It’s been an interesting summer, fall and beginning of winter. Our family has had some really rough times, and it’s tested our family and faith for sure.
I see now more than ever how much I really need to write on my blog, because it’s a fun, creative writing activity that is just for Mommy.
I started taking pictures of this tanning a couple months ago, with the intention of posting it on the blog. Now you’re going to get to see these! This is our first time tanning, by no means are we experts, or even CLOSE to that. So bear with us, and if you’ve tanned using this method, or have any other suggestions, I’d love your constructive ideas!
Here is the blacktail deer hide, off the deer, and salted. We salt the hide right away so if I don’t get to it right away, in cool weather (we have an average temperature here of 5-10 degrees celcius) it will keep for a long time. I know this for a fact as I’ve forgotten about these hides since September. Woops. Hopefully posting about the beginning process will nudge me to continue.
This is the tail sticking out on the right. There is forest debris, bits of meat, fat, sinew, all which needs to be taken off so that the salt can penetrate.
In this close up, it’s an edge piece, where there is still a lot of meat. You sprinkle coarse salt, not fine salt. I’m not quite sure why, but Cowboy, who’s done this lots before, says it works better. (You’ll see further down how I did it without coarse salt! I got heck for that!)
Next, you ‘flesh’ the hide, scraping with a sharp knife to get off all of the meat, fat and sinew. Just scraping far far down there!
Here is Mac, Cowboy and I do it at night. We used our freezer to do it on, and if you do it at night, then the wasps weren’t there. For some reason this year the wasps were out really late.
See how the hide is getting whiter, and there is less fat and meat? This is what you want!
Here is the finished product after the initial fleshing.
It’s not perfect, obviously. You can still see bits of other things, but that’s okay! It’s going to get fleshed even more.
It now has to sit for a minimum of a couple weeks rolled up and salted. My next step is I have to find the right ‘chemicals’ to soak it in so the hair falls out. I’m making leather, not a hair on hide.