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McKenzie tan results

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by aweiss44, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. aweiss44

    aweiss44 New Member

    I was wondering if anyone has been using the McKenzie tan products and how your results were. Looking to start doing deer and wanted to process the capes in house. Only saw one or two mentions of it when I searched this forum.
  2. I use the Mckensie tanning system with great results, but to get the best results you kind of need a fleshing machine to be able to thin down the cape.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I still argue that statement. A fleshing machine CAN thin the skin to get better detail on the form, but a deer skin simply isn't so thick as to effect the tanning qualities of a solution IN MY OPINION. Proper fleshing and good salting techniques are more than sufficient.
    Morris Custom Hides likes this.
  4. I've used McKenzie tanning products since I first started. Always been happy with the results. Make sure to use a good relaxer before throwing the salted cape in the pickle otherwise you'll end up shrinking the neck.

    Good luck!
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I agree with George that a deer skin is not thick enough to effect the penetration of the tan. The thinning of the skin comes into play during the mounting process, as it aids in stretch and reduced shrinkage along with a good oil.
    Morris Custom Hides and George like this.
  6. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    I have used most of the "home tans" over the years, including McKenzies products. They all worked fine BUT imo they all need you to have a knowledge of tanning. There is no product that is simply "rub on" and voila, tanned skin

    Currently use Krowtan which is extremely simple and even it requires you to know when a skin is properly neutralized by feel.

    Point is, don't expect miracles on your first attempts.
    edgar likes this.
  7. Ive used McKenzie tan in the past and it worked well as long as you follow the instructions. There is a great video done by rick carter on mckenzies web site. I did however switch to Krowtann because I didn't like having to monitor the pickle solution and salting the hides. Pro 1 tan also makes a good in home tan. Just follow the instructions of whichever one you choose and have at it.
  8. pastorjdb55

    pastorjdb55 New Member

    If you are just starting out on deer, try Krowtann. I've been using it for 8 or 9 years now and have had great results on everything from bear to bobcats and is great on deer as they have a special formula for deer. You will get a good white soft tan with plenty of stretch, just go by the instructions and you won't go wrong. I've been thawing whole bobcats out in it and it works great so that the sensitive areas don't have problems while thawing. Just my .02 cents worth
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Not to flog a dead horse, but WHY would you tell a beginner to start with that? Usually beginners have gasoline asses and regardless of what they do, it won't come near what they'll do in years to come. I usually advise DP for beginners because as a TAXIDERMIST, learning to "move the skin" is the most important thing that one will ever do. Krowtann might be the cat's meow to some of you and certainly to the company that manufactures it, but this ain't my first rodeo. I've seen hides with no treatment by artisans that looked spectacular years later and I've seen hacks with commercially tanned hides that made a baboon blush. The paint on tans work (and work quite well, I might add) in a matter of hours, while Krowtann is going to take you a few days. Beginners aren't interesting in watching paint dry, they want to mount something. I use McKenzie tan and I'll put my work up against ANYONE as long as you just concentrate on the hide treatment and not the craftsmanship.
  10. Paul D

    Paul D Member

    Another Krowtann fan here. Its pretty simple- just follow the directions.
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Paul, he didn't ask about Krowtann. And there's damned well nothing "simple" about a process that takes 3-4 days. In the same time, I could use Lutan or alum and their steps are just as simple if you follow the directions.
  12. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

    I mounted my first deer over 30 years ago. I fleshed by hand "skife knife" salted once, brushed on a crème tan bought from Vandyks let it set over night rolled up, wiped off excess in the morning and mounted. Other than his eyes to round he looks fine today 30 years later. There are brush ons that work.
    George likes this.
  13. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    The truth is that we do not know how McKenzie Tan works. Its too new. Ask this question in a decade or two. There are other paint on tans and other home tanning products on the market though that have proven to be good over the long haul and their prices are similar. You decide.
  14. Bigotto46

    Bigotto46 New Member

    I started doing gameheads 5 years ago out of my home. Started to do them for myself and friends and have now started to do them for others. I have used McKenzie since day one to tan the hides. I do not have a fleshing machine but try to get the hides fairly thin. I have never had an issue with shrinkage using it. It makes a nice tan that allows a little stretch if you need it. The night before mounting the hide I will soak in a little water with some fabric softener for about 3 minutes and bag it. I will agree with George on this one. Easy to use, no issues whatsoever.
    Morris Custom Hides likes this.
  15. I started out using Vandykes Curatan back in the early 80s and I guess it worked and I've used several others over the years, but been using McKenzie for a good many years now and it works for me. I agree with a couple others here that it's not the rub on tans that makes a good tanned cape, but the process leading up to tanning. I salt twice because salt is cheap and I only do around 25 to 30 pieces a year on a average so it's not that time consuming to me. . . Fleshing good, salting good and a good pickle and neutralize will lead to a good tan because the rub on tan will penetrate even a none shaved cape and still have a decent stretch, but a good shaved cape works even better.
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Trophy Specialist, that's exactly why I said what I did about KroTann. Obviously IT hasn't been on the market long enough as well. HOWEVER, most of the paint on's "work". They have a low pH in the 4-5 range just like most of the "real" tans do. Properly used with a salted hide, they penetrate thin hides as well as any submersible. Conversely, the Krowtann is a bit lower which lead to a MUCH earlier discussion about comparing it to the old "pickle tans" of the Hornaday era. But having said that, I've seen Don Stevens' deer mounting with nothing more than fleshing. It still looks better than my home tanned or professionally tanned hides and as far as I know, it's still holding up well. I have a 33 year old DP Shoulder mount and a 32 year old lifesize done with DP and both of them still look just as bad as they did when I finished them. They're also proof that beginners need to become well versed in anatomy versus how to tan and what might be a better product. If you know the first, yo won't have any worries about the second.
  17. Paul D

    Paul D Member

    George he did NOT ask about anatomy.
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    No, as a matter of fact he didn't. He asked specifically about McKenzie tan. He also said he was about to start mounting whitetails, which means he's likely a beginner. I answered his specific question and then gave him the advice I give all beginners.
  19. bigarms24

    bigarms24 New Member

    I started 8 years ago with Krowtan and seemed like every other deer I done had hair slippage.Granted a lot of that was probally me being to slow skinning and fleshingI read for 3 days on these forums about hair slippage trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.Changed to Mckenzie tan 3 years ago and I do around 40 deer heads a year and Ive yet to have one with any slippage.Not knocking Krowtan but Im a believer in Mckenzie Tan
  20. orhan kemal

    orhan kemal New Member

    Hi I'm Tekirdag in Turkey
    McKenzie Tanning System is not sold in my country KROWTAN is not sold
    Would I use vaseline oil, castor oil or almond oil instead of these products?
    or which product would you recommend to me?

    thanks for reply