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Help! First Deer Shoulder Mount...save My Deer!

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Mindyrella, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. Mindyrella

    Mindyrella New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I am actually posting on behalf of my 16 year old daughter who is obsessed with taxidermy. She has been experimenting with taxidermy based on youtube and other online resources. She is currently working on her first deer shoulder mount. I think I must have ordered the wrong product for her and so may have messed up the process. Here is what she has done so far and we need help figuring out next steps to try to save this hide.
    1. She thawed the hide.
    2. She fleshed it.
    3. She dumped what we thought was some sort of specialized taxidermy salt all over the flesh side of it. This is the part where I guess things went wrong. It turned out that I had ordered a powdery substance that I understood to be a salt that taxidermists use called Para-Tan. I guess it is actually a tanning product. She left that stuff on the animal overnight and found that it was wet the next day (today). She got all the product off of it.

    We are at a loss at to what to do with it right now. She says it seems like it is already tanned (she is in another state with her grandparents at the moment) and nearly dry and that it is a nice supple, white hide. We are worried it might be greasy though or maybe some substances need to be neutralized. We are total newbs and no idea what we are doing. If this were you, what would you do to preserve the hide? Should we wash with some degreaser? Do we still need to dump actual pickling salt all over it? Should we soak it in some salty water? I just don't know what to do now. Should we freeze it until we figure something out? Appreciate any advice that you have.
     
  2. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any para tan left at this point? It needs to be soaked in a bath of para tan. But picking should take place first. I never used pare tan before. But I'm sure your cape is fine at this point. I would wash ,degrease then pickle. Then soak in para tan. Remember you can freeze the cape between any step. But I would wash and degrease before you freeze at this point...

    I wouldn't use any other tan on the cape other then para-tan at this point. I think you can omit the salting as well on this cape.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
    Mindyrella likes this.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Research Mannikins Taxidermy Supply Co. has a DVD on how to tan with Liqua-tan AND Para tan. It will will show you all the steps and what pickle and oil to use.
     
    msestak and Mindyrella like this.
  4. Mindyrella

    Mindyrella New Member

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    Yes I believe she has some Para-Tan left as I ordered a very large quantity for her (25 lbs I believe). I just left her voicemail and asked her to re-freeze it if she hasn't already. Do you have any suggestion on a degreasing agent safe for deer hide (probably not something at Home Depot I gather)? I am not sure if I have ever ordered degreaser for her before, though I think I previously ordered a starter tanning kit for her, so maybe it had a degreaser in with the other tanning products. I will have to have her check. After degreasing, we will plan to soak in a Para-Tan bath. I will try to do some more research on the ratios for the bath and how long to do that. Hopefully it will turn out okay. It's been quite an investment already and I feel bad that I ordered the wrong thing thinking it was a special salt. She just loves this deer. :)
     
    msestak likes this.
  5. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Just so you know as far as salt it just table salt , you can buy it at most southern states its called top flo , In 50lbs bags for $7.50 don’t buy and have it shipped, that be real expensive
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  6. Fallenscale

    Fallenscale Well-Known Member

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    Pickel first ph if 2 to 2.5

    Then every 5 pounds of drained wet of skins


    For every 4 gallons of water
    5 oz of para-tan
    1 1/2 lbs of salt
    Soak 16 to 18 hrs
    Less two hours adjust the ph to 4 to 6 ph

    Then drip dry apply oil

    To wash and degrease in cool water with dawn dish soap will work well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
    Mindyrella likes this.
  7. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    She should freeze the skin until she has a full understanding of what she is trying to accomplish. There are many excellent videos on whitetail deer taxidermy. If she proceeds without some knowledge or supervision, her project will fail. I think every product comes with instructions. Read them, and ask questions before proceeding. I hope her first deer is a success.
     
  8. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Call the supply company as yes there’s a good possibility of it being tanned through the chemicals being applied at the wrong way may have tanned it but it’s not properly tanned.
    What she can do is redo the whole process over.
    Make sure the cape is hydrated ( no hard spots)
    Place it back into the pickle and stir it twice a day for 3days, drain and make sure she tries to get all the membrane , meat and fat off.
    Deer dont need to be degreased so no worries on that.
    Place back in the pickle overnight then drain , neutralize, tan and follow directions.
     
  9. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    does she also have all the protective gear like gloves and goggles and a mask (if you can find any) dealing with chemicals of any kind is dangerous.

    get some "how-to" dvds. there are many out there that deal with this from start to finish. you have to be careful with youtube videos as some people just dont know the proper way to do things. there are also a lot of people who do. distinguishing between the two is hard for a beginner.

    also...the breakthrough taxidermy manuals are a great way to learn, they cover everything step by step and are a great addition to the videos, you can read and see what they mean.

    follow Joeys advice for now. Freeze, learn, go back to it. Best of Luck
     
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    To go along with that, A Youtube video may be done byb an accomplished top notch taxidermist or it may be by a guy who saw his grandfather's taxidermist boil a skull.

    In contrast, when you order a DVD from a taxidermy related company you will get top notch award winning well respected taxidermist's instruction. Try Taxidermy Training Unlimited and/or any taxidermy supply company.
     
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  11. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

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    Mindyrella likes this.