Hi all, I wasn't sure where to post this since it pertained to both gameheads and lifesize. Please move if needed! I have some questions about using dry preservative for mounting. I've spent time reading through the archives but still have a few things I'm wondering about. I've never used it before but am changing from tanning to dry preservative. Please don't suggest tanning instead; I never planned to use any method other than tanning but have been having such bad reactions after handling tanned hides and leather from various tanneries that I just can't work with them anymore. I've been getting increasingly sick over the last few years and have lost hundreds if not thousands of dollars from missed work time at my day job and medical bills. I've been trying to do some research on what might be going on, but can only find info about skin and respiratory irritation from tanning chemicals. I've been getting a severely upset stomach about 12 to 24 hours after I work with tanned hides. My doctor recommended an allergy specialist but I can't afford to go with my current insurance so am stuck with not knowing exactly what's going on. All of my tanned customer items are being sent out to other taxidermists to finish and I'm getting rid of all my other tanned hides and leathers because I'm done with being so sick. If anyone familiar with chemicals in the tans that could be causing stomach/intestinal issues can give me more info, that would be great! I'd really like some answers as to what's going on. Here are my questions for those of you who have had success with dry preservative: 1. I'm worried that I'm stuck with deer and small mammals only. Are bears totally out of the question now? Or is there a way to degrease them and continue on with mounting using dry preservative? I can't guarantee that any degreasing chemical isn't going to bother me too, I guess! 2. I've always relied on tanneries to do my hide thinning for me, and have heard that without pickling, I won't be able to shave things down very thin. How does this work? Just shave as thin as I can get and mount it? I generally like my deer capes and everything very thin. 3. I'm worried about a musty smell or animal smell if the skins aren't tanned. Is this a problem and is there some way to deal with it? My very first lifesize from back in taxidermy school was done with a brush on tan and even that had a musty animal smell afterwards, so I'm worried using DP will be even worse. Not sure if I need to wash things, or how all the steps go without tanning. Or if I need to avoid animals with a stronger smell to them. 4. Can anyone recommend compatible hide pastes? I've been using Pro-1 but not sure I can continue to do so. I do have some Dermagrip which is think works with DP. I think that's it, everything else I've read on DP has made sense to me. Though any advice is appreciated. I feel like I practically have to learn how to do taxidermy all over again! I'm not sure I can even get a product I'm happy with anymore, but I'm going to give it a try, and if I continue to have any health problems, I'll probably have to stop doing taxidermy altogether. Hopefully this works though!