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

Tanning bears and boars?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by mooser, May 19, 2007.

  1. Formic acid pickle and liqua tan anything else needed for tanning bears and pigs? Someone told me about acebate or something, is that needed also?
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Acid bate is great to add to your pickle. This helps dissolve some fats and proteins, which aid in the tanning process. The one thing you lack is a degreaser.
    I use knobloch's degreaser for my bears. It works great and I never had a problem.

  3. Mike A

    Mike A New Member

    I like to use Tannery Degreaser on my bear & boar.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Boars are one thing, but tanning a bear is just silly in most estimations. They can be tanned professionally much better than 99% of home tanning ever could hope for.
  5. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Im in 100% agreement with George on this one.
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    True tanning bears can be hard but I'll say this, with the proper chemicals isn't not hard at all to do. Simply put,
    hydrate=Rittles ultra-soft
    Pickle with acid bate in saftee-acid
    Shave and then degrease with knobloch's degreaser
    wash with Kemal-4 and re-rinse, throw back in pickle
    drain, neutralize, drain
    Tan in EZ-100
    oil with knobloch's #1 tanning oil
    I can't ask for a better job and my clients who I tan for never complained yet. Besides the tan I get a real soft hide with out a tumbler. Of course I shave my hides thin.
  7. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Member

    I have never had a problem tanning my black bears in the shop as well either. Proper fleshing, saftee acid w/ acid bate, proper shaving, washed in super solvent and tanned with Lutan-f produces a darn nice bear as far as I am concerned.

  8. cold trapper

    cold trapper age 15 a trapperman w/7 prime rats!

    frank is right. not a big deal with his instructions. but beware bear can be ruined easily so watch your ph every step. eze 100 gives the best tan in my opinon.
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You guys are misunderstanding what Bill and I are saying completely. LISTEN PEOPLE, THIS AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE. Sure, anyone CAN tan a bear, but somone's hiding their head in the sand if they even imply that BEARS do not have special issues that MUST be addressed on each and every one. Bears are extremely thin skinned to begin with. When the hide is fleshed and defatted is one thing, but over the shoulders and the nape of the neck where the hide is thicker will need to be shaved. Shaving a bear skin is just damned downright tricky, I don't care who you are. The ears are often a trouble spot with blowouts and slipping. The feet can have issues if not fleshed and salted quickly enough. For the time involved and the labor intensity, no one on here is ever going to convince me that in the long run, you're money ahead to salt them down and send them to a tannery. If you're smart, you'll have a disclaimer in your contracts about not being responsible for tanning and about crappy field care usually being the main culprit. If you send it out, you tell the customer that though the slippage happened at the tannery, it was set in motion by his or her INACTIONS in the field. And I know, it's MY OPINION, but blowing roses up beginners asses doesn't change the facts. All I would like to see is just one of you who say it's no big deal to tell me that you've never had a slip spot on a bear.
  10. cornfedIowan

    cornfedIowan Guest

    I have NEVER, EVER had a slip spot on a bear!!!!!! But then again I've never done one ;D How's it going George. Was reading your post and it's been awhile, so I had to say hello in my usual fashion LOL.
    Peace out, Cornfed
  11. Glen Conley

    Glen Conley KARMA GOOSE R.I.P. 2006-2006

    Color me stupid, but I have never had the ability to tell by talking to someone on the phone, or reading an e-mail as to how competent an individual is.

    Here is part of a quote from an e-mail sent to me sometime back by Glen Dillon.

    "The hide turned out GREAT! There seems to be no hair loss at all. This hide was frozen raw for 2 years before tanning. And this was my first attempt at tanning anything. I couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out!"

    See photos.
  12. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Member

    George from past posts I can tell you have a love for bears!! You must just have the worst outifitters in the bear world in your neck of the woods. Out of the several frozen bears that I have receieved I have had exactly 1 bear that had a slippage problem on one ear. Other than that I have never had a problem. You are right though in that if you don't do things properly you are going to have problems.......... but aint that the case with anything? I charge enough to flesh and tan a bear and then rug or mount to make it worth my while. I would rather pay myself any day than to pay someone else.

  13. Reply from Bruce Rittel from another post:

    Hmmmm. I consider Bears easy to tan at home. However, there are a few things about it you have to consider if you try it. And if you dont own a Shaver - flesh, salt and dry it - and send it to a reputable Tannery!

    #1 - After it thaws - first skin out the head if it's unskinned, then turn the lips, nose, ears and flap the eyes, and then flesh it clean. Remove every bit of fat and meat, including the membrane off. Now Salt it good and fold it, and then place it on an inclined surface so the juices flow away. DONT ROLL IT UP! Leave it in Salt for 1-2 days. Then unfold it, shake out the old salt and apply a new layer. Again - leave it 1-2 days. Then shake out any loose salt and hang it over a beam or line until it dries stiff as a board. DO NOT SEND A WET BEAR TO A TANNERY! Unless you like sending it using expensive express mail. As it is - they will probably only do the salting and drying for you before they process it anyway.

    #2 - If you have a Spring Bear - you will need to rehydrate it and then pickle it for 3 days. Then shave it completely. After it's shaved then degrease it and repickle it before you go on to tan it.

    #3 - If you have a Fall Bear or what I call a "Blue Bear" because the skin is very thin, then after rehydration, pickle it for 3 days - but back off on the shaving. Fall Bears only require some shaving around the head and legs - but again - go easy! These types of Bears are so thin in the body I only do what I refer to as "skim shaving" to reduce the bulk of the fat. If you literally shave it - you may cut off the deeply imbedded fur roots. After shaving, again, do the degreasing and put it back into the pickle until you want to proceed to tanning it.

    Other than the above - they are not a difficult piece to tan.

  14. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    I have done them very successfully, but I will never do another. Economically its not a good deal.
  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Me too Bill.

    TurkeyCreek, it must be the "east of the Mississippi" thing. The outfitters in Maine will skin a bear with 2 inches of fat on it, roll it up, put a couple bags of ice on top and send the guy 800 miles down I-95 to me. Ontariio, Quebec, and Nova Scotia are all the same. Yet I can get a bear from Manitoba, BC, or Alaska with no fat, lips split, ears turned and salted almost dry. I HATE to have hunters going up this east coast for bears and when I really want a joy, let them go for FALL BEARS. In Rick Carter's words, there ain't nothing to match bear leather.
  16. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    I have seen more bears come from Taxidermists, that have been fleshed TOO thin, than I can count. Even skinning a bear too close will leave bald spots. Slippage, and missing hair, are two totally different things. I will bet I have shaved more bears, in a month, than any regular visitor of this forum, has shaved in a lifetime, and that definitely includes tanning suppliers. Bears are the MOST difficult skin to tan at home, and will always be, no matter who says otherwise. All bears are different, according to the geographical region they came from, and what time of year they were harvested. If you only take in bears from one small geographical region, I could see being successful at wet tanning shoulder, 1/2 LS, and full body skins, but dry tanning for rugging, would be a whole different ball game. George is telling it like it is. The rest of yall are misinformed. Some of these comments are coming from pure ignorance, and some are coming from people wanting to sell tanning supplies.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Hudson, now why did you have to go there? Letting an alligator mouth overload a hummingbird ass. What part of TAXIDERMY don't you understand? Sure, most of us are ambidexterous, multi-talented, and enjoy multi-tasking, but when the rubber meets the road, you still need a tire that you don't know how to make. There are MANY jobs we do that aren't TAXIDERMY and TANNING is a major one of those. I can build, wire, and plumb a house, but when it comes to putting the sheetrock up, I hire a professional. The reason is that I COULD do it myself, but what takes me 8 days to complete, a competent drywall guy will have done in 2. In fact, after one, his mud job already looks better than mine when I'm finished. The same is true with tanning. On small jobs and uncomplicated jobs, I do them well enough for my liking, but I still understand my limitation. Your comment about dicking up hides was a stupid as box of rocks. Most people who ASSUME by some of the advice here, that tanning a bear is no problem, might well take it to heart and try it on a customers piece. That's just a fact of life and they give out Darwin Awards every year to people like that. The advice he got here was the SAFE advice and something MOST PROFESSIONALS do anyway.

    You want to be smart, ask Old Shaver how long it took him to become a master shaver and what the TANNERY trusted him with when he began work for the first time.
  18. A greatly appreciate all the input you have all posted. I do have a shaveing machine and probably could be capable of tanning and actually do ALOT of wet tanning, but have decided to send the bears out. However the pigs I will keep. Thamks again.
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Hudson, I"m going to cut you some slack. Your mouth seems to be running and you can't stop it. What I'm CAPABLE of doing is beyond your mental faculties. What I'm CAPABLE of UNDERSTANDING is already beyond your reach. Oldshaver will tell you very quickly that he's NOT a taxidermist, he's a TANNER and I'm sure he knows there's a distinct difference between a taxidermist tanner and a PROFESSIONAL TANNER. But I'll let him tell you. It would figure that the path of least resistance would be a pet peeve of yours. It seems you'd be a prime candidate for testing for electrical shorts. Anyone who looks for the hard way to do anything is the person I want to be far enough away from that I don't get hurt by his stupidity. In fact, I'm going to practice that right now, so take your best shot. Elvis is leaving the room.
  20. Laurier

    Laurier Active Member

    George are you leaving the room with Elvis ? LOL