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Late Season Mule deer cape slip

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Rackmastr, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Hey Guys,

    Quick question for the tanning gurus out there. I shot a big buck this past fall in late November. Weather was -35C and I had the buck caped within an hour of shooting it. Cooled it off on the tailgate of my truck before folding it up to freeze. Ensured no heat was in the cape before folding and then rolling. Froze hard that night and stayed frozen until I pulled it out to turn it.

    Turned and salted as usual, fleshed up very cleanly and had no issues with drying quickly.

    Tannery that I use stated that he has a lot of problems with late season mulies and this cape slipped in a couple spots. Right up near the seam high in the neck, down by the shoulder (not a patch but lost some of the longer hairs that makes it look 'rubbed') and a touch below the ear. Also a little 'seam' along the neck.

    This is a big cape and a big old buck. I am determined to see if I can save it via patching as I left a lot of cape to spare (vs paying for a cape of equal size/colours/condition) but I'm curious if other tanneries have issues with late season mulie capes. This cape was in what I'd call A++ condition and I cared for it as good or better as any other cape I handle. Really deflated me when I had slip like that on such a cool cape.

    Thoughts or comments? Tannery said there isnt much a guy can do better for prep, but sometimes he just gets slip on late season mulies.
  2. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Sounds like you did all that you could..Sometimes "slip happens."

    I've done some Mexican mulies that were taken in hot weather, frozen and thawed out by customs and refrozen. They didn't slip at all..granted that the hair is a might shorter than yours probably was..

    At -35C , -31F that cape should have frozen on it's own within hours..

  3. What my tannery told me was that the slip and difficulty tanning was due to the thickness of the hides they get in late season and the hair length and thickness. Something I havent experienced before, but a frustrating thing for sure!
  4. tannery error, have done lots of late season mulies just as you described, never had a problem, sounds like you need to look for a better tannery
  5. Kinda what I was thinking as well. I havent had a nicer, cleaner, better handled cape before (my own 187" trophy and I took care of it quickly) and I was shocked at the slip. Different story if its a customer's cape and dont know the history on it, but I know the handling which bugged me more....
  6. I would look at your thawing process. How long--in water ---in front of heat----take a couple days to thaw--- How did you do it ? Salting--- was it done right? Hide Froze before salt did its job. ? Not enough salt ? Was the tanner one you have been with, with no problems or first time ?

    The only time tanner should see problems with a thick hide is if it wasn't right when they got it. Other wise child's play for a good tanner ! My problem is if tanner did something wrong why is it not slipping all over the hide, instead of just one place. There are way more delicate places for a cape to slip due to tanner error. Not saying they didn't screw up, don't know, but these things are normally deeper that one thinks.

    As cyclone says it could just be that slip Happens.
  7. Just another thought. I see you folded and rolled up the cape, then put in the freezer. and some od the problems where high in the cape, head area.
    Did you roll it up face first? Did you have the hair out when you folded and rolled it up?
    Why I ask is. hair is insolation. and if hides are rolled up, hair out. you just insinuated the very center of the roll. it takes more than a day to freeze the center. (usually the face, because persons tend to roll capes up head first)
    And the same when it thaws. it takes longer for the center to thaw, because the hair will insinuate the heat from thawing the center.
    Thus when a folded and rolled hair out hide is put in the freezer, bacteria can still be active for at least a day in the inner most part of the roll.
    I believe the proper way to freeze hides is hair in, or skin side out. and face out. thus letting the cold air to penetrate the hide completely and faster.
    The face is the most important part of a mount and usually hard to repair or hide repairs. that is why I always keep it on the out side of a rolled or a folded hide.
    Just my 2 cents.
  8. cyclone

    cyclone Posts: 400001

    Don't forget as well that long haired capes need to be agitated well during the re-hydration and pickling processes..
  9. Thanks isnarewolves for th comments and questions.

    I shot the buck an hour before dark in -35. I caped it and hour or so later in a garage, instantly cooled off the cape (with no blood on it, etc) and put it in a garbage bag in the box of my truck where it laid flat until frosty/cold. I then rolled it up and let it freeze hard. It stayed frozen until I pulled it of the freezer and turned/salted it. It had minimal handling during this turning time and had a ton of salt used in all spots. Applied twice and loaded the salt on. Then, after dried it was taken to my tannery within a week.

    The tannery tanned it and had it back to me within 2 weeks of dropping it off, and this is when I had the slip issues in various spots. Caused me a lot of questions/concern as to why it would slip and whether it was my fault. Tannery stated it was not my handling and sometimes it just happens on late season capes. I have used the tannery quite a bit and have had 'average' results with one other cape slipping (customer mount that was poorly handled) and some pigment loss in my own grizz hide and various fleshing issues that I've addressed (blown eyes, etc). This one left me confused and frustrated obviously as the tanner is a great guy but I was curious if a different tanner would have different results. All speculation and wondering now haha.

    Time for a switch I think!
  10. I have owned an operated a commercial tannery for 23 years or so, I guess. did taxidermy, a guide, lifetime trapper, and a hunter. Yes with all that back ground I have had some stuff not turn out.
    But still (not a patch but lost some of the longer hairs that makes it look 'rubbed') MAYBE? the round knife blade shaved some of your long hair? What you describe along the edge. hair could have been folded over while flesher was making a pass.
    My experience with a round knife error is:(yes I have had some :D) you shave to deep and hair slips, not make it look like a rub. Hollow hair game really does not have a woolly hair layer.(I know there are some fine hairs deep down inside) Like most fur bearers or solid haired game. So a rubbed look is shorter hollow hair.
    Late season game is not an issue. The issue is how did long hair become short hair.