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Old 03-14-2005, 06:07 PM
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Default pelt tanning

Does anyone do their own tanning of pelts? I have a regular supply of freshly dead rodents that I would like to try tanning and using for flies but I don't know if there is a special technique to use when fly tying is the end goal.
Any pointers in the right direction would be helpful.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Sal, I've got a friend that does some tanning but won't see him again until Sunday. Will check with him. You can preserve the skin by rubbing borax on it I believe, however, it won't be a soft pliable texture. Are you planning to cut it into zonker strips, are just wanting to get hair from it. BTW, what kind of 'rodents' are we talking about? LOL
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

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Originally Posted by Gordon Bryson
Are you planning to cut it into zonker strips, are just wanting to get hair from it. BTW, what kind of 'rodents' are we talking about? LOL
Probably both. The fur is a nice soft texture, about 1/2" long (12 mm) and is a charcoal grey with chocolate brown tips, about 1/8" long (1 mm).
The rodents are gophers. I have a gazillion of them and I trap them on a regular basis to keep them under control. (the parentheses are in case anyone here does fly tying in metric units....)
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Sal, didn't get you any info on tanning yesterday, hope I can hook up with him in the next day or so. Don't know that I've ever seen gopher hair anywhere as fly tying material, but it would probably be pretty good. What you need to do is design a good fly pattern with it, get it published, then you'd have the gopher fur market cornered.
Will try again tomorrow. Later, Gordon
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Old 03-21-2005, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

The "Salmo Gopher Zonker" does have a nice ring to it!!!
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Why tan the hide? Just shove an hook up the gophers butt and go for Taiman.
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Old 03-27-2005, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

I tanned my deer hides with borax and salt. The tanning worked well but the Texas deer hide is just about useless for spinning. I have finally trapped all the gophers out of my yard but still have problems with moles. When I get one of these little suckers I just trim the hair and put it in plastic bags. Some of the large males have a reddish mane that looks good on a nymph.
Ontario
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Old 03-27-2005, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontario
I tanned my deer hides with borax and salt. The tanning worked well but the Texas deer hide is just about useless for spinning. I have finally trapped all the gophers out of my yard but still have problems with moles. When I get one of these little suckers I just trim the hair and put it in plastic bags. Some of the large males have a reddish mane that looks good on a nymph.
Ontario
Did the tanning with borax and salt leave the pelt supple enough for using on Zonkers or was it a little stiff?
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Tanning the deer hide with borax, salt and sometimes a little corn meal leaves the hide stiff as a board. Hides tanned this way were probably used for snow skies by the indians.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: pelt tanning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontario
Tanning the deer hide with borax, salt and sometimes a little corn meal leaves the hide stiff as a board. Hides tanned this way were probably used for snow skies by the indians.
LOL
That's probably the origin of "climbing skins" used on X-country skies before they invented waxless ski designs. Just strap a hole hide to your boot and you can go up any hill....
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