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Coyote Pelt Help!!!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Lee Ormsby, May 7, 2019.

  1. Lee Ormsby

    Lee Ormsby New Member

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    OK here’s the rundown. I don’t know where I went wrong. I had eight coyote pelts stored in the freezer from the winter, all were cased and in sealed Ziploc bags. All of the firs were skinned directly after being killed in cold weather and put in the freezer very quickly to prevent spoilage. Fast forward four months to last week when I took the pelts out of the freezer, thawed of them out and fleshed Them very thoroughly using a pressure washer set up, then thoroughly salted and put on stretchers Fur side in for 17 hours and then switched to fur side out for the next week allowing plenty of ventilation. Ambient temperature outside was in the 70s every day and furs were very dry (papery) after 24 hours. Left them in this state for about a week before rehydrating in a solution of water and McKenzie’s relaxer/degreaser for one hour, then directly into the pickle for 8 hours. Pickle used was 1/2 pound salt per gallon of water. As I was taking them out of the pickle hair started slipping badly on four of the eight hides. The only thing that I can figure is that the pickle bath got too warm as it was on the warmer side of the house. I was surprised how warm the water was after sitting outside in 70° weather all day. Is this possible? I would think that even if the water was toward the 70 or 80° mark they should have been fine. What did I do wrong? Can perfectly good hides go bad in the pickle bath if the water is too warm?
     
  2. nemo

    nemo Member

    Should have been using 1 pound of salt per gallon. Use a saltimeter from now on and keep your salt content between 40% and 45 %
     

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    What acid did you use for the pickle?
     
  4. Lee Ormsby

    Lee Ormsby New Member

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    Amateur hour alert. I’m going to catch hell for this I know it. Here it goes. My tanning experience is limited to the use of “ The little orange bottle “ that you get from Cabela’s called deer hunters and trappers hide tanning formula. I followed the directions exactly and I’ve had good luck in the past. After this whole ordeal I want to pursue tanning in a more professional and correct way. @nemo; do you suppose that bacteria was allowed to grow in the pickle because of the salt level and combination of temperature? @3 bears; No acid was used. The directions call for salt and water only and the pickle. Perhaps this is the problem and yields mixed results? Based on the reading that I am doing tonight the pickle should always contain salt and some form of acid. I’m starting to think that I rolled the dice with an amateur form of tanning and lost this time.
     
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  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Yep all you did was soak them in a weak salt brine.
     
    Lee Ormsby likes this.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I can tell you exactly where you went wrong. Lack of study and research on the subject before it was attempted.

    There are DVDs and books and Taxidermy.Net archives that need to be read. watched and gone through before you start your project.
     
    Lee Ormsby likes this.
  7. Lee Ormsby

    Lee Ormsby New Member

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    I am looking at using the McKenzie tan System with ultimate acid, doing it right by checking pH and all that rigmarole. Is the McKenzie tan system a good way to go? Recommendations? @ Tanglewood taxidermy, just ordered a book.
     
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I've not had issues when I've used it. Pretty simple directions to follow.
     
  9. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    There is a Breakthrough manual that is sold by suppliers like McKenzie.
    There is good DVD on tanning with Liqua tan from Research Mannikins.
    There is many many hours of reading in the archives on here. Most suppliers sell a tanning kit with detailed directions and many different types of tans are available in these kits.
     
    Lee Ormsby likes this.
  10. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

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    It works great for me.
     
  11. I agree with Tanglewood. Lack of salt and research.
     
  12. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Salt on a hide removes the moisture from the hide and limits the ability of bacteria to grow, but doesn’t necessarily kill the bacteria. Salt in water doesn’t do much of anything without the acid being added to make it into a pickle solution. There are some excellent tanning tutorials in the tutorial section of this forum.