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1. After the cape or hide has been skinned from the carcass remove as much meat and fat as possible from the hide. Split the lips, turn the ears, and take the cartilage out of the septum of the nose. The longer the hide remains in its raw state the more likely the hair is to slip.

2. Lay the hide hair side down; flesh side up on a flat working surface. Salt the hide with a fine ground non-iodized salt; thoroughly rub the salt into the flesh side. Never use rock salt or reuse old salt!

3. Leave the hide salted for 12-24 hours.

4. Rinse off the salt. You can add a handful of salt and 2 oz. of McKenzie Relaxer/Degreaser to 5 gallons of water. Agitate the skin in the bath around 3-5 minutes. Take it out and let it drain.

Pickling - Mix the pickle at the following proportions for every 1 gallon of water add:

• 1 lb. Salt

• 1/2 oz. McKenzie Ultimate Acid or 1 oz. of Oxalic Acid, or 3 oz. of Pickling Crystals, or the acid of your choice, the pH should read at 1.5 - 2.0

5. Place the hide into the pickle. The minimum amount of time for the hide to stay in the pickle is 72 hrs. Remove the skin anytime during the pickle and shave the skin as thin as possible. The thinner the skin is shaved the softer and more flexible it will be. As soon as you are finished thinning put the hide back in the pickle.

6. Once the allotted time for pickling has been completed remove the hide from the pickle and rinse in cold water.


7. Degrease the skin if necessary. Skins such as bear, raccoon, and beaver all will require degreasing. Heavy degreasing can be done with McKenzie Relaxer/Degreaser, 2 fluid oz. per gallon of water, leave the hide in the degreaser for 30 minutes then rinse in clear water. For light degreasing Dawn dish soap can be used at a ratio of 1/2 fluid ounce per gallon of water. Be sure to rinse all degreasing agents out with cool clear water.

Neutralizing - Mix a neutralizer bath to the following proportions:

• For every 1 gallon of water add:

• 1 ounce of Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)

• Leave the hide in the neutralize solution for 15 minutes on light skinned animals or 20 minutes on deer etc.

8. Remove the hide from the neutralizer and rinse in clean water.

9. Rinse a second time in a bath of room temperature water. Hang and drain for 30 minutes.

Tanning with LUTAN® FN - Basic Formula for each pound of drained weight skins:

• 2 1/2 quarts water

• 1 oz. LUTAN® FN

• 7 oz. Salt

• pH 3.5 to 4

10. Tan the skins for 12-24 hours for small game and well shaven deer capes; 24-48 hours for moose, caribou and elk. Do not allow skins to remain in tan solution for more than 48 hours. Maintain the pH by adding small amounts of pickling acid to lower it, or small amounts of bicarbonate of soda to raise it. LUTAN® FN will only tan properly between 3.5 and 4. Below 3.5 will surface tan the skin, and above will precipitate the chemical.

11. Remove from the LUTAN® FN, rinse in cold water and drain for 30 minutes.

12. Mix the McKenzie Leather Oil - 1 part oil to 2 parts hot water. Rub the oil and water mixture thoroughly into the hide.

13. For rug work or furs the hide should be stretched and broken as it dries. The Combination Tool (Item Number T7239) works very well for breaking the hide.

14. If one has access to a tumbler, the hide may be tumbled for extra softness. A household dryer may be used provided it is set to a "NO heat" setting.


1. After the McKenzie Leather Oil has soaked in for a minimum of 8 hours the skin may immediately be mounted or the skin may be rolled up, bagged and frozen. When ready to mount simply thaw and mount.

2. To rehydrate a tanned skin, soak in a water and bactericide for 2 hours. Roll up and cover with a large towel until completely rehydrated. Re-soak for another half-hour if necessary.