Tanning your kills

Forums Hunting Tanning your kills

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    Willie14228
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    I got me a nice looking bobcat last night and have decided to skin and tan it myself.
    Was wondering if anyone else here has done so

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    Jrricha2
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    Are you planning to brain tan or chemically tan it

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    Willie14228
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    Chemical pickle

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    TorreyBW
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    I’ve done lots of tanning, deer and rabbits mostly. I’m quite dissapointed in the info available or there on this topic, so I’m in the midst of along term test on tanning domestic rabbit pelts. So far, my best and easiest hide came from the following method:

    1) Kill it
    2) skin it
    3) toss it in the freezer, you are probably busy. Don’t let a pelt just sit, bacteria will cause hair slippage
    4) flesh it with a fleshing knife, on a fleshing beam. Not too sharp. 15 min
    5) salt the crap out of it and let it dry. Not cracker dry though, just like cardboard level of flexibility.
    6) sand it with a pumice scoring stone. You are trying to break up the inner skin membrane. 15 min.
    7) rehydrate till “relaxed”, rinse.
    8) wring every bit of water out you can. Streach, pull, twist. 3 min
    9) Rub flesh side with two egg yolks. fold flesh to flesh, let sit overnight. This whole process should be warm: yolks, hide, your heart. You want the oils to soak in on a microscopic level. You could prop use one egg and some warm water whisked togather, have not tried.
    10) streach, wring, pull hide 5 min, leave to air dry. Fans, heat, sun, all good things. Leave till edges are crispy and middle part of hide is pliable.
    11) fold it/bunch it up and wrap in plastic, leave for a while. I had a bag of 6 hides, would take 2 out per evening to streach. The idea is for the moisture content to even out over the whole hide, so both the edges and middle are ready for final streaching at the same time
    12) streach hide till it feels warm and dry. Slightly damp hides always feel a bit cold from evaporative cooling. You’ll see what I mean after doing it a few times. You will learn what areas need attention with practice. An are will look dark/slightly translucent and feel cardboard like, you will pull it/streach the spot, it will pull apart (making the hide larger) and turn white as you pull. It’s totally magic seeming and very fun. 20min-1 hr
    12) Smoke it. Lots of smoke to the flesh side, it will turn yellow. Now you can make it into clothing, bags, cases, whatever! It can get wet, no worry. The smoke smell is awesome, but if you don’t like it it does mellow out. My first hides were a cougar and elk we did like this at a workshop about 10 years ago, no signs of deterioration.

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    Ziabeam
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    “TorreyBW”
    11) fold it/bunch it up and wrap in plastic, leave for a while. I had a bag of 6 hides, would take 2 out per evening to streach. The idea is for the moisture content to even out over the whole hide, …
     

    
Approx how long is a while? I totally get the end result, which is VERY informative, just curious about the estimate.
    BTW if you wrote these instructions… Tom Brown has been reborn !!!

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    Willie14228
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    Van Dykes http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/Tanning-Kits-C18.aspx

    Has some very good information on and supplies for tanning and taxidermy both for pro and DIY. Many of the chemicals used in tanning are toxic and illegal to dump in the sink Van Dykes carries products that break down into safe non toxic,
    I have tanned leather or at least been a part of the project of doing so but that was not for a long time and it was with a cow.
    In Texas as long as you are harvesting fur for personal self then no special license is needed whereas if it’s being done to sell you need to buy a license not to fall into trouble with fish n game.
    Just FYI for those that do hunt bobcat, and like animals a bobcat pelt can bring upwards of $100 retail and 50 to 60 wholesale. Also in demand is undamaged skulls of many of the predators (Check online for prices) you can check with local taxidermist.
    The way I see it while not the most expensive hobby to be in the Airgun hobby is not a cheap one and if I might be able to go out do what I in joy and make a little money while doing then it’s a win win

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    fuznut
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    Texas taxidermist feed back
      
           As a SPOTTED CAT the bob has FEDERAL PROTECTION status.
    And falls under regulations with the likes of snow leopards, jaguar and tigers.
    In the state of Texas he has no such status. However in some states he is listed as an
    ENDANGERED SPECIES.

          What that means is any skin leaving the state without special tagging requirements
    being met is in violation of federal law. Offering for sale and or selling to someone out of state
    is a FELONY violation of federal law.
          
        When someone post their own game violations, they might not be the ideal source for game
    law advise skin values and the like.
     
        

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    Willie14228
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    You will note that I stated that harvesting for personal use….. You will also Note!!!! I stated that to harvest for resale requires a license to do so please read post fully before attacking the post
    http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/fur-bearing-animal-regulations/sale-or-purchase-of-fur-bearing-animals-or-pelts
    I FULLY SUPPORT OUR GAME REGULATIONS AND WOULD NEVER PURPOSELY VIOLATE THEM READ MY POSTS AND YOU WILL FIND THAT IN MANY CASES I STRESS THAT TO BE CAREFUL OF THIS OR THAT CODE.
    So IF!!! You are a Taxidermist perhaps it’s you that needs to do some studying
    If I plan on harvesting for resale I simply need to get a trappers license and if I decided to harvest a bobcat and sale it outside of the state I simply take the pelt to my local TDWAG and register the pelt free of charge at which time the pelt is tagged and can be sold out of state

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    Willie14228
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    I will however add a cautionary word that perhaps I should have done in my primary post.
    By most state and federal laws hunting and harvesting fur are not the same and fall under different laws I know as far as my state goes it’s ok for me to take this fur for my own personal use with my standard hunting license. However if I was planning on doing so to sell the fur I would need a trappers TAG and would need to them register the bobcat with my local game station or for that matter if I wanted to send it to my grandma in tenbuck two I would need to get a bobcat TAG
    In many states you can shoot an animal as a pest and you are perfectly legal, but if you decided to skin it and harvest the fur you would or could be violating the law.

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    fuznut
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    If you would read my post what your saying now is just what I said.
        The violation I am referring to is taking a cat and coon with a p gun in Texas
    that is not legal.  But its chicken feed compared to a federal violation involving
    a SPOTTED CAT.  Welcome to the internet one of us knows of what he speaks
     the other not so much. Can you tell which is what?  LOL  good day all.
     

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    Willie14228
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    Any NON-game animal may be taken and or hunted with an air rifle in the state of Texas.
    You keep talking your crap but you have YET shown any link that backs up what you are saying and by the way I don’t consider 10 states out of 50 a nation wide ban on bobcat
    http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/nongame-and-other-species

    http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/general-regulations/means-and-methods

    Clearly states that Airguns may be used to take any non-game animal
    Coon, bobcat, yotes, and EVEN mountain lion are considered and listed NON-GAME!!!!!
    What’s your malfunction dude? 10 states in the United States list the bobcat as protected…
    You keep making these allegations against what I am doing but not once backed it up with anything. Where exactly is the federal law banning hunting bobcat put up or shut up!
    You didn’t even read my links if you had you would see Bobcats are listed as non game.

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    SaltH2OSlick
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    “fuznut”If you would read my post what your saying now is just what I said.
        The violation I am referring to is taking a cat and coon with a p gun in Texas
    that is not legal.  But its chicken feed compared to a federal violation involving
    a SPOTTED CAT.  Welcome to the internet one of us knows of what he speaks
     the other not so much. Can you tell which is what? ; LOL  good day all.

     

    
It OBVIOUSLY is NOT YOU SIR!!! You need to go get your facts straight! It is perfectly legal to shoot bobcats and coons (and a whole list of other non-game animals is this GREAT STATE.
    This is copied directly from the TPWD web site: Here’s the link. 
    http://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/nongame-and-other-species 

    Nongame Animals (Non-Protected) may be hunted with any lawful firearm, pellet gun, or other air gun.

    Nongame Animals
    Includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    ·       Armadillos
    ·       Bobcats
    ·       Coyotes
    ·       Flying squirrels
    ·       Frogs
    ·       Ground squirrels
    ·       Mountain lions
    ·       Porcupines
    ·       Prairie dogs
    ·       Rabbits
    ·       Turtles
    ·       Does not include feral hog (see Exotic Animals and Fowl).
    ·       No closed season. These animals may be hunted at any time by any lawful means or methods on private property. Public hunting lands may have restrictions. A hunting license is required.
    ·       ARMADILLOS: Possession and sale of live armadillos is unlawful.
    ·       BOBCAT pelts sold, purchased, traded, transported or shipped out of state must have a pelt tag (CITES) attached. A pelt tag must be attached prior to being transported or shipped out of this state. Pelt tags may be obtained from any permitted bobcat pelt dealer, or TPWD Regional & Field Law Enforcement Offices. For additional information contact TPWD (800) 792-1112, menu 7, option 9 or (512) 389-4481.

    Edit: OOPS Willie, looks like we were typing at the same time… Maybe if he reads both our posts, he’ll get it… :)

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    Willie14228
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    SaltH2OSlick lol no problem I think his problem is my link to Van Dykes… he doesn’t like people seeing how much less it would cost for a person to try their own DIY taxidermy.
    Not saying a Taxidermist doesn’t earn there money’s worth.

    I have no problem with anyone warning me of a possible problem but darn this guy seems intent on attacking me.

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    fuznut
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    You are correct the bobcat can be legally taken with an air gun. I miss spoke when
    I included it in my earlier post my bad sorry about that.
       Will I have no interest in attacking you or any one else I want to warn  every
    one about the quagmire that is selling and or crossing state lines with a bob cat.
        I have no computer skills so can not provide links or basically any thing but type ,kind of..
    When you have time research CITES.  It will scare the hell out of you I know it does me.
        Game laws are extensive confusing and full of contradictions, at the state level.
    The federal laws are much much  worse. We constantly are calling for a clarification
    for this or that and often it takes days for them to come to some conclusion of what
    this or that law really means. If a mount is not picked up after a period of time we can offer for sale
    for the balance due.  The exception is migratory game birds we can not sale them
    for any reason.  Any thing that caries a CITES 
    if we get stuck with it we eat it, we don’t give away put on display or any thing 
    and we sure as hell don’t offer for sale.  
    You still harbor some misconceptions regarding the sale of bob cat skins out side of the state. If you
    or anyone else plans to do that call the feds don’t bother looking up the law it
    seldom clearly states what it means and will not include other laws that might apply.
      Cites is some deadly serious shit and the smallest infraction devastating. 
      You are correct when you say any non game animal may be taken with an air gun
    The catch is fur bearers are not considered non game and so they are not legal. And
    the coon is a fur bearer.
    Again sorry cant provide a link call parks and wildlife. The law changed a few years
    back to include exotics but I think it has a minimum caliber restriction? 

     Actually we wish more people would try to mount and tan because they would soon
    realize what a bargain quality work really is.  Van Dykes was at one time a large supply
    house but they no longer exist they were bought out by Mc Kenzie  they have bought
    virtually all other suppliers are now a huge monopoly and squeezing the life blood out
    of the taxidermy industry. 
       
    Again sorry for my blunder 40 yrs into it and still have to be reminded the bobcat is not a
    fur bearer.
     

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    sscoyote
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    I send my furs to Moyle Mink for a garment tan. Think it’s about 30$ for a bobcat.

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    Willie14228
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    I will double check the coon after you clarified on the coon it does have a gray area that I didn’t realize. It’s not considered a game animal but is not listed in the non game profile
    As you said it is listed in the fur profile.
    When I spoke to the game officer he told me that non game animals can be hunted with an air rifle, it has only been recently that I started looking into tanning the skins.
    Because I didn’t consider the fur bearing side as to different as to game non game shooting I may have stepped on a line.
    One possible saving grace is I am performing as a land representive to stop certain animals damaging land and crops. I did not attempt to harvest the pelt from the coon because the area has been alerted of rabies issues. And I am not going to risk a cut finger on a coon

    I too am sorry for harsh words thank you for your clarification I will make sure to ask a local game wardon about fur bearing animals and air guns as I have seen many trappers use air rifles to dispatch trapped animals.

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    Ziabeam
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    fuznut 

     Actually we wish more people would try to mount and tan because they would soon
    realize what a bargain quality work really is. 
     


    DIY tanning is the best bargain… expertly tanning hides is simple. Mounting is a different story. Doable but far more nuanced and complex. Seen many hatchet-job mounts done by established/reputable taxidermists too. Wouldn’t try the latter myself, and would dread trying to find someone who could make it right every time… besides THAT taxidermist is usually very high priced.

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    Willie14228
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    Taxidermy is an art..
    As a wood turner myself I understand the difficulty of balancing the time and labor that went into a project and what can be charged for that work.
    In today’s society of buy cheap and most importantly buy fast easy made mass produced.
    We have forgotten the majistic beauty of products made by artisans
    It can take me four days of good hard work and about $200 in material to make a beautiful set of tableware but who is going to pay $1000 for it when they can buy some made overseas with machines and a poor guy working for a few dollars a day for $200
    DIY is a great money saver……… only because it doesn’t show the cost of that labor.
    In most cases for artistic products or services if you where to break down the cost of a job or product you will find that it will be close to.
    35% material, 40% time and labor 10% 3rd party 15% equipment.
    This means that a DIY can save a person something along the lines of 40% provided they have the tools.
    Consider this topic, you are looking at a process of about a week just for tanning…. true most of that time is “in vat” but it is still taking up space and requires attention.
    Then for the process to be completed with the expected quality you are looking at a minimum of a day in actual labor conditioning the hide properly.
    Mans got to eat and pay bills…. and when a person walks into a room looks up and sees this big ass cat draped across a tree limb prop and you see the hairs on his arms stand up and his eyes widen.. perhaps even a inhale of air
    Then you know that man did his job right!

    One BIG NOTE 3/4 of taxidermy quality is the material they have to work with…. This means that if you want a good quality trophy mount then take care of the product from the start.
    You shoot a cat throw him in the back of the truck bed and let it sit in the sun all day monday while your at work
    It ain’t going to happen like you want.

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    bigE
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    I recently tanned a bobcat hide myself. I used alum and preserving salt bath/soak. I ofcourse removed all the flesh and fat i could first. Soaked the hide for about 5 days then i stretched and pinned it. After i had the hide stretched out i poured the salt and alum on the hide for several days…3 if not mistaken. This dried all the moisture from the hide… i
    changed the salt daily…its not expensive. After about the 3 days final salting i scraped the flesh side with a large spoon and worked the hide with my hands…stretching it as best i could. The hide came out real nice…im happy i tried to do this because the end result is very nice. I know this may not be the way others do this but it worked for me. I happen to be from south Texas and i took this bobcat with a .25 cal synrod with 25.39 jsb’s. This bobcat was after our 2 small dogs and was taken on private property. The bobcat took one jsb between the eyes and dropped…it was like she just layed down kinda goin down head first. She was so beautiful thats why i decided to attempt the tanning of her hide. Im a life long hunter of over 40 years and respect our fish and game rules and regulations. This was an interesting subject to get into…raised some questions in my mind…non game /fur bearer?   Thanks and GOD bless you always. 

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    Willie14228
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    Okay, so I wanted to clarify some things according to the fur bearing hunting with Airguns

    Nuisance Fur-bearing Animals

    Landowners or their agents may take nuisance fur-bearing animals in any number by any means at any time on that person’s land without the need for a hunting or trapping license. However, fur-bearing animals or their pelts taken for these purposes may not be retained or possessed by anyone at any time except licensed trappers during the lawful open season and possession periods.
    This is from the Texas game and wildlife.
    But to clarify once again to shoot say for example a coon, or fox you have to be able to show why it is being detrimental to the property and or owner and be acting as an agent for the owner

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