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  1. #11
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    I have used both methods (salt or freeze) depending on the situation and I've had good results from each. Regardless of which method you use it does help to fresh the hide really well. An Alaskan Ulu is an all-purpose knife traditionally used by Yup'ik, Inuit, and Aleut tribes and works well for fleshing. Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winchester View Post
    I have used both methods (salt or freeze) depending on the situation and I've had good results from each. Regardless of which method you use it does help to fresh the hide really well. An Alaskan Ulu is an all-purpose knife traditionally used by Yup'ik, Inuit, and Aleut tribes and works well for fleshing. Click image for larger version. 

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    Awesome. Thanks winchester. I have one of those the inlaws gave me that came with some weird cutting board; it was packaged to be for kitchen use but now I know what it is really for...

    Hilltop: I am going for a no fur hide so hopefully the methods don't vary too much but I didn't think of that; will look into it today.

    Given what I have seen, since it will probably still be pretty dang warm where I am hunting, I am going to make sure I have either an extra cooler or enough cooler space to accomodate a folded (flesh to fleash) hide and I'll be sure to keep the water off it. I'm going to flesh it as best as I can and put a little salt on it just to remove some of the moisture as 30-06 mentioned and get it to the processor ASAP. Since several methods seem to work, I have lot more faith that I can get the hide back home in reasonable shape for tanning.

    Thank you all a ton!
    Last edited by micropterus79; 08-21-2014 at 10:16 AM.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltop View Post
    I sell deer hides every fall to a fur buyer. They absolutely will not buy a frozen hide- not sure why. They ask that it is reasonably fleshed and folded flesh to flesh and then kept cold but not frozen. They want the hide within 10 days of harvest. He told me I didn't need to salt at all either but again not sure why. I am guessing they use the hides hair off so I'm not sure how much methods need to vary for a fur on tan.
    In my experience they want never frozen to be able to judge the freshness. Some people keep a hide frozen for years and then try to turn it as fresh. Once freezer burned I believe there useless. If handling while frozen and brittle the hide can crack depending on age I believe.
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  5. #14
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    Many years ago my Dad had a Taxidermist in his gun shop. Used to take in lots of hides. He used to stack them salted and then crate them and send to the tannery. His main concern was age of hide and he checked every one to see if any of the hair "slipped".
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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Cowboy View Post
    Many years ago my Dad had a Taxidermist in his gun shop. Used to take in lots of hides. He used to stack them salted and then crate them and send to the tannery. His main concern was age of hide and he checked every one to see if any of the hair "slipped".
    Hey CC. What does that mean "the hair slipped?" and is it important if you don't want a tanned hide with the hair on? Thanks again for the input!

  7. #16
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    When you pull lightly on the hair it comes out in your hand. Important with a cape for mounting, but a tanned, hair off hide, probably not. I think this is an early indication of spoilage.
    Colorado Cowboy
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  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Cowboy View Post
    When you pull lightly on the hair it comes out in your hand. Important with a cape for mounting, but a tanned, hair off hide, probably not. I think this is an early indication of spoilage.
    Ah. Makes sense. Thanks again CC

  9. #18
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    If you are going to be out in the field for more than a couple days after the kill, and it's warm, you need to flesh it out the best you can, then salt it well. You need to use canning or pickling salt, which is iodine free, and rub it into the skin really well. Most important is air drying/cooling the skin immediately, and keep it dry until you can get it to a taxidermist. All that being said, if you can just get it into a cooler or freezer within a day, you'll be better off.
    Live to hunt, hunt to live.

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  11. #19
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    The salt is really only necessary for the hair on style tanning. Hair-off/buckskin will be soaked, to make the hair and the sub-dermal layer slip anyway. If it's fleshed and kept cool it should stay fresh enough, until frozen and taken to the processor. As mentioned before salt will pull all the moisture, preserve and set the hair(that's okay too!). If your shipping the hide to the processor, this is the way to go. If your delivering the hide to the processor in person, then freezing is fine. Theoretically, actually leaving unsalted and/or unfrozen is fine for hair off tanning, other than the smell and the mess. (I personally flesh and salt all hides for either use, due to shipping, freezer space, smell and pride.) A lot of you folks must remember the hide collection barrels. Those were left out for days with unsalted, unfleshed hides and they made leather/buckskin out of those.
    I'm not recommending letting the hide get all smelly and nasty, the guy that ends up processing it will appreciate you taking good care of it! I'm just saying that it's not something to get too worried about. HAIR-ON is a whole other story.
    Take care, have a great hunt!
    Last edited by gonhunting247; 08-23-2014 at 03:03 PM.

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