Learn how to tan a deer hide without the harsh chemicals.
There are several reasons to tan a hide. First, they look cool hanging on your wall. For the more practical, a hide can be used to make gloves or other clothing items. Read below to see how to tan a hide using household materials.
Clean up the skin
Once you have the hide off the animal, it’s time to clean it up further. Remove extra fat and meat with a sharp knife. Then, scrap the skin with a serrated knife. This is not an easy task, but it’s the most important. Clean off the hide well.
Salt and Soak
Be generous with this, too. Lay the hide stretched out, fur side down, on a flat surface. Generously salt the skin and let it sit overnight. The next day, soak the hide in water for at least two hours. You want the skin to be soft, so the timing is not an exact science.
No, we aren’t going to smoke the hide. In a tub or bucket, mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water with two pounds of salt for every gallon of the solution. How much you use depends on the size of the hide and the container. Make sure the hide is fully immersed and let it soak for about three days. Stir occasionally. You shouldn’t need to do this more than a few times a day. (Still, I wouldn’t recommend doing it with your hand).
Clean it up
You’re almost done. Soak the deer hide in water with two cups of baking soda. The amount of water should equal the amount of the whole brine solution. Let it soak for around an hour, and then rinse it. Dry your hide with a towel and let it air dry the rest of the way.
Oil it up
This is the only part that’s not a household items, but you can purchase it here. Coat the skin side with the oil to keep the skin from drying out. Fold the hide with the skin facing in and let it sit over night. Hang it until the oil is nearly dry; then start to work it over the edge of a table. This will make the skin pliable the more you work it over.