roten cape doesn't tend to fix anything. If it was blue, Glen would call it "Smurf poo" Did the spots form when the cape was wet, dry, or drying? Sorry need more info. Joe

Sorry, Not red rot!

This response submitted by jrosbor on 4/19/06 at 7:13 PM. ( )

Red rot, Acid burn or acid rot. Sounds like mold or bacteria.

Red spots

This response submitted by Tony on 4/19/06 at 7:18 PM. ( )

I dont think it smells now I think it was the turkey legs I was working on. The spots are real small red. I'm not sure when they started. Will they keep multipling and ruin the cape or can it be saved? Will a bath in bactericide stop it or bleach?

Red mold

This response submitted by oldshaver on 4/19/06 at 7:53 PM. ( )

Start over, and re-pickle, or slippage is on the way!

Red Mold

This response submitted by Tony on 4/19/06 at 11:39 PM. ( )

Can I just pickle it or do I have to tan it all over? Will the mold keep spreading?


This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 4/20/06 at 6:21 AM. ( )

Your steps are off here. You didn't say if you neturlized the cape, shaved it, Ph was right then? What you stated in your thread is very confusing to understand what is or what happened here. More info on your steps would be more helpful to give you a better and us an answer instead of guessing.


This response submitted by Tony on 4/20/06 at 9:09 AM. ( )

1.cute meat off
2.salted hide
3.relaxed 2lbs of slat for every 1 gallon of water
4. 1/2oz Safetee acid 1lb salt for every 1 gallon of water ph 1.5
5. Let drain for 30 min rinsed hide
6. Neutralizing with 1tablespoon sodium bicarbonate for 1gallon of water
7. 1oz EZ-tan 8oz salt and for 1 gallon of water
8. Rinsed cape off and oiled and let dry
I used 4 gallons of water for every step to submerge the hide
Hope this helps I still have little red spots Thanks for any help.

What type of smell is it?

This response submitted by oldshaver on 4/20/06 at 7:29 PM. ( )

Ammonia? How long did you pickle? How long did you neutralize? I would start the process over, it aint going to hurt it, if its a good skin.

I lost the cape

This response submitted by Tony on 4/20/06 at 8:24 PM. ( )

I took a good look at the cape today and I had serious hair slippage in the face. Its done for I guess next time I will have to buy it fleshed and thinned If anyone has a a 7x20 cape I would appreciate a good deal I have a form and antlers set and preped the form but now I lost the cape to slippage any help would be great...Thanks, Tony


This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 4/21/06 at 7:18 AM. ( )

A few minor steps missing but that wouldn't cause your slippage.
One is you never said any thing about shaving the hide down. If you left fat on the cape during this process it may cause slippage.
The red spots are confusing to me. Did this hide come in contact with any type of metals? That is a posssiblity for those red spots and if not where they there prior to you placing it into the pickle?
If it was and you had red mold on the cape, in plain words that cape was shot to begin with.
Now the slippage on the face seams to be that of miss handling pior to you reciving it from a person. The processs you discribed here is correct and there is now way in your steps that would cause any propblems your having.
So in order to figure out what really went wrong here you need to go and figure out if your able to but find out when the cape or animal was dispatched, weather that day, how long it laid on any types of warm areas, did blood pool up and the face laid in it, How long and where was it stored before you got your hands on it? A lot of these aspects have to go into figuring out where and how did the slippage occur.
I just did a mule deer mount that had a half dollar slippage on the side of the neck. The day he brought it in and the care of the cape told me right then and there I would have a problem. (of course I just ran out of Stop-Rot) Took the hide in did all the work on it and the mount that was picked for it took all the slippage right out. I just cut it out and mounted it up fine. But this was the cause of the client not understanding what could happen to their hides when they don't take care of it thje way you want it done. Kep seaking you'll find the real culprate in there and it won't be what you did. Let us know and sorry I don't carry any capes. I buy what I need from East Coast Tannery and if they don't have it they'll find it for me. Their a great bunch of guys.
Or if you need a top notch green hide I use Foxchair Mountain Capes . Always been treated well with them also. Now remember your getting capes from two places that carry quality and it will cost a bit more for that but worth every penny of it! If you want a lesser quality they may have but then you may run into troubles again. Either place will help out with your needs.


This response submitted by Tony on 4/21/06 at 7:27 PM. ( )

The problem I had was I didnt have a fleshing machine so I had nothing to shave it with... I tried using a wire brush on a screwdriver but that just caused more problems...How can I shave and flesh a cape without a fleshing machine?

Sorry to hear

This response submitted by oldshaver on 4/21/06 at 10:11 PM. ( )

Without having to read a repetative book, if you dont have a shaving machine, use dp or liqui-tan. Try a wire wheel on a drill, or bench grinder, after pickle. Then re- pickle for 24 hrs, neutralize, then tan.

shave with bench grinder and use krowtann

This response submitted by terryr on 4/22/06 at 2:23 AM. ( )

krowtann makes beginners experts - beginners get lost in all of the steps to multi porcess tanning - the more steps the more things can go wrong

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