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Location: Troy Ohio
Joined: 06/04/2015
Posts: 27
Brain Tanning

Just wondering if any of you have, do, or have thought about brain tanning your big game hides? 

I have done several deer hides and though it is without doubt a lot of work, the end product is rewarding.  I have only prepared hairless hides so far but considering one with the hair left in place.  It is my understanding that the hides with hair do not last as long because the solution cannot penetrate completely through the hide as the exodermic layer of skin repels the solution.

I like the usable piece of leather you end up with and the possibilities of its use.  I have made knife sheaths and other small things like possible bags for muzzle loading, however i have given most of them away to my friends. Considering a pair of moccosins or a buckskin shirt perhaps.

I would love to try an Elk hide but I can only imagine the amount of work required to get it done.

Curious if anyone else enjoys the hobby

Joined: 12/08/2015
Posts: 1
Hair on brain tanning alternative

I'm new here. I have to admire your dedication, I've done one deer hide, and that was enough for me. Brain tanning is very labor intensive. I do a lot of small game, and can say that for them, hair on doesn't last as long. Generally if I am doing fur, I alum tan with a sulfuric acid pre-pickle. I have degree in chemistry, and would not recomend sulfuric for anyone not familiar with safe handling of acids. There are milder acids that will work like citric acid.