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When Salting Capes ?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Slate Run, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Slate Run

    Slate Run Member

    When I salted capes I usually salted on a salt table and let them lay in a bed of salt on the salt table which had a slight incline for 24 hrs then hung to dry. Never really had any problems but then read somewhere not to lay flat as cape would be setting in the fluids and bacteria, which makes perfect sense now that I think about it. I started to salt and hang my capes over an old clothes drying rack to drain with a tub under it to catch the fluids. Then after about 12 hrs, I would re-salt. My question is I have noticed that the capes are sort of stretched long ways, assuming from the weight of the cape while hanging, and was wondering if that would create a problem as far as getting the width back after they are tanned? When I salted on the table I would stretch the cape width wise before I salted. Hope you understand what I am trying to ask. Thanks
  2. tomdes

    tomdes Me my dear and Fall BAZZ!!!

    I lay mine flat but I have a dehumidifier 5" from it pulling any water out that the salt draws out.. Capes dry really quick..
    rogerswildlife likes this.

  3. GWebb

    GWebb Well-Known Member

    Yes, they will stretch length-wise, a green cape hung up like that will, as will a cape in about every stage of tanning. Just have to stretch them back out when you're done.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I laid the cape out flat on an inclined table. Rubbed in salt. Left it for over night and shook the wet salt off. The liquids would run off the cape on the incline table and into a gutter that ran to a five gallon bucket. Left it on the incline over night again and then hung it over a big wooden closet rod and let it dry until I could fold it and then set it in front of a fan so that the air could circulate around and through it. When ready, I rehydrated it, pickled it and went through all the steps of tanning and such. When I was ready to mount it, I was able to stretch it width wise to the green measurement or greater.
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  5. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I have a hanging rack that I made for salting deer hides and I hang they on a hook by the hide between the antler burs with a tub under them. Yes they do stretch out lengthwise, but I've never had any problem re hydrating them and getting them back to their original shape and size as long as they are not stored dry for too long.
  6. Crittrstuffr

    Crittrstuffr Active Member

    Please correct me if I'm wrong on this but a salt covered table is a very inhospitable place for bacteria to grow(that's why we use the product). I stretch mine for width not length and have let them lay flat until dry with the help of a fan. Never had an issue. A salt table covered in salt at a slant should be fine to leave the capes on until you want or need to move them. JMO
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who is an award winning taxidermist that I used when I needed a mount done that I had no experience with and he lays a skin on the concrete floor of his old chicken coop, throws salt on it, lays another on that, throws salt on it and continues to stack them. I have never known him to loose a skin. I would bring him my fleshed and turned capes and skins to send out with his capes and skins. I would give him a lot of skins and capes and never lost one. I would never salt that way and don't recommend it.

    I trusted him to my stuff, but, I didn't trust doing it that for myself, so, when I tanned my own stuff I salted in the manner I stated in my earlier post.
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    I lay them out stretched width wise (short incision) on a piece of plywood angled to let fluids run off, never sits in fluid, salt 24 hours or next day shake off salt, flip over and re salt, let sit until next day, flip over again for a day to dry, by now getting dry and hard, fold and put in pile with the rest until shipped to tannery. Not one cape or hide lost doing this way after 25 years plus.
  9. jk

    jk Active Member

    I salt heavily, fold up for 24 hours, open cape up, let drain for 10 minutes or so, resalt and hang up to dry, fold up when starting to harden and place in an open box. 25 year and have never had any problems. The capes shrink up quite a bit after the first salting.