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HELP !!!!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Mike Bowen, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Mike Bowen

    Mike Bowen New Member

    Ok, I've just started tanning my own hides and i've run into a major problem. Two of the three coyotes I'm working on have turned out well - the other one lost ALL it's hair after i washed in in Dawn (degreased). I'm following the Deer Hunters Tanning solution directions and the only thing i may have done wrong is leaving them in the salt bath for about 14 hours instead of the recommended 6 to 8. Is this my problem? If so, why did it affect only the one hide? Very aggravating ... i have done well with Deer, Calf, and 2 of the coyotes. Thanks for any help you can give here...
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Dawn is not a degreaser for skins but other than that, what is your salt bath? A proper salt brine inhibits bacteria. Why do you use it? The hide was probably already slipping before you started. My suggestion is use one of the many real tans on available and follow the directions to a T and you should not have many issues.
    Mike Bowen likes this.

  3. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with that tan, but if its anything like other products I have seen that offer a "short cut" to a tan, the surprise is that you only had issues with one. Water is a key enemy to hides. Bacteria that cause slippage in hides thrive in water. Salt is used on a hide to dehydrate the skin (remove water and body fluids), prepare it for the tanning process, and help deter (slow down but not necessarily stop) bacterial growth. Salt in water by itself won't completely deter the bacteria. Soaking a hide for any length of time in water, even with salt added, is counter productive. How can you dry something out by soaking it in water? I can't think of any benefit whatsoever in putting a hide in a "salt bath," unless you added some kind of acid to make a pickling solution. I would recommend you research using some other home tanning products...True Bond Tanning Solution for example.
  4. Not really enough information but I'm going to take a stab at it. I assume you used a pickle. How big was the batch (gallons) and did you mix up a new batch for each hide or reuse the old one without adding acid. I don't reuse a pickle but some do. I like to mix new. If you did reuse the old pickle by the time you attempted your third hide the acid was gone from your pickle and you were basically putting the hide in salt water.
  5. Mike Bowen

    Mike Bowen New Member

    Thanks for all the responses. Learning as I go. So, I need to use a new tanning solution, not a cheap one - or learn the process I've seen here on other threads, mentioned above. FWIW - my deer hides have turned out really nice. The solution I use requires salting 2 days, then fleshing, then 6-8 hours salt bath (1/2 lb salt per gallon water), then cleansing/degreasing, then tanning solution. I'm going to read about the other tanning options and try it differently on my remaining yote skins.
  6. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    You can use whatever you feel comfortable with as long as you get the results you want. You can use better products and still get poor results. There are professional tanneries I know of that use a tanning process that combines pickle and tan into one step and don’t nuetralize. They produce good quality tans, but some of them end up deteriorating after a couple of years with severe acid burn. The point is, you need to understand the science behind all tanning to understand why a product will work in some cases and not work in others. In the specific case you mentioned, there are several key factors that are troubling. Coyotes (most predators) are notorious for slipping quickly. Water encourages the growth of the bacteria that causes slippage. Salt does not completely kill the bacteria but does deter its growth. With whatever product you use, you will have to experiment somewhat and learn to use it properly understanding the variables involved. You can accidentaly get good results with a poor product and you can inadvertently get bad results with a good product. It takes time to identify the variables that produce consistent results with any given product. When you ask a question like the one posed on this forum, you have the opportunity to learn from other’s experiences and the option to plod ahead and try experimenting for yourself. But either way, you need to identify the real elements involved in attaining the desired results. Many beginners are looking for easy and cheap and I can tell you from my experience, if any easy and cheap product produced consistent, positive results, everyone would be using it. If you choose to continue with the tanning product you are using, I would try skipping the salt water bath or limiting it to a much shorter time.
    Mike Bowen likes this.
  7. gasman1

    gasman1 The Big One Almost Got Away

    I use McKenzie tan with no problem except bear.
  8. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    I tired using the orange bottle trappers tan a few times quite a few years ago with poor results. I now use EZ100 to tan. It works great, and if you ever want to step into the taxidermy arena, you get some great wet tans out of it. Amy wrote up a great step by step instructional for it and ill give you a link to it. She spells it all out. Its much more work than the trappers orange bottle stuff but you get a true tan with great results. Hope this helps