Hide Tanning


New member
I live in West Arkansas in the River Valley Region and i am looking for a place that does tanning or a recommendations for a place to send hides ( coyote, fox, racoon, beaver, ect) How should i prep them before sending them? As i am sure your figured i am new to the taxidermy and tanning world. Also i was wondering if it might be easier or alot cheaper to do it at home. Any advise is welcome! Thank you!!!


New member
We used to use Fox Valley tanning but I hear they went out of business

This year we sent a deer hide to Stern Tanning (877) 783-7682 out of Milwaukee but have not seen the results yet. Not sure if they do smaller hides or not so it would be best to call them first.

Prepping hides...remove all MEAT chunks but you can leave fatty tissues and micro layers of tissue layered in the fat.

Lay out lots of newspaper or other absorbent material to place the hide on....hair side down

Apply liberal amount of cheap table salt to the entire hide (3 to 4 cans of the average size table salt containers will do a deer hide)

Daily...change the papers to prevent moisture building up under the hide...reapply more salt as needed.

After about a week the hide should stop weeping. Brush off excess salt and ROLL the hide up

When packaging to ship make sure the hide is dry!!!! If any blood or liquids leak through a cardboard box both UPS & USPS will throw out your hide. So pack the box with plenty of newspapers.

These were my handling instructions when I used to use Fox Valley Tanning. Good luck!


New member
I just tanned this years deer hide using the Hide Tanning formula and it wasn't hard at all.

F & T Fur Harvester's Trading Post - Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula

Start with a fresh green hide. Carefully scrap or cut off all meat and fat until the skin is very clean.
If hide is dried soak in plain water long enough to soften.
Salt the flesh side with table salt work plenty of salt into the entire hide.
Fold salted hide flesh to flesh, roll up and leave for 24 hours.

Then scrape off old salt and repeat with clean salt for another 24 hours, then scrape off salt and your ready for the salt bath.

Prepare a salt bath by mixing ½ pound of table salt per gallon of water. Mix salt bath thoroughly and let cool. Immerse hide 6 to 8 hours (except red or gray fox, just 15 min.) Remove rinse in clean water and drain.

Using a sharp knife , thin the skin as much as possible , removing any remaining membrane. (A wire wheel can be used if the skin is allowed to almost dry first).

After the skin is thinned, wash with warm water with liquid dish soap (Dawn) to remove salt and grease . Very greasy skins such as raccoon, beaver, and bear should be washed twice in dish soap to remove all grease.
Then hang to drain.

Warm (Hide Tanning Formula HTF) by sitting bottle in pot of hot tap water for 30 min. The skin should be room temperature, semi dry, but still moist and flexible.
Shake the warmed HTF well and apply an even layer to the flesh side. Apply with paint brush, or by hand wearing rubber gloves, massage firmly into all areas of the skin.

Fold the skin flesh side unto itself and leave over night (12 to 16 hours). After the 12 to 16 hours tanning time, dry slowly over 2 or 3 days. As it dries, periodically pull and stretch the skin until it is completely dry and soft. If the skin is still stiff in spots, dampen those areas with warm water, re-apply warm HTF and repeat.

Note: when the skin is fully tanned it can be further thinned with a wire wheel or course sandpaper. Also pulling the hide over a tight rope will help soften.

Hope this helps

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