Registration is OPEN!
When:March 11th & 18th
Where: Stoney Point Camp Longhouse
Dan Rhodes will be presenting over two days
how to tan your deer hide start to finish. Be sure
to save your hide! (Instructions below)
How to Skin and Store your Deer Hide for Use in a future Hide-tanning Workshop:
- PULL the hide off your deer instead of cutting it off. Only use a knife where you need to cut thick layers of fat or muscle that are keeping the hide attached to the carcass and do it CAREFULLY SO YOU DON’T KNICK THE SKIN!
Skinning tip #1: It’s easiest to skin your deer while it is still warm and to pull the hide off the carcass while it is hanging from a rafter beam, tree limb or other strong overhead support beam.
- Once skinned, lay the hide flat on a clean, dry, surface and COAT THE SKIN SIDE LIBERALLY WITH PURE BULK TABLE SALT. BE SURE TO COAT EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY WITH THE SALT SO THAT THERE’S AT LEAST 1/8” THICK LAYER OF IT ON THE SKIN SIDE.
If there are any very large pieces of muscle or fat left on the skin side, be sure to remove them now by pulling them off by-HAND, because it will be much harder to do so later once the hide has cured for a while. Thin layers of fat or muscle are fine to leave on the hide at this time, if it is salted well.
- Carefully fold the hide inward on itself so that the skin side is on the INSIDE while the hair side is out the outside. Fold it in half lengthwise first, then widthwise second, then roll the hide up like a sleeping bag.
- Get a plastic Rubbermaid garbage can or tote container. Get a cinderblock or rock that’s at least 4” thick X 12” wide and put it in the bottom of the container. Place the rolled up hide on top of the block before closing the lid.
(We place the hide on top of a rock or block inside the container to keep the hide out of the liquid water that will drain out of the hide and collect in the bottom of the container. If the hide is half-submerged in this water for very long it will ROT! The salt is what causes the water to drain out of the skin.)
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve just completed the first step in getting ready to turn a raw deer hide into a finished piece of super-soft deerskin leather! As long as no animals get into your stored hides and you salted them and folded them correctly without letting the salt all spill out, they will keep in this container perfectly fine, in an unheated garage or shed for at least 3 years!