1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

How To Soften Tanned Deer Hide?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Outdoor_Queen, Sep 24, 2022.

  1. Outdoor_Queen

    Outdoor_Queen New Member

    Hello everyone,
    Several years ago when my son shot his first buck I wanted to keep the hide for him as a memento. I knew very little about tanning hides but the dry tan came out great. I don't have a tumbler or a good way to break a hide this large so it is tanned but stiff. I would like to have it softer.
    What would you recommend? Should I send it in to a tannery? Take a sander to it? (It was a big mature whitetail so the hide is thick) Or re-hydrate it and try to break it by hand? If it was just a practice one I would be worried about messing up but it's my son's one and only deer.
    Thank you for your help. :)
    -Sarah
     
  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    To begin with knowing what type of tan you used will help some as the problem can end up with a skin that falls apart.
    The process is to sponge the flesh side to hydrate the cape using per gallon of water, 4 oz of salt and a 1/4 cup of Downey. Also bring thick it’s going to take time to hydrate, then you need to apply a tanning oil that is used on tanned hides not what’s used as a rub on tan as that’s a little misleading and rub that in. Once rubbed in and approximately 85% dry you start breaking over a blunt edge . Then you can try sanding it thinner. It’s a big job and even if you send it out there’s no guarantee that it won’t fall apart on them.
     
    silverwings likes this.