Author Topic: Bear tanning woes  (Read 316 times)

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Offline Mesophilic

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Bear tanning woes
« on: September 14, 2020, 07:56:46 pm »
Well, guys, I'm pretty sure I screwed up my bear hide.  Maybe you guys can tell me if its still salvageable.

Had a heck of a time fleshing.  Seemed like all the tissues were cross linked in impossible web of amazingly strong bear fibers.  Couldn't flesh with a dull knife couldn't flesh with a sharp knife.  The more elbow grease I used the more I just tore it up.  I'm not the most experienced tanner but this was vastly different from the cervids I've done.

Ended up using a pressure washer.  Even then it would only inflate pockets of fat/tissues and I'd have to cut them off with a sharp knife after the back pressure sprayed me with greasy bear water.  Even the pressure washer couldn't get this stuff off.

Got to a point where I felt comfortable, got my degreasing step out of order, apparently I didn't flesh enough and now I have a partially tanned skin that looks mostly like a soggy grey grease rag.  The areas that did tan were areas I thought I'd over worked as I could (and still can) see clearly the hair folicles...and it feels weak and thin.

At this point, can I flesh the greasy areas more, degrease, and add more tanning solution?  Or is it all a moot point now?
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 09:39:15 am »
ive only fleshed a raccoon before and their fat just comes clean off but it seems like you have gotten the fat off, but I don't know why it didn't tan... I know that seeing hair follicles means your over fleshing it and pulling the hair through.... did you stretch it and really work the tanning solution into it?? and how long did you let it tan and so forth?? I'm not super experienced but it seems to me like it was a problem with the tanning process and not the fleshing process. don't listen to me unless someone with more experience chimes in and says im right... well... you get what i mean
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 12:38:38 pm »
You might be partially right on that, Deerhunter.   I'm still learning, and not afraid to admit I got a long way to go.  Been trying to do things in a more primative manner but I may need to get a little more modern and use some pickling chemicals and maybe even petrol solvents for degreasing.  Wood ashes and even dish soap aren't cutting it on some of the greasier critters I've tried.

It is drying out a liitle more today.  Went out and stretched it a bit more today but I come away with some pretty greasy hands
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 12:56:28 pm »
salt the hide to draw most of the water out and then de grease it in a bucket of super soapy water and wash it well. then dump and fill a new bucket and wash. do that as many times it takes. it may be when you wash it all the grease gets into the water or whatever your using and then your washing it with greasy water.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline JEB

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 07:42:51 am »
I have had two bear hides in the freezer since 2017. I imagine they are no good now. I will do a skull mount and pulled the claws and toss the hides. Unless someone with knowledge has a better plan for the hides.

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 09:29:14 am »
the hides should still be good jeb if they were frozen the whole time.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 10:16:20 am »
I tend to agree with Deerhunter, I have heard of buck skinners who freeze their hides for a couple years after fleshing and working some before finishing the tanning process and smoking.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline HedgeHunter

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 03:12:21 pm »
What did that bear square anyway?

HH~
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight onto the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Offline gutpile

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 09:10:04 am »
did you use a turbo tip with pressure washer... if not you need to ...gut
to take from nature the materials needed to take from nature the meat needed...they all die from natural causes osage, rivercane, stone points,...

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Bear tanning woes
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 11:26:10 pm »
What did that bear square anyway?

HH~

I'm not sure will have to measure it.



did you use a turbo tip with pressure washer... if not you need to ...gut

I mostly used the 20 tip that came with the unit.  I tried the 0 tip and that thing cuts like a knife but way too unweildly for fleshing.

I've been working on the house a bit in preparation for winter.  I can't believe how much bear grease is coating every thing within a 10 foot radius, only stopped at that because of a fence. 
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-