Tanning Options

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
I'm trying to tan some raccoon hides and looking for options. I've tried using the Deer Hunter's & Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula and followed the instructions exactly and on 3 attempts each resulted in the hair slipping.
Does anyone have a better solution you would recommend or know of a commercial tanner that will accept hides directly without having to go through a taxidermist?
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Assume you are looking for a soft tan rather than a taxidermy tan. There are lots of commercial tanneries that will accept properly prepared hides for tanning from folks other than taxidermists. Trappers get things tanned at commercial tanneries. I send stretched and dried pelts almost every year and have used a number of commercial tanneries. Some require a trapper license number but some do not.
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
Are you sure you fleshed/scraped them proper?

I keep it east coast which by default are the cheapest too
Tubari 973-779-8600
Z&L Trading 718-272-5190

and if ya need to buy a trapping license, it is WAY cheaper than using a taxidermist for tanning.
 
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nhn2a

Eight Pointer
Are you sure you fleshed/scraped them proper?

I keep it east coast which by default are the cheapest too
Tubari 973-779-8600
Z&L Trading 718-272-5190

and if ya need to buy a trapping license, it is WAY cheaper than using a taxidermist for tanning.
I wouldn't stake my life on it but I showed photos of my work to a couple taxidermists I know and they said it looked like a good job for my first attempt. I'm not opposed to doing it myself but I've read a pickle bath method is much more effective but weighing that option vs just sending it to a commercial tannery.
 

KrisB

Eight Pointer
A lot of people, myself included, would recommend sending to a tannery, at least until you know better how to do it yourself. However, if you really want to do it yourself, look up Coon Creek Outdoors on YouTube. He has a mini-series of videos on how to tan furs yourself (he is a trapper and located somewhere in the South and very much a DIY guy). He explains it all very well.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
A lot of people, myself included, would recommend sending to a tannery, at least until you know better how to do it yourself. However, if you really want to do it yourself, look up Coon Creek Outdoors on YouTube. He has a mini-series of videos on how to tan furs yourself (he is a trapper and located somewhere in the South and very much a DIY guy). He explains it all very well.
I actually watched and followed his videos for the ones I did ... Lol. Still had hair slippage which reviews say have more to do with the Deer Hunter's & Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula than anything wrong with his process.
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Slipping can occur for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the way the critter was handled before it was even skinned. Weather conditions when it was killed could also contribute to spoilage taking place. Bacteria is your enemy and it can grow pretty fast in warm high humidity conditions either before skinning or after. In cold weather (lows in the 30s) raccoon kept in the shade will cool down OK and usually be OK for a couple of days before skinning. With this warm weather we are having now, they need to be handled quicker and get the pelt cooled down. I turn mine fur out and lay them in the freezer after skinning. Then take them out and let them thaw just enough that they are pliable to flesh them. This help solidify the grease and makes it easier to remove. But even well fleshed, coon is still a greasy pelt and grease is not a friend of the tanning process.

Another thing, after fleshing and boarding, it is important to have the pelt in a cool (ideal is 50 to 60 degrees) low humidity area and have a fan running to keep the air circulating. Fan does not need to be blowing directly on the pelt but just keep the air moving.

Degreasing is part of the commercial tanning process. Not sure how the product you are using addresses grease removal. But for any tanning solution to work, it has to completely penetrate the full thickness of the leather. If grease is stopping the penetration, the solution can not do what is intended.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
Slipping can occur for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the way the critter was handled before it was even skinned. Weather conditions when it was killed could also contribute to spoilage taking place. Bacteria is your enemy and it can grow pretty fast in warm high humidity conditions either before skinning or after. In cold weather (lows in the 30s) raccoon kept in the shade will cool down OK and usually be OK for a couple of days before skinning. With this warm weather we are having now, they need to be handled quicker and get the pelt cooled down. I turn mine fur out and lay them in the freezer after skinning. Then take them out and let them thaw just enough that they are pliable to flesh them. This help solidify the grease and makes it easier to remove. But even well fleshed, coon is still a greasy pelt and grease is not a friend of the tanning process.

Another thing, after fleshing and boarding, it is important to have the pelt in a cool (ideal is 50 to 60 degrees) low humidity area and have a fan running to keep the air circulating. Fan does not need to be blowing directly on the pelt but just keep the air moving.

Degreasing is part of the commercial tanning process. Not sure how the product you are using addresses grease removal. But for any tanning solution to work, it has to completely penetrate the full thickness of the leather. If grease is stopping the penetration, the solution can not do what is intended.

Roger that, I use live traps and only set them when its cold out. I skin out promptly after I kill and then put them in the freezer until I'm ready to work with them and only flesh when its cooler to try and minimize conditions for bacteria growth.

As or the degreasing, the tanning solutions has you cover with salt and scrape a few times and then soak and wash in dawn dish soap which Im assuming is their version of degreasing. I really hate wasting a pelt even if it is just a raccoon so thinking of just going the tannery route if I can find one to deal with easily that doesnt charge a crazy amount. I've found a few locally but they only deal with taxidermists wholesale.
 

KrisB

Eight Pointer
Roger that, I use live traps and only set them when its cold out. I skin out promptly after I kill and then put them in the freezer until I'm ready to work with them and only flesh when its cooler to try and minimize conditions for bacteria growth.

As or the degreasing, the tanning solutions has you cover with salt and scrape a few times and then soak and wash in dawn dish soap which Im assuming is their version of degreasing. I really hate wasting a pelt even if it is just a raccoon so thinking of just going the tannery route if I can find one to deal with easily that doesnt charge a crazy amount. I've found a few locally but they only deal with taxidermists wholesale.
Are you familiar with the Trapping Today website and podcast that Jeremiah Rodwood does? He is a trapper in Maine who gives a lot of excellent info on trapping and furs, etc, and he has mentioned sending his furs to a tannery called Moyle that he's been happy with. Looks like he wrote up an article about some tannery options in March 2018:

 

YanceyGreenhorn

Eight Pointer
Roger that, I use live traps and only set them when its cold out. I skin out promptly after I kill and then put them in the freezer until I'm ready to work with them and only flesh when its cooler to try and minimize conditions for bacteria growth.

As or the degreasing, the tanning solutions has you cover with salt and scrape a few times and then soak and wash in dawn dish soap which Im assuming is their version of degreasing. I really hate wasting a pelt even if it is just a raccoon so thinking of just going the tannery route if I can find one to deal with easily that doesnt charge a crazy amount. I've found a few locally but they only deal with taxidermists wholesale.
Have a good friend who does quite a bit of tanning and he swears by this stuff
https://www.fntpost.com/Products/Tanning+Kits+Supplies/Rittel's+EZ-100+Tanning+Kit
 

Nana

Big Ole Nanny
I use KrowTann on hides for taxidermy and for soft pelts. Never had slippage unless the hide was questionable. I also spray Stop Rot on hides as they thaw to avoid slippage.
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
all that pulling over the beam to break the fibers to make pliable is what used to kill my arms and shoulders......so $25 for a yote or beaver is way worth it to me, but that is what's best for me. Let the pulling machinery at a tannery break down that hide.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
all that pulling over the beam to break the fibers to make pliable is what used to kill my arms and shoulders......so $25 for a yote or beaver is way worth it to me, but that is what's best for me. Let the pulling machinery at a tannery break down that hide.
For me the cost isnt as big of a concerns as finding a place to work with. Who do you send yours to?
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I have used Z&L, Tubari, GNF (sold out to Tubari), Sleepy Creek in Iowa and Moyle in Idaho. For my money and opinion, Moyle does the best job.

I always thought that Carolina Fur Dressing in Raleigh was taxidermy tan only but they have a full page ad in the Jan. 2020 Fur Taker magazine. I do not know why they would be advertising in a trapping magazine if they are not doing garment tans for trappers.
 

nhn2a

Eight Pointer
I have used Z&L, Tubari, GNF (sold out to Tubari), Sleepy Creek in Iowa and Moyle in Idaho. For my money and opinion, Moyle does the best job.

I always thought that Carolina Fur Dressing in Raleigh was taxidermy tan only but they have a full page ad in the Jan. 2020 Fur Taker magazine. I do not know why they would be advertising in a trapping magazine if they are not doing garment tans for trappers.
Ill have to call Carolina Fur and ask. That's a great point. I've seen a lot of good reviews about them but their website states they'll only work with pro taxidermists.
 
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