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Is it just me that has problems with bear ears and slipage

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by rasorbackq, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Been tanning many years now and seems lately most of the bears ear seem to slip. All my bears turn out perfect as well all the fresh bears but others that have have come in frozen seem to slip. Some not to bad and others very bad.
    Today I took out a deer hide and it too had slipped in a few spots.
    What I do is beam flesh salt twice for 24 hrs , wash a few minutes to get rid of blood and dirt. pickle for 72 hrs in oxilac acid then shave. repickle 24 hrs and tan. Pickle is @ 2 or lower .
    Maybe my pickle is wrong.
    My mix is
    4 litre to 16 grams of acid to 400 grams of salt or very close to 1 gal to .5 oz of acid to almost a lb of salt X amount I require.
    My last bear that slipped was a big boy and it took over 48 hrs to thaw enough to skin the head . I sprayed the ears with stop rot but didn't help maybe it was not enough to get down to the skin. This hide slipped before the salt was applied.
    Seems the pickle starts to stink after about 2 days . Maybe I am not shaving enough but should not the acid penetrate the hide?? I am always afraid to shave too deep but do get a thin layer off the hide
  2. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    I dont hear anything about a degreasing step in your process. I use the same pickle as you and have not had any problems knock on wood. One thing I do when bears come in is to skin out the head ASAP, turn the ears and then spray stop rot. From this step I then will freeze until Im ready to flesh and start the tanning process. It takes way too long for the head to thaw out after freezing.

  3. I degrease during the pickle as well a degrease bath for 2 hours after the shave.
    Lots of taxidermist doing bears and are they all having slip issues ?
  4. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    Why do you wash after salting? this might be your problem. I would pickle longer too .
    I pickle everything for at least 5 days sometimes 7 days total.
  5. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    Heck Ive pickled up to a month sometimes. Not that it's needed, but just because I can :)
  6. I wash to remove the dirt and blood . Before I started to wash the ph was 2 at the start and by morning it was to high. Found myself having to almost add the same amount of acid again several times over the next few days.
    Could it be because I don't let the hide dry after salting. If hides are dry and rehydrate , same as a light wash No soap when I wash them.
    I read somewhere on here that oxalic acid mix should be 3 oz to one gal of water. My mix calls for .5 oz althought my Ph is good it does tend to rise to above 2 on fourth day.
    Anyone care to share the oxalic acid pickle recipe?
    Clifftax and Bearrug What are you pickle methods.

    Also I use a heater to 68deg as it gets cold in the mix. Could the heat er be causing my problems?
  7. Rhino

    Rhino Too many irons in the fire will put the fire out!


    Products available in Canada through Sirius Taxidermy Supply
  8. muscle20

    muscle20 New Member

    If you had slippage before you salted, that indicates to me either or field care or you took too long handling the bear, with dirty blood matted bear do not subject them to water, just put them in your pickle pH 2.0 after a few days or more in the pickle, before you put them in your degreasing float after the first shave, then you can brush out the matted blood, you do not want to subject your skins to water for too long specially on iffy skins, your pickle method is just fine, just add enough acid to keep your pH low, I have never added too much acid same pickle that I use, and I have never had slippage issues if proper field care has taken place, as bear skins to me is one of the most hardiest skins to tan if proper field care has taken place. You do not have to salt dry your bear skins unless you plan on storing them for a long while, matter of fact you could put your bear skins straight into the pickle after fleshing with no problems as I have done many times, also educate clients on field care, do not take too long turning the ears or splitting lips, as soon as a paw is thawed out enough, start skinning it out even if there is a little frost, as you stated the bears that come in frozen are the ones that are giving you a problem, so the key to success is efficiency on your part and your clients. Also do not worry about keeping your pickle float warm as you stated that your pickle smelled, if the pickle is cooler it will work just as well, it will just take longer, and do not be in a hurry to pickle your skins leave them in the pickle for a week or more, that way you will be sure that the pickle has flushed out the fibers, you would be better off having your heater on your tanning float anyways, hope I have been some help.
  9. As always Muscle 20 you are a wealth of knowledge.
    The skins are only 5 minutes if that in the washer . All these hide clients say were in the freezer in 3 hrs . Yes most are balled with loads of fat so they are not freezing very fast. This last bear was 6 hours to prep . Bet it had 25 lbs of fat on the hide. I started on the head to turn the eyes and eyes but its weight was slowing me down so I opted to flesh the hide before the ears. 6 Hrs after the start of the paws the ears started to slip. 48 hrs before that the ears were thawed where the block of skull and fur were not.

    The last deer I did was like the hair is not slipping but if you pull on it it will all come out . Like the hide is too soft . Now it has not dried . But I still have to break the hide .
  10. Old Shaver ...
    that was good read but where can I read the pickle steps . I don't want a face book account.
    And I am using truebond from Surius taxi supply with great results but my problem is in the pickles Seems the hides are not pickling although the ph is low they tend to get a smell about the 3rd day before the degrease stage.and shave. From there I KNOW I AM IN TROUBLE.
    Been like this since last season The couple deer capes I tanned all the hair was able to be pulled out not like slip just like they not attached by much . Maybe I am shaving too thin but I have a hard time to believe that . thinking not shaving thin enough.
    . On a hide I only remove a paper thin skin . Afraid to cut off the roots.
  11. Have 2 deer capes in pickle now . Not feeling good about it . Can I drain and freeze til I find out what the heck is going on?
  12. Huggs

    Huggs Member

    Might help to apply Stop-Rot when you get them in or when ever the first chance to get to the ears
  13. I did apply stop rot but maybe not enough to soak the hair.
  14. I am inclined to think the problem has developed well before you recieved the hides. If the hunter is freezing the bears with the hide rolled up and the head tucked to the center, the inner areas of the hide will take a couple days to freeze. The hide acts as an insulator. Have seen this happen often. Some hunters will also roll their cape or hide around the head after removing from the animal. The head is hot and the hide holds in the heat. Hides need to be cooled right away and with out being rolled up. Lay in the freezer loose until they start to get firm, then roll or fold up. Most hair slippage starts with improper care in the field. My two cents worth.
  15. What about a deer hide that too grew the smell over 2 days in the pickle. and last year I was having problems with a few beaver hides . They were white on the edges and brown in the skin center when cut with a knife. Every one tells me their hides were in the freezer in a couple hrs.
  16. You keep saying in the freezer hours, do you mean years? Hours wouldn't freeze it very hard. Brown in the middle just means it isn't soaked or pickled well. If skins were in the freezer for a long time you could have freezer burn that will eventually soak out.

    Even if you only wet salt, running through a regular re hydration will make a big difference. You will get the wash that you are looking for, plus you will introduce a bactericide, and possibly a fungicide to the skin, this will also open your skin up better, allowing the pickle in and reducing the pH of the skin faster, stopping bacteria.

    Time is your enemy when doing prep work. If it's going to take a bear a couple days to thaw, just put freezer packs on the ears and wrap them up to keep them cool while the rest of the bear is thawing. Don't spend a lot of time doing detail when you split and salt, you can detail it later when heat from your hands won't cause a problem.

    I'm not sure about the acid you are using, but if you have problems with the pH raising too much, you need to add more acid from the start. Once you reach a certain point with an acid, it won't matter how much more you add in regards to the pH reading you will get, but it will make big difference in how well the pickle will hold the pH.

    Last thing, if you don't have any trouble with skins you handle yourself, but you do with some one else's, you pretty much just answered the biggest part of your question.
  17. Keith I am saying they say they get the hide into the freezer in hours after the kill to start the cool down and freeze.
    What do you mean by wet salt??
  18. Salting but not drying it out completely.
  19. I don't dry rock hard after salting.
  20. If you don't dry after salting, you will still find you have much better luck running the skins through a re hydration bath before you go into the pickle. It does the same thing it would to one that was salt dried, just doesn't take as long. Your skin will pickle quicker, your pickle will stay cleaner and it should get rid of the brown layer in the middle. Overall you'll have much better results if you run your wet salted skins through a re hydration.