Storing tanned capes / hides for mounting in the future

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by TiborV, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. TiborV

    TiborV AH Member

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    Hi. I have some capes that just arrived from Africa. I have limited space at the moment for shoulder mounts and am planning on having the capes tanned and then storing them with the hope of having shoulder mounts made in the future. I have heard, both from other hunters and taxidermists, a few different versions of what I should do. Some say that tanning the capes is enough and they should just be stored in plastic and they can be mounted years later; others said that you can tan them, but then they need to be frozen and will last for years that way; others say that they could be tanned and then need to be dipped in a special solution and then stored in a freezer by the taxidermist if I plan to mount them in the future. I would appreciate any advice or input on this and if anyone has done any of the methods described above I would like to hear about the end result. Thanks!
     

  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Tibor

    My suggestion is call and talk to a reputable taxidermist and go by what they recommend.

    I would call and tell them that i do not have the money at this time to do the shoulder mounts, however when money becomes available that you would like to do one shoulder mount at a time in the future.

    Also, you can ask that if you sell the capes, would you be able to purchase capes in the future?

    An example, I was offered by a taxidermist some free euro mounts for some capes.
     

  3. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    They can be stored in a cool dry place no problem with that, no need to freeze, I have stored salted hides for 3 years, and then tanned and had them mounted without any issue whatsoever.

    As an FYI I often recommend if a hunter has a limited budget, to do taxidermy work over a year or two period.

    I have had clients do the same with no issue,
    Beware of warm DAMP cellars these could include sweaty plastic bags...and such they will cause them to spoil.

    Otherwise go for it.
     

  4. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Everyday you leave a salted hide untanned you take your chances. MANY of my clients have their work done over time. YOU have to get it tanned wet or dry, soak it and triple bag it and FREEZE THEM . I've done to skins and mounted them 10-15 years later. Most of the time a safari can be done over time but then you have multiple shipping and crating charges. Salting a skin IS a temporary measure of preserving it. TEMPORARY! Because the skin contains the grease and proteins that are caviar and lobster to many beetles. They start at the hair root where a small amount of protein remains until the skin is tanned. These beetles exist everywhere. Most tanneries will not deal with a customer that is not a taxidermist. Contact the taxidermist you choose to have create your work and has the quality you expect and deserve and I haven't met one yet that would refuse to work a time frame for your mounts.

    PS I get shipments on occasion from Africa that have been there for 6 months and they have beetle issues when they arrive.
    4 safari's this year that had beetles in the crates already eating the skins
     
    Diamondhitch, enysse and JacoS like this.

  5. TiborV

    TiborV AH Member

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    Thanks for the advice -- I am definitely going to get them tanned right away so what I really plan to do is store tanned capes. It is really a space issue for me as I only have so much room at home for the time being. Sounds like tanning and then freezing is the best way to preserve them if it may be several years before they get mounted. I've spoken to a few taxidermists and have gotten differing opinions so this is really helpful.
     

  6. JAC

    JAC New Member

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    so what of the skulls? are they all cleaned out of flesh and such at some point during this process??
     

  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Skulls have to be cleaned and disinfected before they ever leave the country of origin or they will be rejected at the port of entry to any country really.
     

  8. buck wild

    buck wild SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I agree with tanning, soaking and freezing. My taxidermist mentor had some tanned skins dry stored at room temperture and they feel apart when soaked 6 yrs later. It was really heart breaking to see them ruined.
     

  9. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    What if you plan to use the hide for a bag, belt, etc? Leather lasts for years as bags. Why the need to freeze a tanned hide whether the hair is on it or not?
     
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  10. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Leather like that is not taxidermy tanned, It tooling leather. and it will never have to be wetted or soaked to be mounted and stretched.
    Fine a 5 year old leather bag or coat ...soak it till ti's soft enough to stretch it a few inches.
    The fibers will come apart also
    There is a HUGE different in tans, hundreds of ways to tan for MANY purposes.
    Taxidermy tanning is very different in chemical make up thickness and fiber condition
    But tanning , all tanning is done with acid and acid breaks down hides that is why taxidermy mounts must be correctly glued when mounting of they continue to break down fall apart and crack or split. Mother natural will never quit trying to return EVERYTHING back to earth by breaking it down.
    Tan your hides wet them soak them get them back to size and freeze them , you be able to mount them 20 years from now.
     
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  11. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Dennis,

    Thanks for the reply. So, if one of us is just going to do euro mounts and wants to use the hides for bags, belts, etc. do we need to communicate that to our taxidermist so that the tanning of the hides is done differently?

    John
     

  12. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    On a slight side note ... are ladybugs one of the beetles that will damage taxidermy? We have them swarming all over the area ... including in my home. This is a common problem in the winter as they like to hibernate in the warmth. I have been gently catching them and releasing them, but if they are after my mounts ... chemicals will be applied ... and fairly quickly!
     

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