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when should I get a Dakota flesher??

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Andrew M, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. I've been doing taxidermy for about a year and I'm tanning all of my hides. i just do mounts for myself but I'm hoping to start doing them for customers soon. I'm not doing that many hides a year but still I'm doing enough to keep me busy (about 6 or 7 different mounts last year) so far this year i have done (and am doing) 10 hides so far. 4 deer in the last few months. I've already done two of the deer and a black bear. the others are still in the freezer. I've been using bench grinders as shavers but they don't really work that well. I keep hearing that nothing can beat the commercial tanneries. is that true? also about how many hides do you have to be doing a year to make it a good investment? and do you use it for fleshing and shaving or just shaving? if you're gonna do mounts for customers should you just send them to a tannery instead of doing them yourself?

    Any info would be appreciated.
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Nothing can beat tanneries, true? For game heads home tan is sufficient. For bears and rugs they are hard to beat. How many hides a year to justify the investment? More than one. Fleshing and/or thinning? You can use them for both. I use it for thinning only. Send customers skins out to be tanned? I send big stuff like elk capes out, all bears, antelope and all rugs and wall hangers. I currently tan my deer and smaller game heads and mammals, however, my work load has become such that I may send it all out. Tanning does take time, space and can be tricky compared to skinning, fleshing, salting, which you have to do anyway and shipping which takes less time but is more expensive due to shipping costs.