Firstly, I'm not a taxidermist. I shot a nice bear and decided to try to tan it at home using a tanning kit. I'm a trapper and so I wanted to try to tan a bear hide for practise before trying a wolf. I shot it a little less than 2 weeks ago. I fleshed they bear very very well the following day. I'm fairly good at fleshing so I know I did it well. Not a ounce of fat or flesh was left on the hide when I was done. Then I threw it in the wash machine with a bit of dawn soap. I put it on the gentle cycle, cold water with extra rinse. I repeated this two times. Then I draped the hide over a stand in my garage with a fan and the furnace on very low. Within a few days the hide dried to hard leather. I kept checking on the hide and it seemed fine. I wiped out some grease droplets each day until no more appeared I did not salt the hide. I basically prepared it like I would prepare a coyote for auction. I figured if someone can buy my coyote hide and use a home tanning kit on it, I could do the same with a bear hide. Finally my tanning kit showed up in the mail. The first step in the kit is to soak the dry hide for 2-3 hours. When I brought the hide into the bathtub, I noticed it stank. I did notice a small section on the leg which didn't appear to dry (it was slightly folded). So I cut that section out. I'm about to take the hide out, let it drip dry and salt it like the kit says.. But I'm worried I'm wasting my time as the hide has spoiled. I'm not sure what I would have done to cause it to rot, aside from the folded peice I cut off.. Is this just how a bear hide smells? I read they are very greasy which makes them smell. I will go ahead and drip it dry then take it to the garage to salt it for a few days and hope for the best, but any advice would be great.