1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

bear hide

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Adrian, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    what is the best pickle and tan method for bears(lifesize), and do they need to be salted till dry or can you throw them straight into a pickle green without getting into a pickle yer`self. Thank`s.
    One more thing, from what I have heard and read, bears are fairly prone to slippage, so I was wondering if it is a good practice to use something like stop slip on atleast the more likely areas as a precaution!
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Adrian. If you've never done tanning before and this is your first bear be cautious. Personally I would see you send it out. Other than that here I go.
    Bear are a lot of work and you have some type of mechanical tool to shave the hide, especially around the neck area. I'm say this because in generally this goes for bear 200 and up.
    Now my steps go like this: Flesh the hide and remove all the meat and fat from the hide. That's a must! Then make sure you split and turn all other parts. From there I salt for 24 hrs on a slant to drain the fluids,
    shake off and then resalt for another 24hrs. I then hang then and let dry rock hard. From there I will rehydrate them in a solution of Ultra-Soft from Rittel's and plain water. It can take from 8hrs to 24 hrs to rehydrate the skin. Once this is done rinse and place in a pickle ( I use Saftee-Acid) with some acid bate in it. Make sure your Ph is 2.0, soak for three days making sure you turn your hides in the morning and before you call it quits.
    After those three days are over, take out, drain for about 30 minutes and shave the hide down.
    I then use super solve degreaser from Knobloch's and rub this all over the flesh side of the bear. This is left on for two hours. Then I wash off in a bath of Kemal 4 and water, drain for about 30 minutes and place back in the pickle for another 24 hrs.
    Take them out the next day drain and then soak in a solution of one tablespoon of baking soda to a gallon of water. Soak them in this solution for 20 minutes. This neutralizes the hide. Take them out rinse well and let them drain for about 45 to an hour.
    For tanning I use EZ-100. During the time the hide is draining I make up my tanning bath. Place the hide in the bath for 16-18 hrs. Take them out again drain for an hour and then oil the hide. I use knobloch's #1 tanning oil for this. Warm it up, rub on real good, You don't need to make pools of it just a good coat, fold the hide up and I leave it set over night. The next day unroll the hide rub in any excess oil or remove it with a rag.
    Now you have two choices here, place it in the freezer till your ready to mount (AKA wet tan) hang it to dry as to have a dry tan and then rehydrate till your ready to mount or if your ready to mount it this is the time. I then wash the hide (fur side) with pert shampoo and rinse well. I tumble my hides in a clothes dryer set on cool with about 15 towels in it. Tumble for about 15 min and I then proceed to all my mounting steps.
    I hope this gives some in-site on tanning bears. Like I say it's hard work but fun. As for slippage? It's usually caused by mainly two things: one poor care before you got and poor care from you. Other than that bear won't slip. This is why you make sure you remove all the fat...... Enjoy.

  3. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Thank`s for your time and insightes in regards to my post, you were most helpful and I certainly appreciate your full description of the way it`s done!
  4. Nice post Frank, where were you when I asked the same question about a year and half ago. I do mine the same way, except I put my ez-100 in my auto tanner, and I use sawdust to tumble. If you have a 8 ft tumbler I found that my bears came out nicer than the ones I use to send out.
  5. Randy Mac

    Randy Mac New Member

    One thing I might add to Frank's post is after I salt mine the first time and I am ready to mount it I go in to the pickle, you do not need to dry rock hard if you are going to mount it right a way. I have left some in the pickle for more then a week at a time, I also have found that you might need to shave the head and neck more then one time I shave it and place it back in the pickle for a day and shave the head and neck again I get more stretch out of it.
  6. Randy,
    Frank's methods are rock solid. The drying part will lock the hair follicles in for the stay in the rehydration. The fresher the bear, the less time you can leave it in the rehydration. I am sure Frank has developed his method from many different experiences with bear. The rock hard drying is absolutely the best way to go, expecially for a beginner.
  7. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    Randy, now using your method, once the hide is tanned, can it be oiled and set aside to be rehydrated and mounted at a latter date?
  8. Randy Mac

    Randy Mac New Member

    Yes it can, I do it all the time if I need to go out of town to work. I dry it all the way hair side first then skin side with fan on it to help dry it faster. I then rehy. it in a bucket of water for no longer then 30 min. hang for about 15 min. roll it up over night and mount it the next day
  9. Western Rivers

    Western Rivers Wolves are Idaho's #1 Poacher!

    And some say bears are complicated! The only thing different is the degreasing. Leather is leather.
  10. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Leather is leather? Now theres one for the ages!