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Freezing And Thawing Hides Before Tanning.

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by SterlingFoxCreations, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. SterlingFoxCreations

    SterlingFoxCreations New Member

    I have a few frozen critters I'm going to be working on (squirrels in the carcass) and was wondering what your thoughts were in regards to freezing and thawing them.

    My plan is, since I have minimal freezer space, to thaw the critters out then skin them as soon as they have thawed enough to do so. My question then is, would I be able to refreeze the hides before salting/tanning or would I run a serious risk of causing fur slippage? I know I'll have to thaw the hides again after I refreeze them and was curious to hear your thoughts on the matter.
  2. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    They will not slip by re-freezing. Place them individually in zip-lock bags, expel the air, and lay flat for quick freezing and thawing. They will thaw in an hour or so. DO NOT SALT before re-freezing. Salted skins don't freeze, and can spoil when placed in the freezer.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Ok I’ve got a totally different view on this .
    Anytime you take anything out from a freezer thaw, work on it and then freeze again you can have a chance of slippage.
    One is once thawed bacteria will advance again cause of warmth and handling.
    Salting afterwards will take up less space plus save on freezer space for other game.
    It’s a misconception on salting skins and them not freezing. They will freeze but it takes a lot longer. If this was so untrue then the Arctic etc would not be there cause the salted water would have melted the ice caps burgs etc away by now or even our coastal water wouldn’t freeze. watch the news on either coast in the winter and you’ll see when tidal water comes up and over boardwalks how it freezes .
    I would do a salted hide after the first salting so that just about all the moisture has been pulled out of the skin so you don’t have a messy freezer as in a freshly salted hide will pull moisture out but will puddle on you and if slanted cause a mess.
    If you want to skin out and still freeze then apply stop rot to the skin for safe keeping. That product will work on those skins in freezer and protect you better than any other chemicals.

    Freezing Point of Salt Solution
    The greater the level of salt, the lower the freezing point gets. A salt solution at the point of saturation – the point at which it's not possible to dissolve any more salt in the liquid – reaches the freezing pointat minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 21.1 degrees Celsius).
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
    MixedupMel likes this.
  4. SterlingFoxCreations

    SterlingFoxCreations New Member

    I was thinking to keep the bacterial levels down wiping (not spraying or dipping) with a cloth a small amount of isopropyl alcohol over the fur side (especially on the face, ears, and tail). I don't know of a good place to buy stop rot.

    Considering what you've said, what do you think of the following procedure?
    1) thaw and skin (minimal if any fleshing)
    2) wash off any dirt or blood then dry with a towel as much as possible.
    3) salt hide and let sit. (day or so replacing salt as needed.)
    4) shake salt off of hide really well and place it in a plastic bag.
    5) lay hide as flat as possible in the freezer to allow better freezing. (Can plastic be touching the skin side?)

    I only need them to keep in the freezer for 4-6 days since I'm planning on tanning them after that.
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I like to keep things simple.

    I would skin and flesh as I got them.

    Salt dry and store in a COOL, DRY place until ready to tan.

    Another option is to freeze whole as you seem to want to do

    Thaw, skin and flesh, then salt dry and store in a COOL, DRY place until ready to tan.
    MixedupMel and Frank E. Kotula like this.
  6. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Thanks Tanglewood as that’s the best option!!!
    MixedupMel likes this.