The hunting/fishing thread!

Ursuline Chick

Crossing the Road
Jul 21, 2017
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@Ursuline Chick - It's generally easy to tell in the beginning when I start fleshing so if I am not prepared for a full dehair, I usually trim those off. Otherwise it doesn't much matter and I end throwing in the separate pile for soaking to remove all the hair anyways. Late Fall/early Winter hides seem to also slip more in general here as they put on that other coat. I've still got a pile of tanned leather I keep wanting to make moccasins with - do you have any plans/drawings for making any? I wanted to make tall boot-style ones at some point as I have a bunch of buckskin lace to wrap with.
@HomesteaderWife That sounds great, I would live in the high top ones. Sadly i don't have a pattern for those, but DH has a pattern for low tops. I can check with him tonight when he gets home from work and figure out a way to sent you a copy if you would like.
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
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@muddy75 - I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning my Monte Burch. That's how I got started, and combined it with alot of personal trial and error and recently picked up more books and info. I keep notes as I go along too. To be honest, methods vary across the board so I can write some of what I do but you'll find all sorts of people doing it different ways. I picked up another book about braintanning to buckskin (can't remember who by) and they go in great detail about the sort of science behind tanning and it's been insightful. I guess I should ask - are you looking to tan hair-on hides, or hair off (leather)? Are you looking to make clothes/moccasins for the outdoors or crafts that won't see weathering? It'll help me get an idea of what to recommend.

I started off tanning squirrel and rabbit to start with practice. Rabbit has thin skin so it teaches you to take your time fleshing and stretching.
 

muddy75

Blind Doggie Blues AGAIN
Premium Feather Member
Aug 17, 2018
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@muddy75 - I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning my Monte Burch. That's how I got started, and combined it with alot of personal trial and error and recently picked up more books and info. I keep notes as I go along too. To be honest, methods vary across the board so I can write some of what I do but you'll find all sorts of people doing it different ways. I picked up another book about braintanning to buckskin (can't remember who by) and they go in great detail about the sort of science behind tanning and it's been insightful. I guess I should ask - are you looking to tan hair-on hides, or hair off (leather)? Are you looking to make clothes/moccasins for the outdoors or crafts that won't see weathering? It'll help me get an idea of what to recommend.

I started off tanning squirrel and rabbit to start with practice. Rabbit has thin skin so it teaches you to take your time fleshing and stretching.
My main reasoning is two-fold 1) I hate WASTE and
2) I want to learn and preserve otherwise “lost” traditions of homesteading
My main concerns would of course be limited time and space
 

HomesteaderWife

Crowing
Apr 24, 2015
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Let's shrink it down a little - maybe that will help conserve space? Click the Spoiler to read.
I picked up this book awhile back I believe it was that discusses more in depth on braintanning specifically. From experience, I don't have luck down here braintanning yet as right now I don't have the space to stretch frame and also it gets too hot/too many yellowjackets and flies! A major issue for me is the fact we also pick up from processors and they don't often have the brains available. I use the salt/alum method in Monte Burch's book. Mind you this isn't a traditional method like brain tanning, and allegedly is one of the harder methods to stretch afterwards, but I prefer it. I use this on all my indoor craft based projects. I would preferably brain tan/smoke clothes and outdoor buckskin.

I think a happy medium for you would be to experiment with squirrel hunting! Skin it and save the brain then flesh it, and either dehair it and make "squirrel leather" or apply brains to only the skin side while it's stretched on a small frame if you want to save hair. Cool location free of insects.
I hear alot about egg tanning also - try that perhaps? Keep in mind if you try rabbit, that skin is so thin you have to be careful to not rip it. I tanned an Eastern Cottontail last year that was perfect until the final stretching and it ripped. Sewed it back though and from hair side you wouldn't be able to tell.

If you get confident with something like squirrel and rabbit, which is less material/space/time, then ask a friend or family member for a deer hide or save your own harvested deer and go for it. You can save yourself trouble of nasty fleshing work by skinning the deer yourself the right way.

If you ever get into raccoons, they're super greasy and nasty to flesh BUT the finished product is so soft and flexible. Makes great hats! I leave the remains for scavengers then return for any bones and disinfect/bleach them to make necklaces, cleaned skulls, etc. I recently took a scapula bone and dremeled a racoon track out of the center. I took the teeth and cast in resin to make necklace pendants. Saved the skull to put with the hide in the cabin.

This may or may not help along the lines of your first reason, but here's some stuff I've written on purposing other deer parts to try and reduce waste. Again, no expert, I just feel the same way and try my best to use everything I can:
5 Surprising Crafts from Deer
How to Make a Bone Needle
Tanning: A Valuable Skill to Learn
 

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