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Deer cape in freezer since 1993 - semi long post.

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by lowmileage, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. lowmileage

    lowmileage New Member

    I'm an amataur taxidermist - I seem to do well enough for my own amusement on game birds & have done 4 turkeys that (I think) look pretty good. Back to the original question. I shot a Mule Deer in 1993 along with an Elk and brought both to a (VG) local taxidermist. I changed my mind and decided not to have the Mule Deer mounted. The taxidermist gave me the cape back but had already fleshed it out, turned the ears out and salted it. I think then maybe it was ready to be sent to the tannery. I put the cape in my freezer where it has resided for the past 20 years. I would like to try now to mount it myself - no harm in trying (it's a forkhorn that I never should have pulled the trigger on but that is another story). I looked at the cape yesterday and appearance wise, looks like it was put in yesterday but I assume the cape has suffered some sort of freezer burn. QUESTION 1: should the cape still be Ok for mounting? QUESTION 2: I was going to use the McKenzie Tan kit. I searched and it seems to be a good product. Would that be good to use?

    Many thanks, Fred
  2. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

    The kit is fine. Bit one thing your gonna need is a relaxer/dehydration bath. Normally that's like a pound of salt and say 5gal of water. Pose this question to Bruce Rittle here or even George Roof. My thoughts are you are gonna have to work on problem areas that may not want to soak back up.

  3. lowmileage

    lowmileage New Member

    That was qoing to be my question #3 but I didn't want to seem greety for my 1st posting. Thanks for taking time to reply. I look forward to starting this project. Regards, Fred
  4. Kyle Lakey

    Kyle Lakey Active Member

    I would send it to a good tannery to be wet tanned. Those types of tans aren't suppose to be used with a salt dried skin. Yes you could rehydrate it and still use the tanning kit but being you have never done anything like this you will probably end up with slipping and the amount of time and effort it will take to try this will be tremendous. Send it to a tannery who deals with these types of skins everyday and has the equipment to try and bring the cape back properly.
  5. brayden

    brayden New Member

    x2 on sending it away,,
  6. It is probably not ruined. I recently rescued a cape that a customer had in the freezer unfleshed, unturned and UNBAGGED for over 6 years. Freezer burned quite a bit, but with a relaxing bath, Stop Rot and more work than I would have liked, it turned out just fine.
  7. lowmileage

    lowmileage New Member

    Many thanks for your helpful replies - I've decided to send it to (based on this forum) a reliable tannery near Rochester, NY. I talked to them this morning and they said it should be OK. Will update on my progress - or lack of.
    Regards, Fred