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Can I Save This Buckskin?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Renee Hunt, Sep 5, 2022.

  1. Renee Hunt

    Renee Hunt New Member

    So about 5 years ago I decided to be one of those people who uses as much of the deer as they can so I did quick research online and haphazardly tried to make a hide. I don't remember too much of the exact process of what I did but I took the hide, fleshed it on top of my chest freezer with a machete (didn't know if I would ever do this again so I didn't want to invest in anything), washed it, soaked it in something I don't remember, laid it out and slathered in a bottle of some orange stuff. Thinking it would help it dry a bit I laid it atop a dehumidifier and wouldn't ya know the thing dried completely and stuck in the shape of the top of the machine! I gave up after that and stored if in a fairly damp basement for the next 5 years. Now I've gotten the itch to try and save it. There are a few small mold spots and a weird pink spot where a hole is. I'm going to build a rack this time and stretch it out and work it. But I'm wondering how to rehydrate it, if I should add anything to the water when I rehydrate, best jimmy riged items to work it with, and should I apply anything when working it. What do you guys think? Any and all tips and tricks would be appreciated! Oh and I dont really know what I want to use the finish product for, maybe a shall, maybe something to sit on, maybe just a decoration. It holds some sentimental value to me so I don't just want to scrap it.

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    Robert Baker likes this.
  2. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    You might try sponging some salt water on a small area of the skin side and let it rehydrate. Might require a couple applications to the skin side. Once it's softened see if it stretches any or if it just tears apart. Also if the hair side holds hair or if it easily slides off with a little pressure against the hair. If it holds up then try the entire thing on skin side. Once you get the skin pretty wet bag it and refrigerate. Check after a day. If needed add more salt water where needed.
    Good luck.
    Renee Hunt and Robert Baker like this.

  3. Robert Baker

    Robert Baker Well-Known Member

    For someone that didn't know what she was doing it looks like she did a good job of fleshing it. Don't know what that pink spot could be though.

    Tnrandy and Renee Hunt like this.
  4. Renee Hunt

    Renee Hunt New Member

    Thank you! I was so afraid to make this post and subjecting myself to critiques like oh you should have bought the proper tools to begin with but you sir have but a giant smile on my face with that bit of praise
    Robert Baker likes this.
  5. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Your red spot is red mold as that’s the worst kind but being small and your doing a buckskin tan it should be ok as hair loss isn’t a concern here. Green mold is minor but any mold isn’t good and the other bad mold is black mold .
    Try as stated before hydrate in salt water. It’ll take more time to hydrate as salt slows that process down.
    The next question is what are your plans for tanning and products. There’s many to choose from . Look and ask to be sure you get the right tan for your project.
    Robert Baker likes this.
  6. hoytarcher

    hoytarcher Member


    I was about to say the same thing, and doing it with a machete is even more impressive.
    Robert Baker likes this.